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I'm headed out for camping in a couple of weeks.

I'm considering Angel Fire as one stop. I'm not into jumping. Is this worth it if I prefer flowy trails and keeping the rubber down?

I'll also end up at Cortez. I hit Phil's World once before and plan on it again.

Anything else I should consider between there and Pagosa Springs?

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Angel Fire is a blast but in my experience it is much tougher than Spider Mt.  Granted I went late in the season, but the trails are pretty choppy/rough and I would say a green at AF =  blue at Spider.  They also have 2 versions of trails, Free ride and Technical, I would stick with the Free ride trails.  Overall a great place and fun time.

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Monster (over 200,000 acres burned and hardly contained) and extremely dangerous fire burning between Las Vegas and north and west of Mora (Calf Creek/Hermits Creek Fire).  I'd assume that you can't access Angel Fire on 518, then turning onto Hwy 434 at Mora, but who knows what conditions will be in a few weeks. 

There is also the Cooks Peak Fire burning east of Angel Fire, but it's possibly close to containment. 

Re: Yes to Phil's World but if it's warmish in Cortez, and you have riders with you that aren't so much into the tech, don't overlook Boggy Draw trail system 9 miles north of Cortez and just above Dolores -- over a 1,000 ft higher in elevation.  Boggy Draw has a lot of mellow cruising in the Ponderosa pines; it's a huge trail system now.   

If for some reason it's on the coolish side, there's Sand Canyon trails down McElmo Canyon west of Cortez.  Lots of nice red rock, just like in Utah. 

That's the great thing about that area.  Lots of variation in elevation.  If it's hot go high. Too cool? Get down in the canyons. 

Kokopelli Bike and Board is the local shop in Cortez and they now have a little shop in Dolores across the street from a brew pub.  They have great Phil's World t shirts and will likely have the master map to all the trails in that general area. 

Enjoy. We'll be in that area mid summer. 





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48 minutes ago, AustinBike said:

Just an FYI, keep an eye on fires. 

Indeed! Also, if you go into the Layers of Google maps, one of the options is to turn on wildfire tracking. Pretty neat, but yeah, it's a mess out there right now. 



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I'll second what others have said about Angel Fire. I was there last September and there's plenty to ride whether you are into flow trails, big jumps, xc or anything between. The steepness and length of the trails is something you just can't simulate here. My hands are always the first thing to fatigue when riding places like that. If you are looking for more of a back-country experience, you might look into doing the South Boundary Trail. I've done it twice and had blast both times. I'd recommend getting shuttled to the trailhead unless you are a glutton for punishment.

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I had the same problem at Phil's World in 2020. It was a smoky mess from northern NM all the way to Cortez. I did a short ride when I hit town under a smoke grey sky with a crazy red sun. It was trippy, but the air quality was not terrible. The next day saw the wind change directions and we had the bluest sky you could want. 

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2 hours ago, Hugh said:

IIRC, you lived in Cortez? I was thinking about camping at McPhee Reservoir. Thoughts on that?

My favorite place on the planet! 

McPhee Reservoir has some kind of formal status as a national recreation area, so camping is allowed only at the few developed designated campgrounds. 

House Creek Campground, info HERE

McPhee Campground is on the other side of the lake.  

There's nothing rustic about these campgrounds - they are developed and there will for sure be a fair number of RVs.  Not cheap, check the web sites but it looks like "standard" campsites are $26/night.   We drove to House Creek Campground one time just to check it out and there was hardly any shade. 

A really nice private campground that does have some tent camping right by the Dolores River is Dolores River RV Resort.  Lots of big trees, lovely.  Looks like a tent site would be $32/night, but the campground does have WiFi, so there's that.  

I just called the Tres Rios Public Lands Office (combined Bureau of Land Management + San Juan National Forest) just outside of Dolores, and confirmed that there is still dispersed camping all along Boggy Draw Road, which is by the extensive Boggy Draw Trail System, many many miles of mellow single track in the Ponderosa Pines, just a mile or two above Dolores. 

The super mega everything map for all SW CO singletrack is put out by biglooptrails.com/colorado-trails  They seem to be doing a good job of creating new editions to stay current on all the new trails being added to both Phil's World and Boggy Draw. 

You can get a digital version as well, but I'd recommend the paper option for your personal sanity and the great overview. 

If you're in north Austin (Walnut Creek area) I'll be glad to share my maps with you. Just PM me if you'd like to meet up.  We're retired, so mostly open schedule. 






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Just got the email they aren't opening until the 28th to keep an eye on the fires.


Angel Fire Bike Park Operations Update


Bike Park Crew,


We are delaying the opening of our summer activities for one week, until May 27th, or until we get more information about the current fire situation in our area. Angel Fire Resort fully supports the efforts of the fire crews, first responders and law enforcement that are protecting our community. Our goal at this point is to assist with their effort, and to keep members and guests out of harm's way. We will be communicating any and all operational news, including updates to the resort opening date, as soon as we have further information.

We are so thankful for the incredible response of the firefighting teams who have brought manpower and resources to aid in the defense of our mountain home.


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Posted (edited)

Two different friends have cabins in the Angostura area by Hwy 518. The fire was within 2 miles when the winds changed yesterday and they were spared for the time being. 

ETA: Today (Saturday) about 1.7 miles away. 

The north end of the fire is now 15 miles due south of Angel Fire. 

Edited by June Bug
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