We revisited our very first Boulder gravel ride (from May 2018) with a little change to the start/finish. This helped us avoid a very steep downhill at the very beginning, and cut out some busy paved roads at the end that were on the original route.
Finally feeling comfortable on single track after doing portions of these trails multiple times. It just takes time.
Crane Hollow road was a buzz with people bird watching. (We assume cranes based on the name of the road?) It was pretty cool to see their gigantic nests even without binoculars.
We had a very cute alpaca run alongside use for about 100 yards during one part of the the route which was a new experience. Who knew that alpacas are competitive!
There really aren’t any particular lows. We kind of wished the gravel to pavement ratio was higher. (We are getting picky and spoiled as we’ve gained gravel experience!)
It’s a lovely ride over all, but is somehow lacking the “wow factor” of other rides you can do in Boulder. (Perhaps when the landscape greens-up we’ll feel differently?)
Do this ride if you want to experience a large array of possible gravel biking surfaces with typical Colorado scenery and very light car traffic. This Boulder gravel route has single track dirt trails with elevated cattle guards, wide crushed gravel trails, dirt packed roads, gravel roads and pavement.
There are no bathrooms at the Lefthand Trailhead parking lot where we started, but there is a bathroom at the Beech Shelter which is a just little more then a half mile in.
It was quite nice to have done this ride on a weekday. (Maybe the one good thing due to the coronavirus now that we are working from home?) The trails at the beginning are often very busy with walkers and dogs on the weekend, but we didn’t have to contend with many people on a Wednesday afternoon.
If you are a beginner, know that the first 5 miles are definitely the most technical and challenging! There are a few punchy inclines on single track, elevated cattle guards, bridges and gates, and then the rest will feel like a breeze.
We parked and started at the Lefthand Trailhead parking lot.