Maps + routes for the Colorado cyclist

Update–Little Dry Creek Open (Sort Of)

Well, finally. Another of the 5 or 6 people who follow this blog wrote last week to say that Little Dry Creek at Federal Blvd has been reopened after months and months of work on RTD’s G-Line, itself an exercise in delays and patience. The G-Line will run between Union Station and Arvada and Wheat Ridge but has been delayed by sticky software that makes the crossing gates unpredictable. At least the trail is now completely open and it’s possible to ride to Boulder on the US 36 Bikeway without a lot of machinations.

What’s missing are the all important signs to tell you when to leave the Little Dry Creek drainage to connect to the US 36 Bikeway. I rode up there to check it out this past weekend and found many signs pointing to religion and possibly salvation, but none that said “Boulder, this way.”

File Oct 09, 7 42 55 PM

Here’s the way it works (from Denver): Look for England Park and exit the trail there, onto Raleigh St. You’ll know you’re in the right general vicinity when you pass the dog park and see a baseball field, both on your left. Exit left onto Raleigh and ride to 72nd Ave. Go right, then immediately left to Bradburn and you’re home free. From a map perspective it looks thus:

Boulder Route

You’ll know you’re in the right spot when you see the sign for the various churches. Enjoy the ride and thanks to Ken for the pictures and the information.

Work began in 2019 between Federal and Pecos on Little Dry Creek Trail. It was closed in September with no signage to say when it would re-open. Updates from readers always welcome.

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Denver Metro, Uncategorized, Updates, Us 36 Bikeway | , , , | 3 Comments

Major Metro Trails

70133_01-Map Front-V3

I am happy to announce the publication of my new bicycle map for the Denver Metro Region. With more than 600 miles of trails, 40 distinct trail systems, it’s color-coded so you can see if you’ll be on a paved surface (red), a dirt trail (brown) or a bike-friendly surface street (blue) to link different trail systems up. The front side is the metro region (Superior to Parker, Commerce City to Chatfield Reservoir) and the reverse side has 6 detailed maps of places you’ll want to ride, including the four main reservoirs (Chatfield, Cherry Creek, Aurora, and Bear Creek), the south end of the Cherry Creek Trail, and Horseshoe Park in Aurora. Waterproof and tear proof. Get ’em while they’re (and it’s still) hot, $12.95. Find it at Tattered Cover (all three stores), Evo-Edgeworks, Turin Bikes, Big Ring Cycles, and the Golden Bike Shop. The QR code on the map links you to a digital version you can use with your smartphone and the map app from Anveza Maps, $5.99. Happy Trails to all.

August 23, 2016 Posted by | Denver Metro, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Witter Squaw Loop

Squaw Witter LoopThere’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.

Witter Squaw Elevation

July 18, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deer Creek Challenge (RIP)

The Deer Creek Challenge did not run in 2012 and may be gone for good. I’ll leave the maps up for their value. The Deer Creek Challenge bills itself as the toughest century in the country. And if you are counting only elevation gain they are probably right, since the DCC weighs in at 12,725 feet which is nothing to sneeze at. But the Triple Bypass comes close in elevation gain (10,990) and most of the Triple’s climbing is at altitude. DCC tops out at 8,700 while the Triple starts at 8,000 feet and climbs three times to 10,000, 11,000 and 12,000 feet. If you plug in these numbers to the oxygen calculators at you quickly discover that you’ve got 10% less oxygen at the top of Loveland Pass than you did at the top of the Black Mountain climb in the Deer Creek Challenge. So it is probably a push. But who really cares? They are both amazing and different rides and each appeals to different kinds of riders. More importantly, if you’re just learning about these two rides today, the Triple is filled by lottery with registration in early January each year. Today, there’s still room for you if you want to do the reverse Triple (Avon to Bergen Park) or the Double Triple. The DCC is first come-first served and there’s still space in all the rides (there are shorter variations on the long ride). Finally, where the Triple features long, uphill climbs that go on and on, the DCC is punctuated by medium and short length climbs, some of which are desperately steep. The DCC covers familiar ground to metro Denver riders (High Grade, Parmalee Gulch, Brook Forest) and throws in stretches that get less traffic (an out and back along Foxton Road to the N. Fork of the South Platte, City View counterclockwise, Black Mountain Road). The terrain is great, the riding difficult, and the organization is top notch. Add it to the list.

May 17, 2012 Posted by | Deer Creek Canyon Area, Organized Rides, Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment