Wapiti Trail

Trail Meter: 

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
Map to Trail Head: 

View Boulder County Trailheads in a larger map

Wapiti Trail Click on image to enlarge
Wapiti Trail Click on image to enlarge

T: 5 A: 6 C: 6

Learn more about BMA Rating
Learn More About Trail Difficulty Ratings
2.65 mi.
775 ft.


From RangerCarithers via Twitter: Picture Rock Trail & Nelson Loop Trail are closed due to muddy conditions. Trails remain open at Heil Ranch south entrance. #boco_trails

From BoulderCountyOS via Twitter: Picture Rock & Nelson Loop are closed due to mud. Please use South Heil, Rabbit Mtn, or Bitterbrush #boco_trails http://t.co/lc1lBDyezT

From redstonecyclery via Twitter: CLOSED - Picture Rock at Heil and Nelson Loop at Hall until further notice. Thanks for your cooperation - it's muddy right now! #boco_trails

From RangerGrady via Twitter: Lyons area trails (Heil, Hall,& Rabbit) are very muddy. Hopeful for good conditions by the weekend. #boco_trails http://t.co/t2wnSl3Lxk

Trail condition updated to Poor.

From redstonecyclery via Twitter: 100% of the trails at Hall and Heil out of Lyons are open, dry, and in great shape! #boco_trails http://t.co/bv0OpBwHhs

this trail is as good as it gets.. go get some!

From goldenbikeshop via Twitter: Heil Ranch was 95% dry today - nice & tacky with just a few muddy spots - Picture Rock is still closed #boco_trails http://t.co/4kzU5e4Fz4

this trail is better when damp... go ride!

From RkyMtnVogel via Twitter: Many trails are a muddy mess. Positive reports for: Rabbit Mountain, Wapiti and Ponderosa only at Heil. Please RT!!! #boco_trails

BMA needs your help updating trail conditions. Please register for an account on our website - it's free, fast, and instantly makes you part of the BMA trail community