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Colorado Trail ( Twin Lakes to Halfmoon creek)

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This portion of the Colorado trail traverses the eastern flanks of Mt. Elbert. In the fall it is probably one of the most visually spectacular rides in the entire Arkansas valley. For the most part it is a technically mellow ride that most physically in-shape people can ride and enjoy. When I rode it I was camping at Whitestar campground at Twin Lakes, if coming to the area for the ride alone I would recommend parking at the large parking area at Lakeview campground. The first portion of the ride is a fairly steep uphill on a four-wheel drive road (the grunting up this road is worth it on the way back down), if it is wearing you out early there are some beaver ponds with fantastic views of Elbert on your left. Nearly 4 miles into the ride from Whitestar you come to a large parking area, continue north from here on the well marked Colorado Trail singletrack. Coming up shortly the Mt. Elbert trail cuts off to the left, stay on the main trail ( when I rode it my riding partner and I came across a couple of hardcore uni-cyclists who had rode their uni-cycles as far up the trail as they could, and carried them all the way to the summit of Elbert!, they were riding them down a technical section when we met them, and it was very impressive) quickly after the Elbert trail you will come to a tight switchback, take it left. On your right will be a large pond, it is surrounded by aspens and is one of the most serene locations I have ever rode my bicycle to, it is also a good place for wildlife viewing. From here you continue to cruise on up and down singletrack, around 2 miles later you will encounter another trail up Mt. Elbert, once again continue straight. Shortly arfter this the trail becomes steep, rocky, and technical for around 1.5 miles as it drops into the halfmoon creek drainage. Find yourself a pleasant place to rest and replenish along side Halfmoon creek. The intitial climb back up is nearly impossible without pushing, but once you near the closest intersection with the Elbert trail again you are basically home free. The ride back is over twice as fast, much more fun, and makes the entire trip worth it. The portion of the trail where you get to bomb back down the four-wheel drive road has multiple water bars where you can catch monster air, plus the road is wide enough 2 or 3 bikers can all cruise down it side by side comfortably. This section is known locally as the "yellow brick road" in the fall for it''s abundace of aspens. Definately one of the best all around sections of the Colorado Trail that I have been on.
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Trail Directions
Take highway 82 (Independace Pass) west from Highway 24 north of Buena Vista or south of Leadville, when you reach the Twin Lakes area there will be a well marked turn to the right for Lakeview campground take this right to the north. Proceed through the campground to the large parking area on the north side where the four-wheel drive road starts. If your vehicle has the ground clearance you can continue to drive up to where the singletrack starts, but the road does'nt see a lot of motorized traffic and the grunt up is definately worth the ride down
Trail Length
15 Miles
Trail Level
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
Zip/Postal Code
United States
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