White Ranch Trail: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

March 7, 2013

White Ranch Trail, Golden, CO

If grueling climbs, steep and narrow descents and tight switch-backs are your thing, then White Ranch may be the trail for you.  White Ranch Trail, located in Golden, Colorado near the Peak Cycles bicycle shop, offers an extensive trail system of 20 miles of multi-use trails over both gentle and rugged terrain.  Here’s our take on this popular trail.

The Good:

With steep grades, loose rock, and fast descents along sloping terrain, this trail is a favorite for advanced mountain bike riding on the Front Range.  Rugged and rocky steep climbs challenge even the best of riders while smooth and gentle meadow shots offer a release from the death grip on the brakes.  Your hard climbing efforts are rewarded with sweeping views of the Great Plains and the Denver skyline.

The Bad:

It all depends on what you call “bad.”  Starting at Belcher Hill with an extended, technical climb up can be a challenge.  If you aren’t up for that,  you might consider that a negative. Also, with two foot + drop offs, you need to be ready for technical sections and not a walk in the park type of ride.  Take note: hissing isn’t just for aggravated riders or flat tires.  There are plenty of snakes on this trail.

The Ugly:

Not having the right bike parts  or gear.  A full suspension mountain bike  is recommended to easily navigate  rocky sections, water bars, steps and drop offs.  Also, because of a majority of the park is exposed, the sun exposure in the summer months can be brutal.  A hydration pack is recommended not only to carry plenty of fluids but also for easier drinking riding over technical terrain.

There are 2 possible starts.  Opt of the East Access: 5611 Glencoe Valley Road, Golden for an easier ride.  Or, take the West Access: 25303 Belcher Hill Road, Golden for the long climb up to the top.

Either way, White Ranch offers cyclist living close to Golden, Boulder, and Denver a more advanced area to mountain bike and better yet – it offers a great escape from city riding.