Durango Colorado Mountain Bike Trails

Durango Colorado Mountain Bike Trails

Durangoans are blessed with the opportunity of cycling from their doorsteps to any one of a number of tasty singletrack trails within a matter of minutes, and this moderate loop starting at Chapman Hill is a prime example of that. Chapman Hill is named for Colton Chapman, one of a group of rabid skiing enthusiasts who lived in Durango in the early 1940s. Like skiers everywhere, this group decided they needed some assistance getting to the top of their local hill and started to build a towcable. Chapman took charge of the operation. Later, he was known to promote skiing among kids in town, helping them make skis out of old barrels. (This led to the Great Barrel Shortage of ’47.) As a ski hill, Chapman is pitiful. Somewhat better for sledding. It gets a lot of sun and not much snow. If they think up some new extreme sport that involves gravity and mud, Chapman will be at the epicenter. For quite some time now, of course, cyclists have claimed the hill, and epic velodramas have been played out here. The annual Iron Horse Mountain Bike Classic, one of the biggest mountain bike events in the world, uses Chapman as a start/finish for its crosscountry races and as a staging area for its festival, expo, and dual slalom. The muddy, rocky slope of Chapman Hill has been marked with the tread patterns of the greatest cyclists in the world, as well massive crowds of courageous sport class racers. Now it’s your turn. Trail Surface: 96% singletrack, with some widetrack and a tiny bit of pavement.

Durangoans are blessed with the opportunity of cycling from their doorsteps to any one of a number of tasty singletrack trails within a matter of minutes, and this moderate loop starting at Chapman Hill is a prime example of that. Chapman Hill is named for Colton Chapman, one of a group of rabid skiing enthusiasts who lived in Durango in the early 1940s. Like skiers everywhere, this group decided they needed some assistance getting to the top of their local hill and started to build a towcable. Chapman took charge of the operation. Later, he was known to promote skiing among kids in town, helping them make skis out of old barrels. (This led to the Great Barrel Shortage of ’47.) As a ski hill, Chapman is pitiful. Somewhat better for sledding. It gets a lot of sun and not much snow. If they think up some new extreme sport that involves gravity and mud, Chapman will be at the epicenter. For quite some time now, of course, cyclists have claimed the hill, and epic velodramas have been played out here. The annual Iron Horse Mountain Bike Classic, one of the biggest mountain bike events in the world, uses Chapman as a start/finish for its crosscountry races and as a staging area for its festival, expo, and dual slalom. The muddy, rocky slope of Chapman Hill has been marked with the tread patterns of the greatest cyclists in the world, as well massive crowds of courageous sport class racers. Now it’s your turn. Trail Surface: 96% singletrack, with some widetrack and a tiny bit of pavement.

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