When seeking mountain bike trails near Mesa Verde National Park, look no further than the Phil’s World Trail System. Built by and for mountain bikers, Phil’s World offers nearly 60 miles of mind-blowing mountain bike trail located outside of Cortez, Colorado. Phil’s World is one of Colorado’s most popular mountain biking locations… without the crowds. Full of steep, enjoyable pitches that dip in and out of arroyos, over slickrock and ledges, with views of the Sleeping Ute, La Plata, and Mesa Verde mountains, the MTB Project and International Mountain Biking Association rated Phil’s World the #2 in Colorado and #10 Best Rides of All Time.
This trail system, maintained by the Southwest Colorado Cycling Association, offers something for every level of rider – including the famous Rib Cage trail, a rollercoaster of flowy single track, sweeping berms, and hoots ‘n hollers. This trail takes you for the ride.
12 HOURS OF MESA VERDE
Phil’s World is home to 12 Hours of Mesa Verde, an endurance mountain bike race held in early May. More than 900 riders pedal from dawn to dusk, and plenty of activities keep the kiddos happy. 12 Hours of Mesa Verde is one of the area’s best mountain biking events and gives spectators a chance to watch some of the top riders tackle the trails.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
- Ride bikes only on the road and designated routes to prevent damage to the ecosystem and lower elevation cryptogamic soils
- Do not disturb wildlife or livestock
- Respect public and private property including trail signs, no trespassing signs, and fences
- As you pass through gates, leave them as you find them either open or closed
- Do not litter, pack out what you pack in
- Use appropriate safety equipment (helmet)
- Carry adequate drinking water – 2 quarts minimum on longer rides
- Because there are many side routes and trails in these areas, the map and route suggestions provided here should be used with USGS topo maps, compass, and odometer
- Do not travel alone, and leave word of your destination and time when you expect to return
- Carry tools, tire repair kit, and pump. There is very little vehicular traffic on some routes, so a breakdown would mean a long walk.
Travel East out of Cortez for about 6 miles towards Mesa Verde National Park. Look for the Montezuma County Fairgrounds and Racetrack. The trailhead will be on the North side of HWY 160. Stop by Kokopelli Bike Shop or at the Lizard Head Cyclery in Dolores, for current trail conditions and rentals. You can also find current trail maps from Big Loop Maps. With loops of technical sections and separate beginner trails, Phil’s World is Colorado mountain biking at its best.