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Featured Rides - December '17
So travel up HWY 36 to Lyons, CO, and try out one of Boulder County's finest MTB trails at Hall Ranch.
Hall Ranch, Boulder County Parks and Open SpaceType: Mountain Bike
Elevation base: 5,440 ft.
Top elevation: 6,820ft.
Miles of trails: 12
Hall Ranch is located on HWY 7, one mile west of Lyons minutes from Boulder, Colorado. This little gem is well worth riding due to mild elevation gain and sweeping meadows. The trail surface varies from hard-pack dirt, sandstone, loose gravel, quartz, and a little sand just to keep it interesting. The degree of difficulty varies on how well you ride, anyone from beginner to the cross country pro can get something out of these trails. The views offered up here are quite pleasant; you'll find yourself gazing at Longs Peak towering above the skyline at 14,259 ft. in Rocky Mountain National Park. There is also wildlife: deer, mountain lions, owls and hawks that may make their presence known. From the parking lot you'll get on the Bitterbrush Trail and enjoy this gradual climb as this trail twists its way through some interesting rock formations and switchbacks. Pine trees and Rocky Mountain Juniper may provide some shade along the way. As you make your way to the Antelope Trail you'll want to stay on Bitterbrush till you get to the Nelson Loop. This 2.2 mile loop is fun to ride in either direction, clockwise or counter clockwise; however, I recommend doing both directions due to the flow of the trail. This way you will notice the valley floor and Eastern Plains one way and the beauty of Longs Peak the other. In between laps you can rest at the bench or take cover under a tree, grab a snack and hydrate a bit. Once you've completed the loops, head back on Bitterbrush and enjoy the ride out. The single track flows nicely as you make your way back to the parking lot. Lyons offers some very nice watering holes such as Okscar Blues Cajun Grill and Brewery, home of Dales Pale Ale. You can also take the ride back down HWY 36 to Boulder and increase your options. Check out the Family Fun Page for more details.
The Morgul Bismark or Red Zinger LoopType: Road Ride
Highest elevation: 6,008 ft.
Lowest elevation: 5,479ft.
Total climb: 640 ft.
The Morgul Bismark is perhaps one of the most ridden routes in Boulder. Once part of the Red Zinger Classic and Coors International Bicycle Classic stage races, this ride is literally what movies are made about. American Flyers was filmed during the race itself in 1985, featuring Kevin Costner and a cast of local. This stage was a pivotal scene in the production and aptly so. The classic course went several laps for over 100 miles, and although minimal in elevation gain, the "wall" would certainly hit you. The "wall" as it is referred to, is a short but steep climb that is above a five percent grade and will get you out of the saddle for sure. The ride begins at the intersection of Indiana Street, Mc Caslin Blvd. and HWY 128 just south east of Boulder. The ride direction is clockwise. Proceed west on HWY 128 to the intersection of HWY 128 and HWY 93, Foothills Parkway. Go right (north) towards Boulder, the Flat Irons will be in sight but don't stare to long because the descent approaching is quite fast. Traffic is not too bad during the week and the shoulder is plentiful. At the bottom of the hill you'll come to a traffic signal where HWY 93 intersects with Eldorado Springs Dr., make this quick right. This corner carries a lot of speed so keep your hands close to the brake hoods and prepare for another immediate right onto Marshall Drive. Continue east bound on Marshall for roughly three miles until 76th St. and turn right. Head due south on 76th to West Coal Creek Dr. Turn right, east, onto West Coal Creek drive to Mc Caslin Blvd. Turn right and continue south on McCaslin for the short rolling surface and prepare yourself to encounter the "wall". At the top, a well deserved finish may be at hand or you may want to ride several laps once you've mastered this classic.