37 routes · Mountain Biking
A 25-mile winding, swooping beginner-friendly (but joy-inducing for all levels) chunk of high-desert terrain that will pin your grin from ear to ear.
Mountain Biking Moderate
- 45 km
- 706 m
- 706 m
- 3-4 hrs
- Low Point
- 1.9 km
- High Point
- 2 km
Anyone who has ever ridden Phil’s World will talk about the awesomeness of Rib Cage. It flows smooth and fast down through juniper and pinon pine, bobbing into small dips that allow you to jet up the other side and back down into another crease. Carrying your speed as you dodge in and out of corners and up and down the rises is what makes this trail such a roller coaster of fun.
As famous as RIb Cage is, it’s just one of the many incredible, smile-inducing sections on this high-desert trail system.
As you head north out of the parking lot (left since Phil’s World is directional and must be ridden clockwise), you’ll climb Coco, a gentle rise toward the mesa on sandy hardpack. As you crest Coco, it turns into Abajo and evens out some; still, you’ll keep rising to a lookout over a shallow valley. Along Abajo you get some ledges, but nothing extreme. The trail crosses a number of turn-offs that will allow you to shorten your ride. If you can, keep to your left and turn Phil’s into a bigger ride. It’s just that much fun.
Abajo turns into a short section before you hit the Ledges Loop Connector, where you’ll find more technical riding but also some of the best views of the areas surrounding Phil’s World. Expect Ledges to add up to an hour to your ride time.
As you traverse the hillside on Ledges, you won't have some of the death-defying exposure you expect from trails out West; however, you will hit a few tight turns that take you close to the edge while you'll also find your inside leg cruising close to a one- to two-foot ledge as you skate across the rock plates. While Ledges is more demanding—with some off-camber, sketchy sections—it’s not so technical as to preclude riders of most levels from enjoying it.
Once you make your way all the way around Ledges Loop, it’s decision time. You’ll be staring Rib Cage straight in the eye and its magnetic personality will tug at you with the fierceness of a belligerent mule. If you’re so inclined to delay the joy for just a bit, take the left and roll on through the Stinky Springs Loop (or Stinking Springs). It’s worth it and will have you feeling like you've gone into a bit of a different world.
Following a short, smooth climb, you’ll hit Pinnacle and then drop into Vertebrae. This is another sweeping, downhill that bobs in and out of small valleys, banked turns, and some jumps that eventually drain into a bit more of a technical rocky section.
You’ll hit a punchy climb to dance across a mesa and into another rocky section. Another down, then up, and you’ll come back to Rib Cage. This is the jam you’ve been waiting for, so let it all hang out (within your limits, of course). Twist and turn, scream up and flow down, until it’s decision time again.
Once you’ve cruised like a lightning bolt down Here for More, do you head to the parking lot to bask in the glow of that final descent down? Or do you hit 2 More and follow it around to the beginner-friendly Trust Loop?
Your call. Either way, you’ll end back where you started convinced that Phil created something way cool and he is, indeed, the man.
Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.
Best time to visit
- Rock Slabs
- Rock Gardens
Guidebooks in this area
10 routes · Mountain Biking
10 of the Best Mountain Bike Trails in Colorado
24 routes · Mountain Biking
Classic MTB Trails that Lure Riders Back Again and Again