August 29, 2011
The Warren Gulch section of trail is a 5mi, heavily forested, fast ROCKY downhill complete with switchbacks and littered with rocks - and did I mention rocky. The downhill is fun to ride but REALLY bumpy! The loop as I rode it was 13mi, essentially 8mi up dirt/jeep roads followed by 5mi of downhill singletrack - a great workout with excellent views rewarded by some tight-grip downhill. The elevation at the top is nearly 11,000ft and much cooler - weather is also a concern. I gave this trail 3 stars because the ride down was so rocky that i wasn't able to get going more than about 13mph, but maybe that's just my limited downhill skills :-) I rated this trail as "difficult" mostly due to the steep grades encountered.
Route: I parked in the dirt lot at the corner of Soda Creek rd. and Little Bear Creek rd. Rode up Little Bear Creek for ~1mi then continued up Old Little Bear Creek rd to the left. Old Little Bear Creek is a rough jeep road but qualifies as more of a "trail" and is deeper in the woods than the wide, more traveled, Little Bear Creek road. This route is also 1mi shorter to the top, although steeper it is definitely ride-able all the way up and the journey through the woods is nice and secluded. After reconnecting with Little Bear Creek rd about 3mi up, I continued to Timber Rd. on the right. If you follow Timber Rd. to Deer Creek to Long Rd (just keep working your way uphill) and up to Sawmill Rd you eventually come out on Hwy 103 (Squaw Pass Rd.). Once again this route is more "trail-like" than Little Bear Creek rd. and puts you 1mi closer to the Warren Gulch trailhead. I followed hwy 103 (paved) a little over 2mi to the Warren Gulch trailhead on the right, just past Echo Mtn ski resort. The trailhead is hard to see, but as indicated in the description, the trail is on the right about 100 yards past milemarker 19. The first 100ft barely qualifies as a trail but then you see the sign and the rest of Warren Gulch trail is relatively easy to follow (watch for signs) down to Steve Canyon rd which connects back to Soda Creek Rd. * Review edited 8/28/2011* Review edited 8/28/2011
Heil Ranch trail in Boulder