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 gravel 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.
There is a new-ish underpass/improvement to the the High Line Canal than makes navigating what used to be a dangerous intersection at Hampden and S Colorado Blvd. now safe and easy!
We only wish the whole High Line Canal had the beautiful, wide crushed gravel surface that is in the southern portions.
Do this ride if you want a fast, easy and enjoyable mixed gravel and pavement loop on trails near Denver.
All of Lee Gulch Trail and the large majority of the High Line Canal Trail is smooth and non-technical crushed gravel with no motorized vehicles allowed
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.
Another favorite place to stop a the end is DIRT Coffee Shop. "DIRT is a local nonprofit social enterprise with the mission to bring you specialty craft Huckleberry coffee, food, and drink while training, employing & empowering neurodivergent individuals through workforce development programming." It is located a 1/2 block off the Littles Creek trail on Rapp Street. (at approximately mile 34.8)
We recommend starting this ride from Downtown Denver at Confluence Park or REI if you are doing the whole loop.
There are a few bathrooms along the trails:
Bible Park at mile 10.4 has bathrooms and a water refill station.
deKoevend Park has bathrooms, water refill and bike tools at approximately mile 26