Closed for nordic ski season. Impassable prior to snow melt in the spring.
This trail is a designated singletrack in the summer, snowshoe trail in the winter. It'll takes you through Douglas Fir, Engelmann Spruce, and Aspen forests in a 5.5-mile loop. There's 800 feet of total elevation gain, topping out at 10,000 feet.
At the halfway point, you'll arrive at the overlook of the upper valley of Red River and Wheeler Peak wilderness. There are still a few more short climbs on the way back, but the bulk of the work is now behind you and you'll find some excellent flowy sections to crank on back to the base area.
Mule deer, elk, woodpeckers, grouse, other forest critters are commonly seen and heard along the trail. Beautiful wildflowers throughout are a nice bonus.
Need to Know
No water is available in the ski area. But there ARE a couple of vault-toilets at the base area and port-a-potties at the yurts along the trail. Be aware that these trails are also used by hikers and guided horseback riders, so be alert and respectful of other users. Parking is free and pretty obvious once you find the ski area.
This is a 95% singletrack loop around the Enchanted Forest Cross-country Ski Area (see here) for more information.
Trail map is available on the website as well as in giant poster form at the parking area/lodge. This singletrack (winter snowshoe trail) is an all-woods loop that parallels and occasionally criss-crosses the forest roads (winter ski trails).
Look for the giant metal Bigfoot sculpture just past the lodge. This is the start of the trail. Riding clockwise, you'll start by climbing 250 feet (up to 10,000ft!) in the first half mile. The trail is well-marked with bright surveyors tape. First timers should keep their GPS or MTB Project mobile app
close at hand for a couple tricky transitions from one trail to the next.
All singletrack trails use PINK surveyors tape in addition to the color specific to that section. If you see pink tape, you're on the singletrack. Now look for the secondary color to identify your section.
There are 3 connected loops available to ride:
*Bigfoot - A 2-mile loop with 350 feet of elevation gain - look for PURPLE surveyors tape and follow it.
*Bigfoot plus Yeti - A 3-mile loop with 425 feet of gain - Take Upper Bigfoot (clockwise) to the Midway Yurt. Next to the yurt, look for the Area Map Signpost. Yeti - marked by BLUE tape - begins just to the left of the Signpost. On your return, you'll pass near the Midway yurt again and the tape will revert to PURPLE as you come back in on Lower Bigfoot.
*Bigfoot plus Yeti plus Yo Yo plus Yuki Onna - A 5.3 mile loop with 1050 feet of gain - Take Upper Bigfoot to Yeti at the Midway Yurt, continue on Yeti past the Little John Yurt and look for ORANGE tape. Now you're on Yo Yo out to the overlook and Long John Yurt. Return on Yuki Onna singletrack - CANDY CANE tape, to Yeti, to Lower Bigfoot, back to the base area.
At the furthest point of the ride (2.7 miles in) is an overlook of the upper valley and Wheeler Peak wilderness. There are three yurts along the ride which are available for overnight rentals through the website. Want more raw downhill speed? Skip the Yuki Onna singletrack on the ride back and stay on the main Road - Northwest Passage - until rejoining Yeti singletrack at Abracadabra.
Not loving the tight woods riding? The main roads provide a mellower, less intense ride with less climbing.
History & Background
This route is all within the Enchanted Forest XC Ski Area, established in 1985.
Shared By: Bill MacDonald