PLEASE NOTE: All courses are tentative until all landowner permits have been approved. These are the courses we have turned in to the US Forest Service and other permitting agencies--we are currently in the permitting process. Please note that not all of these courses are open to the public for pre-riding--some of these courses you can ride at your own risk but some are off limits. Please obey all local laws and warning signage.
Courses are subject to change--this may not be the final order of events and we may have to substitute a backup course!
Day One: Prologue in Palmer Park
Palmer Park will kick off Apex's prologue stage of Day 1 with a mix of everything this "regional park" has to offer. The park has served as the venue for 24-hour national championships in 2010-11 and many local races for years. Expect a challenging mix of singletrack on grippy sandstone with smooth double track areas intermittently spaced for passing over an approximate single +/-10 mile loop. You'll accumulate ~1000 ft of gain and descent accumulated with many short punchy ups and downs, a few rowdy locally-renowned rock descents in the park with test your skills while a few "longer" open climbs allow you to test your legs and lungs. And "longer" is relative to Palmer....wait for what we have in store on days to come! Hup hup buttercup!
Read a bit more and see some photos from SingleTracks about riding in Palmer Park here.
Day Two: Rampart
50 miles, 5175 feet of elevation
Day two will start at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post and head up one of the area's most popular dirt climbs, Rampart Range Road. This will be the least technical day of the week as riders head up Rampart Range, take a right down Rainbow Gulch and follow the Rampart Reservoir singletrack around the lake. Beautiful views of Pikes Peak over the fall colors of the aspens around Rampart Reservoir will make for an amazing autumn ride. The riders will cross the dam on the east side of the lake and continue on the singletrack on the south side before climbing back to Rampart Range Road and heading back to Colorado Springs. Timing ends at the overlook (around mile 38) and riders will coast back down Rampart Range (with amazing views of the Garden of the Gods) to the start line.
Day Three: Gold Camp and Pipeline
42 miles, 5730 feet of elevation
Day three leaves from downtown Colorado Springs and rolls the dirt path up through Bear Creek Regional Park and then up and over High Drive. Then riders will roll up Gold Camp Road—an old railroad grade road with tunnels and breathtaking views of Cheyenne Canyon and downtown on the way up to Old Stage Road and Frosty’s Park. From there it is down Pipeline, one of the most popular backcountry downhills on Pikes Peak. The course rolls through Jones Park and down Capt’n Jacks—another popular trail known for its granite scree troughs. Timing ends when Lower Capt’n Jacks hits Gold Camp (around mile 33.5) and riders can coast back to downtown from there.
Day Four: Air Force Falcon
40 miles, 3000 feet of elevation
Day four also leaves from downtown Colorado Springs and heads north toward the Air Force Academy. This will be the easiest day of the three big loops with a good bit less climbing. The course includes the well-known 13-mile singletrack Falcon Loop and will be accessed by the Santa Fe Trail. Utilizing the Santa Fe trail means the first 8 miles are pretty flat but then we head upward. After a full Falcon Loop, we head back on the Santa Fe trail and will end timing before it turns to pavement (around mile 33) and an easy roll back to town for food and drinks. NOTE: As this is a military instillation, you are NOT allowed to access the Falcon Loop through the Santa Fe Trail for a pre-ride. The Falcon loop is open most days and you will need to enter the Academy through the North Gate, show your ID, and access the trail from the parking lot at the Bomber. Please obey laws and signage.