Colorado Mountain Biking Adventures - Part 7

Evergreen Mountain Trail: Located southeast of Evergreen, the park's northern portion is dominated majestic rock outcroppings known as the Three Sisters. To the south, Evergreen Mountain rises above picturesque meadows and offers beautiful views to the south and the west. From the west parking lot, cross the road going right on Wild Iris Meadow Loop. At 0.4-mile, go right on the Evergreen Mountain Trail. It is a steady, gradual climb with some embedded-rock switchbacks up to the Summit Trail junction. This short loop features scenic mountain views and interesting rock formations. The long descent to the Ranch View Trail is exhilarating. Cross the private road and ascend a short climb to return to the parking lot. From Evergreen, take Jefferson County 73 south. Follow the signs onto Buffalo Park Road, winding up through houses and schools. Continue past the first parking lot and follow the signs to the west lot in the high meadow.

Carolyn's Bliss: This 4.8-mile fun ride is mostly dirt single track and some smooth double track. From the intersection with Colorado 74 in Evergreen, take Jefferson County 73 south one mile to Brook Forest Road. Turn right and go 3.7 miles to the unmarked trail head on the left side of the road near a log fence and two 4-foot-high electrical junction boxes.

Echo Lake: Many local road riders from Team Evergreen climb Squaw Pass Road to Echo Lake as a convenient training ride. Park at the softball fields near the intersection of Colorado 74 and Squaw Pass Road just south of Bergen Park. Begin a steady ascent at 1.7 miles as the road climbs, offering many scenic views north. Top out at 14.9 miles and Juniper Pass, at 11,000 feet. Descend three miles to Echo Lake, where a lodge offers refreshments, before tackling the road trip.

Lee Gulch: The Denver South Suburban Parks and Recreation Department recently added the Lee Gulch Trail to its network. The route's strategic location off the Highline Canal Trail allows for a pleasant and interesting loop connection with other existing trails. Mostly a dirt route, Lee Gulch is wide and smooth. It's also quiet and serene, with majestic old trees and overgrown vegetation. Two Broadway crossings require short, half-block detours to utilize the pedestrian signals. And the trail may be closed sporadically at Santa Fe Drive due to light-rail construction. Options include returning to the Highline or taking Prince Street south to eastbound Mineral Avenue, which connects to the Highline at Writers Vista Park.

Alternately: At the intersection with the Highline Canal Trail at 5.0 miles, the Lee Gulch Trail continues southwest past Broadway for about a mile before turning into an on-street route near County Line Road and Broadway where it connects to the Centennial Trail.

North Highline Canal Trail: From Dekoevend Park, the Highline Canal Trail continues northeast through Greenwood Village and Cherry Hills Village, where the dirt trail ends at East Hampden Avenue just past the Wellshire Golf Course. The paved trail begins again north of Hampden and east of South Colorado Boulevard. It continues to wind north before ending in northeast Aurora near Airport Road and East Sixth Avenue.

Continued In: Colorado Mountain Biking Adventures - Part 8

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