ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Colorado Mountain Biking Adventures - Part 12

Updated on March 20, 2011

Canyons are worth a thousand pictures and the mountain canyons west of Fort Collins are smaller and more picturesque than those along the Interstate 70 corridor. As the name implies, beautiful wildflowers embrace the first 3.1 miles of steadily climbing, mostly smooth double track. In contrast, the single-track portion penetrates a thick, dry pine forest where the surface is rocky, both loose and embedded, as the climbing gets steeper and more technical. The trail skirts a wilderness area and ends at its boundary.

Hewlett Gulch: On Highway 14 just past Poudre Park, a wide bridge crosses the river to the north where a road climbs for about a quarter-mile to access the trail going left. The scenery is beautiful, but attentions are usually focused on the dozen or so rocky creek crossings that usually require dismount. The trail sometimes follows in the creek as well. Between the crossings, the narrow single-track trail is smooth and twisting and makes for good cruising. Front chain-ring shifts are typical in the transition. Pass old cabin remains and a stone chimney in a shady glade.

At a trail junction, go right, then left, which leads to more creek crossings, and finally climb a steep rocky ford out of the gulch at 3.1 miles. High, dry meadows swing west and south on more smooth single track where scenery abounds. After reaching a high ridge, descend and then climb a gully where the best option goes right at 5 miles. The trail ends at about 6.5 miles at a sign for private property. Return the way you came, avoiding the very rocky and loose descent option above the gully at the 5-mile mark.

Betasso Preserve: Named after a miner and rancher in the early 1900s, the 773 acre preserve is open to mountain biking. This mostly easy 3.2 mile dirt loop is a popular multi-use trail. Take Canyon Road (Colorado 119) turning right onto Sugarloaf Road. Turn right again onto Betasso Road to the signed parking lot.

Apex Park: Most cyclists have a favorite ride, one that's conveniently close, short enough to squeeze in after work yet still affords a good workout. For these reasons, Apex Park is a favorite for many riders. After a tricky start, ride up Apex Gulch, which was a toll road to the mines of Central City in the 1860s and 1870s. Follow the creek, climbing numerous obstacles that will challenge most riders, before the trail levels off at 1.3 miles. Go left at the second bridge at 2.4 miles to the signed Enchanted Forest. Great single track awaits with some exposed roots and rock as the trail twists through lush forest and back to the Apex Trail.

From the Apex Trail at 0.6 and 1.3 miles, more route options climb the hillside to the north. Both Pick 'n' Sledge and Sluicebox lead to the Grubstake Loop, which can be ridden in either direction. Add Bonanza and all four can combined in different schemes to expand the ride. These options involve more climbing, and all have loose and embedded rock obstacles and tall water bars that seem to be strategically placed at the apex of tight switchback turns just to make them harder.

Continued In: Colorado Mountain Biking Adventures - Part 13

Back to Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)