July 18, 2016
Daley Ranch is a large open space that lends itself well to rides of varying lengths. Because I enjoy the variety of riding here I tend to do long 3 hour rides of 15 miles or more. If you want to experience all regions of the park and feel like you've had an epic ride, I recommend starting at the Caballo trail head at the southeastern corner of the park. Climb Caballo to the Sage trail and turn right. If you feel up to it try bagging Stanley Peak at about mile 4. It's a mile long brutal climb but the view of the surrounding area is well worth the effort. Follow Sage to the Jack Creek Meadow loop trail. This will take you to the north end of the park. Ride a short way south on the west part of the loop trail until you get to the Hidden Springs trail on your right. This mile long fire road starts out steep, then tapers off for a while then gets steep again until it plateaus out on the northwestern section of the park. This area is dotted with oak woodlands. Once you get to the Engelmann Oak Trail turn left. Watch for the Burnt Mountain single track on your right. This is a fun 1/4 mile ride thru oak woodlands. At the end of the Burnt Mountain you reconnect with the Engelmann Oak trail. Go left and continue down the rocky double track. In a half mile or so you will see a sign for the Bobcat Trail, a mile long single track that is a bumpy straight shot through some woods that will bring you out on the Cougar Ridge fire road; again a steep climb. Follow Cougar Ridge for a couple of miles till you get to the Boulder Loop fire road. This area of the ranch is one of the most scenic. Cyclopean stacks of granite line both sides of the road. Go right on Boulder Loop for about a quarter mile until you come to the Rock Ridge single track on your left. This is a fun but short technical descent that is steep and rutted. Once you connect with the Boulder Loop trail turn left and continue to the end where it connects with a paved road. Turn left until you reach the Jack Creek Meadow Loop. Take the right fork of Jack Meadow then right again on the Sage Trail and follow the route back that you came in on. There are a few single track diversions off Sage that are fun to ride, Diamondback, Coyote Run and Quail Run. The summer can get really hot here so be sure to bring a few liters of water, an electrolyte drink and sunscreen.