Conquering The Continental Divide Trail: The Ride atop Wolf Creek Pass
Colorado's biking trails are unparalleled in their beauty and challenge. None stands out more than the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) at Wolf Creek Pass. Towering at almost 12,000 feet, this trail promises not just breathtaking views, but also the thrilling challenge every seasoned cyclist yearns for.
The Ascent: The ride commences with a challenging climb. For the first 1.5 miles, brace for an ascent that's not just steep, but also at an elevation where every breath counts. The rise might be daunting, but with every turn, the majestic views of Pagosa Springs will spur the spirit.Along the Ridge: Once atop the ridge, a panorama of the west awaits, and soon, the eastern vistas join the visual treat. Traversing the ridge is more than just a ride; it's a journey through nature's best landscapes.The Goat Trail Encounter: At the 2.9-mile mark, the trail takes a curious turn behind Alberta Peak. While it may resemble a mere goat trail, its wider tread reveals otherwise. But caution remains paramount. Admiring the views? Better have a foot grounded. Nobody wants a tumble down that slope.The CDT Fork: Roughly at mile 4, the trail bifurcates. Stick to the left, the road less taken. This is the real Continental Divide Trail. By mile 5.25, an almost camouflaged trail emerges, connecting to an old dozer track. This trail is the key for the return descent to Wolf Creek Ski Area's parking lot.End or Extend at Railroad Pass: Mile 7.5 signals the arrival at Railroad Pass. Here, one can choose to either loop back or venture further to Silver Pass. Just a cautionary note: Every descent here implies an impending ascent.The return route to Wolf Creek Ski Area offers a delightful downhill experience, culminating in the parking lot. A left turn on Hwy 160 and a short uphill stretch brings the ride to its conclusion at mile 14.83.
To initiate this adventurous ride, drive north from Pagosa Springs, CO, on Hwy 160. After covering 23 miles, the summit of Wolf Creek Pass appears. The starting point is on the south side of the road.
Despite the challenging initial ascent, the views offered by this trail are unparalleled, making every drop of sweat worth it. The Continental Divide Trail at Wolf Creek Pass isn't just a ride; it's an experience to cherish. Embrace the challenge and be rewarded with views only the bravest witness. Safe riding!