“A great loop with lots of varied terrain in Douglas County's new Open Space.”
— J Erik Hartel on Feb 28, 2014
RestrictionsOpen dawn to dusk.
DescriptionAs described above, this is a nice, no-frills, non-technical mountain bike route in the new Lincoln Mountain Open Space. The trail has two distinct personalities. The eastern half of this route consists of easy cruising dirt trails, while the western half contains a manageable bit of twisty singletrack with a few simple obstacles to spice it up.
From the E. Jones Road trailhead (TH), follow the main trail (Access Trail to Junction of Palmer Divide Ranch Loop & Lincoln Mountain Loop) for approximately .25 miles. This is the main trail junction that allows you to access the Lincoln Mountain Loop to the left (south) or the Palmer Divide Ranch Loop to the right (north). For this loop, stay right at the sign. After another .25 miles, you'll reach a second split.
This loop is best ridden clockwise from the split, as shown. This will present the slightly more challenging portion first and leave the rider with a nice fast cruise back to the finish.
From the split, the trail climbs west along a gradual, vaguely technical, but fairly aerobic climb through scrub oaks and pines to the top of Dewey Hill. The 'hill' is really a misnamed mesa that offers great views of the surrounding ranch lands. From Dewey Hill, the trail follows the top of the mesa before dropping back down into the valley. Highlights include a series of fairly easy switchbacks and a few rock obstacles of various types including a couple of slabs and a few 6-12" steps. The route is undulating in a flowy, enjoyable manner.
The lower half of the loop consists of wide gravel undulating walking trails that twist nicely along West Cherry Creek. There are some great views from the valley - particularly southwest towards Pikes Peak. This portion eventually returns too the original split from which you can return to the TH.
If interested, you can combine this loop with the adjacent Lincoln Mountain Loop for a longer ride.
All told, this is a good route for beginner-to-intermediate MTB'ers with a few minor obstacles and a small bit of climbing to keep it challenging enough to promote learning and cardiovascular fitness.
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