Situated just outside the vibrant city of Durango, Colorado, the Dry Fork Loop offers a satisfying mix of terrain suitable for intermediate-level cyclists. This 9-mile trail serves up a collection of epic climbs, adrenaline-pumping descents, and an immersive natural landscape—culminating in a cycling experience you won't want to miss.
The trail is accessed from County Road 208 and is clearly marked as you make your way into the area. Expect to climb roughly 1,200 feet over 4 to 5 miles to the top, depending on your chosen route.
Dry Fork Loop has a reputation for being somewhat unforgiving when wet. Signs at the trailhead caution against riding on damp ground, though it seems not everyone heeds this warning. The trail surface is often marked by hard, bumpy tread—courtesy of horse hooves and solidified bike tracks from past rainy days.Once you hit the trail, you'll ascend through scrub oak and pine, encountering small rocky sections along the way. At the intersection with Hofhein's Connection, keep an eye out for a selection of wildflowers, towering aspen trees, and other eye-catching flora.
Dry Fork Trail features a counter-clockwise route that comes highly recommended, primarily for bikers keen on a technical challenge. In contrast, a clockwise loop offers fewer obstacles but compensates with a series of long rock garden trails and the much-loved Gudy's Rest— a scenic overlook perfect for catching your breath.Several cyclists have also praised the lush environment and abundant shade, contrasting it with the more arid landscapes typical of mountain biking trails in other states. The trail does get a bit overgrown in parts, so take care when cycling at speed.
If the Dry Fork Loop leaves you yearning for more, Durango offers several other trails, like the Telegraph Hill trail system and the Test Tracks. These in-town trails promise superior singletrack without the inconvenience of horse encounters. Yet for those who favor a unique blend of features and scenic beauty, Dry Fork remains a solid choice.
Whether you're a local or a visitor, the Dry Fork Loop stands as a testament to Durango's vibrant mountain biking culture. Offering both challenges and rewards, this is a trail that definitely earns its spot on every mountain biker's to-do list.