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The Captain Jack’s Trail is cemented in mountain biking lore as one of the original go-to mountain bike rides.
That’s because Captain Jack’s was originally a dirt biking trail that existed even before the sport of mountain biking.
The lore surrounding Captain Jack’s is murky, but according to Otis Guy, Captain Jack’s is responsible for inspiring Doug Bradbury to create the first Manitou front suspension fork for mountain biking.
Joe Breeze, one of the godfathers of mountain biking, lists Captain Jack’s as one of his all time favorite trails in an article on Singletracks.com.
He characterizes it as “a crazy ball-roll downhill singletrack.” While this trail was excellent decades ago, Breeze recently rode it with his son and cousin and claims that it’s “still great fun." Today, the named Captain Jack’s trail remains open to motorized travel, but many of the other trails in the region—some of which were once open to motos—are now largely only legal for nonmotorized travel… which means mountain bikers are in luck! A variety of trails lead to the top of the descent, but the route mapped here is one of the best.
Once you drop into the primary descent, Captain Jack’s drops quickly down the mountainside.
The trail tread consists of classic Colorado Front Range decomposed granite, but the loose rock and sand is deeper and looser on Jack’s than average due to the motorized traffic.
Be prepared to ride the wave of granite as your tires surf over the surface. The trail does get gnarly in places, with rock gardens, root drops, and more.
The trail tread is dug into a deep trench in places from the decades of traffic, which opens up wall ride options and the ability to choose from multiple lines.