Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures
recently wrapped up its first full season of guided tours to the top riding spots in the western United States. We've been Pinkbike members for years, and we understand the insatiable desire for incredible images from amazing rides. So instead of making this a promotional write-up about how awesome the Chasing Epic season was, we wanted to instead share the stoke from our trips, both company-related and the trips we took for fun.
Enjoy the pictures and have an awesome New Years. Maybe we'll see you on the trails in 2017!January: St. George and Hurricane, UT
With the weather at home (Boulder, CO) cold and snowy, I decided to head down to St. George with one of our trip leaders for a scouting trip, and to shock the legs and lungs a bit. It was early in January, and because of that the weather is always iffy for riding the high mesas of Gooseberry and Little Creek. Unfortunately, we hit the area at a bad time - right after a snow storm - so we were relegated to riding the lower in-town trails. That said, in St. George and Hurricane that's a hell of a consolation prize, because the trails around Santa Clara, Green Valley and the Boy Scout Loops are super fun!The Sidewinder Trail in Santa Clara offers amazing views and some fun, extended descents not found elsewhere in the area.The Zen Trail is a short, must-ride loop any time you're in the area.The Boy Scout Trails sit above Quail Creek State Park, and were built by the boys at Over the Edge (props to Quentin and Clayton!)The Santa Clara trails sit next to Pine Mountain and Snow Canyon State Park, which makes it an amazing area for riding.February: Canon City, CO and Sedona, AZCanon City, Colorado is an up-and-coming location
just southwest of Colorado Springs, and offers some great off-season riding as it sees more mild winters and not nearly as much snow. The terrain of the Oil Well Flats network is a mix of awesome downhills, smooth singletrack, and techy rock features that keep you on your toes. It makes for a long, but relatively easy day trip from the Front Range area. Ripping the singletrack through the aptly-named Fracture trail.The area has tons of rock formations that you typically don't see in the Front Range of Colorado.Just when you thought it was safe to cruise, Oil Well Flats gives you a little twist.
Later that month, it was time to head down to Sedona for a scouting trip - as it's one of our locations, we had to meet with our guides, scout out appropriate trails, and put together itineraries for booked groups.The beginning of the Hangover Trail is definitely more mellow before you get into the hairy stuff!More 'easy' Hangover riding...And, the not-so-easy Hangover section. This is actually an off-shoot called Chewy's, which is the burliest line I had personally seen anyone ride before.April: St. George and Hurricane, UT
Towards the end of April, we hosted a private group of nine rippers from the Atlanta area for four days in St. George and Hurricane. They drank hard, and rode harder.. making for an awesomely fun long weekend. The rain kept us off Gooseberry Mesa, but we managed to hit Little Creek and most of the Santa Clara trails.Sidewinder in Santa Clara offers some fun technical challenges with an amazingly scenic backdrop.Thomas Turner takes the fun line over a crack in the earth on Little Creek Mesa.After our Little Creek rides, we always cap the day off with a super-fun shuttle of the JEM Trail on the way home.On the last day, we managed to do a sweet 16-mile loop of the Barrel and Zen Trails in the Green Valley area.May: Fruita and Grand Junction, CO
Anyone from Colorado or Utah knows that once the temps start rising in the spring, May is the time to hit Fruita and Grand Junction. The town is overrun with mountain bikers, but don't worry - there are plenty of trails to spread everyone out. Now, we wouldn't recommend going over Memorial Day Weekend (like we did, ugh!), but any other weekend will be amazing riding and fun groups everywhere. The only lines you're likely to encounter will be at the Hot Tomato, waiting to order pizza and beer.Joe's Ridge is a great warm-up ride at 18 Road.Before you hit the more butt-puckering drops of Zippity!Lion's sits on the far west side of the Kokopelli/Loma Loops and sees very minimal traffic. When connected to Troy Built, it makes for a great 10-mile loop.Don't forget to head over to Grand Junction's Lunch Loops, some of the most fun trails anywhere. Gunny Loop is not to be missed.June: Angel Fire, NM
June is a tough time for riding in the Colorado high country, as the snow is still melting out and most trails are muddy. This year, we decided to try something new, to drive four hours south and check out Angel Fire. With a combination of their killer bike park and some awesome high-elevation riding, it was the perfect long weekend. The area only gets around 200" of snow a year, which means most of the time it melts out by late May.The South Boundary Trail is a 25-mile point-to-point that will blow your mind. The 'Heaven on Earth' section is six miles of hauling ass through the aspens.Make time to spend a day in the Angel Fire Bike Park, as it has something for everyone.More from the SBT, right after we finished the 45-minute grunt of a climb out of Angel Fire.Poppin' wheelies for days.Heading into the forest... and about 10 miles of non-stop fun.July: Gunnison and Crested Butte, CO
Crested Butte is a must-ride in July; the wildflowers are going off and the riding is as good as it gets. We headed down for a 4-day weekend trip over the Fourth of July to ride the classics, and mix in a few unknowns as well. Unfortunately on the first day, we were hammered with an all-day rainstorm. No problem, though, as Hartman Rocks in Gunnison sits in a weather bubble and offers amazing rainy-day fun. After a day of sampling Hartman's best, we were able to hit the Crested Butte area for the last few days of riding.Getting chased by the up-valley rain at Hartman Rocks.The Rattlesnake Trail in Hartman Rocks offers some fun technical challenges.Long ribbons of granite make for fun riding.Interesting rock features are everywhere at Hartman Rocks.Back in Crested Butte, we rode through waist-high wildflowers for miles and miles.It's hard not to have a grin on your face when riding in CB.Strand Hill is a short but fun trail that offers wide open meadow skipping and tight, twisty singletrack through the aspens.August: Park City, UT and Eagle, CO
Being the middle of the summer for most folks, August is typically pretty busy at Chasing Epic. In early August, we hit Park City for four days of riding. Unfortunately, we managed to time the trip (unintentionally, of course) at the tail end of a 40-day run of no rain, which meant we were riding moon dust for most of the trip. No problem though, since the trails were still epic.Heading down Pinecone, high above town.The Mid-Mountain trail that crosses all three ski areas is a must-ride. The last day meant a Wasatch Crest shuttle from the top of Guardsman Pass.
At the end of August, we managed to gather a few trip leaders and spend a day in Eagle, CO. Eagle has a growing network of amazing bike trails, and offers enough riding for multiple days. We only had one full day, so we split it between a morning session in west Eagle, and an afternoon spent on Pool & Ice and Redneck Ridge. 25 miles later, we left a happy group.Abrams Ridge has trails similar to Fruita, but in different terrain.The Boneyard Trail is a great 3-mile climb, but can be a ripper going downhill too.Redneck Ridge is aptly named, as you rip down a ridge above town for a 2.5 mile descent
.And finally, the "famous" Pool and Ice, which aptly ends right at the town's Pool and Ice Rink.September: Crested Butte, CO
Just like riding in Crested Butte in July, we also make a point of hitting town in September. The aspens are changing, and the riding can be incredible with a perfect combination of trail conditions and weather. We spent a few days in town riding the big-ticket trails (that were empty, by the way) and combining them into some amazing days of riding: 403 & 401, RFBD & Doctor Park for example.The trails above town are amazing in their own right - the new Happy Hour trail from the mountain offers over a mile of downhill sweetness.We were about a week early timing the aspens, most of the lower-elevation trees were still mostly green.Beginning the 6-mile descent down Bear Creek.Before hitting another 6-mile descent on Doctor Park!The 401 Trail might be well-known and one of the epics, but it deserves its glory.October: St. George, UT and Lyons, CO
The snow starts flying in the Colorado and Utah high country in late September, which for us means it's back to desert riding. Back in October, we headed back down to St. George and hosted clients for a 4-day weekend of perfect weather and incredible riding. We lucked out on this trip, as the house we rented happened to be next to the Trek Factory team, which meant we schmoozed with Semenuk and van Steenbergen during Redbull Rampage. If Gooseberry Mesa is the roller coaster, then Little Creek Mesa is the entire amusement park.Dropping ledges at Church Rocks in Hurricane.
In-between trips, I like to get out on my local trails with my trip leaders to have fun and do a little bit of shooting. Late in October is perfect with beautiful sunsets and nice cool riding. Being just outside of Boulder means we have one of the more fun trails just up the road in Lyons, Hall Ranch. A 5-mile descent from the top of the Nelson Loop is tough to beat as the sun goes down.Drop it like it's hot.Riding into the golden hour.November: Sedona, AZ
One of our last trips this year was to Sedona, where we hosted a group of eight guys from Portland and Toronto. Sedona is a tough place to ride, as the technical, chunky trails tend to beat your body into submission by the third day. The crew that weekend were troopers though, as we hit the trails hard for four days straight. No Hangover Trail this time, but we sampled a little bit of everything: West Sedona, Hiline/Slim Shady/Templeton, and the Soldier's Wash Trails. I always say that if the town weren't smack-dab in the middle of it, the area should be designated as a National Park. Sedona is one of the most beautiful towns in the country.The Chuckwagon - Mescal Loop is a mellow intro to Sedona, but still offers some amazingly fun riding.Mescal has lots of fun off-shoots where you can get your butt-tickle on.Hiline is a must ride, with a combination of fun flow and uber-techy descending.The last section of Hiline will challenge even the best riders.
Special thanks to all of our partners for the inaugural Chasing Epic season: Rocky Mounts
, Infinit Nutrition
, and Clif Bar