MTB Project Home Sign in with Facebook
or Login with Email

BEST OF PHOTOS PHONE APPS FORUM DEALS search

Walker Ranch

Consensus:    (details)
 3.7 from 22 votes
  Difficult from 2 votes
Your Opinion:
Stars:  
Rating: -none- change
Rank: #2 in Boulder
#36 in Colorado
#231 Overall
Featured Ride near ,  
“A classic loop near boulder with a nice mix of technical riding, flowy descents, and scenery.”
Michael Ahnemann on Jun 17, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
7.4 Miles 90% Singletrack 1,579’ Ascent -1,571’ Descent 6,441’ Low 7,336’ High
Take a
Virtual Ride
Supported By
Supported By
Restrictions
Dogs allowed on leash.
Overview
1:22 average ride time for 7.4 miles. Details

Walker Ranch is one of the rides that every Boulder-based mountain biker has ridden. It's a great ride for someone visiting, offering fun singletrack and great scenery. And it's located up Flagstaff road, which is worth the drive on its own!

This is a fairly challenging ride despite it's somewhat short distance. There's a mix of fast flowy singletrack, technical rocky sections, and even a somewhat difficult hike-a-bike down steep steps to a creek.
Need To Know
Nobody seems to agree which direction is best. I prefer counter-clockwise as mapped, but others are adamant that clockwise is best. And another option is to ride one direction until you reach the hike-a-bike, then retrace your steps and ride the other direction to the hike-a-bike. This allows you to skip the steep walk with your bike, and makes for a longer ride.

(Note: another Boulder rite of passage is to ride "Super Walker" which involves riding up the paved Flagstaff climb you'd otherwise drive up to reach the trailhead. It's a few thousand feet of elevation gain and definitely not for everyone!)
Description
Riding counter-clockwise as mapped, you'll start out with a nice fast descent for quite a while. The trail is fairly wide for most of this descent, and it's tempting to really fly, but keep an eye out - there are many dry sandy spots along the way, and some short rocky sections that pop up quickly.

Once the descent is finished, you'll cruise along the creek for a bit on a nice flat cruise. But that doesn't last long before you find yourself climbing steeply again. The climb is all rideable, but sections are quite steep, and you'll be on the point of your saddle trying to keep traction. There are also a couple of more technical rocky sections that add a nice challenge for some, or a short walk for others.

Keep climbing your way up until you hit a couple of switchbacks, then emerge near Gross Damn road. This is a nice spot for a quick rest, as you take in nice views from the only open part of the trail. Keep riding along, and you'll twist along the hillside trending downhill.

Eventually, you'll dive back into the woods. Enjoy a fun flowy descent for a while here. There are some switchbacks, but the surface is mostly tacky dirt. Plenty of traction so you can let it fly here. Just watch out for folks coming up - the ones who prefer the clockwise direction!

Things will get a bit more technical with a couple of very steep sections down sandy rock - rideable, but you might be behind your saddle for a few feet here and there.

You'll then come to the hike-a-bike section. It's a set of stairs leading down a couple hundred feet to the creek. It's rocky and steep here - definitely not rideable unless you have some serious trials riding skills. And it can even be a bit tough to keep your footing. Not the most fun part of the ride. But when you reach the creek, there are some great spots to soak in if you need to be refreshed by the COLD water.

From here, climb up a loose two track for a bit, then take a left to get on the last bit of singletrack. In this direction, the singletrack flows a bit over mostly flat terrain, then climbs very steeply on tight switchbacks which are another fun challenge for some, or a walk for others.

Finally, you'll pop out of the trees for another 1/2 mile of mostly downhill singletrack over some technical rocky features to get back to where you started.
Salomon - Runner Tank Top - Women's
$40.00
40% off
$24.00
at Competitive Cyclist
Continental - X-King 29 in. Folding Tire
$49.95
20% off
$39.99
at Jenson USA
Brooks - Team Pro Classic Saddle
$130.00
12% off
$114.99
at Jenson USA
Race Face - Turbine 2X10 Crankset with Bash
$299.99
15% off
$254.99
at Jenson USA
Zero Rh + - + Power Stretch Bib Short - Me...
$168.75
53% off
$79.48
at Competitive Cyclist
Chrome - Lower Southside Shoes - Men's
$99.95
65% off
$34.98
at Competitive Cyclist
Merckx - EMX-7 Road Bike Frame -
$6000.00
53% off
$2800.00
at Competitive Cyclist
Hurricane Components - Fork Up For 20mm Th...
$38.00
20% off
$30.40
at Backcountry
Campagnolo - Alloy TT Brake Levers
$120.00
15% off
$102.00
at Backcountry
Cycleops - Fluid 2 Winter Training Kit
$449.99
11% off
$400.49
at Competitive Cyclist
Canari - Racer X Women20s Jersey
$60.00
33% off
$39.99
at Jenson USA
The North Face - Mens Dirt Merchant Jersey
$50.00
25% off
$37.50
at Jenson USA
MTB Project scours dozens of stores to
bring you the best bike deals!
Forecasting the weather...
Recent Conditions
Apr 12
Fantastic
Apr 1
Nearly perfect
Mar 30
~95% dry, almost no ice left in the trees
Add a Condition Report | View All »
COMMENTS
OTHER RIDES NEAR HERE
4.2 (17)
A tour of the southern half of White Ranch's best features.
near Golden, CO
4.0 (1)
A perfect beginner ride which combines easy climbs and easy technical sections.
near Golden, CO
3.8 (10)
Perhaps the most classic mountain bike ride within spitting distance of downt...
near Boulder, CO

GEAR YOU NEED
YOU AND THIS RIDE
Your To-Do List: Not on it   Add it! | Your Full List »
Your Check-Ins:
  -none-
Add a New Check-In | View All »

Share This Page
Improve This Page
Add Photo or Map Symbol
Edit Description or GPS track

PHOTOS of Walker Ranch
 4.0 from 2 votes
This ride can be hot, but it's always pleasant by the creek. (Nederland, CO)
 3.0 from 2 votes
Cruising along South Boulder Creek (Nederland, CO)
 2.3 from 3 votes
A nice open view halfway through the Walker Loop. (Superior, CO)
 2.0 from 3 votes
Looking down on the hike-a-bike section. Steep steps down to / up from ... (Superior, CO)
© 2014 Adventure Projects, LLC Terms | Privacy | About Us