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Mountain Biking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Holy Cross Ranger District

Quick Facts

Two Elk Trail

Difficulty: Most Difficult

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This National Recreation Trail travels from the Vail Pass Trail, just east of East Vail, up over Two Elk Pass, then down Two Elk Creek into Minturn. It can be traveled in either direction.

A designated National Recreation Trail, Two Elk Trail offers many panoramic views of the Gore and Sawatch Ranges.

This trail also passes by the back bowls of Vail Ski Area. China, Sunup and Sundown bowls are known for their deep powder skiing.

A side trip to Red Benchmark, north of Two Elk Pass offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The changes in elevation provide for a wide variety of vegetation, ranging from high alpine forests to stands of aspens and cottonwoods to dry, brushy slopes.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Closed till July 1, 2001 for resource protection. Updated: 2001-06-13 11:28:00.0

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Length of Time: 5 hours or so
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This a great trail to ride after connecting from the Commando Run. Plan on starting at the Vail Pass parking lot and ending at Minturn. Arrange for shuttle plans. Riding back up on your bike is definitely no fun. The Commando Run plus Two-Elk combination makes for a great all-day ride. Great views of Vail's back bowl. The ride's almost all rideable. It does get VERY technical at the last miles of the trail, but if you're good and/or crazy, you may clean it all up. This ride has earned the highest marks from almost all riders. Make sure not to miss it if you get the chance. If you start from Vail Pass as suggested, roughly 80% or more will be DOWNHILL. End the ride with a cold beer or margarita in Minturn. Awesome!!
Conditions: Very buggy near the end. Great wildflowers along the entire trail. Modestly technical at the beginning, but gets extremely difficult (rocky!) near the end. Expect to get on/off your bike often.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
ICON Hiking & Walking
ICON Horseback Riding
ICON Mountain Biking This ride includes a difficult climb to Two Elk Pass and a challenging singletrack downhill. Riders will probably want to leave a shuttle vehicle at the Minturn end of the trail.

Related Activities
Gore Creek Campground - This campground sits along Gore Creek, just east of Vail, at an elevation of 8700 feet.

Upper Eagle River General Forest Area - The Upper Eagle River General Forest Area includes most of the area from Minturn, south to Tennessee Pass.

Vail - Vail is the largest single-mountain ski area in North America. Its back bowls are legendary. The town offers outstanding dining, shopping and lodging.

Vail Pass Trail - The Vail Pass Trail is a paved recreation trail. It runs from Vail, over Vail Pass to Copper Mountain, where it links to the Tenmile Trail.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Vail Valley Partnership, 100 East Meadow Drive , Vail, CO, 81657, Phone: 800-525-3875, Fax: 970-476-6008, www.visitvailvalley.com


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