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Level: Advanced
Length: 7 mi (11.3 km)
Surface: Doubletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,702/ -1,700 ft
Total: 389 riders

Mountain Biking Walker Ranch

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#120 of 1,362 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#804 in the world

Single and double track, loop, variable terrain, cliff conditions so you need to dismount in one spot. Fast changing weather. Occasional joggers + horses. Average Ride under 2 hours. Is a great ride in either direction.

First added by searsandrewj on Nov 21, 2003. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
In Boulder, use Flagstaff Rd. @ Chatauqua park go about 6 or 7 miles. Has A small dirt road on left (south) side to reach trailhead. Watch for cyclists climbing Flagstaff Rd.

From Golden, go north on Hwy 93 to Coal Creek Canyon dr. (Hwy 72) take a left and go approx 8mi to Gross Dam rd on the right, road may not be marked but it is ~.5mi past the Boulder County sign. Take a very sharp right onto this dirt rd (nearly 180deg) and go 2.7mi to the Crescent Meadow parking lot on the right, just past the railroad tracks.
System trails (1)
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Walker Ranch Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail conditions

Good (on Aug 7, 2019)
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Walker Ranch videos

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Walker Ranch
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Boulder, Colorado

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Beginner | 1 mi
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Rider questions

Q: Can walkers use trails
A: Yep, you can hike the trail. Busier on the weekends and summer evening, but was never too bad when I was out.

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  • Jacob Butler

    A great taste of Colorado riding with punchy climbs, thrilling descents, and amazing views packed into a short loop.

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  • jnbadger

    Awesome trail close to Boulder area! We took it counterclockwise (start on trail to the right from the trailhead parking lot) Lots of climbing!! Downhills are awesome but can get pretty technical. I'm new to CO so still getting acclimated to the altitude, and I did have to do some bike pushing. There's also a section with stairs and rocks you have to climb over.

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  • DustyBeard

    Great trail. We rode it counter clockwise. We live in Tennessee, first day out here at elevation the trail was a challenging. A lot of climbing.
    Downhill sections will leave anyone smiling.
    Trails are well markes.
    Don't try to ride down the stairs. I failed

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  • interrobangart   ✓ supporter

    Not a mountain bike trail so don't expect that and whine about how bad it was. It is a casual ride, or better yet a casual hike. Nice scenery from what I recall. Relax and enjoy the day and scenery.

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  • Garrett Bradford

    Go left at the trail head (clockwise)... Way more DH.. You carry your bike up the stairs but You get more DH. Fun and technical I went counter clockwise and got in a great workout. It's a little sandy fyi

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  • WolfNSheepsClothing

    Never my first choice in the Boulder area, but it's a must ride if you live there. It's best as an out and back from the lower, less busy parking area to the hike a bike rock stairs and back, in my opinion, but is still fun as a loop from the top parking lot. In either case, there's some steep climbs and fast descents, with natural technical sections. For those looking for a good, hard ride you can do a "Super Walker" and ride to it from Boulder, up Flagstaff and back...

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  • interrobangart   ✓ supporter

    Walker Ranch was always a great ride when I lived in Colorado. It has a great mix of technical challenges, long swooping sections, and wonderful scenery throughout.

    I rode it with gears and on a single speed and both are doable, altho I'm sure I walked some on the 1x1.

    I definitely wouldn't suggest it for beginners. The first time I rode it I was pretty much a beginner and it was way too hard and painful in some spots.

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  • zgcracker

    Walker Ranch was "the ride" to do when I moved to Boulder (a long time ago). A great ride if you have 2 hours (or less). I prefer to ride to the left (clockwise), for the same reason that someone below liked to ride the other way. I hated the ideas of wasting downhill vertical hiking my bike down the cliff. Shouldering the bike on the way up isn't easy, but you have to climb that vert anyway. However, the best descent is when you ride counter clockwise, as the trail down to the top of the cliff is fast and flowy. Riding clockwise also gets you a short flat/downhill section into the parking area at the end. Ride it both ways and decide for yourself.

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  • remarkpk

    I always underestimate this ride, and I am always pretty beat afterwards. I usually go counter-clockwise, mainly because I don't want to walk up the hike-a-bike section. There is some fun and fast downhill when you start off, followed by some flat double track along the creek. Then, some steep uphill with a few technical sections but nothing crazy. Once you get to the other parking lot, there is a lot of fun and fast downhill on the southwest side of the trail. Hike your bike down to the creek and catch your breath. What goes down must come up. The last stretch back to the parking lot always kills me. It's not very technical but it's uphill pretty much the entire way. In the end, you always feel accomplished.

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  • Jon Campbell

    Fun and challenging. This trail kept me breathing hard or grinnning all the way through. The hike down to the river mid-way is awesome as well!

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  • jkey6

    In true Colorado fashion this trail consists of long uphills and long downhills. Clockwise I would say after a short climb the first 1/4 is tight and fast downhill singletrack through trees with some fire road. The next 1/4 is all technical (but doable!) uphill, and includes a hike-a-bike section of steep stairs. The next 1/4 is a premium downhill section that is wide with plenty of roots and large rocks to keep you on your toes. The final 1/4 is all sandy uphill that will sap your remaining energy. This trail will challenge you both technically and physically, but it was built with cyclists in mind so everything is rideable (except the stairs). I would not recommend this one for beginners.

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  • tsdresp

    Great scenery, varied terrain. Good workout.

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  • bradaskins

    I did this trail clockwise which I think is probably the way to go. Great winding downhill just after the start. Cross the creek which is amazingly beautiful. Hike up some steep stairs, remount bike and gain about 1000' in elevation. Followed by another rocket ride downhill. Finish we a descent climb from the creek. As my friend visiting from NH said "it's like riding in a Western movie" Beautiful, awesome run ride!!!!* Review edited 10/14/2012

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  • alskoj   ✓ supporter

    Not sure if there's a wrong or right direction to ride this. This was my first time and I went CW. I think the downhills were steeper going CW and the uphills a little more gradual (I may be wrong on this). I will try it CCW next time.
    Climbing the stairs is probably a little harder than descending them.
    But if you live in the area you should probably ride it both ways.
    I'm glad it wasn't hot when I did it. This would be a lot harder in the summer during midday.
    Definitely a beautiful ride with a lot of smooth singletrack but there's also some doubletrack and dirt/gravel road.

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  • tcbroncs

    Rode this the wrong way. We went clock-wise and should have gone counter. This was technically challenging but fun and a gut buster at times. Be prepared to hike either up or down a long set of stairs about half way. Good trail to try out your technical skills.

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  • alskoj   ✓ supporter

    Easy trail but lots of climbing like everyone else says. But you're rewarded with about 2 miles of downhill coming back.
    If you're an "expert" mountain biker then, no, you'll probably be bored with this but we live in the local area and are trying to do all of the trails.
    I think that mountain bikers in "flat" states would love to have a trail like this to hit once a year or so.
    Very scenic, nice views at the top, not crowded during the week. Even this 48 year old caught some air coming down.
    2 stars going up, 4 stars coming down. 3 star average.

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  • RoyMan

    Nothing special really...somewhat of a boring climb all the way up with lots of sandy/loose spots. At the top the view is amazing, theres even a bench to relax on. Ride down is pretty fun but too short, some nice bumps if you want to get some solid air.

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