THE BOULDER MONSTER!
You will most likely perish
Want an epic ride? Well we've got one for you! We've linked trails to get you from uptown Boulder to Lyons (Oskar Blues) and back. All told it's about 50 miles of some of the finest front country pushing you can do in Colorado. You'll get everything from amazing landscapes to solitude, to death defying rock gardens to some great beer all in one butt kicking ride!
Conceived by BMA Member Kevin Bracy Knight, this is the biggest way to ride our part of the Front Range! The first recorded person to complete the ride is Dan Hickenstein in October 2011. He noted that we sandbagged the length just a bit - turns out it's about 66 miles round trip! He did it in 8hrs and 40min, so go get it!
1) Foothills Trail/Eagle Trail/Lefthand Trail
Starting at 4th and Kalmia in Boulder, hit the Foothills Trail. Sitting high on your seat, pedal past the mere mortals as you cruise past Wonderland Lake and the sadly empty prairie dog town near Lee Hill Rd. Keep on moving with Twix under Hwy 36.
When the trail dead ends into a parking lot, turn left onto Old North Broadway. Cruise on this until it too dead ends into a gate. This is the Eagle Trail. Continue on this trail until you drop down off the mesa and take a hard left onto the Sage Trail. Follow Sage to the parking lot, where you'll go through a couple of gates (get used to gates, you've got a billion more here - we know, we're going to work on a solution with the Open Space folks soon) and you'll get onto the Lefthand Trail. Follow this until it too deadends (into Neva Rd.)
2) The Boring Road Part
Well, it's not super boring. At least you get to ride on dirt quite a bit. Cross Neva Rd. and get directly back onto dirt on 39th St. This get's a bit funky here so hold on to your horses. 39th dead ends into Nimbus Rd. Go Right! Nimbus turns left into N. 41st st. Groove on down the road. That road does an "S-bend" to the left and becomes 39th St. again. On your left about 1/4 mile on down, you'll see Plateau Rd. which is a left turn for you. This dumps you onto Hwy 36 about 150 feet South of Lefthand Canyon Dr. Head on up Lefthand. From here, it's about 1/3 mile up the road to Geer Canyon Rd. which is a right turn and has a sign for Heil Valley Ranch. Turn here and head up to the Heil Valley Ranch Trailhead.
3) Turn and Burn Maverick
Now, you should be warmed up and you're ready to begin in earnest with this ride! Head up Wapiti Trail and turn left at the Ponderosa Loop junction (so you'll be heading clockwise on the loop, yo). Head around the Ponderosa Loop, past the lookout point (snack time) and turn left onto the Wild Turkey Trail. Go go go go! This trail is awesome! Mmmm... I love the part in the trees that gets all swoopy and full of pump turns! Sorry, got distracted here whilst writing. Left on Picture Rock! Head down towards Hall Ranch on what this author considers the best damned trail in the County!
You're going to come down to Red Gulch Rd. at the end of the Picture Rock Trail. Turn right and follow Red Gulch. which will merge with Old St. Vrain Rd (keep going right) and then dead end into S. St. Vrain Dr. Turn left here and head up Hwy 7 to the Hall Ranch Trailhead (on the right).
4) Play at Hall Ranch (part uno)
Head up Lower Bitterbrush to Upper Bitterbrush to Nelson and do a loop! Come back on down Upper Bitterbrush, but turn left at the bench and head down Antelope! Cruise down Antelope Dr. and merge right onto Apple Valley Rd. From here go about a mile and turn right onto W. Main St. (that's also Hwy 36 so keep your peepers peeled for crazy drivers in RV's coming down from Rocky Mountain National Park). Once in town, head to your favorite local eating establishment is and dig in!
5) Lunch and Beverage
Yes, this is a part of the ride. Please head on down to Oskar Blues and get some mighty fine eatin' on. Remember, you gotta get home. Throwin' the bike in the back of your friend's pickup from here is just fine if you had too many, but you can't get on the name list for 1/2 way doing this!
6) Second verse, reverse of the first!
To save myself from having my fingers fall off from typing this stuff again, basically, here is the return route
- Antelope trail
- Skip Upper Bitterbrush/Nelson
- Left onto Lower Bitterbrush
- Up Picture Rock
- Left onto Wild Turkey
- Left onto Ponderosa
- Left onto Wapiti
- Head back on dirt roads the way you came
- Lefthand Trail
- Sage Trail
- Eagle Trail
- Foothills Trail
Send in your personal (and honest) account and be listed here on this page!
That's right. If you do the Boulder Monster, you're name will go down here on the hall of fame! Do the ride, send in a note to BMA and we'll post your name here on the Monster Registry!
Boulder Monster Hall of Fame:
- Dan Hickstein, 8 hrs 40 min (includes stop for pint of beer and a huge pizza)
- Mary-Katharine Huebener, 8 hours 40 min (plus a 2-hour Oskar Blues break) ... to celebrate her birthday!
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2. - Eagle Trail - poor
3. - Left Hand Trail - good
4. - Wapiti Trail - good
5. - Ponderosa Loop - good
6. - Wild Turkey Trail - good
7. - Picture Rock Trail - good
8. - Lower Bitterbrush Trail - good
9. - Upper Bitterbrush Trail - good
10. - Nelson Loop - fair
11. - Upper Bitterbrush Trail - good
12. - Antelope Trail - fair
13. - Antelope Trail - fair
14. - Lower Bitterbrush Trail - good
15. - Picture Rock Trail - good
16. - Wild Turkey Trail - good
17. - Wapiti Trail - good
18. - Left Hand Trail - good
19. - Eagle Trail - poor
20. - Foothills Trail - fair
21. - Sage Trail - fair
22. - Sage Trail - fair