Tucked away in the unassuming landscapes of Del Norte, Colorado, the A and B Loops at Penitente Canyon offer mountain bikers an engaging and diverse experience. These trails have earned their reputation as a favorite among local riders, providing not just challenging terrains but also an element of surprise around every twist and turn.
This trail system is essentially divided into two loops: A and B. The A loop offers a more technical ride with boulders, rocks, and several 1-3 foot drops that challenge even seasoned bikers. A mix of short uphill sections coupled with tech spots makes for an exhilarating experience. In contrast, B Loop is less technical and serves as part of a dirt road for a few miles. However, don't let that fool you; the road sections are filled with loose, sharp rocks that could potentially lead to unfortunate wipeouts.
From dry, fast, and fun terrains to old-school, washed-out single tracks, the Penitente Canyon trails have been recently reworked and expanded. The trail system has been particularly favored for its intricate network featuring tech single tracks and dirt roads. While the markings can be abysmal in places, the scenic vistas and varying levels of challenge make up for it.
From Del Norte, travel north on HWY 112 for approximately 5 miles and then turn left onto 33 (a dirt road). Follow this road for about 10 miles, and signs for the park will be visible on the left side. There are two pull-offs for the park; go to the second one to find parking.Trail navigation can be a bit tricky due to occasional mismarking by mischievous individuals. Therefore, be sure to check the trailhead maps thoroughly to avoid accidentally landing on a hiking trail.
Overall, whether you're a solo rider or with a group of varying skill levels, the A and B Loops at Penitente Canyon offer a robust and fulfilling mountain biking experience. So gear up and get ready to explore this hidden gem!