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Level: Advanced
Length: 14 mi (22.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,323/ -1,263 ft
Total: 519 riders

Mountain Biking White Ranch

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#46 of 1,354 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#278 in the world

This trail network is typical of what Colorado has to offer... a technical granny gear ascent up 1800+ ft on the Maverick trail with spectacular views of the surrounding Rocky mountains and wildlife. The downhills can get pretty gnarly as well with lots of rocks and log dropoffs. We didn't get to ride the entire network because we got caught in a thunderstorm, luckily we hid out in a cave on the Mustang trail until the storm passed. Pick up a map at the parking lot as there are several trails to explore!

First added by alvin.santoy on Jun 27, 2004. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • 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
From Denver, take 70W to Golden. White Ranch State Park is ~2miles north of Golden and ~17 miles south of Boulder on Hwy 93. Turn west (right if coming from Golden) onto W 56th Ave and follow the signs to the parking lot.
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White Ranch Trail map

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Local Info

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Local Bike Shop

Trail checkins

Matt Miller (on Oct 20, 2022)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Dec 27, 2021)
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Camping & Lodging

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White Ranch videos

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Cheating at White Ranch
white ranch 9-21-10
Mt. Biking shoot- White Ranch
05.23.10 White Ranch - Longhorn
20100124 Frozen White Ranch
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Rider questions

Q: Is there cell reception out there? From out of town and likely be riding alone. Thks.

Q: Does it cost to park?

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  • Gdb49

    You hear about hills that are so brutal and then you get out there and it's no where near as hard as reported- THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE- This is a brutal climb. Rode up Belchter to Maverick to longhorn to bikes only Longhorn. Would rate this as a top 5 down hill in the entire front range. Rated black diamond and it is legit. Had so much fun that I would actually consider taking that hill on again just to ride the DH again

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  • Jmurphy8776

    Gnarly. Brutal Belcher uphill and the Longhorn downhill will put you to the test.

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  • charriezllaston

    Needs some tlc hard trail but makes you grow as a mountain biker

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  • Eric Schneider

    Great network of trails that are well marked and maintained. i park at the bottom of Belcher Hill and ride to the top, which is one helluva climb but is worth every vertical foot. Once to the top, Mustang trail is fun but if you have time link up to Rawhide and ride it completely till you link up with Longhorn, then ride all of longhorn. Remaining energy levels determine the rest of the route back to the car...

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  • snell13

    Still some snow on Maverick and Sawmill but super fun. Only saw one other person and that was on my way back to the car.

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  • John Fisch

    Belcher Hill? It doesn't take long to progress from 'belch' to 'hokkaluggi' to full blown 'hurl!' What a climb! This joins Mt Falcon, Chimney and Bergen in the pantheon of gut-busting front range climbs.

    Never fear, though, it's all quite worth it. Even with the crowds typical of front range/Jeffco parks, (they thin out pretty quick), this is a marvelous place to ride. That climb makes for a great descent, and other trails up high make for some great loops. Maverick in particular was great fun, as was Longhorn and Shorthorn. I'm looking forward to going back when the Mustang reroute is complete--it should make the place even better.

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  • remarkpk

    I had read the other reviews about the Belcher Trail being a pretty steep climb, and it certainly delivered. A few technical spots on the way up but mostly just steep and rocky (2 - 5 inches in diameter, no pebble). I would definitely recommend starting in the morning when the sun is behind you. The trails are largely uncovered and exposed, so a mid afternoon ride is going to be hot. Remember to wear sunscreen for sure. I joined up with the Longhorn trail for the loop back down. Fun, flat dirt singletrack and also exposed. Pretty steep with big steps going down in some spots. Unfortunately, I blew a tube and had to walk the rest of the way back, but the remainder of Longhorn is flat, fast, and non-technical. A few ups and downs. There is one steep climb after you cross a little stream, but from there it's mostly downhill the whole way back to Belcher. Bring plenty of water on a hot day. If you want a ball buster going up, this is your trail. I will be heading back to check out more of the trail system, and I'll be sure to bring a spare tube or two with me the next time!

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  • kaseytea

    Belcher hill is a lung busting SOB. Not a very technical climb but probably one of the steepest climbs in the front range. We went the Longhorn to Shorthorn trial and they were awesome and had really fun technical stuff to mess around on.

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  • rcraft6826   ✓ supporter

    I rode White ranch for the first time today, and must say its one of the steeper trails your going to find on the front range. To really get into the trail network, its about an 1800 foot climb to the top of belcher hill trail. While the entire way up is rideable, make sure you brought your extra set of lungs because the ascent will punish you if not. From there you can take a right onto the rawhide trail and get into the rest of the network which for the most part is flowey. For those that are wondering, the mustang trail is still closed from last years flood, so you can either get back down by flying down Belcher the way you came, or you can finish the loop out by heading down Longhorn trail, or connecting into whippletree at the very bottom. Overall I would rate this network a black only because of the steepness and length of the climbs, but overall the actual trail conditions are much closer to blues. I would recommend this trail for anyone who is looking to get some amazing views of Denver, but also someone who will enjoy the extremely fast descent back down!

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  • Ash Bobye

    This was a great trail! I underestimated it as my first trail but I managed. My friend, however, had a harder time. The downhill definitely made the climb worth it.

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  • Michael Paul

    Open, and in good shape. Belcher is a little sandy in places on the climb. A few rattlers out. Love this trail!!!

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  • jkey6

    Belcher Hill is a really challenging climb because of all the loose rock that can be very frustrating on a bad day and the altitude makes for a hard ride. I was thinking I would be rewarded with some excellent downhill after close to 2,000 feet of climbing, but when I rode Mustang back down I was really disappointed by all the wooden retention bars placed all over the trail. This was clearly not designed with mountain bikers in mind. Without all the 2x4's in the trail it could have been really awesome. I took Belcher back up to Maverick, which was by far the best segment, and then down Longhorn which was plagued by all the wooden planks in the middle of the trail which made a good 1/3 of the segment unrideable for me. Then you have to hike your bike out from the bottom of Longhorn. Overall I might go back to White Ranch if I'm feeling particularly cocky, but it really made me curse a lot more than the other trails on the front range. But seriously, why is this the only trail around that has a ridiculous amount of wooden planks as part of the construction? This place could be so much better.

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  • JFahringer

    Pretty sweet ride, there was snow on about a 1/3 of the trail (shady areas and one whole section of the rawhide trail) but it was still manageable. I think I made the mistake of riding the whole thing counter clockwise, I just turned right every time I could. There was 2 sections where I had to walk pretty much the entire climb, it was either to snow covered/muddy to get a good run at it or just to steep and technical. Next time ill definitely, do it clockwise.

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  • j.young

    You say there is no technicals on this trail? If you had ridden the whole network of trails here. You would have ran into some tech area's. If you did ride the whole network your just 1 or 2 out of 3,000 mnt bikers that is a ego short ride bad ass. Good for you if this is you. But you don't have to advertise it. SHMUCK!

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  • stillfat

    Just rode this for the first time in over a year. Is it just me, or does it seem like the trail pixies have been at work rearranging rocks, putting the troublesome ones off to the side while putting the friendly ones into opportune spots? Either way, still the best close-in to Denver ride.

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  • Bluenote4

    Rode this trail last night and like my friend says "the juice is worth the squeeze" as far as the climbs go. Wishing I had a duel suspension bike for the ride down Longhorn--I hear Shorthorn is even more fun. We rode up the main climb --> Maverick-->Longhorn. We also got stuck riding about 1/3 of the trail in the dark for our first night ride. Definitely a great trail and would be even more fun in the day!

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  • sniswend

    Lots of climbing with short down hill sections, on the route I took. Not to impressed with my first visit but will come back another time and try another loop.

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  • tmoney149

    grueling climb up belcher hill, keep taking it up until you get to rawhide, dont take the short cut, rawhide has some awesome single track, then hook into longview which is also about 45 mins of awesome downhill. all the climbing in the beggining is worth it when you get to the back side of this trail system

    * Review edited 4/16/2012

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  • cnetate

    This trail kicked my butt! This is the hardest trail I have done. It was fun and the fall colors were nice to look at. If you want to challenge yourself (mentally and physically) and bike, this is the trail for you. The trail has steep, fast and rocky down hills with two ft dropoffs frequently, so its best ridden on a full suspension bike. I almost wiped out a couple of times. The up hill is steep, rocky and has loose dirt so its a lot of work. I had to carry my bike at some spots. If your not up for a seriously challenging trail that will work you hard, this is not the trail for you. It is very technical!

    * Review edited 10/2/2011

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  • trailwinder

    lol go like fukken 50 mph down this beotch. drive up golden gate canyon and hike for 5 min up to belcher trail south of parking lot.. its the best around. thx for reminding me!

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