Colorado Mountain Biking Adventures - Part 8

Big Dry Creek Trail: From Dekoevend Park, signs mark the way to the Big Dry Creek Trail. It continues south past the Southglenn Mall to pick up the path again into Parker.

Willow Creek Trail: Near South Colorado Boulevard south of East Orchard Road, the Willow Creek Trail leaves the Highline heading southeast. A tunnel near Parkway Drive at C-470 allows riders to safely continue south past Sweetwater Park to the Lone Tree Golf Course, at Lincoln Avenue. Many other on-street routes and dedicated paths are available west of Quebec Street.

Buffalo Creek trails are a biker's pinnacle. Buffalo Creek, one of Colorado's premier mountain bike destinations, was devastated by a 12,000-acre fire on May 18, 1996. A flood on July 12 that same year washed out many roads and bridges. As a result, some trails and campgrounds were been permanently closed. However, the spectacular Colorado Trail remains open and is one of the most scenic and enjoyable rolling single track rides along the front range. The trail is alternately lush and arid as it meanders over ridges and through valleys, between trees and around rocks. There is little elevation change, but the middle section is difficult. Rehabilitation efforts continue. Watch for sand bags, hay bales and stacked logs that have been used to contain erosion.

Buffalo Creek is a mountain biker's mecca. With numerous connecting trails, riders can design their own routes. Here are some options:

Pine Valley Ranch: This new Jefferson County Open Space park offers access to the Buffalo Creek area from the north. The initial 3 mile climb is a difficult thigh-burner on wide single track. Some sections of hard pack have a thin layer of loose, sandy rock that can be slippery. Closer to Buffalo Creek, trails narrow and ease to moderate levels meandering through meadows. From the top, the new Strawberry Jack Trail leads back to the ranch on beautiful lush single track. For longer riding options, the Sandy Wash Trail is moderate while Miller Gulch is easier.

Colorado Trail: From the trail head at County Road 126 and Route 550, the Colorado Trail continues northeast for about 1  miles where it crosses 126 again. It continues past the now closed Top of the World Campground and Chair Rocks formation before descending to the junction of the South Platte River and Route 96. Riders may ford the river to continue the trail, which leads to Waterton Canyon.

Rabbit Mountain: This Boulder County Open Space Park features six miles of beginner to intermediate mountain bike trails. From the lot, ride the dirt road a half-mile to the Eagle Wind Trail going southeast. This 3-mile trail is rocky as it climbs around Rabbit Mountain. Back on the road, the Little Thompson Overlook Trail is obvious as it climbs northwest. The first half-mile is rocky before it smooths out and levels off for another mile before it ends. To reach Rabbit Mountain, look for the sign a half mile east of Lyons on Colorado 66. Following the signs, take 53rd Street north two miles.

Continued In: Colorado Mountain Biking Adventures - Part 9

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