Boulder Reservoir and Open Sky Loop

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Boulder, Colorado
Date Published:
May 7, 2023
Gravel Ratio:
80% G / 20% P
Difficulty Rating:
Enjoyability Rating:
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This route route is an updated and modified version of a Ride or Die Collective's "B" Group Gravel Ride that we did back in July of 2021.

We've really enjoyed participating in the Ride or Die Collective community. They are all about women’s involvement in sports and helping to provide equal opportunity to those in need. Their monthly Collective rides are for ladies only and they offer lots of awesome free stuff including: pre-ride nutrition, a post-ride beer, post-ride bike wash and raffle! Besides these once-a-month rides, there are other opportunities to participate in cycling events on their events page. We hope to see you there in the future!

Photo Credits: Taylor Brower and Laura Karpinski


This route has lots of nice variety. It goes on a combination of trails, crushed gravel paths, dirt roads and double track- none of which is technical and all the terrain is in remarkably good shape. Expect to see horses, cows, sheep, goats and alpaca along the route.

The Open Sky Loop gravel trail near Lagerman Reservoir is a particularly lovely trail section that was not busy, had nice views, went by the Swede Lakes, and easily connects to some of the other commonly traveled gravel roads in the area.

You will circle around the beautiful Boulder Reservoir, which is practically a "must do" for any gravel route in the north Boulder area.

The routes begins and finishes at Avery Brewery, so if you are wanting a delicious post-ride beverage and good food, you are right there! They have a great outdoor area where you can keep your bikes with you while you socialize and eat/drink.


Not so much a low, but just something to be aware of: the Open Sky Loop trail did have a few large and unavoidable muddy puddles to go through after a rain. But any good grave route involves some dirty fun, right? and it made the free Ride or Die Collective's post-ride bike wash that much sweeter!

Do this ride if you are looking for a great beginner gravel route on a variety of gravel surfaces from dirt roads, trails, gravel paths and double track, all with the beauty of Boulder around you.

Other Notes:

We parked on the street right by Avery Brewing and the Twin Lakes Trailhead/Open Space. Even on a busy weekend when the weather was nice and the brewery was packed, we had no problem finding available parking.

There are public restrooms at Avery Brewery as well as a port-a-potty at the Boulder Reservoir's West/55th St. Trailhead parking lot that you'll bike right past or though. (At approximately mile 7.5 on the way out and 29 on the way back.)

You might encounter horseback riders along this route. Make sure to slow your roll, yield to them, and ask if it is ok/safe to pass.

While you aren't super remote, there aren't places to stop and refuel once you on the route. Take enough calories and hydration for about 2-2.5 hours of riding.

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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