It’s no secret that Golden has some amazing places to ride. It’s one of the main reasons that we’re based here! Nestled between the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the west and Table Mountains to the east, Golden is completely surrounded by mountain bike trails in every direction. While there are many to choose from, there are some stand-out trails worth checking out. In no particular order, here are some of our favorite trails to ride in the area.
Apex – Enchanted Forest
The Apex trail system is one of the crown jewels of the Golden area. It attracts mostly advanced riders and rightly so. The trails are fast, rocky, and rooty. Apex operates on an alternating schedule between bikes and hikers. Uphill traffic is allowed every day, but downhill traffic is allowed only on even-numbered days. Make sure you’re heading out there on the correct day if you want to ride down Apex! Our favorite trail in the Apex trail system is Enchanted Forest. From fast and straight sections, to steep and technical, it has a little bit of everything. At 1.3 miles long and just over 500 vertical feet, it makes for a great section of trail to hot lap!
White Ranch – Maverick to Longhorn
White Ranch features some of the most technical and difficult terrain around. The chunky 1300 foot slog up Belcher Hill will have your lungs gasping and legs screaming, but reaching the top is only half the battle. Don’t let the smooth and flowy descent down Maverick fool you, a white knuckle descent awaits. Longhorn makes up the majority of the descent in White Ranch and you’ll be peeling your fingers off the handlebars by the bottom. It’s the type of trail that gets better and better the more you ride it. It’s fast, rocky, technical, and possibly the most “anti-flow” trail in the area. For those of you who don’t like flow trails, we recommend checking out White Ranch.
Green Mountain – Rooney Valley Trail
Green Mountain is an area just south of Golden and it has some amazing beginner and intermediate riding. Despite this, most of the trails on Green Mountain still have elements of technicality and difficulty, but Rooney Valley Trail is an exception. This recently built trail is smooth and flowy with tons of berms as far as the eye can see. It’s arguably one of the best beginner/intermediate mountain bike trails in the Golden area, and yes, we recommend riding this trail downhill. Looking for a challenge after a smooth flowy descent down the Rooney Valley Trail? COMBA built a short but fun trail called the Box O Rox extension. Tack this onto your ride if there is still gas in the tank for some extra credit!
Before taking your mountain bike for a spin, it’s important to be prepared. Having plenty of water, food and nutrition, extra tire tubes, and repair kits, as well as the right tires and maps will ensure you have an enjoyable and stress free experience.If you need a bike, we have a large selection of rental bikes at our store – Peak Cycles in downtown Golden. Don’t hesitate to stop in to ask questions, take a bike for a spin, or peruse our array of bikes, bike parts, cycling accessories, and cycling apparel.