Let the celebration begin Twin Buttes is open.
To help celebrate the opening of a network of mountain bike trails in the Twin Buttes area west of Durango, Trails 2000 will sponsor the Durango Trails Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18.
The community celebration is a part of the buildup to Stage 1 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, scheduled to start from Durango on Monday, Aug. 20.
The timing is perfect, said Mary Monroe, director of Trails 2000 and co-chairwoman of the Durango organizing committee for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
Weve been able to build 10 new miles of singletrack ... theres a brand new network of trails at Twin Buttes, Monroe said. And its just beautiful up there.
She said the area between Lake Nighthorse, Perins Peak and Lightner Creek is a significant addition to the trail system in the greater Durango area.
The most essential part is the area is open to the public. The trails are ready to go, Monroe said.
We wanted to make a community event to celebrate the opening of the trails, Monroe said.
Thus, she said, the Durango Trails Festival and its multitude of events were born.
The festival, also called Its a Real Butte, will include short and long mountain bike races and trail races.
Were encouraging people to sign up as teams, Monroe said. We want people to see the trails.
She said there will be hikes led by MK Thompson of the San Juan Mountains Association.
And, Monroe said, Sarah Tescher of Durango DEVO will lead a kids scavenger hunt at Twin Buttes.
Monroe said the trail complex is an excellent area for family mountain biking and hiking.
There will be a six-lap endurance mountain bike race with divisions for solo men and women, three-person teams and three- or four-person coed teams. There also is a singlespeed division.
A two-lap mountain bike race also will be held with two-person teams and individual.
The trail races will include a 30-kilometer run and a 10K. There are divisions for three-person teams in the 30K as well as solo divisions.
Registration information is available at the website trails2000.org.
Maps also are accessible on the website.
Camping is available at Twin Buttes for those racing. Organizers will escort campers to their camp spots from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17 and from 6:30 to 7 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18.
There also are spaces for large RVs.
There are no electric or sewer hookups.
All other vehicles will be parked at the Twin Buttes main entrance.
The race course will be open for inspection starting Friday night.
Racers can pick up their registration packets at the Backspace Theatre after 2 p.m. Friday.
Racing will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Course maps also are available online at www.trails2000.org.
Sponsors for the event include: Osprey, Mercy Regional Medical Center, BP and Rakita Tomsic Physical Therapy with assistance from Durango Motorless Transit, Adaptive Sports and La Plata Search and Rescue.