Evergreen / Idaho Springs Gravel Loop

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Evergreen, Colorado
Date Published:
June 11, 2023
Gravel Ratio:
40% G / 60% P
Difficulty Rating:
Enjoyability Rating:
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We did Squaw Pass and Little Bear Creek as an out-and-back route back in 2019.
This is a great way to make a loop with those roads, plus we added a few trails in there too!


This mixed-surface route is a climber's paradise and is ideally ridden on a summer day. You’ll be up as high as 9,800 ft above sea level where temperatures are a tad cooler and a large portion of the route is shaded.  

Starting at approximately mile 4.6 you’ll roll onto Lower Beaver Brook Watershed Trail- a lovely 3 mile trail. It is wooded, goes past a picturesque reservoir and has great single and double track trails with just a few sections that had some rocks.

Little Bear Creek gravel road off of Squaw Pass is a great alternative way to bike to Idaho Springs without having to go all the way to Echo Lake. Before you hit the switchbacks, the downhill road condition was a dream- there were minimal washboards and it was mostly smooth, packed and tacky dirt.  

Even if you’re a native Coloradan, the mountain views never get old. There were many magnificent views of the snow capped Rocky Mountains.


We encountered some mud on the Beaver Creek Watershed Trail. It was also in the steepest section, making it a short and messy hike-a-bike. It hits grades of about 12% but we believe it would have been bikeable in dry conditions.

The east side of Idaho Springs is where you’ll experience the most car traffic. Once you get just outside of town, there’s construction on the frontage road and trail. The detour is well marked but it was not our favorite section.

Floyd Hill, at approximately mile 22, is a steep 3-mile climb near the end of the route. It is more exposed than the earlier climbs, and although there is a decent shoulder, it is alongside faster moving car traffic.

Do this ride is you want a high altitude, mixed surface climbing route that passes through the cute mountain town of Idaho Springs.

Other Notes:

We started this ride from Buchanan Park Recreation Center where there is plenty of public parking and a bathroom. Bergen Park is also nearby and would be just as easy of a place to start this ride from.

Idaho Springs is the halfway point of this gravel ride and it is an ideal spot to grab some extra food, water and make a bathroom stop. If you want to go into the old part of town, take a left on Miner Street (not on the route) and you will find restaurants, breweries and shops. On route, in Idaho Springs you will pass a grocery store and gas/convenient stores.

Other bathrooms we saw on route include the Game Check Station Trailhead and Park at mile 19.

You could easily reverse the direction of this loop and have an equally enjoyable time going counter-clockwise.

Due to the altitude of this route, we only recommend doing this ride between mid-June through early-October. Otherwise, you’d be dealing with snow and/or muddy conditions.

This ride is a great example of why one has a gravel bike! Our bikes are light and fast enough to go quickly up the paved sections of Squaw Pass/Old Squaw Pass, yet sturdy enough to endure the Lower Beaver Brook Watershed trails and the gravel of Little Bear Creek Road. Because our bikes could easily do both, we were able to have an adventure finding a *new* way to get to Idaho Springs.

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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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