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Molas to Coal Bank

Average Rating:    (4.17 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 6

Get ready, this is a epic ride! We started at 10:00 am at Molas Pass. This area of Colorado is absolutely beautiful, you will be impressed.

The trail is 100% singletrack for 18 miles. It ranges from extremely easy, to downright nasty. You are above treeline for most of the ride. BE PREPARED FOR STORMS! BRING PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER. The trail has lots of elevation gains and drops. Do not do this trail alone, you are in a vast wilderness, and a long way from help if you get into trouble.

The bottom line: This is the greatest trail that I have ever done, and the hardest. It took me almost 4 hours to complete, my son is a expert rider and it took him over 3 hours. You must have very good bike skills at all phases, this route will test you. The downhill at the end is not for the faint of heart, very fun, very challenging. All good riders should add this one to the list!
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Latitude
37.72565098865453
Longitude
-107.75630950927734
Trail Directions
From Durango go approximately 42 miles north on hwy 550. The trail starts at Molas Pass.From Silverton go approximately 6 miles south on hwy 550 to Molas Pass.
Trail Length
18
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Durango
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
August 6, 2007

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: limestone fanatic ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I think the most appropriate way to describe the Molas Pass-Engineer-Cascade trail is the "Wife Beater Domestic Violence Ride". My friend Stacy and I did this trail after a week or so of moderate rainfall in the Durango area. I had been wanting to do this ride because of the awesome scenery and other great singletrack in the area, as I ride here often and lived here several summers. This ride first lures you in as you climb out of Molas Pass on awesome singletrack - great views and great trail quality, even in very muddy conditions. The marriage between rider and trail is blissful until you hit around mile 8...then the relationship goes south. The trail quality rapidly disintigrates. At miles 10, the trail goes from singletrack width to only 4 inches wide, and you hit the sides of the deep, grooved trail at every other pedal stroke. The mud was so deep in sections that walking (even flat sections of trail) was required. At mile 11-ish, all of your hard climbing work at elevation is greeted by the washed-out downhill with some nasty sections of switchbacks. Great scenery is offered along the way, keeping you somewhat motivated in this love-hate relationship. The trail beats you up in these middle sections until you pop out at the base of Engineer mtn feeling violated and defeated....like a beaten housewife. At this point, you have an awesome decent into Cascade with stellar views and fun singletrack...almost like the trail is trying to wipe your memory of the hell you just endured and trick you with chocolate and roses. So, like battered women, Stacy and I exited the ride feeling better but still emotionally scarred :)

Recommended Route:
I recommend doing the 2.5 mile climb up Coal bank pass trail to the base of Engineer, then dropping down the awesome singletrack into Cascade...much shorter, but more fun!



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Review Date
July 9, 2007

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: wilcox510 ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
The scenery on this ride is amazing, but much of the actual trail was in pretty poor shape when I did it. We rode Molas to Engineer to Cascade. Much of the first 5 or so miles was pretty hammered by horses (totally ridable, just sort of like riding a washboard), then there were several miles of great singletrack. In the middle there is a mile or two that is totally unridable (ruts, rocks, loose etc). There is also a fair bit of singletrack that looks great, but the trail is worn well below the surrounding ground so you're pedals hit the ground on every other pedal stroke. The descent down into Cascade Creek was very fun, mix of some semi-technical and some really fast trail. A third of the way into the ride I was loving it, but by the end I was pretty disappointed, and would probably not do this ride again.

Recommended Route:
Molas to Engineer to Cascade, shuttle to the top

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Hermosa creek



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Review Date
January 3, 2004

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: wiard ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
since no one has written in awhile-This is a great trail but start early as a thunderstorm could hit and you would be in big trouble. The cascade trail cut off is cool. Although the whole ride is at high altitude and challenging it is easy to get off and walk for any section that scares you. The big thing is to be in good shape for high altitude climbs -you nevr get to let your wheels roll for long.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Hermosa-Durango especially the co trail



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Review Date
August 18, 2002

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: David , from Phoenix, AZ

Summary:
Did a 6 mile(12 miles total) out and back from Molas pass. Did not have a shuttle. Excellent trail with magnificent views. Beware of high altitude and train accordingly. Bring plenty of water,goo,energy bars and some fruit. Do this trail only in the summer, I spoke with a rider who tried it in early June last year and lost the trail in a snow bank. PS I went toward Coal Bank Pass



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Review Date
May 9, 2001

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Erik , from Boulder

Summary:
This trail is awesome, great singletrack, wildflowers, and a hairy descent to end it all. If you hate to shuttle, ride back up the road and you'll be spent. I have gotten caught in more than one lightning storm start early!

Recommended Route:
I usually park at Molas Pass and ride the trail, come down to Coal Bank and ride back up to the car.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Molas to anywhere, once you get on the Colorado trail you can't go wrong.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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