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Elbert Creek Trail to Purgatory Loop is a mountain biking loop near Durango. Starting from the trailhead parking lot off the left side of Highway 550 near the Needles Country Store, head through the two cattle gates. The trail begins with a semi-steep climb winding through switchbacks through beautiful, towering aspens, crossing a few mountain streams along the way. This climb is somewhat rooty and technical, but the wildflower meadows and mountain views are worth it. After about a mile and a half, the trees clear and the trail gently winds through open meadows before heading back into the aspens after about 3 miles. You will come to a fork and take a right turn headed north on Elbert Creek road and climb another 2 miles before the exhilarating downhill into the Purgatory Bike Park.
At the end of Elbert Creek Road, you will hit the Divinity Flow Trail in the bike park, an immensely fun and flowy descent, with perfectly sculpted berms, wood features, and tabletop jumps perfect for both experienced riders and beginners. which can be taken all the way back down to Highway 550. Take 550 south while enjoying the gorgeous mountain and lake views of the San Juan’s, towards the Nugget Mountain Bar & the Backcountry Gourmet food truck for a break and a bite, and then keep heading south back to the trailhead.
12.5 miles / 20.12 km
Parking is usually ample at the trailhead, but if not, the Needles Country Store parking can be used.
Ride fuel and snack like bars, dried fruit, candy, etc.. can be found at the nearby Country Store.
Make sure to leave the two cattle gates that you enter the trail through the way you found it.
Be sure to watch out for downhill traffic when entering the Purgatory bike park and Divinity flow trail.