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  1. #1
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    Riding advice for the front range.

    Going to be in town next week and plan to ride about 4 days. Looking for some local advice on the following...

    - what 4 trails in within an hours drive of Estes Park would you recommend. My research looks like Hall Ranch and Heil Valley Ranch are definitely rides I will do. Would like to ride a higher altitude trail (sim Colorado Trail) if possible in that area. Not looking for anything knarly, watched some videos of bobcat ridge and that downhill is more than I care to ride.
    - what direction is preferred for the Nelson loop at Hall Ranch?
    - should I park at the picture rock trailhead at Heil Valley?
    - what direction is preferred for the ponderosa and wild turkey trails at Heil Valley?
    - how much biker/hiker traffic should I expect at Hall and Heil on a weekday in the morning?
    - Walker Ranch worth riding? What is the preferred direction of that loop?
    - recommended bike shop in/around Estes Park?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2
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    Do the Nelson loop clockwise at Hall, the descent is a blast. You'll have very little traffic on a weekday morning at either Hall or Heil. Someone else will have to chime in for the other questions. Enjoy!

  3. #3
    The 5th knuckle
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLongbrake View Post
    Going to be in town next week and plan to ride about 4 days. Looking for some local advice on the following...

    - what 4 trails in within an hours drive of Estes Park would you recommend.
    Mt. Crozier for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by JLongbrake View Post
    - recommended bike shop in/around Estes Park?
    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Redstone Cycles in Lyons - Dave will hook you up right.
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    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  4. #4
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    Riding advice for the front range.

    Thanks guys. Where can I find a map of crosier? Not having much luck with google.

  5. #5
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    I would also recommend Devil's Backbone / Blue Sky in Loveland. You'll want to ride it early as there's no shade except for one tree.

    There's also Lion Gulch a few miles southeast of Estes but it's chock full o' gnar. It has lots of shade and once you're past the gnar the trails are gentle as they wind around all the old homesteads.

    You could also ride up Old Fall River road. Since it's a one-way road you'd have to ride back down (coast?) on Trail Ridge.


    As for Heil Valley, my preference is to park at the Picture Rock Trailhead, ride up PR and turn right on Wild Turkey, then left on Ponderosa until it connects back up to Wild Turkey. From that junction is almost all downhill back to the PR trailhead. If you want to extend the ride you can add in Wapiti and/or the bigger part of the loop on Ponderosa. Take a map since you may not see many others on a weekday.


    For Hall, I ride the loop twice, once in each direction. The loop should only take about 15 minutes or so. If you want to avoid the toughest section, known as the "rock garden", you'll want to park at the Antelope trailhead located at the end of Antelope Dr. in Lyons.

    I like riding CW at Walker.
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  6. #6
    The 5th knuckle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  7. #7
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    Crosier
    Devil's Backbone
    Hall Ranch
    Heil Valley Ranch (Picture Rock)

    You can't go wrong with these trails, they are some of my favorite local rides. (I live in Loveland) If you ride all four of these areas, you'll encounter a great variety of Colorado trail terrain. You can make the Devil's Backbone ride a short jaunt or a lengthy extended ride by adding on trails all the way into Horsetooth Mountain Park if you want.
    If you do Hall & Heil, take jaycastlerock's advice and swing by Redstone in Lyons to talk to Dave. His knowledge of area trails is unsurpassed.
    Have fun!

  8. #8
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    Dumb question:
    Where are you coming from, and how's your fitness? 4 back to back to back days? I'd look into mixing things up a bit w/ alternating hard and easy days, even if your fitness IS good. But I'm old and tired
    Naysayers never apologize. Critics go to their grave thinking everyone else is wrong.
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  9. #9
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    If Bobcat is too much descending, you definitely want to stay away from Crosier and Lion Gulch. Both of those are pretty gnarly. Actually, theres a way you can do Crosier that's pretty tame but it ends up being a pretty short ride.

    Hall, Heil, Devils Backbone, and Homestead Meadows are all within a 30 min drive of Estes and have good riding. Homestead Meadows via Hermit Park is pretty close and offers some cool history.
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  10. #10
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    VERY good advice. Sometimes the mind wants to ride more than the body can handle. I somtimes chuckle when I see these "where to ride" posts. So yeah, when in crested butte go ahead and ride 401, 403, then doctors park on three consecutive days...maybe throw in pearl pass if you have time.
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  11. #11
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    I agree that Crosier and Bobcat are technical, but they're so much fun I visited a few years ago and my tech skills weren't what they are today, but I still enjoyed riding those trails and the challenge they presented, just rode them a bit slower is all. Devils/Bluesky is an AWESOME trail, definitely do not miss the opportunity to ride it.
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  12. #12
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    Riding advice for the front range.

    Thanks to everyone for the advice. Ended up riding Hall, Heil and Blue Sky/Devils Backbone. Dave at Redstone was a great help also. Had a great time!

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