Walker Ranch - TRAIL

Walker Ranch - Trail, Boulder, Colorado

Steep ups and downs. Single track and dirt roads. Local favorite. Very busy on week-ends. Watch out for other trail users.

User Reviews (46)

Showing 1-10 of 46  
Mik   Weekend Warrior [Jul 17, 2012]

Really fun trail through some gorgeous meadows, forests, and canyons. Aerobically speaking, this is certainly a tough ride as there are two climbs in the loop that are each around 700 or 800 feet of elevation gain, and if you ride counter-clockwise they are both very steep and frequently technical. As mentioned a number of times, there is a staircase that should only be ridden if you don't mind replacing your bike and your bones... but outside of that everything is rideable if you're technically savvy.

Customer Service

I rode clockwise first and then counter-clockwise the next week, and I've been riding counter-clockwise ever since. Counter-clockwise, the first downhill is super fun, plus the downhill off of the middle climb is through a nice meadow and can be taken with a good amount of speed. The climbs are certainly tougher this direction, both technically and aerobically speaking.

The bottom line: If you like your descents steeper and more technical, go clockwise and hike up the staircase. If you are like me and enjoy higher speed and slightly less technical descents, suck it up on the steep technical climbs and go counter-clockwise, even though you have to use some downhill vertical on the staircase. Totally worth it in my opinion to be able to descend the best parts of this trail.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Soundtallica   Weekend Warrior [Apr 04, 2012]

Whew! This is aerobically the toughest Front Range trail from Boulder to Lyons, though Hall Ranch is more technically difficult. Very steep ups and downs throughout this loop, and most of it is rocky and very technical. Not an climb then descend trail, but an up-and-down one (which sucks, I prefer to climb halfway and descend the rest). Had me gasping for air at the end. The views are good though, as at higher elevations you get views of the higher mountains further west and at lower elevations you skirt Boulder Creek. The stairs that require portaging your bike halfway through the loop are, well, interesting and something new for mountain biking. Go counter-clockwise to hike up the stairs instead of down.

Also, stay away from the Meyers Homestead trail, it's a boring 2 mile rocky fire road climb, unless you like that kind of trail.

Overall, a pretty good trail for a massive workout due to its rolling nature and its steep ups and downs. Getting there is a hassle though, due to Flagstaff road.

Customer Service

Go counter-clockwise around the loop. It's much easier (and safer) to hike up the steps than down the steps.

Similar Products Used: Hall Ranch, Picture Rock.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
COTarHeel   Cross Country Rider [Jul 11, 2011]

I'm new to the Front Range and am working my way though the local trails and this is my favorite so far.

This nice loop has some sweet downhills, great scenery & views, good technical stuff both up and down, some good steady climbs and a few hardass knots. The last 1.5 miles to the TH going CCW is tough, but my lack of riding in the past 2 years is probably the biggest reason for that.

I was eager to see this "portage" I had heard so much about and it lived up to the reputation. Heck, hiking down with one hand occupied with a bike was kinda difficult. I would be shocked if someone could ride it all, though I guess it's possible. But even if you thought you could, why would you? Looks like it'd be a ball-buster and nowhere near fun enough to be worth the risk. I think the "Bikes Dismount" signs make some want to think/say it isn't necessary, but I digress...

Bottom line: It's a fun ride with a little bit of everything (except big hit stuff) complete with gorgeous views.

Customer Service

Looks like it'd be good either direction. I rode counter-clockwise after reading on these interwebs and it looked like I was the only SOB riding that way! No regrets though; can't wait to try it clockwise too.

Similar Products Used: There's other MTB trials in Boulder?!!?!
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
abenz1980   Weekend Warrior [Jun 23, 2011]

flowy downhills, amazing scenery near boulder creek, some challenging climbs, and a carry your bike down stairs section that is unrideable unless you have a death wish. Im an intermediate rider with an obsession with technical trails. This trail is mostly flowy with avoidable obstacles and nice singletrack. There are quite a few fun sections to stop and session. One in particular through me over the bars at the bottom! Ouch! You will know the section as the trail splits off into " Less technical and more technical" route. The counterclockwise route will start with a good downhill, then begin a climb once at the bottom of the canyon. I have a 30pd specialized enduro and was able to climb everything until the final 1.5 miles. It became quite steep in some sections that had me walking up.

Customer Service


Rode counter clockwise which was amazing until the last 1.5 miles of the 7.5 mile route.

Similar Products Used: Hall ranch, White ranch, Red rocks, dakota ridge
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
endo-boy   Cross Country Rider [Jun 13, 2008]

Excellent trail, has been recently improved with better parking, outhouse, and connector trails that allow you to link the loop to the out and back up north. Total length is now probably more than 10 miles. I wish they would open up the Eldo connector, but this is Boulder and they hate mountain bikes for some reason. One great thing about this trail is that you will pass at least two sources of running water, so dunk the knuts, cool off, and continue riding on those hot days. I wish this was a 10 point system, because I would give it a 9, not a 10.

Customer Service

I prefer to travel counter clockwise, the descent from the upper parking lot is great, with several small to medium hits. Cross the stream, follow the creek, cross the bridge and crank back up. I really enjoy the meadow descent. I dont mind carrying my bike down the steps, as the trail flows so much better in that direction that its worth it. Once you get back to the parking lot, find the connector trail and take that to the North and complete the out and back.

Similar Products Used: Hall, white ranch
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
endo-boy   Cross Country Rider [Jun 13, 2008]

Excellent trail, has been recently improved with better parking, outhouse, and connector trails that allow you to link the loop to the out and back up north. Total length is now probably more than 10 miles. I wish they would open up the Eldo connector, but this is Boulder and they hate mountain bikes for some reason. One great thing about this trail is that you will pass at least two sources of running water, so dunk the knuts, cool off, and continue riding on those hot days. I wish this was a 10 point system, because I would give it a 9, not a 10.

Customer Service

I prefer to travel counter clockwise, the descent from the upper parking lot is great, with several small to medium hits. Cross the stream, follow the creek, cross the bridge and crank back up. I really enjoy the meadow descent. I dont mind carrying my bike down the steps, as the trail flows so much better in that direction that its worth it. Once you get back to the parking lot, find the connector trail and take that to the North and complete the out and back.

Similar Products Used: Hall, white ranch
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
slimat99   Cross Country Rider [May 31, 2008]

Great front range loop. This loop is fun clock wise or counter. I personally prefer doing it counter because there are more Tehnical lines to be had, and you climb double track rather than decend it, which im my opinion, is a waist of elevation, but like I said, there's fun single track DH either way, you really can't go wrong. This area, like all front range trail systems, is very easy to navigate. There are no shortage of trail signs. If you get lost out here, you need to think about taking up another sport that doesn't involve the outdoors. I'm suprised to here that people don't regard this loop as one of the most technical on the front range. The "portage" section that everyone refers to is 100% ridable. I say this having only cleaned 95% of it, but if someone has big enough ones, it's all ridable. The first true technical section on the stair portage has a very high consequence of error that may include death, so that's why I didn't try it. Once you walk the first staired switch back, the rest is totally ridable and tons of fun! I hear a lot about Dakota Rige being the Front Range's most technical trail. I will have to disagree. There is nothing on Dakota that comes close to the "Portage." If you like flowey, fast single track, with some fun rock sections, steep climbs, and one steep nasty section that will keep you interested over and over, you can't beat this loop! And the scenery is some of the best on the Front Range, not to mention a beautiful white water river that makes me want to take up Kayaking

Customer Service

Counter clockwise if you like Technical lines and want to have a go at cleaning the Portage; clockwise if you prefer less technical trails. Both ways require a fair amount of climbing, but counter clockwise cuts out the hike a bike up the Portage.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
arnolda14   Cross Country Rider [Aug 14, 2006]

This is one of the two very best rides on the Front Range, the other being Elk Meadow.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jbaum90   Weekend Warrior [Mar 06, 2005]

This is a pretty aerobic trail no matter which way you go. The north side is a thick forest, the south side is an open expanse. In the middle down by the river, there's some great rolling trails that you can haul ass on. The 'hike-a-bike' section isn't that bad, but be sure that you're able to hold your bike with one hand before you attempt it. You're other hand will be used for grabbing onto things to prevent falling hundreds of feet.

Customer Service

Depends on what type of downhill you enjoy. If you start off counter clockwise, you'll be on the south side of the mountain for most of the time, so it's a lot drier, and very open. If you go clockwise, you'll ride down on the north side of the mountain. It's covered in dense foliage, has some quick switchbacks, and soft ground. I like this route much better than starting on the south side.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
terryash   Cross Country Rider [Jul 06, 2004]

This is an awesome and aerobically challenging ride. I rode it Counterclockwise, and wondered if it wouldn't have been better the other way. If I have to carry my bike (stairs) then I'd rather be gaining rather than loosing elevation. Anyway, a great ride. Short, but challenging!

Customer Service

Go either way, they both would be excellent.

Similar Products Used: Hall Ranch, Heil Ranch and Sourdough A.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 46  

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