Blackjack Loop

Buffalo Creek

Drop into fully-committed double black diamond rock features on the Blackjack Trail.

Mountain Biking Extreme

Distance
26 km
Ascent
657 m
Descent
657 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
2 km
High Point
2.5 km
Gradient
Blackjack Loop Map

Most riders consider Buffalo Creek as the go-to destination for flowy, swoopy, buffed-out singletrack, hence the nickname “Buff Creek.” However, when the Blackjack Trail was built, the game was forever changed. Sure, you can of course still get your flow on, but characterizing this entire trail system as fit only for hardtail-riding XC hammerheads will never be accurate again.

Description

Blackjack is 100% gnar, the entire time. Built to utilize the slickrock balds and rock features found naturally in the hills surrounding Buffalo Creek, the Blackjack trail flies off of big drops, rolls into near-vertical rock chutes with no bailout options, and generally challenges riders with all manner of natural gnar.

While the most technical of rock features do have ride arounds, even the ride arounds on Blackjack are no joke. Some of the alternate lines are labeled intermediate, but when you drop in they feel more technical than black diamond trails in most other places. Multiply that difficulty by 10, and you come close to the challenge found on the largest of rock features on the Blackjack Trail.

Even in Colorado, mountain bike trails this committed, this challenging, this technical are rare outside of ski resorts, making Blackjack an instant favorite with Front Range enduro riders.

Feeling ambitious? Once you’ve worked your way into the heart of the Buffalo Creek trail system where Blackjack is located, you can theoretically ride laps on this gnarly trail. But the key question is: are you willing to tempt fate more than once?

Difficulty

Extreme

Very steep, difficult, narrow singletrack with widely variable and unpredictable trail conditions. Unavoidable obstacles could be 15in/38cm tall or greater, and unavoidable obstacles with serious consequences are likely to be present. Obstacles could include big rocks, difficult root sections, drops, jumps, sharp switchbacks, and more. Ideal for expert-level riders.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Drops
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area