Waterton Canyon - Colorado Trail - Trail, Littleton/Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Waterton Canyon - Colorado Trail - Trail, Littleton/Highlands Ranch, Colorado

DESCRIPTION

First 7-8 miles sucks. Lots of barneys. Once you've passed Lenny's rest there is nobody. It is very erie as you are in deep woods at this point with a couple of stream crossings. About 2 miles past Lenny's you come to "the wall." This is about 1 mile of serious climbing, probably 1,000 vertical. Continue staying on the Colorado trail until you come to an overlook for the Platte River. Probably best to turn back if you're low on water and carbs. Or continue down to the Platte and experience another 1,500 vertical to get out of the Valley on your way back. Try the Rockborough loop on the way back is this is decent single track with descent and climbs. Watch out for Barneys on the way back down the road.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 13  
[Aug 23, 2009]
jmpilo
Weekend Warrior

This is epic Colorado ridding, plenty of single track, plenty of climbing which means plenty of descending, and of course – even with the pine beetle destruction plenty of epic scenery.

Customer Service

27.73 miles with a little over 5k in elevation gain - follow road up to the Colorado trail, follow the switch backs up to the Roxborough sign (if you take this left it cuts out about 6 miles and you miss out on some great single track), - keep going past this sign up, up, up then up some more, finally follow the trail down into a gulch at the fork take a right this will bring you eventually after two stream crossings and some more climbing to the camp site refill camel back and continue through the camp site then hang a left out of the site and start to climb once again but not for too long. when you top out to the road take a left onto Indian creek trail (jeep road) follow this down hill stay on it at all of the intersections until you hit a rutted section. Just after that section look for the single track on your right excellent part of the ride, it’s almost all down hill now so enjoy - reap the rewards of all your hard efforts. Follow the single track to the bottom again take a left, over the whoop-t-doos through the meadow, up a bit of a climb then down a fun technical single track which leads you to the road out and back home.

Similar Products Used:

This route includes sections of Indian creek and Roxborough Park trails

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Sep 14, 2007]
ghawk
Weekend Warrior

Really everbody has done a good job of describing it. It is a very wonderful trail especially if you are used to allot of front range riding. This transisions you from that to awesome Colorado Trail riding. I have only seen a few mountain bikers weekend or weekday beyond Lennys rest.
Many scenic views. TAKE IT EASY on the climb up on the road and don't waste yourself because there is too much fun to be had later !

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 08, 2007]
Dan
Cross Country Rider

Anyone that says this trail lacks the technical aspect is nuts. You all obviously get off and hike your bike over the hard stuff. After you drop past Lenny's bench and back up the next ridge and then back down again you meet up with a piss-your-pants section. Huge drops mixed with water running over it during the early summer months makes this the most technical part of the whole trail. All of you who say just do the Rox loop and Indian trail loop have smoked too much; ride it to the plate and back without hiking your bike and then post a review.

Customer Service

Parking lot to Lenny's bench all the way to the plate and back. The good single track is something you have to suffer for but it's totally worth it. Bring tons of water and protein bars! ~5.5hrs, 4 litres of H2O, 30 miles, tons of fun

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 30, 2005]
KSC
Cross Country Rider

Even though I've been on the Front Range for several years now, I've never managed to check out the beginning of the Colorado Trail. Finally did this one and not surprisingly it's another great ride. The 6 mile road is definitely a bore, but it being my first time, I enjoyed the view. The road runs right along the river, has a VERY gentle incline, and was in really good shape (I'd ride it w/ skinny tires). You also get an impressive view of the dam that forms Strontia Springs and turns all but the first mile of the Platte through Waterton Canyon into a lake. But this ain't a site seeing trip. You're on a mountain bike not a tour bus, and mountain bikes are for riding the sheeat. The good news is, you can put your bike in the middle ring and crank out the road section in 30 minutes or less. Once you leave the road the trail quickly narrows and the fun begins. The farther in you get, the better the singletrack. Not real tech, but a few steep sections and some loose rock. Eventually you will reach a couple sections where motorcycles are allowed on the CO trail as a link. There are a few nice technical sections in here. I rode until the the trail topped out, took it another 2 or 3 miles downhill and turned around. It seemed like after the apex, the trail quality was even better as it most certainly gets ridden less. Took the Roxborough route on the way back. I thought it was the best section of trail out there - highly recommended. I would have liked to check out the Indian Creek trail, accessed just south of the CO/Roxborough junction, but ran out of time - something for next time. This trail is close to Denver and has a more wilderness feel than most Front Range trails (read Jeffco) and lets you cover some nice ground as opposed criss-crossing a block of land. Also offers the opportunity for some long ride options. Not as good technical riding as White Ranch, Apex, etc., but some sections of nice fast singletrack. The ultimate day would be to get your buddy to run your kayak gear up to the confluence of the North & South Platte, ride the CO trail all the way out there, get some whitewater action in and get shuttled back. Through in a climb on Cynical Pinnacle if you're really cool. I've gotta work on that one...

Customer Service

I did CO trail all the way to the peak and a little beyond, took the Roxborough route on the way back (good stuff). Other options are to ride the Indian Creek trail, or ride the CO trail until you're beat.

Similar Products Used:

Deer Creek, ... you know the list

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Oct 20, 2003]
JonnyDenver
Cross Country Rider

I wave been looking forward to the Waterton - Colorado Trail - To the River and back for a few years now. I have done the "park the car at the South Platte and ride to Waterton parking lot" a few years ago and wondered if anyone did the out and back from the Waterton parking lot. I did a test run 2 weekends ago and stopped at the lookout to get a feel for how much energy I would need for the whole ride. It is an excellent ride with very few people at all after dropping down from the bench area, and fast and smooth downhills. This weekend I did the whole ride dropping to the river and was happy to hit the river in about 2 1/2 hours. The climb out was another story. Its like doing Mt. Falcon after a 20 mile approach. Long , sandy and a few technical sections to make you work harder. When getting to the top (from the river) you are looking forward to a long downhill with some up and down. Then the last climb back to the bench area and dropping down back to the car.

Customer Service

Waterton Canyon- Colorado Trail - through rampart area - to the river and back. 5 hours 35 miles.Take plenty of water and conserve. I took 100oz and ran out before the last climb.

Similar Products Used:

Deer Creek

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 27, 2003]
pudgy fewick
Cross Country Rider

The road is just paying the dues for the multiple trails and vert that awaits. The road is a good thing because it keeps the crowds off the fantastic trails past Lenny's rest. If you ride this area enough, you will find numerous "offshoot" trails that must remain secret for all us who have paid the dues. When you get to Lenny's rest the fun begins and you have lots of choices. Going straight continues on the Colorado Trail which eventually arrives in the booming metropolis of South Platte. Be ready for "the wall" which is located immediately after the drop into bear creek. The wall is a technical vert that is long and steep with loose rock (burn those legs). If you turn left at Lenny's, you ride the Rox Loop. After about 3/4 mile, you will intersect with the Indian Creek Loop. Turn left to continue on the Rox loop or turn right and climb that steep hill to begin the Indian Creek Loop. From the bottom of Waterton, the Indian Creek Loop will put over 28 miles and 3,300 feet of vert on your bike. What a blast - steep climbs, technical sections, dense pine forrests, fast downhills, and stream crossings. If you see more than two people on the Indian Creek Loop, consider it a crowded ride. After about 1 1/2 miles on the Rox loop you will come to another fork. Turning left will feed you back out in Waterton Canyon. Turning right will send you in the opposite direction on the Indian Creek Loop. As you ride this area, be sure watch. You never know what other trails you may encounter (he he). Ride this area with lots of time, water, and carbs (you will need all to fully enjoy it).

Customer Service

Bring a map and compass (or GPS) and know how to use it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 02, 2000]
Jon Petersen

Bill's view is accurate but a little harsh. This trail is in a recreational area so there are a variety of users. The first 6 miles is on a water department service road. Everything after that is single track. As for the "barney's" I thought they were called "freds". They are people out enjoying the ride too. Ease off. There are way to many primadonnas in biking. The Colorado Trail is spectacular. Bring plenty of water and ride very early to get the most travel time in. You can ride for over 30 miles here. Share the trail and enjoy.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[May 07, 2000]
Kevin

pretty nice ride overall. the fireroad up to the dam is a bit boring but it warms you up well for the real trial ahead. the colorado trail is pretty good with nothing that is crap-your-pants difficult and if there is just get off and walk like you do with every other piec of trail that is too advanced for you. give it a try its worth it. its near by and is a fun little ride to do

Customer Service

well.... up

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Sep 05, 2000]
Dale Hawkins

The first 6.5 miles are dull, but a point could be made that it a good warm up. The trail steepens quite a bit after the dam and the ride up to Lenny's Rest is pretty fun. From here continuing past the bench to the Colorado Trail. The downhill goes pretty quick is pretty easy. Then the real challenge begins. There is a climb that will change the best of you (remember it has already been an 8+ mile ride to get to this point). After surviving this climb (need I state again that it was long), the trail becomes fairly easy with the exception of one very rocky spot (about 30 feet of boulders ranging between 1.5 to over 2 feet vertical steeps). The remaining trip to the river is a rather gentle climb (except in and out of river itself; but I have not made it all the way, yet; tired friends and afternoon showers w/ lightening).

One the return trip, take the right (south) at Lenny's Rest. This is Roxborough Loop and will dump you back on the river road near the dam. From Lenny's the trail climbs again for a short interval, finally topping out in a nice pine forest. Be careful on the decent, due to some rather gnarly roots and tree trunks. There is one more decent climb in a deeply rutted section of trail, before a quick decent to a "T" in the trail. The trail to the right has been off-limits to bikes until recently. A couple of friends have travelled the right fork most of the way to the Iron Springs campground near Deckers.

I have only taken the left fork up to now. The remaining ride is a quick decent with one last hairly drop-off over a tree root. This drop can be ugly if you are not familiar with it. I have taken it a couple of times, and nearly wipeout due to the short landing strip afterwards.

Overall, this is good ride. Especially, if you like a good warm-up with your ride. I find the 6.5 approach to be a bit tiresome (as in dull) especially for after-work rides as it really eats into the light. The approach to Lenny's is fun and can be taken non-stop for a decent challenge. The Roxborough loop is tough enough to get most of my friends huffing and puffing without even venturing out on the Colorado Trail towards Bear Creek.

Customer Service

Short Ride - Up to Lenny's and around Rox Loop.
Long Ride - To the Platte and back.

Similar Products Used:

Deer creek, Matthews-Winters, Green Mountain, etc.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Jun 18, 2001]
Barney

Bill, you must be WAY cool - Are you one of the dicks who ride back down the canyon road at 30mph risking the safety of the families our for a leisurely Sunday afternoon?

Customer Service

Bill, you must be WAY cool - Are you one of the dicks who ride back down the canyon road at 30mph risking the safety of the families our for a leisurely Sunday afternoon?

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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