Boulder to Carter Lake Groad

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Boulder, Colorado
Date Published:
February 23, 2020
Gravel Ratio:
50% G / 50% P
Difficulty Rating:
Enjoyability Rating:
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We had done this Boulder to Carter Lake route back in December 2018, but didn’t love a few of the busy roads on the return route. This is our new and improved revised edition!


The majority of the dirt roads from Boulder to Carter Lake were hard packed, non-technical and in great riding condition.

When we planned this route, we were nervous about the traffic on Highway 66 but it had a great shoulder and had lots of other cyclists.

Yes, winter in Colorado means everything is brown, but this ride felt quite beautiful with a variety of different lakes along the route. We saw so many animals, we lost count (a bald eagle, bluebirds, chickens, cows, horses, lamas, deer, cute piggies…)!!


It’s a fairly rural route with few places to stop and refuel between where we started and Carter Lake (so make sure you have enough water and snacks to keep you going).

A few of the dirt roads were muddy/slushy for us. If you don’t want to get really dirty, give it a few days to dry out between snow storms.

Do this ride if you want the speed, feel and long distance mileage of a road ride, but with less traffic.

Other Notes:

We found unlocked public bathrooms at the Carter Lake South Shore Campground (which was our turn-around point).

There is one very bike friendly convenience store with bathrooms to stop at in Hygiene called the Mountain Fountain. However, you don’t get there till about mile 45 in the route (Hygiene Road and 75th).

Interested in other winter gravel routes? Check out this blog post for a few others!

We parked and started at the Lefthand Trailhead parking lot.

Driving Directions

Route Contributor

Laura & Rose

Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.

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