(Last Updated On: June 20, 2018)
Frank and I operate well with goals. TrailQuest – a challenge to ride 750 unique miles of trails near Crested Butte – has given us a new multi-year goal. Last year, Frank and I rode about 475 miles toward that goal. This year, we hope to complete it, but the miles keep getting harder and harder to accomplish.
While this challenge has led to some epic days on the bike, it’s also taken us to explore some really fantastic trails. I can’t say enough about the area near Cochetopa Hills / Sargents Mesa / Needle Creek, just south of the tiny town of Sargents. There’s some great riding to be had there. And other than the Colorado Trail Segment, you’re likely to be on the trail alone.
TrailQuest is what led Heather and I to ride another fun loop in this area – Milk Creek to CT to Longbranch. From the profile, Milk Creek looked pretty steep, but it turned out that most of the singletrack was very rideable uphill, and wonderfully beautiful too.
Wild irises greeted us on the trail.
The singletrack led to a road that was treacherous at times. A good hike-a-bike ensued, but it wasn’t too long.
We then met up with the Colorado Trail on Sargents Mesa, which is incredibly scenic.
We then descended Longbranch Trail back to Longbranch Guard Station, where we started our ride.
Longbranch is a loose, rocky, but fun descent that lasts for miles.
The bottom of Longbranch opened up to more sagebrush terrain.
This loop was a fun one! Would I do it again? Heck yeah. Although, this is definitely more of an adventure ride of sorts. But, if you want to do it too, see the map below!
Map of Milk Creek to CT to Longbranch Loop
The loop is best ridden in the clockwise direction, starting up Milk Creek from Longbranch Guard Station. This map includes an extra 1.5 mile length on the CT to join Tank Seven Trail, which could easily be excluded.