Since I live over 7000 feet in elevation, a lot of the trails have been snowy or muddy. A warm spell in February allowed me to finally do a couple rides. These rides were mostly on dirt roads just to get a few miles in on the new bike. I had plans of traveling to do some more serious riding but other plans got in the way.
One of the popular winter riding destinations not too far from home is Pueblo Reservoir. There are more than 40 miles of singletrack riding close to the shores of the lake. Much of the winter the Pueblo area stays clear of snow. Just as I was ready to take a trip to Pueblo, the area was hit with a few storms and cold spells that made the area unrideable. The past week the weather warmed up to the mid 80s in the Pueblo area and the trails dried.
My original plan this week was to climb a 14er, but my partner for the hike had a last minute plan change. With the warm weather I shifted my focus from hiking to mountain biking. The trip almost didn't happen though. I was set for a ride Tuesday but a quick weather change brought showers and a nearly 30 degree temperature change from the previous day so I bailed on my ride. I was supposed to work Wednesday but the job was postponed so I got another free day to get in my ride.
The reservoir has a couple of trailheads to choose from. Since the bulk of my riding focused on loops at the west end of the system, I started at the Red Gate trailhead. Since this was my first ride on the bike and my serious ride on a 29er, I was looking for a flowy ride that wasn't too technical to get a feel for the bike on actual trails.
My ride started on a trail called Cuatro Sinko. This was a smooth and flowy singletrack that generally went downhill through a mostly grassy area. After a couple of turns I found myself on Driftwood. Like its name implies, there are piles of old wood that apparently were dumped there from the time the reservoir was created. Driftwood was windier than Cuatro Sinko and traveled through and around the wood. The trail brought me to the bluffs above the lake. The start of the riding was a bit chilly as the temperature was still in the 30s.
|The first view of part of the lake|
|An early look at the bluffs along the lake|
|A canyon along the trail|
|Riding high above the lake|
|Looking toward some canyons|
|Rock formation above South Shore|
|Buttes from Inner Limits|
|The buttes from another angle|
|The trail riding toward the lake|
|The trails rode on the bluffs along the lake for miles|
|Looking across the lake|
|The Wet Mtns in the distance looking over an|
arm of the lake on Outer Limits
|Long straight away in the prairie|
along Outer Limits
|Near the beginning of South Shore|
|Tree cholla along South Shore|
|South Shore winding ahead|
|More interesting rock formations in the|
distance along South Shore
|Close up of the rock formation|
|Tree Cholla along The Duke|
By the time I finished riding it had warmed to the low 60s, even though it wasn't too sunny. Just two days prior this area saw temps in the mid 80s. I would never consider riding here in the summer. It is usually quite hot in Pueblo and there is no shade.
Generally I heard good reviews on the riding at Pueblo Reservoir before I rode it myself. I enjoyed the riding. While the area lacks big mountain terrain, it does offer a lot of trails and some variety. One thing it had plenty of was singletrack, with pretty much every trail a narrow ribbon through the prairie/desert. I wasn't expecting much in scenery but the area is interesting. It offered a mix of high prairie/desert terrain with canyons, bluffs, and rock features. And of course, there are plenty of views of the lake, one of Colorado's largest bodies of water. In the distance Pikes Peak seemed fairly close. The Wet Mountains still held some snow on the summits and to the south the Spanish Peaks towered over the low terrain to the south.
|Greenhorn Mtn in the Wet Mountain Range in the|
distance with a snowy cap
|Close up of interesting rock formations|
|My new Airborne Goblin along South Shore|
Click on link for a trail map of the area. Pueblo Reservoir Map