Wyoming Trail No. 1101/The Divide Epic Trail

Wyoming Trail No. 1101/The Divide Epic Trail (Steamboat Springs)

  • Attempted 7/20/15
  • 24.8 miles one-way (we made it to Base Camp TH, by my guess 7.75 miles on-way in)
  • Apprx. 3 hours to complete what we did (2.5 hrs up, 0.5 hr down)
  • Moderate MTB Trail
  • +500′ net elevation gain to peak (about 10,100′)
  • Equipment:
    • sunblock
    • sunglasses/biking glasses (when you are going fast downhill, you’ll want some glasses of sorts)
    • tech shell (i take this with me whenever I go into the mountains)
    • Lots of water
    • bike pump
    • flat tire patch kit/extra inner tube
  • Wyoming Trail No. 1101: Blue-Black
This is the stone with a plaque you are looking for to locate the MTB trail as well as the OR trail
This is the stone with a plaque you are looking for to locate the MTB trail as well as the OR trail

We decided to attempt this trail not to complete it, but to simply soak in all the views of the continental divide and Rabbit Ears Pass.  We looked at the elevation profile and knew it only had a couple of steep sections before the extreme downhill section (which connects Rabbit  Ears Pass to Steamboat’s Ski Hill).  That spot begins at 15 miles into the trail and it about a 3500′ drop in elevation.  The section that we attempted was probably a blue to blue-black in difficulty.  Some of it required tight turns while on steep inclines.  The trail was still pretty muddy and soggy, so sometimes it was difficult to navigate around obstacles.  There were a few water/mud crossings that just weren’t possible on a mountain bike (or at least by my skill level), so we had to dismount and move around the water crossings.

Photo Jul 19, 1 02 10 PM
It may not look it, but this section was pretty steep! The moisture on the trail doesn’t help for traction either – tires will easily spin out.
Photo Jul 19, 2 18 19 PM
Another steep section – they are never too long, so give it your all!

Photo Jul 19, 1 54 03 PM Photo Jul 19, 2 21 36 PM Photo Jul 19, 2 21 39 PM

A water crossing right after Dumont Lake
A water crossing right after Dumont Lake

The trail had a nice blend of steep sections, rolling hills, and flat sections.  You stay in the trees from maybe 1 mile in to 4 miles in.  From there, the trail opens up onto an OR trail to Base Camp TH.  Turn left to go uphill where the MTB trail will branch off of the OR trail.

My father
My father

Photo Jul 19, 1 53 38 PM (1)

A closer look at the steepness, some technical moves required here
A closer look at the steepness, some technical moves required here

Once you get to the parking lot along the OR trail, look right and the MTB bike trail begins here again.  We decided to bail here because the elevation profile looked pretty steep here and we were already tired from reffing 14 soccer games that weekend.  We biked to the end of the OR trail, which was perhaps another 5 minutes down the road.  The OR trail had a 2003-2005 Toyota 4Runner at the parking lot as well as a newish model Chevy Tahoe.  The trail had a lot of puddle crossings with whoop-de-doos, not rock crawling – so I am guessing the trail is rated at a 2-3, maybe a hard 3.

Photo Jul 19, 2 18 26 PM Photo Jul 19, 2 18 28 PM

Overall the section of the trail we tackled was a ton of fun.  There are breathtaking views within the trees and outside of them when the trees open into a clearing.  The OR trail was bumpy and made for lots of great jumps while coming down the trail.  I would definitely attempt this trail again and go a bit further (it is about 15 miles in where the trail gets very steep, so I would probably bail there).  There are a lot of people on the trails (both OR and MTB) for the first mile or so and then we were basically by ourselves.  I would attempt this trail later in summer when it has been sunny so the trail is drier.  There will still be lots of water crossings, but at least the trail won’t be damp to make traction difficult on the steep sections.  The trail was mostly single track, as seen in the pictures.  It was a double track for about half of a mile or so, but in the trees (the more beginning of the more technical stuff) it was a single track ranging between 18 inches and 6 inches at parts.

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