Heil Valley Ranch - Trail, Boulder, Colorado

Heil Valley Ranch - Trail, Boulder, Colorado

DESCRIPTION

The trail starts with about a half mile of fire road climbing, followed by two miles of uphill singletrack. Next is a 2.5 mile loop with a lookout midway. Return via the way you came up.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 32  
[Apr 16, 2012]
sloppyart
Cross Country Rider

There are already a lot of good reviews on here, so I won't go into detail, but you can ignore any reviews more than a couple of years old. A lot of work has been put into this trail. It has been re-routed in a few spots which I think help with the flow a little bit. You can still expect a healthy quantity of rocks towards the top but it's easily ridable.

I ride it about half the time on a 5" travel full suspension bike, and half on my single speed hard tail. I don't have an issue riding it on the hard tail. Obviously it's a little more bumpy, but not to the point I don't have fun.

Those rocks that they put in to slow people down on the way down Wapiti...I can't even tell they are there anymore. I use them as gates. There is a nice flow around them now.

Customer Service

My ideal ride length is about 15 miles. I ride up Wapiti, turn left at the top of the climb, turn left at the overlook, swing around to Picture Rock, down Picture Rock to the big rock picnic table (good place to take a break and have a snack). Then I ride back up Picture Rock and go up Wild Turkey and back to (and down) Wapiti.

This is about 16.5 miles. And a pretty easy 16.5 miles too.

Similar Products Used:

If you want more technical / bigger rocks: Hall Ranch. If you want easier / more buff: Betasso Preserve.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Apr 04, 2012]
Soundtallica
Weekend Warrior

First off, Wapiti trail is awful. It's rocky, but seemingly just for the heck of it. The rocks get annoying after a while, as they are more of a nuisance than a technical challenge here.

But when you get to Wild Turkey and Ponderosa, things get better. These two loops are less rocky and have more flow to them, and actually seem like a true MTB trail. The lookout at the end of Wild Turkey is beautiful, it overlooks HWY 7 and Hall ranch. A good place to stop and rest.

Use Picture Rock (branching off the lower half of Wild Turkey) to connect to Hall Ranch for an epic ride.

Customer Service

I'd rather go up Picture Rock (an awesome trail by the way) and ride Wild Turkey and Ponderosa than go up Wapiti.

Similar Products Used:

HALL RANCH

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Aug 12, 2011]
hopsalot
Weekend Warrior

Think of this trail as a mini Porcupine Rim, some ares are smooth and fast, others full of chunky sharp rock and other with lots of places to pump the trail and maintain speed without brakes or pedaling (on the downhill). The climbing is easy with a few nice rock gardens to keep it interesting, but the down...it's a challenging trail to ride fast and that makes it a great trail in my book.

Customer Service

Counterclockwise at the top.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
2
[Apr 19, 2011]
Phatpants
Cross Country Rider

Inbetween Lyons and Boulder, quick semi-technical climb to get to several loops. Beautiful area, and dries out extremely fast after rain or snow.

Customer Service

Ride/drive north out of Boulder, left on Left Hand Canyon Dr. Proceed to trail head. Ride Wapiti up, then choose which loop you would like to do. Take Picture Rock trail out/back, or take it out to Lyons for a quick road jaunt to Hall Ranch.

Coming back down Wapiti is awesome, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for uphill riders and hikers.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
[Nov 30, 2010]
easymzm
Cross Country Rider

Let me start off by saying that I will not be whining about the rocks. Granted the trail is rocky but it is a fun kind of rocky. I have enjoyed every ride at Heil Ranch whether on a hardtail or a 100mm travel bike.
It is very true that the rocks and mini boulders can bring your bike to a halt but it is also true that there is almost always a nice flowy line to choose that will glide over those obstacles with ease.
There are many sections with a lovely "flow" to them. It's just a matter of finessing your bike through what appears to be a jagged and impassable rock garden. The trails are very rewarding but mistakes are costly.

Customer Service

Head up the Wapiti trail for a gradual climb through the rocky woods. Take a left onto the Ponderosa loop and ride to the overlook. From there take the left fork to head down a gently sloped and lovely smooth windy singletrack that becomes a bit more technical as it loses a bit more elevation before sending you back uphill. Picture Rock trail makes an excellent out and back route if you are looking to add an extra 11 miles to your ride (or you can use picture rock to connect to Hall Ranch for a truly epic day of riding). Continue along past Picture Rock for the climb out. Take a left to stay on Ponderosa loop and then take a left onto the Wapiti Trail for one of the most fun downhills available in the area back down to the parking lot.
The Wild Turkey trail can also be thrown in there but I certainly think it is the rockiest and slowest trail in the park.

Similar Products Used:

Hall Ranch

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Oct 01, 2010]
Bryan
Cross Country Rider

So there I was, a North Texas hardtail/SS rider, on his maiden full squishy/disc braked/carbon framed adventure, in CO no less. As you might imagine, a "climb" in the DFW area (Dallas-Fort Worth) is anything requiring more than 15 seconds of serious pedal-pushing. I rented a C'dale Rush from a local bike shop, hooked up with a literal stranger from my corporate HQ, and hit Heil Ranch.

Now, we have our fair share of rocky trails in Texas. And my experiences on said SS/hardtail taught me a thing or two about line selection. However, Heil Ranch gives new meaning to the phrase "rocky trail". Anyone on a hard tail (or out-of-service SS) may want to give a second thought to tackling this anthripological quagmire.

Now for the good stuff: the Rush simply absorbed every babyhead and sharp-edged slate with aplomb. And oh how had I forgotten how nice gearing can be! Here I am, Johnny No-Aerobic, hanging with some regulars, and all I'm thinking is "Cannondale has created a thing of beauty". At no time did I feel the need to reduce the pace or question my line selection. Yes, I was about 2 bpm from that magic threshold, but when the burn started to settle, the Rush seemed to find that magic gear between crushing and over-spinning.

Once you reach Heil's peak elevation, the downhill rewards you with fast, sweeping turns and numerous step-offs. And my new girl was more than eager to fly down the course (15+ years of MX comes in handy). By the end of the ride, I was pleased with the trail, but estatic about the technology.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 26, 2010]
bwhaley
Cross Country Rider

(Starting from Wapiti) After reading some of the reviews I was expecting an unpleasant, rocky ride. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The initial 2.5mi climb up Wapiti is very nice, enough grade to keep your heart pumping but not so steep that you can't establish a rhythm. Super fun to fly down after with some fun small berms.

Customer Service

At the top of Wapiti take the Wild Turkey loop instead of Ponderosa for fewer rocks. If you want a longer right, add 11 miles by doing Picture Rock out and back.

Similar Products Used:

Hall Ranch, Walker Ranch, Betasso

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 06, 2010]
honkinunit
Weekend Warrior

I was embarrassed when I realized this trail is nine years old and I have never ridden it, so I finally got around to it today. Since it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I was fully prepared for huge numbers of people and overflow parking. Imagine my surprise when there were plenty of parking spots and no crowds.

After the initial fireroad climb, the Wapiti trail started winding through the trees. Nothing steep of technical, just a nice steady climb. Then the trail started getting a little rocky, then a little more rocky, then, holy crap was it rocky. I mean rocks of all sizes, all shapes, and strewn everywhere. Some sections on the Ponderosa Loop (better name : Ponderous Loop) were literally like climbing up a streambed, except the rocks were jagged instead of smooth.

Bottom line? Not fun on a hardtail. At all. I realized that the lack of crowds was due to the fact that the fun factor on this trail is about a two out of five. There are just better places to ride. I missed the goods by about, oh, I'd say eight years.

I'm sure some masochist out there thinks this trail rocks. Oh yes, it rocks all right.

Customer Service


Road bike Lefthand Canyon.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
[Apr 11, 2009]
pktrain
Cross Country Rider

Unfortunately this trail has gone downhill (no pun intended) the last few years. It used to be a pretty decent ride until it got REALLY rocky at the top and someone decided to put in some sort of sharp, jagged, "speed control" boulders that not only threaten shins and crankarms, but completely ruin any kind of flow on the top part of the downhill. A lot of turns on the downhill have gotten sandy too. Plus it gets really busy with hikers and horses on the weekends. If this trail weren't so close to Boulder, I'd say stay off of this trail. At least make a decent ride out of it and ride the road from Boulder over Old Stage, do a loop, and ride back. Otherwise, it's a complete waste of a drive to ride this from anywhere other than Boulder if you're short on time and can't make it to Hall, Walker, or better yet, Golden.

Customer Service

Ride there: Old Stage, Lefthand, do a loop, ride back.

Similar Products Used:

Hall, Walker, Golden (White, Chimney Gulch, Apex, etc.)

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
[Dec 27, 2008]
Farmer Ted
Cross Country Rider

I heard people rave about this trail so I decided to drive down to Boulder and check it out...what a waste of time. The trail is so rocky that it's just annoying. You cant really get much speed or rhythm going up or down because the rocks are just the right size to constantly slow you down and annoy the @#%^& out of you. The whole freaking trail is like this from top to bottom. You may like this trail if you like annoying rocks or are a Super Suited Power Ranger with something to prove but otherwise go somewhere else.

Customer Service

Go to Hall Ranch in Lyons instead. When I got to the top of Heil Valley I could see Hall Ranch and just wished I was there instead.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 32  

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