Fat Biking

Have you ever heard of a fat bike? No, it's not just some weird insult teasing you for having an obese bike. A fat bike is a bike specially designed to look fat with its increased tire size and thickness as well as a more durable frame. Similar to a mountain bike but with bigger tires, hence the simple but accurate name of fat bike.

The reason for the bigger tires and durable frame is so that a fat bike can go on a lot more difficult terrain than your standard mountain bike. If you've ever tried to ride a normal bike in the snow or on sand you know that it's nearly impossible to get good traction as you slip around and have to pedal harder to get anywhere. The bigger tires of a fat bike gives you more surface area for your tires to get friction and grip on a surface. This lets you ride in rough weather and terrain without too much difficulty.

If you want to get out and get some exercise or ride some rough roads in the extreme weather for an adrenaline rush then fat bikes and Durango are the perfect way to go.

Places to Go Fat Biking

La Plata Canyon

La Plata Canyon and all the trails that run through it is an excellent place to get out for the day for some cycling or hiking. Its natural mix of rocky, sandy, and mountainous terrain as well as its backcountry location makes it ideal for fat biking as well. Snow sticks around in canyons and mountains for longer meaning you can fat bike through the snow in one section while still getting access to some rocky paths.

The canyon contains roughly 32 miles of trail for fat bikers to explore to their heart's content as they get the most out of their time and bikes.

Spur Line Trail System

The Spur Line Trail System, also known as the Three Springs Trail system, is a system of loops and trails ranging up to six miles. 

The trails range from relatively simple beginner trails to more advanced intermediate routes that make the system great for anyone just learning to mountain bike or trying to adapt to using a fat bike. 

With plans in the works to extend the trails to connect to several more trail systems the Spur Line Trails are the perfect starting place for a simple ride or as a warmup before you branch off to other paths.

Horse Gulch

Situated right next to Durango and easily accessible,  sits Horse Gulch along with its accompanying trail system. A system comprising over a dozen trails ranging in difficulty from beginner levels all the way up to expert.

Loved by locals because of its proximity and conditions, the trail system is perfect for fat biking. The trails are sandy which can be difficult for a normal bike to handle and sections of the trail are shady much of the day so snow can linger even in the warmer months. On rainy days the mud can be rough as well, letting you get the most out of your fat bike.

Molas Pass Trail System

If you want to head into the depths of the mountains to really test out the durability and traction of your fat bike then Molas Pass is a great option. The pass is located in the high country yet is a well-maintained trail due to being part of the Colorado Trail system.

As part of the Colorado Trail Molas Pass gives cyclists the chance to go as far as they want along the trail while still being relatively easy to access.

Conveniently it also offers a beautiful view of mountains and the surrounding environment while being near a picturesque mountain lake.

Things to Know About Fat Biking in Durango

  • Fat bike rentals are available in town for those who don't have their own.

  • Fat bikes are a bit harder to maneuver than your standard mountain bike. If you are unused to them take a chance to adjust before you head to any difficult trails.

  • Protective gear like helmets are highly recommended to keep yourself safe.

  • Be sure to bring plenty of snacks and fluids to keep your energy up and stay hydrated while out on the trail.

  • Be considerate of your fellow trail users and warn them as you pass to avoid any accidents.