Ute Pass Area Features Miles of Hidden Gems In Our Backyard
The options for outdoor recreation in the Teller and Pikes Peak region are endless. In fact, locals and visitors can enjoy a feast of opportunities, especially on top of a bike.
Whether someone is a health nut and into running and hiking, or if they prefer cruising through the woods with a motorized vehicle, the Ute Pass Region is the place.
The area surrounding Teller County is known for its breathtaking hiking trails and for the easy access to ATV and dirt biking options. One outdoor amenity often overlooked, though, is the vast amount of highly popular mountain biking trails, located right in our backyard.
According to Paul Magnuson who has owned the Team Telecycle bicycle shop in Woodland Park for decades, Teller County is a hidden gem for mountain biking enthusiasts. Magnuson, who rides his mountain bike to work every day, said that there are a slew of trails close to Woodland Park that offer enjoyable rides for people of all skill levels.
Magnuson said that depending on the snow amounts, some trails will be open during certain times outside of the summer season. But, he said that all of the local trails usually open up in the beginning of May, and they stay clear to ride until the first snow starts to fly in late October.
In fact, Magnuson said that before the snow storms that struck last week the Lovell Gulch Trail, on the northeast side of Woodland Park, was open for mountain bikers. The Lovell Gulch Trailhead is located off of Rampart Range Road just outside of Woodland Park.
The area features around 14 miles of trails in the mountains and it is one of the first ones to be clear of snow in the spring. But, Magnuson did say that the trail is not recommended for beginners.
“It is intermediate to advanced riding just because of elevation and the steepness of the riding,” Magnuson explained.
He said that one of the next trails to thaw out in the spring is the 12-mile loop around Rampart Reservoir east of town. He said that it is one of the easier rides because it only has 800 feet of climbing over the 12 miles, but it does sit at around 9,200 feet in elevation.
He said that Lovell Gulch can be done in a few hours and it is close to town, but it is harder. Rampart Reservoir takes about a day to ride, but it is a popular trail for the less experienced riders.
He said that another hot spot for riding that opens up closer to summer time is Catamount Reservoir. The trails start at the trailhead off of Edlowe Road, west of Woodland Park, and there are several trails that lead around the mountains and lakes.
E-Bike Trends Growing
Magnuson’s shop, Team Telecycle, sells mountain bikes and e-bikes, and they are offering the rentals of both for the upcoming season. Magnuson said that e-bikes have gained in popularity recently and it is suggested that e-bikes will soon account for 80 percent of all bike sales in the future.
He said that one setback for e-bike riders though, is that the three main mountain bike trail areas mentioned above are not open to e-bikes. The Pike National Forest only allows any bike with an electric engine to be ridden on roads or trails where motorcycles are allowed.
Magnuson said that the most popular trail for e-bike riders is the Centennial Trail that runs from the intersection of Hwys. 67 and 24 in the heart of Woodland Park, and runs to Manitou Lake, about seven miles north of town. Magnuson said that the 14-mile roundtrip trail is also popular for regular mountain bikers as well.
“I kind of always tell people that it’s slightly downhill all the way out there and it’s slightly uphill all the way back,” the mountain bike shop owner said. “So, it’s a little more work coming back than it is going down there.”
Magnuson also said that many local mountain bikers like to start their season in surrounding areas like Colorado Springs or Fremont County because the snow tends to melt sooner at lower elevations. His shop offers maps of the dozens of trails in the Canon City area and his website at TeamTelecycle.com sports a list of trails in places like Red Rocks Open Space, Palmer Park, Pueblo Reservoir and Buffalo Creek.