The trail now begins some serious climbing. You will more than likely need a few rests and may even choose to walk parts of it. The summit is marked, but does not provide the scenic vista encountered on some of the higher summits. As you ride on, the trees open up to reveal views of the Gore Range and the Sawatch Range.
The rest of the trail is a challenging single-track descent. The trail crosses through the bottom of Vail's Back Bowls, and travels along side the Two Elk Creek. The single-track trail joins up with the service road, ride along this, but keep you eyes open for the trail which breaks off of the service road about 100 yards before the road reaches the chairlift.
Remain alert on this trail, as it is very rocky and has many turns in it. After 9 miles of trail riding, you will cross the Two Elk Bridge. Just little further on is another bridge crossing the Two Elk. The West Trailhead is just ahead, as well as the conclusion of your vigorous ride.
Highlights: A trail with some extremely challenging climbs, the view from the top is not immediately spectacular. A bit further on, though, the trees open up providing views of the Gore and Wasatch Mountain Ranges.
Directions: You will probably need two vehicles for this ride. Leave one at the West trailhead. To get there, travel west on I-70 to Exit 171 for Minturn, Leadville, and Hwy 24. Exit here and turn right onto Hwy 24. Proceed south on Hwy 24 for about 2.5 miles.
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