“A great long loop that has it all; long climbs, stellar views and rippin' descents.”
— Leslie Kehmeier on Jul 9, 2013
OverviewThe Beall - Ridge - Rotary Loop is a great option for a longer ride near Steamboat. The route is accessed from Cow Creek on the backside of Emerald Mountain.
With long grinding climbs and fun rowdy descents, this ride is already a Colorado classic.
DescriptionThe Beall - Ridge Rotary Loop starts with a short warm up on Cow Creek Rd from the trailhead at the bottom of Ridge. The dirt road is mostly flat and well-packed.
Look for a trailhead on your left after a couple of miles. Pass through the gate and bear right onto Beall. The lower reaches of the trail start in open and shrubby vegetation, transitioning to dark evergreen and mature aspen forest. The route climbs steadily but not overly steep. Halfway through, the Beall crests a lower ridge and provides a short downhill.
From here to the intersection with Ridge, the route contours and climbs gradually to the top of Emerald Mountain. Near the summit there are fantastic sweeping views to the south and west.
Stay left at the top of Emerald Mountain to continue the ride on Ridge. From here you can also add mileage with some of the front side trails on Emerald Mountain and Howelsen Hill.
Get ready for a fanstastic part of the ride! Ridge runs from the top of Emerald Mountain all the way down to Cow Creek. It's a rowdy and fun adventure.
At the top intersection with Beall, Ridge drops initially with one quick climb and then a sweeping right hand turn through a high meadow. From here to the bottom, the trail descends steadily along a fenceline, crossing an old doubletrack several times.
The trail travels through tight vegetation, mostly oak brush. Be advised, some of the bends in the trail are blind so balance speed with safety.
Every once in awhile the canopy breaks and you'll be treated to amazing views of the surrounding Western Slope landscape.
Towards the bottom of the route, pass the first intersection with Rotary to maximize the descent. Turn right at the lower intersection.
Rotary begins with an easy climb, twisting and turning it's way through oak brush and across sage meadows.
At the top of the climb, Rotary intersects with an upper connector to Ridge. From here the trail transitions to a more gravity-style experience with banks, berms and rollers.
After the last series of rollers, the Rotary transitions across a large flat meadow and crosses a large boardwalk. The final bit of trail runs along the hillside above Cow Creek back to the start of the route.
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