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CT - Indian Creek (Waterton Canyon Alt.)

Difficult
 3.9 (12) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

The perfect downhill alternative to the traditional Waterton Canyon dirt road climb.


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Map Key

19.0

Miles

30.6

KM

85%

Singletrack

7,861' 2,396 m

High

6,103' 1,860 m

Low

2,810' 857 m

Up

4,174' 1,272 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Overview

This ride uses the Indian Creek Trailhead and the east leg of the Indian Creek Loop ride as a much better alternative to the Waterton Canyon part (dirt road) of Segment 1 of The Colorado Trail (COT).

The east leg covers 10 fast mostly downhill miles with only a small section of dirt road before joining the Colorado Trail at Lenny's Rest. By using this alternative, you'll have a huge smile on your face knowing that you just skipped 7 miles of dirt road up Waterton Canyon. The remaining 10 miles along the COT includes a few tough climbs, a couple of advanced rock gardens, however it's well worth the effort for the final 2 miles of classic downhill!

Need to Know

**This route is described as a one way ride using a two car shuttle** - leave a car at the Indian Creek Trailhead, then a second on the Platte River Rd. There is a large dirt parking lot at the terminus of COT segment 1 and the start of segment 2. There is a large Iron bridge at the parking lot used for bikers and hikers to cross the South Platte. The car shuttle is 10 miles long, taking about 20 minutes each way. From the Indian Creek Trailhead head west on HW 67 til a fork in the road, take a right at the fork onto W Pine Creek Road (dirt). After a few miles you'll take a right onto Platte River Road. Continue north until you see a large dirt parking lot, pit toilet and the iron bridge.

Parking is available at the Indian Creek Trailhead, though it gets full most every weekend. There is overflow parking at Rampart "Upper" Lot 1/4 mile from Indian Creek Trailhead.

**Fee for parking at the Indian Creek Trialhead is $4.00 per day per vehicle**

Description

The singletrack starts at the NW corner of the Indian Creek Trailhead parking lot, just behind the pit toilet. Look for and follow trail signs reading trail #800 (east leg). Start with a short 1-mile climb to an intersection of a dirt road and the Ringtail Trail.

Congratulations you have just reached the loop's high point. The next 8 miles are all downhill from here. Continue north along the dirt road marked with the #800 trail sign for 3 fast miles. Once you reach a large power line tower, look for the singletrack to start back up to the east. An awesome mile long section of downhill now awaits.

Next you'll reach a crossing trail - turn left or north to continue along trail #800. The next section is made up of a wide singletrack with countless what appears to be man-made jumps. FUN. After reaching a meadow, the trail bends to the west with some more amazing downhill and several big rock and root drops. Continue along the trail #800 passing a trail that turns to the right which heads to the dirt road of Waterton Canyon.

After a few creek crossings and the loop's first steep and challenging climb, you'll reach a "Y" junction. Continue north leaving the Indian Creek Loop. After a short distance you'll meet up with segment 1 of the COT at Lenny's Rest bench. From here, continue west along the COT crossing Bear Creek and the ride's low point.

Now climb for the next 3 miles and 1500 feet of vertical, crossing a few more small creeks while winding your way up along dense forest and wonderful singletrack. This section includes a few rock gardens, one which most riders will likely walk. After the long grind, catch your breath and enjoy a 3.5 miles 1500 foot screaming, smooth downhill, ending at the south fork of the South Platte River.

See Segment 2 --- Colorado Trail: South Platte Canyon to Little Scraggy TH.

Contacts

Shared By:

Chuck McQuade with improvements by s platte

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 12 votes

#1822

Overall
  3.9 from 12 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#265

in Colorado

#1,822

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18,912 Since Jun 13, 2013
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Photos

Rocky Mountain Columbine, the state wildflower of Colorado, lines the trail in early summer.
Aug 5, 2013 near Roxboro…, CO
Beautiful meadow.
Jun 6, 2014 near Roxboro…, CO
Riding through a cute valley on the Colorado Trail.
May 22, 2016 near Roxboro…, CO
Initial climb out of parking lot.
Jul 3, 2015 near Roxboro…, CO
I ride the intense uphill of the beautiful but tough Indian Creek Trail.
Oct 4, 2020 near Roxboro…, CO
Great Indian Creek singletrack.
Aug 29, 2016 near Roxboro…, CO

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Check-Ins

Sep 15, 2020
Lynn Mattie
Jul 24, 2020
Monty
A fair amount of bike walking on super steep rocky/loose slopes. 19mi — 3h 50m
Jun 13, 2020
Charley Whitt
May 22, 2020
Austin Snow
May 17, 2020
Lucas Mielke
Lots of people at the trail heads, clears out in a couple of miles 19.4mi — 3h 37m
Jul 12, 2019
Ben Scholz
Awesome
Jul 16, 2018
Jayson Raphael
Apr 15, 2018
Brandon J
18mi