Colorado Trail Segment 26: Blackhawk Pass

Durango

A stunningly beautiful section of the Colorado Trail running through the rugged San Juan Mountains.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
18 km
Ascent
553 m
Descent
777 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
3.2 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
Colorado Trail Segment 26: Blackhawk Pass Map

The Colorado Trail (COT) is widely regarded as one of the very best long-distance mountain bike trails in the world. Running for 535 miles between Denver and Durango, the trail crosses high alpine mountain passes and drops into beautiful valleys as it traverses the most beautiful portions of the state of Colorado. The COT forms one-third of the Triple Crown of Bikepacking, along with the Arizona Trail and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

Description

Out of the entire Colorado Trail, arguably the most highly-acclaimed portion is the long stretch running from the town of Silverton to the southern terminus of the trail in Durango. While not technically the highest-elevation portion of the trail, nevertheless this section stays very high in the San Juan Mountain Range.

All along this stretch, the views of the surrounding jagged mountains are incredible, the singletrack is narrow and sinuous, and there’s nary a sign of civilization. Indeed, between departing the town of Silverton and entering the town of Durango, the only sign of human life is the occasional dirt road crossing. Plan accordingly and pack all the gear you’ll need.

The Blackhawk Pass segment climbs steeply up to the top of the pass on narrow, mostly smooth singletrack with the characteristic jaw-dropping views. But once on top, it’s time to rip down! "The 10 miles of downhill from the top of Blackhawk Mountain is some of the best there is,” writes John Robinette on DurangoBikeTours.com. "It is EPIC!”

Sources: http://www.durangobiketours.com/2015/09/08/blackhawk-pass/

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August, September

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Hike a bike
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area