Super Betasso

Consensus:    (details)
  3.7 from 22 votes
blue  Intermediate from 8 votes
Rank: #1 in the Flagstaff Mountain area
#75 in CO, #595 Overall
Views: 6,618. Last 30 days: 117
Jun 19 Green - trails in great shape and dry
Featured Ride in the area near Boulder,
“Perhaps the most classic mountain bike ride within spitting distance of downtown Boulder.”
Mark Eller on May 24, 2013
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16.226.1 milesKilometers 2,039’621 m Ascent 6,593’2,010 m High 5% Avg Grade (3°)
65% Singletrack -2,039’-622 m Descent 5,404’1,647 m Low 20% Max Grade (11°)
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No bikes on the Benjamin/Betasso trails on Wednesdays or Saturdays. These loops are also directional for bikes: Check the signs and only ride in the indicated direction.
2:08 average time for 15.5 miles. Details

This is a longer version of Betasso - Canyon Loop and Benjamin Trail ride. This one starts from town - a popular way to ride these trails for Boulder residents.

You'll find a bit of everything in this 16-mile linkup of bike path (just a bit), road (brief but with a minimal shoulder and fast-moving traffic), a tough climb, and some really fun, swoopy singletrack on the two upper loops.

If you're not feeling up to climbing the Betasso Link Trail, there's also the option to access the upper singletrack loops by climbing Four Mile Canyon on the road. You'll enter the Benjamin Loop from this road (passing Poorman's Road along the way) on the Fourmile Link trail, and you can still descend on the Betasso Link Trail.
From Eben G. Fine park you'll get a gentle warmup on the Boulder Creek Path -- follow it heading upstream next to the river. At the end of the trail, pop up onto Boulder Canyon Road and turn left, heading uphill.

(If you intend to skip the Betasso Link Trail, head downhill on Canyon for 100 feet, then cross the road to access Four Mile Road. A steady climb on pavement brings you to the Fourmile Link trailhead on your left. You're about halfway there when you pass Poorman's Road on your right; look for the trail at the back of a pullout, after you've passed a few yellow signs that warn drivers about the serpentine twists in the road.)

Pray that drivers on Canyon Road are paying attention and keep pedaling. Look for a sign on your right, next to a small pullout and just before the tunnel, pointing you onto the Betasso Link Trail (AKA Pipeline).

A tough climb begins immediately. Steep grades and rock obstacles test both fitness and skill. It's all rideable, but if you run out of gas or bobble a technical bit you'll have some pushing to do. There's a major effort going on now (May 2013) to smooth out and improve the stability of this section.

Cross the road and continue on singletrack through a meadow. You've reached the Canyon Trail — be sure to observe the directional sign for bike traffic, and keep an eye peeled for hikers and equestrians. Give yourself enough room to stop for other trail users, keeping in mind that the trail surface is loose in many places.

Canyon Trail, like the Benjamin loop, rides well in either direction. Whether you're going clockwise or counter-clockwise, you'll find the Benjamin/Betasso Link trail. This is a fun, twisty trail that's always signed for two-way bike traffic, so keep your head up, please.

Access the Benjamin Loop and follow the directional sign at the intersection. Again, both directions are fun, though the long descent on clockwise days is hard to beat.

Back to Betasso on the Link, then finish out the Canyon Trail. Descend through the meadow, cross the road, then hold on tight for the rowdy descent of the Betasso Link Trail. This trail gets blown apart every summer so do your best to live up to the motto "ride it — don't slide it." And be kind to anyone who is grinding their way up the hill.

Merge onto Canyon Road and return to Eben G Fine park.
View in 3D
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PHOTOS of Super Betasso
  5.0 from 7 votes
Cruising down the Benjamin Loop. (Boulder, CO)
  4.3 from 3 votes
Smiles for miles up(?) the Betasso Link Trail. (Boulder, CO)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Progression of the Betasso climb in three shots. (Boulder, CO)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Sweet little rollers before big sweeping right. (Boulder, CO)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Nice hairpin turn. (Boulder, CO)
  3.7 from 3 votes
A view from above Boulder. (Boulder, CO)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Looking back at the initial climb from Boulder Canyon (Boulder, CO)
  3.5 from 2 votes
Coming out of the last big sweeper before final descent. (Boulder, CO)
  3.3 from 3 votes
The trail is smooth and wide through the trees to finish the Canyon loop. (Boulder, CO)
  3.3 from 3 votes
Sweet smooth singletrack through rough terrain! (Boulder, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
The meadow (Boulder, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Arriving at the Benjamin loop from the connector. (Boulder, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Final descent on the well-maintained s-curves. (Boulder, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
One of the many superbly-made switchbacks on the Benjamin Loop (Boulder, CO)
  3.0 from 1 vote
Winter along the Boulder Creek Path! This is the Western end of the Bou... (Boulder, CO)
  3.0 from 1 vote
Winter along the Boulder Creek Path! The trail is often snow-covered bu... (Boulder, CO)
  2.0 from 2 votes
Switchbacks at the Betasso Preserve (Boulder, CO)
  2.0 from 1 vote
Nice, easy singletrack in Betasso (Boulder, CO)