In the Saddle: Scout report
October 3, 2006
Based on Tuesday’s weather, I’m mighty glad that I took Sunday morning to go ride the Scout Trail near Glenwood Springs. It’s probably muddy and messy up there now, but the trail was buffed and riding perfectly over the weekend.For those who haven’t ridden the Scout Trail, it’s a perfect excursion for spring or fall. It melts off earlier than most of the mountain biking trails upvalley, and it remains rideable in the fall after the upper valley has started to shut down for winter. This weekend, it made for a perfect fall ride, with the scrub oak and aspen turning bright yellow. The riding surface was firm from recent rains but, thanks to several days of sunshine, completely devoid of mud puddles.The highlight of this ride is the singletrack that contours around the north side of Lookout Mountain overlooking Glenwood Canyon. The trail winds through shady woods and sunny stands of oak as it traverses the steep slopes above the Colorado River. The trail is clean and nontechnical, but narrow – one mistake can send a rider careening down through the brush. Of course, the steep terrain also makes for spectacular views across the canyon toward No Name and Grizzly creeks.As the leaves fall to the ground, those views open up and are more readily enjoyed. The only problem is keeping one’s eyes on the damned trail; it’s much smarter to stop and dismount before gawking.The Scout Trail ends with a fast plunge into the residential neighborhoods above Grand Avenue in Glenwood. For some reason, we saw only a couple of hikers Sunday morning, which enabled us to descend swiftly and derive maximum pleasure from the switchbacks, banked turns and twisty sections.It may have been one of the last local rides of the season. But I hope not.