April 26, 2013
The Waterton Canyon trail itself is a 6.3 mile dirt road that goes through the South Platte River system to the Strontia Springs reservoir. This stretch of the trail is, as rated, a beginner trail. It is perfect for weekends with the family as the roads are wide and very flat. It can be rather boring for the experienced mountain biker. In my experience, only this part of the trail can be considered "beginner". What follows after the end of the huge dirt road is a series of trails connected to the Colorado Trail 1776. Once you start your uphill ascent past a residential area (about 2 or 3 houses along the trail) you will hit Lenny's Rest which marks the beginning of a grueling 2.3 mile uphill climb. Once you get to the top there will be trails that connect to either the Indian Creek Trail or the Roxborough State Park Trail. Take the Roxborough Trail to do the loop back to Waterton Canyon. We went to do this trail 2 days after a snow storm. It had been sunny the days before that and we thought the trails would have dried by then but we were wrong. This trail is tough to begin with, huge drops, rocks and roots will give you quite a challenge. To add to that we had mud and snow as well! The switchbacks on this trail is tough and the uphills do not seem to stop. I wiped out about twice trying to steer through the tough sections of this trail and it was not pleasant. This section is about 4 miles around with a few scenic areas, streams and plenty of wildlife to see. If you are an inexperienced beginner, I do not recommend that you try this trail specially not when it is wet and snowy. For everyone out there out for an aerobic challenge, go ahead, it'll be worth your while.