Carl's Favorite Rides

Carl's Favorite Rides

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Strong, Carl
These are some of my favorite mountain bike rides in the area. They are fun and not so technical that you’ll have to go real slow, but not wide open enough to go super fast. They’ll scare you and challenge you, but you won’t disintegrate if you wreck.

Cave Gulch

This had a fire go through it the year before last, but it might be back open this summer. It’s a steep double-track climb with a beautiful downhill. Motocrossers made this trail, so it’s full of jumps, berms, and tabletops. At the top you can look over Canyon Ferry as you come down through the trees. Access is easy: take Hwy. 287 to Townsend and hang a right at the Commercial Bar. Drive to a flashing light, turn left, and follow the road north along Canyon Ferry until you hit Magpie Gulch (it’s on the right). Follow the gulch until you see a sign for Cave Gulch. This is the trailhead.

Hanging Valley

This ride is in the same area as Cave Gulch but is accessed through the town of York. It’s a tight single-track climb that heads up for miles, then descends into the valley. You can feel the temperature drop as you come down. The trail gets tighter and tighter until it dead-ends at a cliff, so you’ll need to hike the last bit. The view is fantastic, as is the riding. Head back out the same way. To get to the trail, travel northeast out of York to the campground. The trailhead is sort of hidden between two campsites at the back of the campground.

Emerald Lake

Head up to Hyalite and follow the road around the reservoir to the trailhead for this local’s favorite. It’s a beautiful, technical climb (try to make every switchback without dabbing!) and a blast of a downhill. Take some bug repellent and watch out for other trail users. This trail gets some traffic, especially on weekends.
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