7.5 miles
Distance
-2,955 ft
Descent
01:08:32
Avg time
Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of Two Elk Trail

Two Elk Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
    • Horse
  • Riding Area
    Vail Pass
    Vail, Colorado
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Direction
    Downhill Primary
    Popular direction shown
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
    Hard
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
  • Global Ranking
    #49154 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    80 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking
    • 5 in Horseback
  • Land Manager

Typically referred to separately as Two Elk and Two Elk East, with the division at Two Elk Pass sign and the Bowman's Shortcut intersection. Two Elk via Bowman's is one of the areas best longer rides, shuttled by many via Shrine Pass Rd our of Red Cliff. Other good options to ride are up Mill Creek Rd from Vail, or ride the Vail Gondola for a boost, and acess via Grand Traverse Trail and mountain roads up past Chair 21 and the Poma. Ride goes through Vail's Back Bowls, and becomes moderately technical with rock gardens and hidden pedal strikers on Two Elk Creek past Chair 5. Drops you at the gun range in Minturn.

Traditionally Indigenous Territory
More Stats for Two Elk mountain bike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    -2,957 ft
  • Altitude min
    8,029 ft
  • Altitude max
    10,986 ft
  • Altitude start
    10,986 ft
  • Altitude end
    8,028 ft
  • Grade
    -7.5%
  • Grade max
    -37.3%
  • Grade min
    -0.4%
  • Distance down
    7 miles
  • Distance flat
    131 ft
  • Avg time
    01:08:32
  • Avg reverse time
    03:00:07
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Dec 2, 2021
Snow Covered
Avg: 4.1 (9 votes)

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Flow (Ridden Direction)
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The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
  • bi-directional trail
  • no data
Trail Last Ridden
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  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Contribute Details
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
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  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular
ATV/ORV/OHV Filter
Max Vehicle Width
inches

Radar Time
x Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public ridelogs from the past 6 months.
  • mountain biking recent
  • mountain biking (>6 month)
  • hiking (1 year)
  • moto (1 year)
Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public skilogs from the past 12 months.
  • Downhill Ski
  • Backcountry Ski
  • Nordic Ski
Jump Magnitude Heatmap
Heatmap of where riders jump on trails. Zoom in to see individual jumps, click circles to view jump details.
Trails Deemphasized
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      Directions to two-elk trailhead (39.591320, -106.293080)
      update trails status or condition

      Two Elk Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Dec 2, 2021 @ 7:10am
      3 days
      reporter
      May 22, 2021 @ 1:20am
      May 22, 2021
      Nov 23, 2020 @ 10:00am
      Nov 23, 2020
      reporter USFS Winter Travel Management - Closed to mechanized use/wheeled vehicles (bikes, cars, etc.): November 23 - May 21 (Opens May 22)
      Nov 23, 2020 @ 9:00am
      Nov 23, 2020
      reporter USFS Closure to Mechanized Vehicles (wheels/bikes): November 23 - May 21
      Sep 17, 2020 @ 9:31am
      Sep 17, 2020
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      •  
      6 Months
      • 53 rides
      • 17 miles avg distance
      All
      • 108 rides
      •  

      Photos

      more »
      5 |
      Oct 1, 2021 @ 7:33am
      Oct 1, 2021
      5 |
      Oct 1, 2021 @ 7:33am
      Oct 1, 2021
      4 |
      Oct 1, 2021 @ 7:33am
      Oct 1, 2021
      2 |
      Oct 1, 2021 @ 7:33am
      Oct 1, 2021

      Trail Lists

      Routes with this trail

      titleratingdistance
      Two Elk via Cougar Ridge and Grand Traverse Loop
      23 miles

      12 Reviews & Comments

      • + 0
      scottholmquist (Jul 13, 2016 at 19:09)
       Do not ride this trail from I-70 to Minturn. Made that mistake and it didn't turnout well
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      brodine VVMBA (Aug 2, 2016 at 11:51)
       Typical to set a shuttle or ride it from Vail via Mill Creek Rd or gondola
      [Reply]
      • + 3
      lubes17319 (Sep 25, 2016 at 11:31)
       I know of no one who rides this as posted. Take Bowman's Shortcut to top of ridge, hang a left, then stay off the brakes till you hit Minturn.
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      Jbama (Jul 19, 2017 at 16:22)
       I rode this in the direction posted and it was awful. Going the other way makes much more sense.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      mtbporru (Sep 6, 2017 at 15:41)
       Trying to bike the long tech descent that is two elks east. Do I climb bowmans shortcut or is there a better route if I am more of a dh'er than cross country rider?
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      ark1965 (Sep 18, 2018 at 18:56)
       We rode this trail from the top of Vail pass, up Shrine Pass road to Bowman’s Shortcut, down Two Elk trail to Minturn. Ride time was about two hours and the descent was awesome!
      Be sure to have a shuttle plan and money for Barbeque in Minturn!
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      m-t-g (Jul 11, 2019 at 11:52)
       IMO, the Two Elks descent is over rated. Maybe if you ride it when the grass is short, it would be better, but there were many sniper rocks concealed by tall grass when I rode it. That made me go about half as fast as the trail warranted if you could actually see the pedal removing rocks.
      [Reply]
      • - 1
      hi-dr-nick Reporter (Aug 15, 2019 at 20:30)
       ^gotta ride it in the fall when the plants are dead
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      Adamt19 (Aug 31, 2019 at 19:10)
       A bit dusty right now but absolutely beautiful and lots of fun. Highly recommend the gran traverse to two elk connector route.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      krankypants (Jul 8, 2020 at 19:54)
       Downhill to Minturn recommended
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      bocomtb (Oct 5, 2021 at 15:55)
       Ridden in late fall with all rocks plainly visible. High adven
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      bocomtb (Oct 5, 2021 at 15:59)
       Hit that done button a bit early. Anyways, high adventure factor, definitely type 2 fun when coupled with a pedal up the front side of Vail. Note that a lot of the trail is narrow, on a steep slope and thus somewhat exposed. I think that all adds to the character but beware if you don’t do heights so we’ll.
      [Reply]

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      Videos

      more »
      youtuber The ultimate Colorado MTB road trip kickoff |...
      14:17 | 143 | Dec 22, 2020 , Vail
      Mountain Biking Vail's Back Bowls - Two Elk |...
      6:01 | 315 | Jun 4, 2020 , Vail
      Fly Swat
      0:19 | 250 | Jan 25, 2019 , Vail
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