Eider Creek/Mill Creek Loop - Mountain Biking

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About

Summary

Mill Creek Road, which is located about a mile west of Telluride via either the bike path or Valley Floor trail, is the jumping off point for several rides on the sunny side — an area of aspen-cloaked slopes that includes Mill Creek, Deep Creek and Eider trails.

Written by

Katie Klingsporn

Distance

2.0 miles

The Eider Creek trail is 2 miles.

Destination Distance From Downtown

2.0 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 hours

1-2 hours

Seasonality

Summer and Fall

Early summer to fall (depending on snowfall).

Dog Friendly

Yes

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

Mill Creek Road, which is located about a mile west of Telluride via either the bike path or Valley Floor trail, is the jumping off point for several rides on the sunny side — an area of aspen-cloaked slopes that includes Mill Creek, Deep Creek and Eider trails. In this zone riders will find jaw-dropping aspen groves, splashy mountain creeks, chest-high delphiniums and plenty of grueling climbs.

What Makes It Great

Of all these riders, Eider Creek is the spanker — it’s a favorite of hard-core local riders who like a bit of suffering. Commit to Eider and you sign up for a relentlessly brutal climb through some of the most beautiful aspen groves in southwestern Colorado. It’s rooty, it’s rocky, it feels at times like it’s never going to let up. Then you look around, and you realize why you got yourself into it: the views are glorious.

This 2,000-foot climb will take you into stands of aspen that absolutely vibrate with color during the early summer and fall transitions. It tops out high in the mountains, takes you to a basin that affords views of craggy mountains, and then drops into steep set of switchbacks through a slope that is practically choked with delphiniums and cow parsnip during high summer. You’ll be spent but so glad you did it.

From the Forest Service Gate (see directions below), climb the trail, staying left at the first fork. Wind through aspen stands and through creeks. After a section of hard climbing, you will come to a junction in a grassy clearing with a wooden sign. If you are already whooped, you have the option of bailing here — take a right to ride the Eider “Lollipop Loop,” which will take you back down to Mill Creek Road (a great ride in itself). If you want more suffering, stay left and keep ascending through the pines. Hang a right when you get to a T at the top of that climb, and then keep climbing. The trail will top about in a wooded saddle. This marks the beginning of the descent, which will lead you back to Mill Creek Trail. Take a left there to the bridge, and continue on to the Jud Weibe trail, which will pop you back into town. 




Who is Going to Love It

Super-fit riders, cross-country hounds and people who like to be physically tested and experience the gamut: tight switchbacks, creek crossings and sections that have only been cleaned by the legends. Heads up — this one is not only challenging, but also high-altitude.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Head out of town on the bike path, and take a right onto the dirt road just after the Shell Station, about 1 mile from town. Climb the dirt road (Mill Creek Road) up to the first switchback. Turn left onto the singletrack that goes around an old Forest Service Gate.

Location

Eider Creek/ Mill Creek Loop

37.951911, -107.84561

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