Issue: September 2012
Tags: Wyoming Division of State Parks, Wyoming, Stone Temple, mountain biking, Middle Kingdom, Mahogany Trail, International Mountain Bike Association, Historic Sites and Trails, Hidden Falls, Granite Springs Reservoir, End ‘O Line, El Alto, Curt Gowdy State Park, Curt Gowdy, Crow Creek Trail, 5280 Traveler, Causeway, Camp Russell, Aspen Grove
Ride 'Em Cowboy
Wyoming’s Curt Gowdy State Park is becoming the region’s coolest mountain biking hot spot.
By rolling at a brisk pace, we’d covered most of the Mountain trails on day one of our adventure, so the next morning we decided to see what the Reservoir network had to offer. Fewer trees shade these trails, which are more gravelly than the Mountain zone and cut across rolling prairie. They also link some pretty serious skill parks. Following the blue-designated Mahogany Trail, we came to the entrance of “End ’O Line,” a play park that doesn’t appear on the map.
We were intrigued until we saw that a skull and crossbones decorated the trail marker. A passing rider told us why: This free-ride route follows a supersteep ridge with no bailout options. We continued on, and ventured instead into Middle Kingdom’s more moderate play zone of downhill-style gap jumps and berms.
Most trails and junctions at Curt Gowdy are well signed, so we never lost our bearings in the maze—which, we decided, was worthy of a repeat visit. Two days let us cover most of Curt Gowdy’s trails, making the park the perfect size for a weekend getaway. And the two-hour drive from Denver makes it easy to come back again and again. Plus, technical singletrack only gets better (read: way more fun) with familiarity. We would definitely be returning for a rematch with El Alto. Next time, we’ll wear elbow pads.