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.


On 2/9, I was only the 3rd person up there, it's unrideable...

Trail Meter: Poor»

Closed by BCOS for muddy conditions. Save the trails - respect closures!

Trail Meter: Fair»Poor

I was the first bike up there since the snow it seemed ... Some hikers went off trail and I pushed my snow bike the entire loop...it needs traffic to be rideable...


Trail Meter: Poor»Fair

From 1/31... Ride early, before 10am, and everything is frozen...

Trail Meter: Fair»Poor

condition set to Poor

east side is ok... avoid the west side... still lots of snow melting

Definitely got the bike muddy from a few spots but for the most part it's awesome. Ride through the mud that's left and wash that bike when you get home!

condition set to Fair

About 25% ice, from Saturday 1/23 about 9:30am... Very rideable early, ice and mud started to thaw around 10am... Ridden on 3.8" tires...

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