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  1. #1
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    Castle Pines riders

    I was driving down Monarch yesterday and noticed a couple trails right on the rode. Anyone ever ride them and have any info?

  2. #2
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    Bumping this old post, anybody have any information about the trails? I have seen them as well but don't have any info about them. Thanks.
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  3. #3
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    Not sure where your were at on Monarch - if you were just south of Highlands Ranch - there are some trails east of Monarch that are in the HR trail system. They are called The Wildcat Mountain Trail System - http://www.hrcaonline.org/Recreation...formation.aspx

    The East West trail also parallels Monarch for a section. You can check this trail out via this link - http://www.douglas.co.us/openspace/E...nal_Trail.html

    My default trails are The Highlands Point Trail System and the East West trail because I can easily access them.

  4. #4
    MCM
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    Yes, that is them. Thanks!
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    Keep in mind that these are for highlands ranch residents only...according to a sign I saw. Must have a rec pass or something or other. Fun trails though!

  6. #6
    Rigid in Evergreen
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    So you just sit at the trail-head and make friendly with any resident riders that happen by

  7. #7
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    Live in H.R, but have never ridden the trails. Are they interesting? I always assumed they were wider groomed trails, low milage (even with loops) and multiple hiker encounters. Comparable to most of the the open space trails here. Am I assuming incorrectly?

    Also, how do they check for your rec pass? Never carry that riding.
    "Biking lets you come alive both in body and spirit- the bike disappears and you feel as if you're suspended in midair"GKlein

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FR hokeypokey
    Are they interesting?.
    Mountain biking in Highlands Ranch...

    I live in HR, and I ride the backcountry and Wildcat Mountain (Monarch) trails at least twice per week. They haven't been discussed much on this forum, but what little is said isn't positive. IMHO, if you're looking for gnar or Doctor Park flow and hero dirt, keep looking. But as a former XC racer looking for a quick workout after work, I think these trails are freakin sweet. I'll try to break it down.

    Backcountry Trails

    These are newer, and signage says card-carrying HR residents only. While I'd never advocate for trespassing, I've never seen one person checking since they opened in August. They're not really singletrack... more like trails that are less wide than bike paths. They did a good job with the terrain usage, and the common theme is loose [CoSprings] like gravel with tons of massive water bars. I have no idea whether these were inserted for trail protection or features, but they're fun to turn into tabletops. Some you can even double with speed. Expect to ride every trail in an hour minus the recently finished East/West connector

    Wildcat Mountain Trails

    Off of Monarch, these are more mountain bike-style, but very short. You can ride them all including the lookout in a half hour. Not very interesting, but kinda fun. You'll encounter runners and hikers here.

    I'm off Broadway so a good loop is ride up the bike paths to the Mountain Vista HS and the trails start at the back. Ride them all, and then come down the new Douglas County E/W trail back into HR. Warning: There are other, brand new trails out here that are for Backcountry residents only. For some reason I bet they're enforcing this one.

    Or you could ride past Mountain Vista, up and over and head east on the Douglas County E/W connector to the Wildcat trails and then come back. Or you could combine everything into one big "epic" loop and make it a couple hours.

    Either way, you're on trails in the suburbs and you probably rode from home. Dont let this fact escape you.

    PM me if you want more info. I ride a lot here.


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  9. #9
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    I have ridden them, but not extensively. I usually pick up the trail behind a neighborhood off the interesection McArthur Ranch/Monarch, but you can pick up a trail by the middle school as well. There is an area with a sign called Monarch Backcountry that states you must have a card, but I have never seen anybody there checking. There are a variety of trails, loops, out and backs. There is one rock section on the main loop, probably not hard at all for people who are actually good, but I have been using it for practice both down and up. Like the post above said, you can link this with other trails and go pretty far. It goes past Daniels Park, on over to behind and past Mountain Vista HS.

    The large open area just west of Monarch was purchased by the Highlands Ranch Community Assoc, they want to make it a park of some sort, it has cattle grazing there right now, but would be another good area for trails, however the HRCA has no money. Is that something COMBA would help out with to make some trails?
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  10. #10
    Lucky Wrecker
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    I put in ~30 miles per week on these trails. Nothing else like them in Colorado IME.

    Pros:
    * out the door access
    * lots of jumping off of water bars
    * can work on flow by trying to link features

    Cons:
    * dangerous blind corners (I'm actually considering a bell)
    * loose
    * no extended climbs
    * no technical
    * easy access and proximity brings the masses
    * 60 year old runner who enforces his right of way - he blocked me for ~1/2 mile today as I strolled along behind him - he didn't step aside until the next trail junction
    * need to carry ID (my wife and I have both been stopped - I believe they issue tickets if you're not with a resident)

  11. #11
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    ^^ All good points as well except no extended climbs... if you access the Douglas County E/W trail on the west side off Stone Mountain Drive and climb up to the top of the ridge... thats a long ass climb. Add the heat we've been having and it makes for a tough ride.


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  12. #12
    Lucky Wrecker
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    Howdy neighbor! I pick up the trail about a half mile to your west (Ashwood Place). It's 700 feet of gain to the very top above Mount Vista if you stay on the E/W corridor the whole way. ~6 miles. Average grade of 1.5% including losses.

  13. #13
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    The Backcountry Trails @ HR (not to be confused with the trails for the actuall Backcountry Residential Development) are some of the best trails packed into such a small space. They serously did a great job of using every inch possible. The ones west of Highlands Point are nice and flowy...twisty.....many loops....not boring at all. There are many spots where you can get hurt if you don't check your speed since there are some tight turns and large water bars. Luckily I haven't met anyone coming the opposite way on those blind curves.....

    BTW, a hardtail is pretty much all you need (well, that all I have, even in AZ).

    Here in central AZ, we have ROCKS, ROCKS, and more ROCKS, so when I visit the parents in CO, I always fit the HR trails in....

    As said above, you have to live in HR since it's private property (HCRA).

    HR Backcountry Trail System

  14. #14
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    Seems like I am going to have to ride over that way. With my ride from 470/Broadway, I can make a nice ride of it. Thanks for all the info. Looking forward to doing some exploring and adding to my "from the house" rides.

    ameybrook- Thanks for the PM. Looked up your profile and you and I seem to be kindered spirits. Great collection of bicycle art! I have been riding since 1985 (began in SoCal near Agoura Hills) and rode multiple Yetis and Chances over the years. Especially fond of my first FRO (#715) and a pristine Road Project I recently sold. All have been sold off to fund the "next" project. The C-26 also brought back some memories.

    Ride Safe!
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  15. #15
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    Pros:
    * out the door access
    * lots of jumping off of water bars
    * can work on flow by trying to link features

    Con:
    * located in Highlands Ranch...

  16. #16
    MCM
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    Quote Originally Posted by miwoodar
    Cons:
    * need to carry ID (my wife and I have both been stopped - I believe they issue tickets if you're not with a resident)
    Are the IDs specific to a person or are they generic HR resident cards? I ask because my mother lives in HR and if it is a generic card I could maybe borrow hers.
    Abraham Lincoln once said "if you're a racist, I will attack you with the North"

  17. #17
    Formerly Carlos9
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    i have been stopped and asked for id 3 times in the last month... you need the photo id that is obtained form one of the hr rec centers. i quite enjoy the trails for after work or early weekend rides. nothing difficult or technical but certainly enjoyable.

  18. #18
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    or if you wanna shave your head you can use my card
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