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12 Hours of Penitence.

12 Hours of Penitence: Howling endurance in the San Luis Valley


What are you going to be for Halloween? How about haggard and cooked and loving every minute of it. Check out this doozy in Colorado’s San Luis Valley: the 12 Hours of Penitence Mountain Bike Race.

A racer heading into Penitente Canyon proper, passing under the famous painting completed by monks hanging over the cliff by rope and tire in the early 194os. The area was a secret epicenter for Los Hermonos Penitente, an secret cult society that broke off from the Catholic Church. Photo- courtesy 12 Hours of Penitence.

This 12 hour mountain bike endurance event is becoming a creepy classic. Rip this eerie and cool 16-mile course through the rugged volcanic canyons as they meander through confer and open to arid desert zones.

Racers roll through twisted and lonely canyons and boulders. The Volcanic rock is left behind from volcanic activity in the region from millions of years ago. Photo-courtesy 12 Hours of Penitence.

The area is a gem of recreation in the San Luis Valley, lined by the San Juan Mountains to the west and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east. Hikers, wildlife viewers, history buffs, trail runners and mountain bikers enjoy the area. Climbers flock to the walls of volcanic rock (check out our sweet video on climbing in the canyon) .

This year’s race is on Friday the 13th )see creepy) and they do offer on-site registration at Penitente Canyon on Friday before the race.

The 12 Hours of Penitente is grwoing every year. In the fantastic and strange canyons outside Del Norte, Colorado, the history and oddness of the landscape blends well with autumn. The trails in the area are a highlight of mountain biking in the San Luis Valley. Photo- courtesy 12 Hours of Penitence.

For more information visit 12 Hours of Penitence.


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