Fat Biking in Downtown Pagosa Springs
Updated: Apr 26, 2020
Getting tired this winter of your monotonous treadmill or stationary bike workout? Get outside and enjoy the snow and sunshine! When the snow is shallow, downtown Pagosa Springs has 2 great locations to fat bike.
Fat biking is a fairly new way to enjoy the forest in the winter, even during a below average snow year like this one. Typically, fat biking requires a groomed trail, but this year none of the low elevation trails have had enough snow to groom. However, if the snowpack is shallow, you can get enough traction to pedal easy to moderate terrain. Breaking an uphill trail in powder is a great workout and downhill can be technically challenging.
I've been doing a lot of fat biking this winter because there hasn't been quite enough consistent snow coverage to cross country ski. The trick this year has been catching snow before it melts and turns the trail into a muddy mess. South facing slopes melt almost immediately especially from February on. To avoid tearing up the trail, ride in the morning when the ground is still frozen or just after a storm when there is complete snow coverage.
Dakota Springs is a new trail system designed by Tony Boone for the Dust2 organization. Located behind the high school, there is about 2.5 miles of trail with great views of the South San Juans. The inner loop is smooth and flowy (0.7 miles), and the outer loop navigates an outcrop of Dakota Sandstone that has a slick-rock feel to it (1.5 miles). The hillside faces east with about a 15 degree slope, which increases melt rate. Only ride this trail when there is complete snow coverage or early in the morning when the ground is frozen. The lower portion of the trail holds the moisture and could be easily damaged.
Reservoir Hill has some great trails that are ride-able in the winter. The lower portion of the hill melts quickly and turns to mud, but the middle and upper sections hold the snow fairly well. The access road behind the post office is usually plowed and holds up in the mud. Take this road to access the more shaded sections of the hill.