When it comes to challenging terrains that demand both advanced skills and laser-sharp focus, El Alto at Curt Gowdy State Park is a trail that stands in a league of its own. Inaugurated in June 2008, this trail was carved to deliver a gnarly experience specifically for advanced and expert riders. Expect plenty of steep granite slickrock, chain-ring busting rock obstacles, and the possibility of bumps and bruises.
To embark on this adventure, head to Curt Gowdy State Park via State Highway 210 from either Laramie or Cheyenne. Starting from the Aspen Grove trailhead, connect to the El Alto trail via either the A Trail or E Trail, leading to the L Trail. The trail sits on Alberts Ridge, approximately halfway along the L Trail.
Tailor-made for the advanced and expert riders, El Alto packs a punch. The trail is riddled with steep friction slabs designed to test sheer leg strength and lung capacity. Navigational skills are also essential as route finding can be challenging during the first ride. Moreover, the trail provides several spots perfect for capturing action shots if someone accompanies you.
Riders unanimously agree that this is the must-hit trail when heading to the Curt Gowdy trail system. While it fits perfectly into the overall trail ecosystem of the park, El Alto has its unique traits. Unlike trails designed exclusively for freeride bikes, El Alto complements the trail bike you'll likely be using for the rest of the park's courses. The trail is an ideal mix of challenge and fun, but it demands absolute focus—lose concentration, and you'll likely bleed.
El Alto is a formidable addition to Curt Gowdy State Park's trail offerings. It provides just the right level of challenge for those who find the rest of the park's trails a cakewalk. With its rigorous terrain and demanding obstacles, this trail is a stern test even for the most seasoned riders. To sum up: if you're an expert cyclist looking to step up your game, skipping El Alto would be a grave mistake.