Eagle, Colorado – Springtime in the Rockies marks the beginning of an annual pilgrimage for snowbound mountain bikers. Pining for warm temps and serpentine singletrack, they load up cars with gear and point their rigs west along Interstate 70, bound for Fruita or Moab. For years the sleepy Western Slope community of Eagle, CO served as a last outpost of sorts, a final stop for gas and road food.
That’s slowly changing as Eagle completes its transition from gas and beef jerky stop to bona fide MTB destination for singletrack seekers across the state. This idyllic little community, thoughtfully nestled behind a tall ridgeline separating it from the busy highway, is quietly becoming not just a side trip on the annual MTB migration, but a true riding destination in its own right.
Spring comes early to the eastern edge of Colorado’s Western Slope, Eagle in particular. Rides such as Boneyard (masterfully constructed by John Bailey, architect of the MTB course at the 1996 Olympics), Redneck Ridge, the newly commissioned and constructed Haymaker Trail and Eagle’s Ranch Loops all offering early season riders a wide selection of hour-long loops, each linkable to create longer options.
Each trail houses gleefully extended stretches of “I can’t believe this is legal!” Jedi-grade singletrack, with most opening by April 15th. Within weeks the sprawling trail network accessing the higher elevations and massive tracts of public land surrounding the community open up, and with them, the opportunities for back-of-beyond backcountry epics that begin in high desert sage and traverse aspen groves, old growth pine forests and above treeline exposure prior to dropping back down to town.
To find out more, visit EagleOutside.com or pick up a copy of Mountain Bike Eagle, the excellent guidebook to local (and extended) Eagle adventures.