There are currently 13.5 miles of bike-legal trails at Heil Valley ranch, but in order to ride all of them at once you’d have to do at least 23-24 miles of pedaling. The trail system is basically laid out with a figure 8 around the top of the mountain/ridge, and an out-and-back trail running up to it from the north and one from the south. The trailhead location given here, and one of the most popular rides, is to ride from the southern trailhead, up the 2.5-mile trail, around some of the trails on top, and back down. The out-and-back trail coming in from the north is 5.5 miles one-way, so riding from the northern trailhead would make for a longer ride… and riding absolutely everything would make for a grueling experience with tons of climbing.
But all of that climbing is worth it, though! The trails here sport that characteristic Front Range rockiness, with plenty of chunk to pedal through on the climb up and around the upper trails. However, there are a few buff sections of trail thrown in at random, and none of the rocks are seriously big. It is all very easy to pedal through, and by Front Range standards is probably only intermediate in difficulty.
Once at the top, be sure to take in the amazing views of the Front Range! Then get ready to descend. The descent back down is what it’s all about, and despite all of the rocks these trails sport some serious flow! All of the undulations, grade reversals, and swooping turns are just perfect, allowing you to carry some serious speed. But since both of the trails climbing to the top are ridden out-and-back, be sure to watch for oncoming traffic and to always ride in control. This trail is very popular, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t get too crazy… but have fun, because the bomb back down is awesome!
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Heil Valley Ranch MTB Trail
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