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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Trails for newbies

    There was some discussion on the Heil thread below about what constituted a complete newbie trail. I'm talking you bought a bike for your gf/wife/bf/whoever, they're tentative as heck, don't how to shift gears and talk at the same know, complete newbie.

    In no particular order (hey, you have to start somewhere):

    Bluebird Meadow Trail/Wild Iris Loop/maybe Homestead.
    These are at Alderfer.

    Meyer's Homestead Trail. This starts at the Meyer's Gulch parking lot on the way to Walker.

    Coyote Song Trail. This is in South Valley Park near Ken-Caryl.

    None of these has much elevation gain and are pretty smooth. If the newbie seems to be into it, then:

    Up Evergreen Mountain, West or East sides.

    Centennial Cone
    if they seem to like climbing and are now reasonably fit. It doesn't matter that The Cone is about as smooth as single track can be, the elevation gain can be tough on newbies.

    Then Deer Creek Canyon Park. Just kidding. Where would you take a complete newbie for their first ride? I know, I know, Dakota Ridge right?
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sooner518's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    I learned at Green Mountain which has alot of trails. Lots of beginner trails there with a few more technical trails. The climb up the fire road is a ***** though

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hairylegs's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Once the snow melts, Buffalo Creek and Waterton Canyon~Indian Creek are both good options. Golden Gate Canynon has some easy rides as well (just don't take them down Mtn Lion)

  4. #4
    a dad
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    good thread..

    i am teaching my gf to ride this year and we started with waterton last fall before the snow... and we did Green mountain (she didn't like the climb much, but she did really well)..

    i think the key is to not get them in over their heads for awhile so they enjoy it..

    i just sometimes things fall into the too easy or too hard category in the front range.. but i think she is gonna be really good because she is stubborn...

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    Reputation: sgltrak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Fort Collins

    Super Newb:
    Prospect Ponds open space
    Pineridge open space valley loop

    A little more elevation change:
    Bobcat Ridge valley loop
    HTMP Nomad
    Lory valley loops
    Blue Sky north of Coyote Ridge

  6. #6
    30 something dad
    Reputation: truepatriot09's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    The trails out around the Boulder Res (Eagle/Sage) are great for first time riders. If you do an out and back on the Lefthand Res (I think that's the name) trail, they can get a singletrack experience without too much gain or really anything technical. My wife hadn't biked in a while so went over there and it was perfect for her. Not more than a couple hours of slow riding, but good for a first day.

  7. #7
    Bad Andy
    Reputation: andychrysler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    In the other thread, I said the singletrack on the west and south sides of Green Mtn, and the Marshall Mesa, Cowdry Draw stuff.
    For newbie kids I like those too, but maybe even before those, Bear Creek Lake Park, and the connector from top of Chimney to top of Apex, adding in a couple other options off there. I have heard (Flying J?) up between Evergreen and Conifer would be short but good. And how about South Table? Before the snakes come out of course. Top of North Table would be nice, but getting up there would piss them off too much!

  8. #8
    Which way? Uphill.
    Reputation: nepbug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    For the super-newbs I like Waterton Canyon to the dam, Teller Farm (East Boulder) and Bear Creek Lake Park

    BCLP has the nice option of throwing in some small climbs if they're feeling really good or bailing to the road if they're feeling really bad.

    Just keep spinning. Just keep running. Just keep paddling.
    Just keep moving forward.

  9. #9
    Reputation: JackJr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    There are many good choices listed (i.e. lower parts of Green Mountain, Elk Meadow, and Waterton Canyon). Id like to add two. South Valley Park/Cathy Johnson is Jeffco Open Space and Ken Caryl but they are open to everyone. If they are feeling confident, they can head up Rattlesnake Gulch and connect into Deer Creek. Also, in Highlands Ranch (and regrettably for HR residents and guests only), the Wildcat Mountain Trails off of Monarch Blvd between McArthur Ranch Rd and the Daniels Gate subdivision are fantastic for beginners. HR Metro Districts also have trails off of the East-West trail (trailhead on Daniels Park road or start at the high school off Wildcat reserve pkwy. They are open to everyone.

  10. #10
    hehe said "member"
    Reputation: jake7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Bear Creek Lake Park is where I took my kids (at 6 and 7) for their first singletrack experience and they loved it. relatively flat withf un, winding trails and the option to easily get back on the road in most places. And if you run in to any mechanical issues, you're right by Corky's shop (Green Mountain Sports) for quick assistance.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    My friend and I started out on a trail that was way too hard. We walked and carried our bikes a lot, but by the end of the summer we could ride it all. The chanllanges are what makes it fun.

  12. #12
    Reputation: IH8MUD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    theres a pretty cool book, called "Mountain BIking-Denver/Boulder". Its "A Falcon Guide" publication, by Bob D'Antonio.
    Its pretty cool, cause it not only breaks down 49 trails around the area (location, distance, time, tread, aerobic level, technical level, hazards, highlights, land status, etc.) but also breaks down Rules of the trail, elevation graphs, ratings, aerobic level ratings, and technical difficulty ratings.

    another cool feature is, all 49 trails are grouped into five categories:
    Sweet Singletrack
    Begginers Luck
    Technical Tests
    Great Climbs-The Yearn To Burn
    Great Downhills-The Need For Speed

    $12.99 seems like a bargain for all that info!!

  13. #13
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
    Reputation: onbelaydave's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Blue Sky/Lory Loops/ near Ft. Collins.

    As good as it get's for a single track beginner ride.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: lginzkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Best Trails for Neophyte Mountain Bikers

    The absolute easiest trails for newbie bikers in Denver are the Highline Canal and the Waterton Canyon trails. Both are very smooth, very wide and have virtually no elevation gain. For those who need a completely non-threatening environment to get acquainted with their bike, these are the places to ride. The Santa Fe Trail, the old railbed running from Palmer lake to Colorado Springs just west of I-25, is in the same category, as is the Midland Trail in Buena Vista.
    The easiest singletrack in the area is probably at Cherry Creek Reservoir and Bear Creek Lake Park. However, the abundance of goat head thorns means the newbie will also be learning how to change flat tires. The Boulder trails, the Pineridge Loop and some in Lory State Park in Ft. Collins also fit in here, as does Lair O' The Bear Park near Idledale.
    Next up the scale of difficulty would be the Elk Range and Travois trails at Centennial Cone Park west of Golden (note that on weekends, bikers are allowed only on even-numbered days). The perimeter trails on the west and south sides of Green Mountain Park in Denver are also good choices - rocky, but not too much elevation change. Other selections would include the Switzerland Trail west of Boulder, Rabbit Mountain east of Lyons, the trail around the Rampart Reservoir near Woodland Park and Hewlett Gulch in the Poudre Canyon west of Ft. Collins. The Flume, Creekside, Chainsaw and Northwest Passage trails just west of Fraser are also great fun. The Colorado trail running west from Colo. Hwy 126 to the Meadows Campground near Buffalo Creek is excellent - a smooth ribbon swooping through the woods, with almost no rocks or roots. Further afield, the Rustler's and Mary's loops in Fruita and the Klondike Bluffs and Gemini Bridges trails in Moab are good choices for those new to mountain biking.

  15. #15
    Rides Uphill Slow
    Reputation: The Hookler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    My girlfriend learned to ride last year. One of the first places I took her was Fruita. The trails off of 18Rd were perfect. No big climbs and just really fun and pretty easy trails for the most part. The nice thing about that trail system is that there are some fun trails as well to keep you entertained. I also found that getting her a bike that she likes really helps, oh and good suspension.
    I'm here for the downhill

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: screamingbunny's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Hidden Mesa

    Down in Franktown is perfect, a little bit of everything, reminds me of a Rustlers lite, taking the Mrs. there today for her first ride of the season.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by screamingbunny
    Down in Franktown is perfect, a little bit of everything, reminds me of a Rustlers lite, taking the Mrs. there today for her first ride of the season.
    Does she ride at all? Is this her idea or yours Let us know her impression of the trail.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

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