There’s more to Red Rocks than climbing. Come along as we go off on a little diversion from the main purpose of our trip to Vegas.
Blue Diamond is a little town, about 12 km down the Red Rocks Scenic Highway from the entrance to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This small town has made a name for itself with its awesome singletrack trails system of 33 trails.
You are not allowed to ride the trails within Red Rock Canyon itself, so the Blue Diamond/Cottonwood Valley option is an excellent way to get around this: you still have the incredible Wilson Cliffs of Wilson Mountain, one of the iconic mountains within the park, as a backdrop for your rides. Essentially, you’re biking in the desert area on the south side of Red Rocks, so it sure feels as if you are still in the park.
The Landmine Loop is the trail we did. We were looking for a shorter ride that would give us a taste of fun desert riding (and get our seats used to riding once again after our long winter, to prepare us for our upcoming Moab biking… riders out there, you’ll know what THAT means!).
Landmine Loop takes you out on a 12.3 km trail through a rolling desert of cacti, flood zone washes and really healthy Joshua trees poking up out of the rocky sandstone soil. There are views of Red Rocks’ spectacular mountains most of the time and plenty of extension trails that loop back onto this trail that you can add to your ride to increase your distance and give you more quality time in the saddle.
The ups weren’t too hard. The times you crossed dry stream beds and washes were punchy. You’d swoop in steeply, with enough momentum to get you right up the other side without having to pedal, in a stomach flipping carnival ride kind of way. I always feel a little thrill when that happens!
Where the trail went through wide open desert, it had amazing swoopy flow, trending just enough downward to help you cruise over rocks and boulders. None of the ups were killer, long, sustained energy zappers.