coloradobikemaps

Maps + routes for the Colorado cyclist

Foxton Road Ride


Its no secret that I am a huge fan of loop rides. Every loop ride is like the old Certs commercial from the 60s and 70s: “Two, two, two rides in one!” There’s just that much more scenery to see and geography to cover that, given a choice, I always prefer a loop to an out and back. I regularly make an exception for the Foxton Ride. Part of it is nostalgia. In another life I kayaked with at least as much intensity as I cycle and have vivid memories of the N. Fork of the S. Platte at high water levels. Even without the nostalgia, though, this is a fabulous ride that combines two long steep rides into a compact package: 45 miles and 5,000 feet. Foxton Road plays a prominent role in the Deer Creek Challenge, billed as the toughest century ride in the United States at 106 miles and 13,000 vertical feet.If you are training for Ride the Rockies or any of the major one day rides like The Copper Triangle, Triple Bypass, or Mount Evans Hill Climb, this is a good place to check out your fitness.

Start near Chatfield Reservoir and State Park, either in it (if you have a Parks Pass) or at the junction of Platte Canyon Rd and Deer Creek Canyon Rd. Head up canyon. Turn left at the deserted and dusty Phillipsburg (the junction of S. Deer Creek and S. Deer Creek Canyon Rd) and climb on up to the Pleasant Park Grange, a long beautiful (and sometimes steep) climb of almost 14 miles. Gather your wits and grab a Gatorade at the Grange (in season, honor system) before heading a little further along Pleasant Park Rd to turn left at Broken Arrow Dr. Broken Arrow drops steeply and winds it’s way to Foxton Road. Go left. Enjoy the ride down to the river, about 8.5 miles of unencumbered cycling with little evidence of houses, cars, and other people. Since Foxton Rd is a spur between US 285 and the river, your fellow travelers tend to be fisher-folk, kayakers and rafters, mountain bikers, and the like. Pause at river’s edge and enjoy a bar and some water before retracing your steps. From Foxton Rd, turn right on Running Deer Rd to climb steeply back to Pleasant Park Rd again. Return down Pleasant Park Rd, High Grade and Deer Creek Canyon to your starting place.

Foxton Road Ride PDF.

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Deer Creek Canyon Area | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Mountain Loop


The only wrong with this ride is that it is not closer to my house. I don’t know if I have enough superlatives in my vocabulary for this loop. The climbing is exceptionally varied. There are long, sustained climbs from Chatfield Reservoir, up Deer Creek Canyon or High Grade Road. There are ridiculously steep stretches (most mercifully short) along High Drive and Little Cub Drive that will make you check to see if you’re in your largest cog. And there is the climb for which the route is named, an 8.5 mile heart-breaker that gets steeper the higher you go. That’s only the climbing. You’ll pass through or nearby more than eight local and regional parks and one small section of the Arapahoe National Forest. Even outside these protected areas, you will mostly be traveling through forested areas. The views from High Drive, Black Mountain Drive, and High Grade Road are spectacular. The traffic is generally light. And there are places to refuel along the way, everything from the prosaic convenience store at US 285 and Highway 73 to the Evergreen Mountain Market and the Pleasant Park Grange. If you don’t pay too much attention to the names of the roads, the route-finding is straightforward. Confusingly, the same stretch of road bears three different names: Little Cub Drive, Stanley Park Road, and High Drive, for example. Or Brook Forest Rd, Black Mountain Drive, and Shadow Mountain Drive. Just stay on and follow the main roads, however, and you’ll do fine. Or ask one of the many cyclists you’ll encounter for help.

The logical place to start this ride from is the intersection of Platte Canyon Rd and Deer Creek Canyon Rd. There’s lots of room on both sides of the road, but no amenities. Or slightly further west, there’s a small lot at South Valley Park. Or you could shorten the loop slightly by driving up US 285 aways and starting near the North Turkey Creek/South Turkey Creek junction. To really enjoy the Black Mountain climb, ride counterclockwise. On the way up from Chatfield, you’ll pass the hamlet of Phillipsburg. Named for a late 19th century developer who hoped to profit from gold and mineral prospectors in the region, the town prospered briefly then completely faded away by 1930. Colorado’s most famous cannibal, Alferd Packer, lived and died here after his release from prison in 1905. A nine mile climb and a short descent brings you to South Turkey Creek Road. A fire station there makes a convenient regrouping place. Continue north to North Turkey Creek Rd. Reach it by passing under US 285 and then climb a short distance to High Drive. The steep climbing starts here and continues for four miles. Descend to Evergreen. The intersection with Highway 74 is sketchy. If you are going slow enough on the descent, you can avoid it with a sharp left near the bottom onto Camel Heights Road. Look for the Evergreen Mountain Market here to refuel and use a bathroom. Head up Highway 73 briefly, then go right on Brook Forest Road. If you can ignore the pain, this is a beautiful stretch of road that gets better the farther you ride. You’ll pass the historic Brook Forest Inn five miles after turning off Highway 73.

The climb finally tops out at 8,900 feet and there’s a fine descent back down to Highway 73. Go south on 73 and then east on Pleasant Park Road to complete your loop, climbing steeply one last time from 285. Stop at the Pleasant Park Grange for a Gatorade and a snack. There’s also a porta-potty. Proceeds benefit the historic grange.


When you’re ready for the 14 mile descent, head on down, back to Phillipsburg. From time to time, a Jefferson County Deputy parks at the intersection there, so look twice before you blow through the Stop Sign.

PDF Link.

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Deer Creek Canyon Area | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment