Trails 2000

Based in Durango, Colorado, Trails 2000 is a 501c3 organization that builds and maintains trails; educates trail users and encourages connectivity on road, path and trail.
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Tyson Swasey on new progressive trail in Durango

June 30, 2013

Rock work on the new progressive trail. Photo courtesy of Tyson Swasey.

Rock work on the new progressive trail. Photo courtesy of Tyson Swasey.

Trails 2000 recently started construction on a new progressive trail off of Raider Ridge in Durango, Colorado’s Horse Gulch, and Tyson Swasey, the builder of Moab’s Captain Ahab’s trail, is in Durango crew leading the trail work. We met up with Swasey to ask him a few questions about his work with Trails 2000, the progressive trail (yet to be named!) and himself in general:

[Trails 2000] What is a progressive trail? What makes a progressive trail unique to other trails?

[Tyson Swasey] A progressive trail is a trail that is designed to help a rider progress their skills to a higher level of technical ability. On the progressive trail in Horse Gulch, the trail splits in five different spots allowing for an intermediate and expert level of trail. It is a great way to build a trail that will satisfy more users. The expert line on the progressive trail features jumps, step downs, drops and technical features; on the intermediate line, we have taken care to make sure there are no drops and the steep sections of trail are rock armored so the rider has more control over their speed.

[Trails 2000] What does rock armored mean?

[Swasey] Rock armoring is when we lay flat, large rocks on the tread surface so you are riding on the rocks. This is an awesome way to make steeper sections that are more prone to erosion more sustainable; its also a fun tread surface to ride on.

Crew hard at work. Photo courtesy of Tyson Swasey.

Crew hard at work. Photo courtesy of Tyson Swasey.

[Trails 2000] Please tell us a bit about the work you are doing on the progressive trail in Horse Gulch. What is the current status of trail work & timeline for completion?

[Swasey] The main reason I was contracted to do the work in Horse Gulch is because of my trail building experience in Moab, Utah. I have a great deal of knowledge on how to move and use large rocks to help build a sustainable trail. We are using rocks that you cannot move with just rockbars. We are using a hand powered winch called a Grip Hoist to move rocks that are next to the trail and making them apart of the tread surface. The main focus of my work for the next week will be to complete all the rock work on the trail. The trail will be completed by July 9th, and I am confident that we will finish with the trail by then.

Photo courtesy of Tyson Swasey.

Photo courtesy of Tyson Swasey.

[Trails 2000] How do you see the addition of this trail affecting the overall trail network in Durango & the surrounding area?

[Swasey] I feel this trail will have an awesome effect on the Durango trail network because it adds a technical trail for a wide range of ability levels to progress their mountain biking skills on a safe, well-marked trail. Also, the trail will be super easy access for cycling groups like Devo and will make it a little easier for coaches to teach more advanced riding techniques. On the new progressive trail, all the split lines will be marked with the difficulty rating, thus taking out a lot of the guess work when riding down the trail.

[Trails 2000] Do you have any tips or words of advice when riding a progressive trail?

[Swasey] Start by going down the trail slowly for the first few times. Stop at the splits and look at the features. Many people will go full speed down on a brand new trail and usually start blowing corners and miss a lot of features. Take your time see what the trail has to offer. Also, trails change a lot when you vary your speed. Fully pinned is not always the funnest. This trail, unless the monsoons unleash, is going to be dry and require a little time to fully pack in; so, do be aware new trails are always a little soft and drifty.

[Trails 2000] What is your favorite trail ride in the area?

[Swasey] Unfortunately, I haven’t done any high country riding here, but I’m pretty sure that’s going to be my favorite.

Trails 2000 speed round, the questions that really count:

Pulaski or McLeod? What really brings a smile to my face is a Grip Hoist!
26er or 29er? I have both, still cant figure out which one’s my fav.
Coffee or tea? Coffeecoffeecoffeeee!

[Trails 2000] Thank you to Tyson for taking the time to answer our questions and for your work with Trails 2000 & contribution to the trails of Durango! See you on the trail!

Volunteers are invited to sign up for trail work on the progressive trail. Click here for complete details & sign up form. Thanks for reading & giving back to our trails!

©2019 Trails 2000 • PO Box 3868 • Durango, CO 81301 • 970-259-4682


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