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  1. #1
    Sully62
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    Front Range Trail Difficulty?

    Would any of you experienced riders like to take a shot at listing the Front Range trails in order of difficulty (least difficult to most difficult)?

  2. #2
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    Thats a broad question. What part of the front range. I have riden most of it. Except for the Boulder Ft Collins area.

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    More info

    What do you mean difficulty? Technical difficulty? Physically difficult?

  4. #4
    Sully62
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    I am mostly interested in trails relatively close to Denver, but coments on trails further north or south would be welcome. It doesn't need to be a comprehensive list.

  5. #5
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    Well seeing how I am from the springs this is how I would rank the trails down south.

    Easy Trails
    Ute Valley
    Palmer Park (stay on green and blue trails)

    Moderate Trails
    Chutes
    Captin Jacks
    Section 16

    Advanced Trials
    Jones Park (my fave)
    Bear Creek Canyon
    Squirrel Creek Down in Buela (a little known secret on the front range!)

  6. #6
    Sully62
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    Now that you mention it, I'm interested in both technical and physical difficulty ratings. Feel free to qualify your ratings as either technical or physical or both

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    Technically speaking

    I'll give it a shot in terms of technical difficulties for the ones pretty close to Boulder. I'll pretty much ignore the length/mileages here. Ranked in order of most technically challenging to easiest. I'm sure I'll miss/forget some and there is sooo much grey area, but it should be interesting to see who agrees or what ordering changes people think. Maybe we can all agree on the top 10. Here goes:

    1. Dakota Ridge
    2. Golden Gate Canyon - Mountain Lion Trail
    3. Lion's Gulch
    4. Peaceful Valley / Buchanan Pass
    5. Sourdough/Wapiti/Baptiste/SSV Trails - North of Brainard Rd.
    6. Hall Ranch - Front Side
    7. Apex
    8. Bergen Peak
    9. White Ranch - Long Horn, Mustang
    10. Red Rocks / Morrison Slide
    11. Devil's Backbone
    12. Chimney Gulch
    13. Sourdough Trail - South of Brainard Rd.
    14. Elk Meadows
    15. Walker Ranch
    16. Colorado Trail - Waterton/Roxborough
    17. Ceran St. Vrain
    18. Deer Creek Canyon
    19. White Ranch - Belcher, Short Horn, et al
    20. Betasso Link Trail
    21. Rattle Snake Gulch
    22. Golden Gate Canyon - other trails
    23. Mt. Falcon
    24. Lair o' the Bear
    25. Alderfer/Three Sisters
    26. Rabbit Mountain
    27. Heil Ranch
    28. Green Mountain
    29. Meyers Gulch
    30. Boulder Valley Ranch Trails
    31. Marshall Mesa / Community Ditch
    32. Hall Ranch - Antelope trail + loop
    33. Betasso Loop
    34. East Boulder Trails
    Last edited by Stefan_G; 04-04-2006 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Modify #5, Add Deer/Bergen/3 sisters, slight reorder.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan_G
    I'll give it a shot in terms of technical difficulties for the ones pretty close to Boulder...
    Maybe we can all agree on the top 10. Here goes:

    1. Dakota Ridge
    2. Golden Gate Canyon - Mountain Lion trail?
    3. Peaceful Valley
    4. Lion's Gulch
    5. Sourdough Trail - North of Brainard rd.
    6. Hall Ranch - Front Side
    7. Apex
    8. White Ranch - Long Horn, Mustang
    9. Red Rocks / Morrison Slide
    I'd say that's a fair top 10. Lion Gulch is probably the hardest of all those in my opinion. It's also one of my favorites on the list. 3 and 5 are kind of the same thing. For 3 do you mean Buchanan Pass? South St Vrain should definitely be on there, too, but it's Peaceful Valley and N of Brainard Lake Rd.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    I'd say that's a fair top 10. Lion Gulch is probably the hardest of all those in my opinion. It's also one of my favorites on the list. 3 and 5 are kind of the same thing. For 3 do you mean Buchanan Pass? South St Vrain should definitely be on there, too, but it's Peaceful Valley and N of Brainard Lake Rd.
    Yeah, I've only done Lion Gulch a couple of times, so the memory may be a bit weak there. I remember it was ridable (by me anyway) downhill-only in one spot, so in that sense, maybe it should be at the top of the list.

    For 3, I was thinking of the singletrack trail that goes beyond Camp Dick, but I couldn't remember if it had an official name. Lot's of big, roundy rock gardens, especially towards the end. Just like South St. Vrain and Sourdough to the North of Brainard, but I guess I was lumping those 2 together in my head as well...

  10. #10
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    Peaceful Valley/Camp Dick in general is one of my favorite places to ride. Lots of technical rocky riding. Strenuous, too. They type of place where a 15 mile ride takes 3 hours. fun stuff.
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  11. #11
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    For my favorites, Bergen is a good technical/physical mix. It's decently long and the swichbacks are a fun challenge up and down. Buffalo creek is great if you're looking for a physical ride. After a 25 mile loop of single track, I'm usually ready for some couch time. Beautiful scenery up there, too.

    It's all a guessing game. Depends on rider style and skill and whatnot. I will say that Dakota ridge is a sonofab!tch, though, and I only ride it when I'm in the right mood (aka, the mood where you're okay with flying off your bike into sharp spiney things repeatly )

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    Peaceful Valley/Camp Dick in general is one of my favorite places to ride. Lots of technical rocky riding. Strenuous, too. They type of place where a 15 mile ride takes 3 hours. fun stuff.
    Which map shows the trails up there. Been 4x4 ing on middle st vrain but don't remember seeing biking trails.

    Unless they are the same.

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    I must see this place some time, Peacefull Valley and such.

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    'Probalby be a couple 'o months...

    Bet that Jugdish was skiing there this past WE, maybe he'll chime in with a 'backyard' report

    Five miles north, we have 50% snow on north facing slopes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek
    I must see this place some time, Peacefull Valley and such.
    It's pretty fun. It's only a half hour from here for some mighty fine high altitude (9-10k) riding so we hq out of Peaceful Valley quite a bit.

    Here's a shot of Buchanan Pass west of Peacefull Valley. More shots are here on the blog from a ride we did in late Sept. Unfortunately, nothing above timberline - it's bordered by Indian Peaks Wilderness on the west and RMNP to the north. Great stuff, though, and a fantastic network of trails that will keep you busy all day long. Plus, you get to encounter locals like DaveM and Jugdish...

    Couple of places with maps:
    http://www.redstonecyclery.com/redst...doughnorth.htm
    http://boa-mtb.org/resources/North%2...-%20Wapiti.JPG
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    Last edited by ignazjr; 04-03-2006 at 10:05 PM.
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  16. #16
    DSR
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    Ditto on Buchanan/PV/CD. Great trails. And that connector section of S St Vrain pushes the techno-meter for sure.

    I just need to add that Palmer Park down in the Springs is absolutely stellar if you are into technical riding. No surprise for many of you, but I just hit it with Kristian and some others last week and it is fun-fun. Most definitely worth a drive down from Denver/Boulder. I was very impressed. Definitely helped to have some locals point out the lines! S

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    Plus, you get to encounter locals like DaveM and Jugdish...
    If you consider that a plus(only talkin' about myself Dave)?! I agree with the "15 miles = 3 hours" guestimate. I think it's maybe 10-11 miles up to the Red Rocks trailhead at Brainard from my house (taking Sourdough from Camp Dick) and takes me much longer to get there than you'd (I'd) guess. That's on the sprung SS, I'm not sure I'm man enough to ride rigid up there. As far as trail conditions I'd say we're still a ways away from anything being ridable yet but I'll let ya know. Damn, I hadn't really thought about how excited I am to hit the dirt until I started typing this! I'm done skiing until we get our next big dump, change is good. I've been trying to turn out the road miles (first after work ride of the year tonight!! ) lately. I love bike riding but hate it on the road, whatareyagonnado? I will say next year I won't be skiing exclusively through the winter, hell I thought I'd be in better shape for riding with 43 days out touring?!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish
    ... I'm done skiing until we get our next big dump, change is good. ...
    I hoping for some corn days high up.

  19. #19
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    Bergen

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan_G
    I'll give it a shot in terms of technical difficulties for the ones pretty close to Boulder. I'll pretty much ignore the length/mileages here. Ranked in order of most technically challenging to easiest. I'm sure I'll miss/forget some and there is sooo much grey area, but it should be interesting to see who agrees or what ordering changes people think. Maybe we can all agree on the top 10. Here goes:

    1. Dakota Ridge
    2. Golden Gate Canyon - Mountain Lion trail?
    3. Peaceful Valley
    4. Lion's Gulch
    5. Sourdough Trail - North of Brainard rd.
    6. Hall Ranch - Front Side
    7. Apex
    8. White Ranch - Long Horn, Mustang
    9. Red Rocks / Morrison Slide
    10. Devil's Backbone
    11. Chimney Gulch
    12. Sourdough Trail - South of Brainard rd.
    13. Elk Meadows
    14. Walker Ranch
    15. Colorado Trail - Waterton/Roxborough
    16. Ceran St. Vrain
    17. White Ranch - Belcher, Short Horn, et al
    18. Betasso Link Trail
    19. Rattle Snake Gulch
    20. Mt. Falcon
    21. Lair o' the Bear
    22. Golden Gate Canyon - other trails
    23. Rabbit Mountain
    24. Heil Ranch
    25. Green Mountain
    26. Meyers Gulch
    27. Boulder Valley Ranch Trails
    28. Marshall Mesa / Community Ditch
    29. Hall Ranch - Antelope trail + loop
    30. Betasso Loop
    31. East Boulder Trails
    Great list! I'd squeeze Bergen in there somewhere near Apex

  20. #20
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by used2Bhard
    Great list! I'd squeeze Bergen in there somewhere near Apex
    How about Deer Creek, the 'wall' is sort of tech. The rest is just physical, though I seem to remember a few switchbacks coming back on Plymouth Mtn (?) after you top out from the main Deer Creek trail.
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  21. #21
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    Good thread. I've ridden most things listed, but there are some things I'll have to check out this season.

    I didn't see the Three Sisters listed yet. Not super technical, but a hell of a lot of fun. Just watch out for hikers as *some* of them seem to be very anti mtb. I've even seen braches and logs dragged accross the trail.

    First pic is the Three Sisters and the second is Mt. Lion Trail.
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  22. #22
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    Nice pic and great maps ignaz! The trails you have highlighted (N. Sourdough, Wapiti, S. St. Vrian), were all lumped as #5 in my head. I'll update my original post.

    The Peaceful Valley trail I was thinking of goes west along the Middle St. Vrain road, past Camp Dick, and then crosses the creek on a footbridge and continues for maybe 4 or 5 more miles up the drainage getting more and more technical as you get closer to treeline. Any idea what the "official" trial name is?

    Great riding up there for sure! Makes me itch for a fast snowmelt...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    Good thread. I've ridden most things listed, but there are some things I'll have to check out this season.
    My thoughts exactly. I think this list is going to be my "checklist" for my season. Of course I'll add some non-FR stuff too....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan_G
    Nice pic and great maps ignaz! The trails you have highlighted (N. Sourdough, Wapiti, S. St. Vrian), were all lumped as #5 in my head. I'll update my original post.

    The Peaceful Valley trail I was thinking of goes west along the Middle St. Vrain road, past Camp Dick, and then crosses the creek on a footbridge and continues for maybe 4 or 5 more miles up the drainage getting more and more technical as you get closer to treeline. Any idea what the "official" trial name is?

    Great riding up there for sure! Makes me itch for a fast snowmelt...
    I believe your thinking of Buchannon Pass.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  25. #25
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    It's nice to get some pics in this thread. I'll dig around and see what I have.

    Thanks for catching some that I missed. I'll add Deer Creek, 3 sisters and Bergen.

    After seeing the pics and remembering just how technical Mtn Lion trail and Lion Gulch were, I'm second-guessing the #1 pick of Dakota Ridge. With enough tries, Dakota is 100% rideable in either direction, but I don't think I could say the same for Mtn. Lion or Lion Gulch. Maybe we should have a poll with the top 10?

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