Trail Etiquette: Muddy Trails

It’s that time of year, shoulder season, mud season but certainly not riding your mountain biking at lunch time season.

It’s best to avoid standing water and mud. Right now, the snow is melting on the south face, and still present on the north faces, making the space in between mud. 

Trails are very susceptive to damage during this current freeze/thaw process.

The soil displacement from riding, walking and running at this time carries the soil away. If the trail is 90% rideable, the 10% that is muddy can still ruin your derailleur or running shoes.

Technically, it’s best to turn around once you encounter muddy trails. If you need to ride, walk or run through mud to get back to dry dirt, run right through the puddles and mud thereby not causing damage to trailside vegetation or unnecessary trail widening.

Even if you find it rideable, it’s best to wait until things dry out. 

What can you do?

Read the Durango Trails Trail Conditions Report before heading out

Like the Durango Trails Facebook and Instagram pages for up to date trail beta

Join the Durango Trails Facebook Trail Conditions group

Ride Gravel

Hike or run in the early morning (before 9:30 am) or late afternoon (after 5:00 pm) – muddy areas are more likely to be harder (colder air temps) and less messy since harder soils are much less likely to erode. 

When possible, stick to south-facing trails, which tend to be drier – the drier the trail, the less damage done – if any

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