Nestled between Laramie and Cheyenne, the Happy Jack Trail System is an expansive network comprising about 10 trails. With its diverse offering of singletrack, doubletrack, and fire roads, Happy Jack is a labyrinth that appeals to riders of varying skill levels. From scenic views to the occasional wildlife sighting, this trail network has something for everyone.
For access, take I-80 east from Laramie or west from Cheyenne, exiting at Happy Jack Road near the Lincoln Memorial. Trailheads like Summit, Upper Tie City, Happy Jack, and Headquarters serve as good starting points. Maps can be procured at the headquarters.
While the system caters to all levels, most of the routes can be classified as intermediate with optional advanced sections. The Haunted Forest section offers an immersive experience, featuring tight, root-strewn sections. Conversely, the Death Crotch route is a downhill thrill. Trails can be smooth like Happy Jack, or technical and rocky, such as parts of Headquarters Trail.
Maintenance is generally good, courtesy of the Medicine Bow Mountain Bike Patrol and Laramie Bicycling Network. Most trails are clearly marked, but there are complaints about the poor signage in some sections. A good map or local guidance is advisable for newcomers.
For those looking for technical rides, Curt Gowdy State Park might be the better choice. However, if smooth, non-technical trails that allow for some speed are desired, then Happy Jack is your destination. The trail network is versatile enough to offer both long and short routes, steep climbs and exhilarating descents. Consult local bike shops for map advice and trail combinations.
The Happy Jack Trail System is an essential experience for anyone seeking a diverse range of riding options. With its proximity to Laramie, the network offers an escape from the usual Wyoming heat and wind. Happy Jack is more than just a series of trails; it's a cycling community's paradise, skillfully maintained and beautifully located. Don't miss it.