Mountain Biking Halfway between Cheyenne and Laramie
In the pursuit of taking the road less traveled sometimes we end up in something wonderfully unexpected. Having never been to that part of Wyoming, I did what anyone looking for a mountain biking adventure would do, I found a bike shop, Rock On Wheels They pointed me to Curt Gowdy State Park, a small albeit very beautiful park 25 miles from Cheyenne. I pay the small cash fee, $6 for non residents, to help upkeep the park and trails and pull my Yeti out of my trunk to enjoy my MtnRanks day. Curt Gowdy definitely did not disappoint, their trails are IMBA Epic Trails.
There is a small switchback that pulls you away from the parking lot in a blink and opens up into a meadow as you ride Stone Temple Circuit. The beautiful thing about this almost 4 mile trail is as soon as you get frustrated at the uphill you get a nice reprieve of either a smooth winding singletrack downhill or a super fun little techy section to play on. This plays on the first half of the trail as you slowly gain about 600’ in elevation. True to the norms of any IMBA rated trail, if there is something too difficult you have an easier way down.
The trail has its fair share of drops, rocky sections, and some really cool play areas at each boulder field that litters the area.
It is not uncommon to see some chalk on some of the boulders as there is a lot of fun bouldering in the area. Unfortunately I did not bring my shoes, chalk, and crash pad this trip but will do the next time I am in the area.
As you make your way up the trail don’t be surprised if you startle a fair share of rabbits, chipmunks, and deer. One rabbit decided it wanted to try its hand at running with me as I chased it up a rocky section of trail until it had enough and darted into the bushes.
As you make your way to the halfway point of the trail you can hear a murmur of road noise reminding you that you aren’t as far away as you feel. You are feeling pretty good too though there is still some elevation that is to be gained, you already got to play on some fun techy lines and three of the four play areas where you can test your skills.
Once you gain all the elevation you can you have two choices: left or right. Left takes you to Ignoramus, a tricky techy jumble of rocks and drops, and farther on 2%, an expert level downhill that, as the name implies, isn’t for everyone. Right keeps you on Stone Temple Circuit. If you stay on Stone Temple Circuit do not be lulled into a false sense that the trail will be easy on you. There is still plenty of smaller drops, rocks, and roots to make your way through.
After that it is a sweet downhill that whips you through the last half of the trail so fast that before you know it you are down and ready to go again! This is just one of the fun moderate IMBA Epic Trails at Curt Gowdy. This is a true moderate trail with some features you may have to hike up if you aren’t used to the amount of rocks on the terrain. Curt Gowdy also has easier trails than Stone Temple Circuit that meander around a beautiful reservoir lake and have a secondary trail system on the other side of the reservoir that couldn’t be explored this time but has the promise of really stout lines that aren’t for the faint of heart.