There’s a new climb in town. Clear Creek County has recently finished paving the last 2 miles of Witter Gulch Road, which runs between Squaw Pass Road and Upper Bear Creek Road near Evergreen. While Witter Gulch lacked the sustained steepness of the dirt portion of Crawford Hill Gulch Road in Golden Gate State Park, its last 3 miles was still a sustained climb of almost 8% and featured multiple switchbacks to up the ante. The loop totals approximately 22 miles with a 2,700 foot elevation gain.
Shown above is one way to incorporate it into a longer loop, riding clockwise from Kittredge. Once past Evergreen Lake the traffic is light throughout the climb and the views of the impressive first and second homes along the creek will keep you entertained. If you ride the full loop the only cautionary stretch is between Bergen Park and the Kerr Gulch Road turnoff. There’s no way not to ride on the shoulder of the Evergreen Parkway. Minimize the unpleasantness (the shoulder is adequate) by cutting along Bergen Parkway. As you come flying down the Kerr Gulch Rd, remember that the surface of the last mile ranges from rough to very rough. Beyond that your only likely obstacles are random deer and elk in the road.
For those who ride from Denver and the Front Range, you can access this from Lookout Mountain and Genesee by riding a short and unsettling distance along the shoulder of I-70 between exits 252 and 254, by riding up from Morrison along the well-traveled Highway 74 (about 8 miles, winding, narrow, shoulder comes and goes), or from any number of nearby routes between Evergreen and Deer Creek Canyon. And there’s no reason not to start in Idaho Springs if you want to make a full day of it (75 miles, 8,400 feet). The profile below shows the route beginning and ending in Kittredge. You can find a Ride With GPS version with cue sheets and other goodies here.
As many know, the Cherry Creek Trail at Arapahoe Road is incomplete. Trail users must use Jordan Rd to connect what is only a very short distance (.2 miles) of unfinished trail. The work requires you to ride 1.5 on busy Jordan Rd. The shot below shows the current state of affairs: trail in red (paved) or brown (dirt) and the on-street portion in blue.
CDOT is working to connect the two ends of the trail. here’s the blurb posted on the website:
In early November 2013, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) began a bridge reconstruction project on State Highway (SH) 88 over Cherry Creek in Arapahoe County, from just east of South Jordan Road to South Chambers Way.
Originally built in 1959, the existing bridge needed to be replaced with a structure that meets current standards. In addition, there will be construction on the Cherry Creek Trail. The trail will extend under Arapahoe Road, giving pedestrians and cyclists improved connectivity.
SEMA Construction Inc. of Centennial, Colorado, is the contractor for this $18 million project.
To date, the project is 25 percent complete. Work is ongoing for Phase 1,which included demolition of the south end of the bridge and the eastbound lanes, a major milestone in the project. Caissons have been drilled and work is focused on building structures, including columns, girder placement and back-filling abutments. The first phase is still on target to conclude on time, concurrent with the beginning of Phase 2 at the end of July/early August.
More than half of the floodplain expansion has been completed, and stabilization is scheduled for this month. In the coming weeks, crews will seed and landscape 50 percent of the project.
Please note: Another project will be starting in the area of SH 88, at the Jordan Road and Arapahoe Road intersection. However, this project is separate and not connected or related to SEMA Construction Inc.’s current construction. For information on this project, please call 303-419-4903.
Work began in early November 2013 and is expected to last through May 2015. Normal daytime work hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with weekend work when needed. Normal nighttime work hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.