Ponderosa Loop

Trail Meter: 

The good: This trail has great views (see that picture below), and after all the climbing you've done to get there, it's relatively flat. The bad? It's full of loose babyhead rocks, and is a pretty wide trail. That said, there are some really fun sections of trail on this loop, and if you love riding on pointy baby heads, this is a thrill a minute for you!


The Ponderosa Loop is at the top of the Wapiti trail which starts at the Heil Valley Ranch Wapiti trailhead. If you ride up that trail until you get to a fork, you are at the Ponderosa Loop. Alternately, you can get to the loop coming up from the Picture Rock trail with leads to the Wild Turkey trail and then onto this loop (the Wild Turkey trail actually starts and ends from the Ponderosa Loop and is a great way to add miles to the top of this ride (and it's a lot smoother).

If you look at the map, you'll see that the Ponderosa Loop might also be called the Banana Loop due to its shape. If you ride up on the west side of the banana you'll be riding slightly uphill on the more baby head-laden side of the loop. Riding down the East side gets you a bit of fun trail with a great little rock jump. So, that makes this loop work best going clockwise! Of course, neither way is very steep, so expect to pedal a bit going downhill and not too much going uphill.


Overlook view in January


Ponderosa Loop GPX File40.73 KB
Ponderosa Loop Google Earth File2.98 KB
Heil Valley Ranch Kiosk Map1.7 MB
Map to Trail Head: 

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Ponderosa Loop Click on image to enlarge
Ponderosa Loop Click on image to enlarge

T: 6 A: 4 C: 3

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2.6 mi.
270 ft.


Trail Meter: Fair»Good

Pretty much great. A few snowy spots on the top, but the rest is great.

Sweet. Couple of short snowy bits, but ready to go

Fatbikeable. Skinny tires could get by, but there's a lot of deeper snow, ruts, etc.

Fri 1/23: Combo of 5 in deep snow and mud. It's a bit of a slippery mess today.

Trail Meter: Poor»Fair

Northwest portion of the loop still snowy but passable on skinny tires. Avoid the heat of the day to protect the trail.

Trail Meter: Fair»Poor

deeper drifting on the western side of the loop make it barely passable on skinny tires, the east side of the loop is fine; snow actually smooths out the rocks

Trail Meter: Good»Fair

Moderately slippery deep snow. Hard but fun fatbiking. No good for "skinny" mountain bike tires (under 4 inches)

Bone dry

Sunday - excellent!

Almost completely dry and snow-free

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