This is an epic mountain bike ride, the beginning of the Colorado Trail, a trail that travels over 400 hundred miles and ends in... more » Durango. This ride follows part of the Colorado Trail and then joins the Indian Creek loop, a total of a little over 30 miles (much shorter than 400 miles if you were to follow the Colorado Trail).
UPDATE: This trail was closed starting on August 2010 for dredging of the reservoir. I am glad to say that it is now opened for the 2012 season and beyond. I really missed this trail.
Directions to Trailhead: From Denver, take I70 West to C470. Take C470 East to the Wadsworth Boulevard exit. Go south (right turn) off this exit and travel about 4.2 miles. Turn left onto Waterton Road and the parking lot will be about 0.2 miles on your left. It is a big open parking lot and is hard to miss.
Directions of the ride: From the parking lot, cross the street at the crosswalk which leads you onto the jeep road that follows the South Platte River to Strontia Springs Dam (POI #2) at 6.3 miles and eventually the beginning of the Colorado Trail at 6.8 miles. Follow the Colorado Trail as it winds up and at 7.9 miles (POI #6)from the start of the ride, you will come to a small plateau with a bench. This may be a good time to rest your legs a bit and get something to eat. When you are ready to continue, make sure you follow the trail left to Roxborough State Park/Indian Creek Trail since this is where you will be leaving the Colorado Trail. At 8.2 miles (POI #7), you will come to an intersection where the Indian Creek loops back on itself. For the sake of this trail, go left on the trail following the sign for Roxborough State Park/Indian Creek Trail. This is a fun rolling singletrack that will eventually come to a T-intersection at mile 10.2 (POI #8). Go right at this intersection, continuing on the Indian Creek Trail toward Roxborough State Park.
Continue following the various signs and markers on the Indian Creek Trail as you enter and leave a portion of Roxborough State Park. The trail varies from singletrack to jeep road and is rolling but mostly uphill until you come to POI #17 at 17 miles. This trail sign is subtle on the right side of the road, leads to a singletrack downhill that will eventually lead down to the Indian Creek Equestrian campground at mile 18.5 (POI #18). Enjoy this singletrack, you have deserved it for all of the climbing that you have done to get this far.
Turn right onto the jeep road leading into the campground. At mile 18.8, the jeep road will make a hairpin loop back around. At the apex of the hairpin loop, look for the Indian Creek Trail continuing on as a singletrack (POI #19).
At mile 19.6, you will have the first crossing of Bear Creek. Soon you will start climbing again, and then at mile 20.9, you will come to the intersection with Stevens Gulch Trail (POI #21). Make sure you go left and follow the Indian Creek Trail sign, not Stevens Gulch. This is another short steep climb that will lead you to a rolling singletrack that eventually brings you back to the beginning of the Indian Creek Loop (POI #22 and #7). Follow the Colorado Trail back down to the Waterton Canyon jeep road and take the road all the way back to where you started. While on the jeep road, relax and reflect on the epic trail that you have just completed. less «