FATMAP difficulty grade
Hogsback Ridge rises dramatically above downtown Durango, an easily-identifiable landmark that has become one of Durango's go-to trails.
Ned Overend has even labeled Hogsback Ridge as one of his favorite trails in the region.
Since the trail is found in Overend Mountain Park, named after the iconic mountain biking legend who's long called Durango home, that makes perfect sense.
However, if you think that the first-ever cross-country world champion would only choose smooth, fast trails to put on his tick list...
Hogsback receives an "extreme" FATMAP difficulty rating.
Read on for the low-down on the gnar. The loop mapped here covers many of the best trails in Overend Mountain Park.
After traversing around the base of the mountain and climbing the Hidden Valley Trail, the route drops down the backside of the ridge on "Star Wars," a swoopy high-speed downhill riot! The fast and furious descent down Star Wars is worth the price of admission alone, and if you turn left at the bottom and head down and out of the trail system, you'll enjoy a short but sweet mountain bike ride that only pegs a "difficult" FATMAP rating. But if you instead turn right and make for the top of Hogsback Ridge...
shit's about to get real. Once on top of the Hogsback, you'll enjoy absolutely stunning views of the region! Mountains tower above you, and ridgelines drop away below you.
It's a good idea to sit down, grab a snack, and enjoy the incredible viewpoint that you just reached.
But your ride is far from over. Turn and look over your shoulder, and you'll see an exposed knob towering above you.
And if you look very carefully, you'll spot a trail leading up the ridge to the top.
Yes, you're going up THAT. The ascent to the pinnacle of the ridgeline requires a short but absurdly-steep hike-a-bike.
Most of the way, small steps have been cut into the dirt to aid in the ascent up the seemingly-vertical ridge.
The hike is a true grunt, and merely hauling your bike up the hillside can be a real challenge.
But once on top, the views crank up to 11! You'll enjoy mind-blowing 360-degree views of the entire region.
Best take another snack break—you earned it. Now comes the true challenge: descending this uber-steep ridgeline.
The exposure is tremendous, and the trail is absurdly steep.
While it tends to be a bit washed out in the middle, the trail is, on the whole, quite wide and easy to negotiate.
However, as you might guess, things only get more difficult as you descend, with tricky turns, challenging washouts, and the intermittent steeper pitch. In fact, the most technical and sketchy spot on the trail is found down in the trees towards the very tail end of this descent.
While the overall exposure might be less, you'll face a steep drop down loose dirt, over rocks and roots with no clean run out, and no catch berm at the bottom.
The potential tumble down the remaining mountainside is not to be trifled with. Once off the Hogsback, the ride finishes with a flowy jump-filled descent down Browns Ridge back to town.
Browns Ridge provides a delightful reward after the butt-puckering descent up top, allowing you to loosen up a bit before wrapping up this memorable ride.