Trail 401

One of the best rides in the valley (and the country for that matter), Trail 401 offers incredible views and a very, very long downhill. To benefit, however, one must sacrifice. The climb to the crest is a battle; after several miles up a 4×4 road and a scramble over a snow-plug which, this year at least, will most likely keep Schofield Pass Road closed through the fall), you’re rewarded with a brutal single-track climb to the top. Just before you reach breaking point (a relative term), you reach the summit. The panoramic vista from the top is breath-taking, and a great place for a necessary pit stop.

The wildflowers were in full-bloom during our attack on the mountainside. The blues, reds, yellows and purples mostly ran together, and at many moments they formed long tunnels just tall enough to duck through. Here, Joe Ballageer flies through a field of sunflowers during a fun, flowy section that traversed the mountainside. This was a fun spot to disregard the brakes and just let loose.

Trail 401 starts in the upper-left corner of this photo. It ends in the bottom-right. After you’ve enjoyed the first long descent to the valley floor, tack on an extra uphill – you’ll be well rewarded with another super fun berm ride that’ll really numb the palms (as if they aren’t already), and dump you out at the Judd Falls/Copper Creek Trailhead.

Total miles: 14.5

Trailhead elevation: 9,750′; Summit elevation: 11,200′

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