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Colorado CO - Taylor vs. Rampart

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Been hitting Taylor since mid-70's but haven't ventured to try other areas for fear of a failed trip. Just don't get enough to chance it. But I'm in a new place in life and I just saw a vid of Devils Slide. I could count the number of rocks - seemingly so few compared to Taylor which looks like God was a kid with a jackhammer. So, is there a suggested cabin destination and is Rampart or some other area the terrain I've heard in folklore true where the trails and hills are not rock gardens? Is Rampart just outside of Denver?

Edited by Captn Kirk

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Yes, Rampart is just outside Denver. If you've been riding Taylor I don't know if Rammy will scratch that itch. Also don't feel it's a destination ride. Devil's slide is no longer open, floods three years ago took it out. Lot's of traffic up there on the weekends. G

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If you like whoops, and loamy decomposed granite trails, Rampart has you covered. Yes, the terrain will be far less rocky than Taylor Park. Since it is so close to Denver, it is a popular place on the weekends.

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If you like whoops, and loamy decomposed granite trails, Rampart has you covered. Yes, the terrain will be far less rocky than Taylor Park. Since it is so close to Denver, it is a popular place on the weekends.

 

The new single track at Rampart is actually pretty good riding for being so close to a city, but is is just one trail - a nice long one (30ish miles one way).

 

I would say that if you are looking for smooth flowing single track in the mountains that Rampart wouldn't be my choice. The flowing singletrack I can think of is almost always in areas that also have rocky trails as well. It is just a fact of the mountains in my experience. Hartman Rocks is probably the one area that has more smooth flowing trails than rocky but it has plenty of great technical riding as well.

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Yes, Rampart is just outside Denver. If you've been riding Taylor I don't know if Rammy will scratch that itch. Also don't feel it's a destination ride. Devil's slide is no longer open, floods three years ago took it out. Lot's of traffic up there on the weekends. G

 

You don't feel it's a destination ride because you live there. I live in Texas and I say Rampart is for sure a destination ride. Friends and I try to make the trip at least a couple times a year. We love it. Rampart is just plain fun. Like a roller coaster park for dirt bikes. And the new trails put in over the last few years are awesome. There's primitive camping out the wazoo. But if you'd rather motel it, we stay in Castle Rock, just a 30 minute drive away.

 

Yes, lots of traffic on the weekends. If you plan your trip for during the week, you can often ride all day, seeing very few others.

 

I like Taylor as much as the next guy, but don't be afraid of a failed trip by going to Rampart. Get a copy of the most current map and maybe even someone to hook up with that knows the area and if you aren't grinning ear to ear inside your helmet within the first 10 minutes of riding, there's something wrong.

 

Yes, Devils Slide has been closed, but the new trail put in last year to replace it is awesome. No worries.

Edited by Trailryder42

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Yes, lots of traffic on the weekends. If you plan your trip for during the week, you can often ride all day, seeing very few others.

 

Yes, Devils Slide has been closed, but the new trail put in last year to replace it is awesome. No worries.

 

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I live in castle rock so naturally Rampart is my first choice but I would like to find more difficult trails. I'm going to have to check out Taylor. Which is their more difficult trails?

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I live in castle rock so naturally Rampart is my first choice but I would like to find more difficult trails. I'm going to have to check out Taylor. Which is their more difficult trails?

Timberline and Star trails are a couple of well known options.

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Timberline and Star trails are a couple of well known options.

Thanks!

Once the weather gets better and I get my bike together, I would love to get a group together and go somewhere!

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I live in castle rock so naturally Rampart is my first choice but I would like to find more difficult trails. I'm going to have to check out Taylor. Which is their more difficult trails?

 

Thanks!

Once the weather gets better and I get my bike together, I would love to get a group together and go somewhere!

 

 

You must be new to the state.  My suggestion would be to try some of the easy and medium trails in Taylor Park first and some of the 4 wheel drive roads (Taylor Pass, Reno Divide, Pearl Pass, Tincup Pass, etc..  It's a big leap to move from Rampart style trails to Timberline or Star Trail in Taylor Park.  They dont call them the Rocky Mountains for nothing.

 

Also.. Not much open in Taylor Park prior to June 15th and even then you are going to hits LOTS of snow above treeline (think July and August before the high country is really available).  And this seems to be a pretty big snow year for central, southern and southwestern mountains.

 

Also....go to www.staythetrail.org.  Check out the places to ride and get intimately familiar with th MVUMs (motor vehicle use maps).  They are the golden source for what is type of equipment is permitted to ride where.

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You must be new to the state. My suggestion would be to try some of the easy and medium trails in Taylor Park first and some of the 4 wheel drive roads (Taylor Pass, Reno Divide, Pearl Pass, Tincup Pass, etc.. It's a big leap to move from Rampart style trails to Timberline or Star Trail in Taylor Park. They dont call them the Rocky Mountains for nothing.

Also.. Not much open in Taylor Park prior to June 15th and even then you are going to hits LOTS of snow above treeline (think July and August before the high country is really available). And this seems to be a pretty big snow year for central, southern and southwestern mountains.

Also....go to www.staythetrail.org. Check out the places to ride and get intimately familiar with th MVUMs (motor vehicle use maps). They are the golden source for what is type of equipment is permitted to ride where.

I am new here lol. Moved out here back in August of 2015. The last trail I did in Rampart was up Bear Mountain and I would like to find some more challenging that that. I still have plenty of other trails in Rampart I would like to try but Taylor Park looks beautiful. I will have to check out that website, thanks!

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I am new here lol. Moved out here back in August of 2015. The last trail I did in Rampart was up Bear Mountain and I would like to find some more challenging that that. I still have plenty of other trails in Rampart I would like to try but Taylor Park looks beautiful. I will have to check out that website, thanks!

I agree with SilvFx. Rampart doesn't compare to Taylor Park. Taylor is dirt trails with rocks, roots, mud, some steep slopes and some deep stream crossings. It is also incredible scenery and alot more remote.

 

We've went to Taylor and handful of times and hope to try Star for the first time this summer. We did Star Connector by accident last fall....it was pretty rooty and eroded, but we enjoyed the challenges. I wonder how much harder Star is than that? 

 

I suggest you get the Latitude 40 map to Crested Butte/Taylor Park (the purple one).

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The actual star trail is a bit tougher than the star connector. I prefer to go south to north on star as it makes one of the tougher parts down hill. Star connector is at the north end. For flowing single track you can't bead deadman, Reno ridge and bear creek.

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The actual star trail is a bit tougher than the star connector. I prefer to go south to north on star as it makes one of the tougher parts down hill. Star connector is at the north end. For flowing single track you can't bead deadman, Reno ridge and bear creek.

 

Thanks!  I thought it would be tougher, just wasn't sure how much...I suspect its rockier than Connector...and I know its alot longer.  South to north was going to be my tact.  I'm guessing the toughest spot is on the side of Am Flag mountain. Really looking forward to it...we started up it once but soon after leaving Rocky Brook Rd we encountered deadfall blocking the trail...got over that, then more deadfall. I was like...I think we better turn around...this is the easy part and we were already  😢  

 

Last Fall we were riding Lily Pond and were like...I don't remember this being this steep and rooty!  We said, oh well, and kept going...up and up and up. Next thing we know, we're back up on Italian Creek Road and were like....WTF just happened?  Actually it was one of the highlights of the trip for us.  LOL

Edited by dmac1

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at the water crossing and the big boulders, you took a left and skirted the left side of the lake instead of the normal right that continues on as lily pond trail.   Until just a few years ago, the Star connector was so infrequently used that you could not reallly tell there was a trail skirting the lake that way.

 

I think a great trail is the one that goes down to the spring creek reservoir from the american flag/reno ridge road.  Coming down from Amnerican flag, at the bottom of the big hill, take a left and watch for a single track off to the left just a little way down the road.

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I think a great trail is the one that goes down to the spring creek reservoir from the american flag/reno ridge road.  Coming down from Amnerican flag, at the bottom of the big hill, take a left and watch for a single track off to the left just a little way down the road.

That is Italian Creek. It is a great option for connecting Star to Reno/Flag/Rosebud. I love the loop where you start down at Dinner Station and tack Doctor Park across and drop down to cross Spring Creek across to Rosebud/Deadmans/Flag then tack Italian Creek up towards American flag and then come down Star Trail from the north. Depending how on the sections you choose it is an amazing 60 mile day riding some of the best trails in the area. Although be warned Star as the last section in the loop going clockwise is pretty tough if you are tired.

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Star is one of the tougher trails around, particularly if it's wet. Definitely ride south to north. Bring a portable saw if it's early season (I always carry one as it seems there are always trees that need to be (re)moved). Based on the amount of snow I saw in Crested Butte last weekend, I would venture to say high stuff at Taylor will not be open 'til July at the earliest. I have seen almost impassable snow on Star as late as August some years. Definitely a trail for more advanced riders.

 

What Silver Fox said- "They don't call 'em the ROCKY Mountains for nothing".

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Its funny how ya hear for years how hard something is, and you see a few gnarly pictures or short vids of lotsa roots and slick rocks or something, and ya kinda get this picture in your mind of what it will be like....but its not. Thats pretty much where I was until tonight.

 

I just watched a few vids of Star. In one it was raining...yep....looked slippery. Certainly added to the challenges.  In the one below, the guy rode it end to end in 36 minutes and I saw where we joined it at about the 32 minute mark. Honestly, there were some spots on Star for sure, but nothing looked lots harder than what we found on Star Connector.  Ok...there were a few rocky spots that looked a little harder, but I'm confident we can ride it.  Star Connector was kinda steep in some places and rooty and pretty eroded when we rode it.

 

I'll hafta get my map out cuz the guy in the vid passes a couple of junctions on his left. I thought Star Connector was the only one.

 

Edited by dmac1

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