Mid Country Ride
This ridge dominates the view northeast of Durango on the east side of the north Animas valley. A large fire in 2002 burned much of the landscape. There are some trailheads down in the valley but the climbs up (Haflin/Stevens) the ridge are steep/technical and there’ll be a lot of hike-a-biking.
The most popular ride is Haflin Creek from the top, but for a large majority this is a shuttle ride starting from the Baldy Mtn Trailhead and longer travel bikes are a big advantage. The descent starts out on top of the ridge and rapidly drops into regenerating Aspen, Pine and Gamble Oak forest. The bottom third is down through the cliff band so has some exposure and technical drops.
Riders can also continue on Missionary Ridge Trail further north to descend First Fork, Red Creek, Shearer Creek, Youngs Creek or Stevens Creek and figure out the shuttle from there. Keep in mind that the travers across the top of the ridge rises and drops dramatically and there a few mandatory hike-a-bikes. A popular but difficult loop is from the Red Creek trailhead, up First Fork, across Missionary Ridge and down Red Creek back to the trailhead. Shuttle riders also use the bottom of Missionary Ridge Rd to DH the bottom half of Stevens Creek.