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FATMAP difficulty grade
In the grand scope of Colorado mountain bike trails, Sheep Creek, located outside of the town of Fairplay, flies way below the radar.
Fairplay, in general, is most often seen as a drive-through town, a quick gas stop on the way to somewhere else.
But for those mountain bikers who choose to explore the South Park valley, gems like Sheep Creek will reward them.
Sheep Creek is an old school singletrack trail of the finest order.
Serpentine singletrack consisting of dark black dirt snakes through dense groves of aspen trees, breaking out into wide-open meadows at intervals, which afford views of the surrounding mountains and the beautiful groves.
During the fall, the aspen leaves turn a beautiful golden color, with the entire grove turning simultaneously thanks to its interconnected root system. Overall the singletrack here is relatively non-technical, although roots and rocks do punctuate the trail tread.
The Twelvemile Trail that follows the stream downhill is significantly rougher than the Sheep Creek trail, and the singletrack itself isn't of as high caliber...
rather, it seems like more of a route than a trail.
Regardless, it's a great way to form a lariat loop instead of riding Sheep Creek as a mere out-and-back. From the upper reaches of the lariat, an option to ride out-and-back to Twelvemile Lake is available.
This portion of trail is much rougher and more natural than the other stretches of singletrack in this ride, with some hike-a-bike and wading through beaver ponds required to reach the lake.
But once up to the lake, the jaw-dropping view is an apt reward!