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Waterton Canyon - Colorado Trail

Average Rating:    (4.31 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 13

First 7-8 miles sucks. Lots of barneys. Once you've passed Lenny's rest there is nobody. It is very erie as you are in deep woods at this point with a couple of stream crossings. About 2 miles past Lenny's you come to "the wall." This is about 1 mile of serious climbing, probably 1,000 vertical. Continue staying on the Colorado trail until you come to an overlook for the Platte River. Probably best to turn back if you're low on water and carbs. Or continue down to the Platte and experience another 1,500 vertical to get out of the Valley on your way back. Try the Rockborough loop on the way back is this is decent single track with descent and climbs. Watch out for Barneys on the way back down the road.
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Latitude
39.48642256479444
Longitude
-105.10225296020508
Trail Directions
C-470 to Wadsworth west to Lockheed Martin plant take a left. Park in parking lot right off of Wadsworth. Start pedaling up the service road for about 6 1/2 miles past the outlet to Strontia Resevoir. Begin climbing the single track at 6 1/2 miles and don't look back. Continue past 2 benches dedicated to a deceased boy scout. At the second bench continue south for another 8 miles or so until you are over looking the Platte River. Descend to the Platte and you've done about 20 miles from the trailhead.
Trail Length
20-40 miles
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Littleton/Highlands Ranch
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
August 23, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: jmpilo ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
This is epic Colorado ridding, plenty of single track, plenty of climbing which means plenty of descending, and of course – even with the pine beetle destruction plenty of epic scenery.

Recommended Route:
27.73 miles with a little over 5k in elevation gain - follow road up to the Colorado trail, follow the switch backs up to the Roxborough sign (if you take this left it cuts out about 6 miles and you miss out on some great single track), - keep going past this sign up, up, up then up some more, finally follow the trail down into a gulch at the fork take a right this will bring you eventually after two stream crossings and some more climbing to the camp site refill camel back and continue through the camp site then hang a left out of the site and start to climb once again but not for too long. when you top out to the road take a left onto Indian creek trail (jeep road) follow this down hill stay on it at all of the intersections until you hit a rutted section. Just after that section look for the single track on your right excellent part of the ride, it’s almost all down hill now so enjoy - reap the rewards of all your hard efforts. Follow the single track to the bottom again take a left, over the whoop-t-doos through the meadow, up a bit of a climb then down a fun technical single track which leads you to the road out and back home.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
This route includes sections of Indian creek and Roxborough Park trails



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Review Date
September 14, 2007

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: ghawk ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Really everbody has done a good job of describing it. It is a very wonderful trail especially if you are used to allot of front range riding. This transisions you from that to awesome Colorado Trail riding. I have only seen a few mountain bikers weekend or weekday beyond Lennys rest.
Many scenic views. TAKE IT EASY on the climb up on the road and don't waste yourself because there is too much fun to be had later !



Comments
thetaseeker (06/06/2009)
I just did the entire trip, it’s the best single track I have experience; the views are just breath taking and there is a spiritual solitude out their which is uplifting.

Please understand that it’s a long ride, and does take good conditioning, so plan accordingly. I agree with the comments that very few people pay the price to go back that far, but that’s ok with me. Those of us who do, reap the fruits of our labor and have a wonderful experience.
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Review Date
September 30, 2005

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: KSC ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Even though I've been on the Front Range for several years now, I've never managed to check out the beginning of the Colorado Trail. Finally did this one and not surprisingly it's another great ride. The 6 mile road is definitely a bore, but it being my first time, I enjoyed the view. The road runs right along the river, has a VERY gentle incline, and was in really good shape (I'd ride it w/ skinny tires). You also get an impressive view of the dam that forms Strontia Springs and turns all but the first mile of the Platte through Waterton Canyon into a lake. But this ain't a site seeing trip. You're on a mountain bike not a tour bus, and mountain bikes are for riding the sheeat.

The good news is, you can put your bike in the middle ring and crank out the road section in 30 minutes or less. Once you leave the road the trail quickly narrows and the fun begins. The farther in you get, the better the singletrack. Not real tech, but a few steep sections and some loose rock. Eventually you will reach a couple sections where motorcycles are allowed on the CO trail as a link. There are a few nice technical sections in here. I rode until the the trail topped out, took it another 2 or 3 miles downhill and turned around. It seemed like after the apex, the trail quality was even better as it most certainly gets ridden less.

Took the Roxborough route on the way back. I thought it was the best section of trail out there - highly recommended. I would have liked to check out the Indian Creek trail, accessed just south of the CO/Roxborough junction, but ran out of time - something for next time.

This trail is close to Denver and has a more wilderness feel than most Front Range trails (read Jeffco) and lets you cover some nice ground as opposed criss-crossing a block of land. Also offers the opportunity for some long ride options. Not as good technical riding as White Ranch, Apex, etc., but some sections of nice fast singletrack.

The ultimate day would be to get your buddy to run your kayak gear up to the confluence of the North & South Platte, ride the CO trail all the way out there, get some whitewater action in and get shuttled back. Through in a climb on Cynical Pinnacle if you're really cool. I've gotta work on that one...

Recommended Route:
I did CO trail all the way to the peak and a little beyond, took the Roxborough route on the way back (good stuff). Other options are to ride the Indian Creek trail, or ride the CO trail until you're beat.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Deer Creek, ... you know the list



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Review Date
October 20, 2003

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: JonnyDenver ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I wave been looking forward to the Waterton - Colorado Trail - To the River and back for a few years now. I have done the "park the car at the South Platte and ride to Waterton parking lot" a few years ago and wondered if anyone did the out and back from the Waterton parking lot. I did a test run 2 weekends ago and stopped at the lookout to get a feel for how much energy I would need for the whole ride. It is an excellent ride with very few people at all after dropping down from the bench area, and fast and smooth downhills. This weekend I did the whole ride dropping to the river and was happy to hit the river in about 2 1/2 hours. The climb out was another story. Its like doing Mt. Falcon after a 20 mile approach. Long , sandy and a few technical sections to make you work harder. When getting to the top (from the river) you are looking forward to a long downhill with some up and down. Then the last climb back to the bench area and dropping down back to the car.

Recommended Route:
Waterton Canyon- Colorado Trail - through rampart area - to the river and back. 5 hours 35 miles.Take plenty of water and conserve. I took 100oz and ran out before the last climb.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Deer Creek



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Review Date
August 27, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: pudgy fewick ,  Cross Country Rider , from NoneU,DAM,Business

Summary:
The road is just paying the dues for the multiple trails and vert that awaits. The road is a good thing because it keeps the crowds off the fantastic trails past Lenny's rest. If you ride this area enough, you will find numerous "offshoot" trails that must remain secret for all us who have paid the dues. When you get to Lenny's rest the fun begins and you have lots of choices. Going straight continues on the Colorado Trail which eventually arrives in the booming metropolis of South Platte. Be ready for "the wall" which is located immediately after the drop into bear creek. The wall is a technical vert that is long and steep with loose rock (burn those legs).

If you turn left at Lenny's, you ride the Rox Loop. After about 3/4 mile, you will intersect with the Indian Creek Loop. Turn left to continue on the Rox loop or turn right and climb that steep hill to begin the Indian Creek Loop. From the bottom of Waterton, the Indian Creek Loop will put over 28 miles and 3,300 feet of vert on your bike. What a blast - steep climbs, technical sections, dense pine forrests, fast downhills, and stream crossings. If you see more than two people on the Indian Creek Loop, consider it a crowded ride.

After about 1 1/2 miles on the Rox loop you will come to another fork. Turning left will feed you back out in Waterton Canyon. Turning right will send you in the opposite direction on the Indian Creek Loop.

As you ride this area, be sure watch. You never know what other trails you may encounter (he he). Ride this area with lots of time, water, and carbs (you will need all to fully enjoy it).

Recommended Route:
Bring a map and compass (or GPS) and know how to use it.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5
 


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