Wapiti Trail

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Accessing Heil Ranch from the Lefthand trailhead? You'll be riding up the Wapiti trail until you reach the Ponderosa Loop about two and a half miles up. A couple notes before you get started: if the trailhead is full, don't park along the road, you're nearly guaranteeing yourself a ticket. Also, stay off the Lichen Trail, it's hiking only.

The first section of the trail starts climbing on the access road, and is very straightforward. In the spring or wet, the small creek crossing may be wet, but other than that, it's smooth sailing to the start of the singletrack on your left (the Lichen Trail also connects here to the right, please heed that bike closure). After crossing a bridge and hitting your first of many switchbacks, you'll come to a clearing with a bench. It's an amazing view back down the Heil Valley and also of the Olde Stage Road area.

Moving onward, you'll head into the trees, rocks, and switchbacks. This trail has been reworked since it's opening ten years ago, and instead of the three feet wide straight trail of old, it's been narrowed, twistified, and fun-ified. While the trail is never overly steep, it's collection of rocks and turns make it challenging not only technically but aerobically as well. After some well used trail time, you'll end up at the Ponderosa Loop intersection - ride some of Heil's stacked loops, or turn around the way you came and enjoy a great downhill to the car.

Also, there's plenty of relics from the Heil's pre-open space days. Old buildings, quarried areas, and other snapshots from the past are spread throughout the area - keep your eyes open!

Wapiti Trail GPX File96.17 KB
Wapiti Trail Google Earth File2.88 KB
Heil Valley Ranch Kiosk Map1.7 MB
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Wapiti Trail Click on image to enlarge

T: 5 A: 6 C: 6

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2.65 mi.
775 ft.


Trail condition updated to Poor.

From RangerCarithers via Twitter: Picture Rock Trail at Heil Valley Ranch and Nelson Loop Trail at Hall Ranch are closed due to muddy conditions. #boco_trails

From RangerGrady via Twitter: Heil & Hall trails will remain open this weekend. Please use the trails early, Picture Rock & Nelson Loop will be muddy! #boco_trails

From RangerGrady via Twitter: An additional 8" snow fell at Heil Ranch., making a good snowpack. Enjoy it before it gets sloppy! #boco_trails

From BoulderCountyOS via Twitter: Fire Management will be burning slash piles today at Heil. Smoke/flames visible from the Wapiti Trail and the Ponderosa Loop. #boco_trails

From BoulderCountyOS via Twitter: Boulder County Fire Management Program will be burning slash piles today at Heil near the Ponderosa Loop. Smoke may be visible. #boco_trails

From RangerGrady via Twitter: Heil Valley Ranch received 13+" snow. This stuff is heavy w/lots of moisture! Geer Canyon access is plowed. #boco_trails

As of Sunday morning (4/14), there were a number of puddles and muddy sections. They are drying, but expect to get a little muddy since these puddles are the width of the trail. Please ride through them and not around them.

From redstonecyclery via Twitter: Heil and Hall Ranches both have stellar conditions RIGHT NOW! Go get some! #boco_trails http://t.co/rHJJbwoz09

From RangerGrady via Twitter: South Heil (Wapiti, Ponderosa, & Lichen Loop) still have snow & mud, but should be good for the weekend. #boco_trails

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