Phil's World - Mountain Biking

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With 28 miles of desert singletrack designed by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers, Phil's World is the Four Corner's worst kept secret. Acclaimed for it's uninterrupted flow of buttery berms and rollercoaster racetracks, there's a reason the parking lot is always brimming with Toyotas and Yakima racks, but don't let that keep you away. Beyond the heart of Phil's most popular trails (including the famous "Rib Cage" circuit) there is a vast network of arterial routes that cater to the more technical and endurance-based rider, where you can find miles of solitude, soaring through sweeping desert vistas along sandstone cliffs.

Written by

Allison Perry


28.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

34.4 miles


2 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

3 hours

At your leisure


All Seasons

Dog Friendly


Fees Permits


$3 (recommended donation)

Land Website

Phil's World



There's days when you want to put your head down and power through a ride, snarling like a bull and fighting for your life. Then there's days when you want to let go. Days when you prefer to laugh like a maniac atop your saddle, allowing gravity and impeccable trail engineering take care of the grunt work. Phil's World is for those devil-may-care, free and easy days, when you want nothing more than to enjoy the ebullient desert sky and the great ancient invention of the wheel

What Makes It Great

Silkier than a kimono but packing more punch than Ali, the Rib Cage trail is the show stealer of Phil's World. Float like a butterfly and sting like a wild hornet through this dirt amusement park of buffed berms and winding wooptees.  Whether you consider yourself High-Octane Oliver, Launch-Crazy Leslie or Cautious-Conscious Clyde, you'll find your perfect line on this delicious wonderland of mountain biking at its absolute finest.It's easy to hop off the more popular trails like the Rib Cage and the Vertebrae--which many riders choose to lap like a race track--and explore the wider reaches of the mesa.  By taking a left at every trail intersection, you can avoid the crowds and wind footloose and fancy free through 28 miles of breathtaking singletrack.  Seeking solitude and looking to turn off your frazzled brain to everything, including navigation? The sweeping desert vistas, with mountain views in every direction, may make you feel small and alone in the grand scheme of the universe, but you'll never feel lost, as Phil's provides signage with easy-to-follow maps (and bail options) at nearly every intersection.What will you brag about? Vista, vista and more vista! With 240 bluebird days each year, chances are promising that you'll be able catch the panoramic mountain views encasing Phil's World. If you ride past the Elbow Trail to the Abajo Overlook, take the time to smell the roses and bask in the circumference of mountain ranges which include Durango's creamy La Platas (a subset of the San Juans), Telluride's raw and rugged Wilson group (with Wilson Peak at 14,017'; Mount Wilson at 14,246' and El Diente at 14,159'), and even Moab's expansive LaSals peaking out across the Colorado/Utah border.

See if you can make out the Sleeping Ute on the horizon, a small but prominent mountain range that is said to resemble a Ute chief sleeping on his back with his arms folded across his chest. Ute legend has it that the mountain is a Ute warrior who fell asleep while recovering from battle wounds, but more secular Durangatangs have a different legend. Locals believe that if you ever have the misfortune of moving away from the Durango area, you must first make the trek to the top of the Sleeping Ute's feet (the protrusion on the southeast end of the mountain range) and kiss the top of the Ute's toes.  Failure to do so means you will eventually move back to Durango--rueing the day you ever broke your lease--as any local will tell you that finding housing in this area is a much more arduous adventure than climbing any of the formidable peaks that can been seen from the overlook.

Who is Going to Love It

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore...Phil's World is the haven for every type of rider, regardless of fitness, skill or questionable character.  The outer, more technical loops cater to the more experienced and endurance-crazed riders, while the inner, smoother loops are rip-roaring fun for beginners and experts alike.  The parking lot is a mecca for tail-gating, allowing you to fire up your Coleman stove and soak in the sun and the suds should your friends want to eke out a few more laps past your desired quittin' time. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Phil's World is located on State Trust land leased by the Kokopelli Bike Club, a registered non-profit organization that is 100% volunteer based.  A $20 annual membership to the bike club helps finance the two port-a-potties at the parking lot, liability insurance and trail maintenance.  If you don't have an annual membership, it is reccomended that each rider leave $3 in pay box which can be found on the trail after heading north from the parking lot. (The pay box was removed from the parking lot due to vandalism.) To view current trail conditions and closures or to learn about groups rides and memberships, visit for more information.

Written by Allison Perry for RootsRated.

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Phil's World - Mountain Biking

Cortez, CO,
37.348883, -108.585927

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