FATMAP difficulty grade
Raider's Ridge is easily the most technical mountain bike trail in Durango.
This rocky, gnarly spine will force most riders to walk at least a few portions, and only the most competent slow speed tech riders will be able to conquer it (with practice).
To top it off, the spine of the ridge is quite exposed, with significant fall danger to the north side. Once the trail turns downhill, the rocks transform from slow speed trackstand tech riding to high-speed tech-gnar riding.
In addition to brutal rock gardens and a constant onslaught of chunk, you'll spot some massive ledge drops and the occasional kicker-gap option.
In a few spots, the trail breaks out onto slickrock slabs before dropping back into gnarly singletrack. There's a myriad of different ways to ride Raider's Ridge.
One common route climbs to the midpoint of the ridge, which skips the more challenging upper section.
The route mapped here, however, climbs to the upper end of Raider's Ridge via the Sugar Trail. As mentioned, the first half of Raider's Ridge is even more awkward and demanding than the second half.
Since the first half receives less bike traffic, the ideal line isn't always obvious.
After passing the midpoint, the second half becomes eminently more rideable. While you could finish this ride by following the named Raider's Ridge trail, the route mapped here finishes on the Snake Charmer trail—the fast, flowy, challenging tech-gnar descent described in paragraph two.
Snake Charmer is a local favorite and comes highly recommended. If you've ridden Snake Charmer before and are looking for some variety, consider dropping the Rocky Road Trail earlier on—it serves up a new school tech riding experience that many locals rave about.