Fossil Ultimate is back for 2022! This is a Self Supported Backcountry ride starting and ending in Gunnison Colorado. Starts with the easiest stuff, but still a big climb to get up into the mountains. Then things get rugged, real rough, rocky, technical trail riding for about 30 miles, then another fairly fast section of dirt roads and trails getting you back to Gunny. GPX track recommended, lights to be seen at the start. Bring lots of snacks, water or a way to filter water, maybe a raincoat. Be ready and be tough, this ride is very very hard. Fastest time is just under 8 hours and most folks are out there for 10-12 hours.
Just a reminder to all that this is a self supported ride. That means are 100% responsible for: Navigation, the course is not marked and includes a couple obscure un-marked routes, Nutrition, Hydration, Bike Repair, and Self Rescue if needed.
It might rain, it might hail. Bring a raincoat and maybe an extra layer.
The route hovers along at 12,000′ for a few miles and is not fast at this point. The trail sections are gnarly, rocky, rooted, rutted and often steep, make good choices out there! You Will Hike Your Bike!
Bring lots of snacks, water or the ability to filter. There isn’t much water in the first 15 miles or the last 15 miles, but decent amount of streams in the middle 30 miles. Again most folks will be out there for 9-12 hours without any support, bring enough food!
We will meet at IOOF Park and roll out at 5:AM. Finish will be at IOOF Park and riders are asked to send me a text of a picture of themselves at the park when they arrive. There will be no one observing the finish, again this isn’t that kind of ride. I will give out my number at the start. If you do not finish let me know that as well!
July 4th, 5:AM start
Cues below, milage approximate.
Start in Gunnison, IOOF Park, 2nd block of 135. Neutral start to CR10.
Ride North to 135 frontage road to CR10/Cranor Hill Rd. Any route to CR10 is good.
@ 4miles go straight on dirt road as pavement turns left. Lost Canyon RD/743. Start easy climb on wide gravel rd. Road gets steeper and narrower as it climbs up thru the sage towards the trees.
@ about 13+ miles top out in a nice aspen covered saddle, look for ghost trail going north/east. Lost Canyon Rd continues up/left, ghost trail/fast cow is slightly right of this main road. One Mile comes up from the right, (you will climb back up to here later). Descend steep loose and fun cow trail for about 1 mile. T into One Mile Rd, turn Right and climb, steep rocky jeep road.
@mile 15.8 Look for left turn onto Beaver/Mcintyre Trl 472, a atv trail covered in roots. You will ride this up now and down later.
@mile 17.7 hit three way intersection. Go Straight/S/E on Mcintyre Trl 609, descend on fun and rock strewn trail.
@mile 19.6 look for trail going left and up another drainage. Alder Crk Trl, 577. Climb, sometimes very steeply and hard.
@mile 21.9 hit Willow Crk Rd, turn right/straight/downhill for just 1/3rd of a mile.
@mile 22.1 look for Bear Gulch Trl 610 on the left. Take steep loose roller coaster for a bit before techy descent @ mile 23.7.
@mile 26 hit Gold Crk Rd 771, turn Left/North/Uphill. Climb good road for a few miles, road gets narrower and steeper, but still good.
@ mile 30.5 pass Gold Creek Campground, Trail goes straight/left off of road. Steep/Rocky/Loose, Climb. @ Mile 31.1 Fossil Ridge Trail 478 goes left. Climb. Varies from silly steep to just steep. Hike a bike is not a bad idea….
@ mile 33.2 First High Point. Begin Fossil Traverse. Up and down, rough, rugged, rocky, eroded. @ mile 37.5, Last High Point on Fossil. Views!!! Begin super burly, rowdy, rocky descent. Be safe, don’t let down your guard, trail gets easier as you descend, but still has plenty of surprises.
@ mile 42.5 hit three way intersection again, go straight/right back onto Beaver/Mcintyre Trl 472, more or less descend.
@ mile 44.5, hit One Mile Rd, turn Left and climb steep, rocky jeep rd. Road gets better as you climb.
@ mile 45.6, top out. Go Straight Downhill on Lost Canyon Rd For Only .5 of a Mile!!!
@ mile 46 look for B road on Left, go around green gate, look for faint trail following edge of willows. Descend old CT spur. Ghosty but fun and takes us to…
@ mile 47.5 cross dirt road, go straight along fence line trail. Hop/open gate. Veer right onto double track/Sheeps Gulch. Descend.
@ mile 48.6 intersect other road, veer and straight up out of gulch on short climb. Stay on main road as you roll along Signal Mesa, headed East/S/E back towards town. A fast section for sure, just don’t miss any turns.
@ mile 52.5, turn right pass thru/hop gate. @ mile 52.5 veer right onto Northwoods trail. Follow trail all the way to saddle with Rd. Veer Right thru wooden fence onto Shoelace Trl, descend trail to Ridge Trl. Take Ridge Trl/double track to Rasta Gulch @ mile 56.8. Descend.
@ mile 57.6, turn right onto Contour Trail. Take Contour to CT Spur descent, or flow trail, your choice just complete your loop. @ mile 60 back to IOOF Park. Nice Work!!!