Mountain bikers of all stripes have a new resource for discovering routes across Wyoming. Downhill hounds and seekers of gnarly rough paths, as well as those looking for a good route to enjoy with the family, can find new paths to meet their biking pleasure in the new book by Jerimiah Rieman.
“Wyoming Singletrack,” published by Fixed Pin Publishing, is hot off the presses with details on 97 routes across Wyoming, covering over 650 miles of singletrack. Not only is it an excellent guidebook, but it also serves as a “coffetable” book that can be picked up for a leisurely perusal. The “eye candy” photographs and graphs pop out from nearly every page.
Rieman, a Wyoming native and current executive director of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association, spent more than three years exploring trails all across Wyoming. He personally pedaled and explored every route in the book.
“I didn’t feel like I could put in a route I didn’t ride myself,” Rieman said. “I had to be able to tell what each route was like based on my personal experience.”
Of the 97 routes, the one that proved most difficult for Rieman was Cliff Creek Falls, located in the Hoback Canyon west of Bondurant. This 11.84-mile out-and-back trail is rated “hard” for physical difficulty and “advanced” for technical skill. Rieman has similar ratings for all routes in the book. The Cliff Creek Falls route also garners Rieman’s “adventure” rating. That designation is reserved for routes that take riders off the beaten path and into the wonders of nature, be it due to wildlife, vegetation, topography, or scenic vistas.
“A few miles into the ride, I encountered a massive landslide that had recently crossed the trail and wiped it out,” Rieman said. “I spent about an hour and a half trying to figure out how to cross the obstacle to reconnect with the trail on the other side. At one point I dropped into a mud hole up to my waist.”
Luckily, most of the other 96 routes he pedaled weren’t nearly as difficult to locate or maneuver, although there are still some that will test a rider’s mettle.
In southeast Wyoming, Rieman highlights 17 routes including multi-path bike systems at the North Cheyenne Community Park, Curt Gowdy State Park and within Pole Mountain. He also has individual routes in the Snowy Range and Sierra Madre Mountains.
For Laramie riders, Rieman offers recommendations for three routes, based on a rider’s physical or technical objective.
For those getting started in mountain biking or just looking for fairly easy riding, Rieman recommends the Laramie Schoolyard trails, east of Laramie on the edge of town.
“This is a great area to get started with mountain biking,” Rieman said. “With the opening of Pilot Hill, it will only get better.”
For a more moderate level of mountain biking, he recommends heading to Curt Gowdy State Park, east of Laramie off Happy Jack Road (Wyoming Highway 210). This mountain biking mecca offers more than 40 miles of trails designed for beginners and seasoned riders alike.
The Xterra route in the book covers 12.62 miles and is guaranteed to get the heart rate ticking with some tricky sections that require some advanced mountain bike handling.
For those looking for a truly challenging route, Rieman recommends the Rock Creek National Recreation Trail on the north end of the Medicine Bow Mountains. Starting at the Deep Creek Trailhead along the Sand Lake Road, the route goes north as it descends and parallels Rock Creek. At sections, a wrong move could result in disaster with the creek flowing in the canyon below. It is not a route for the faint of heart or the inexperienced mountain biker.
Rieman strongly recommends doing this trail one way only, making it a shuttle ride or returning up the mountain via Forest Service roads.
“I don’t recommend riding up the trail,” Rieman said. “That would be truly masochistic and, at times, downright dangerous.”
Whether looking for and all-day adventure, a cruise on an easy trail with the kids, or a multi-day camping trek via a loaded bicycle, this book offers suggestions for all types of outings. There’s even a fatbike section for those opting to keep on pedaling into the winter and notes on where ebikes — electric bikes — are allowed.
For those new to biking, check out the section about the different types of mountain bikes. Rieman admits such information is constantly changing and could likely be out of date in no time as mountain bikes continue their evolution.
Whether planning your next outing or just wanting to ogle some excellent Wyoming photography, this book has a little something for all knobby-tired bicycle enthusiasts.