Lee Gulch and High Line Canal Trail Loop

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Location:
Denver, CO
Date Published:
September 9, 2019
Distance:
48.90
mi
Elevation:
653
ft
Gravel Ratio:
45% G / 55% P
Difficulty Rating:
Enjoyability Rating:
⭐️⭐️⭐️
Download GPX File
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Highs:

There was a tiny little fall nip in the air today and the Lee Gulch and High Line Canal Trails couldn’t be better suited for a chill Sunday ride.

It was nice to make a loop, connecting familiar Denver paved trails to gravel trails.

The gravel sections are easy, smooth, flat and non-technical, so it is easy to set a good pace. However, the Lee Gulch and Highline Trails wind through areas with ritzy houses, horse properties and beautiful views of the mountains, all of which invites you to slow down and take in the views.

Lows:

We wish the whole High Line Canal had the beautiful, wide crushed gravel surface that is in the southern portions.

There is construction underway to remedy this problem, but crossing the road at the busy intersection of Hampden and S Colorado Blvd. is confusing and a little unsafe.

Do this ride if you want a fast, easy and enjoyable mixed gravel and pavement loop on trails near Denver.

Other Notes:

All of Lee Gulch Trail and the large majority of the High Line Canal Trail is smooth and non-technical crushed gravel.

This is a perfect “easy like Sunday morning” ride. We were anticipating more dog-walkers and families on the residential trails, but it was not busy and the High Line trail is so wide it is easy to have more than enough room to pass groups.  

The High Line crosses several roads but on the weekend car traffic was so light, it hardly slowed us down!

The gravel sections are definitely the best and most beautiful parts of this ride. If you ONLY want to do gravel, park and start at the Denver First Church (S. Colorado Blvd and E. Hampden), go south on the High Line and turn around when the Lee Gulch Trail deadends into the Platte trail for a 100% out-and-back gravel route.

If you are doing the loop, Nixon’s Coffee House at Hudson Gardens is a nice place to stop (at about mile 14 in this loop). It has coffee, food, water and bathrooms.

We recommend starting this ride from Downtown Denver at Confluence Park or REI if you are doing the whole loop.

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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