One of the more exhilarating loops found in in the Steamboat Springs area, the Mad Creek/Red Dirt loop offers a sometimes rocky climb out of the Mad Creek Trailhead to a flowing ride past a historical barn. A short out and back on the Swap Park Trial follows by meandering through meadows and mature aspen stands out to the edge of the Zirkel Wilderness with a perfect spot to eat lunch while dipping your feet in the creek. Head back to the Saddle Trail to find your way to Red Dirt Trail for an exciting descent back to reality. A short peddle on county road 129 along the Elk River gets you back to the trailhead.
Note: Mad Creek has a seasonal closure from Nov. 15 to April 15 to protect wintering and calving elk.