Major: English – General Option
Hometown: Carmel, NY
Engine Creek Ride!
Yes, it is true—most bikes in Durango are worth more than a person’s car. I, myself, am almost guilty of that logic. Mountain bike riding is an amazing experience in Durango, and there are thousands of miles of trails that individuals can ride right outside their backdoor. I have done a good number of those “in town” rides, but the most epic ride that I have been on so far was a bit north of town. The name of the trail is Engine Creek Trail; a steep climb up Engineer Mountain followed by a techy downhill descent all around the circumference of Engineer Mountain is what makes this trail my favorite trail by far. And the views…well, it is Colorado…but the views of Engineer Mountain as you are sweating and groaning on your uphill climb make it all worth it. If you ever decide to conquer this ride make sure you bring your camera. There will be several shots that you must blow up into large prints when you get home.
Now for some of the dirty details of the adventure: The gang (me and three other friends) started this adventure at around 10:30am in late September. We loaded the bikes and all of our gear up in one car and then drove two cars up because this ride includes a shuttle. What I mean by shuttle is that you park one car at the trail head (where the trail begins) and another car where the trail ends. It is a long enough ride that you do not do a round trip ride. When we finally started the ride it was a steep trek up to the base of Engineer Mountain. Personally, I am not a fan of the uphill climbs, but the “gnarly decent” made me forgot all about the pain endured when climbing. Let me describe what I mean by “gnarly decent”—I mean difficult rock ledges that you have to jump off of or roll over. If you roll over the ledge your butt is basically sitting on your rear tire and you are hanging on to your handle bars for dear life! Sounds like fun, right? I do have to say that my fork on my bike, the place where the front suspension is, saved my life many time on that trip. Let’s just say that if I did not have a good fork I would have went over the handle bars a couple times.
View of the back side of Engineer Mountain
The trail is pretty much techy single-track the whole way down and by the end of the day my hands were hurting because of the tight grip I had on my brakes and handlebars the whole time. Halfway through our fun adventure, maybe around 2:00pm, we stopped for lunch. It was definitely a well-deserved break, and it gave us all a chance to admire the beautiful scenery that we were whizzing by on our bikes! And then after lunch—yep, you guessed it….more DOWNHILL riding! We rode all the way down to this place called Cascade Creek, where the second car was parked. It was dusk by the time we arrived so we timed everything just perfectly.
After loading the bikes back up and slipping into more comfortable shoes, we drove to Mountain Madness, a local restaurant, to celebrate our victory in conquering Engine Creek Trail! Day well spent!!!