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greenBlue Chapman Drive Out-And-Back

  2.8 ( 11 )

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11.4 mile 18.4 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 1,343' 409 m
Descent: -1,342' -409 m
High: 6,754' 2,059 m
Low: 5,413' 1,650 m


Avg Grade: 4% (3°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)


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Trail shared by Nick Wilder

A quick lunch or evening escape from the city with great views and a nice climb.

Nick Wilder

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


This out-and-back connects the Boulder Creek bike path to a dirt road climb and descent. So no singletrack, but don't write it off too quickly - it's a worthy quick outing from town if you don't have much time.


This description starts at the Eben G. Fine park on Boulder Creek, but since it's on Boulder's beloved creek path, you could start from virtually anywhere in town and hardly need to touch a road.

From the park, head upstream on the creek path until it ends at Fourmile Canyon. Carefully cross Boulder Canyon Road and follow it up a short ways until the Red Lion appears on your left. Cross the new bridge and you'll see the trailhead parking and signs right in front of you.

Follow the sign to the trail, going straight past the misleading sign that says "Private Road." You are perfectly welcome on this part of the road. Chapman Drive continues up through a gate and then gently ascends Flagstaff Mountain. A 2016 project fixed the 2013 flood damage, Chapman Drive is now a smooth road, wide enough for a car the whole way up. Enjoy the views and some very nice stone work on the turns. Soon you'll arrive at Realization Point on Flagstaff.

At this point, if you feel like tacking on another 15 or so miles to your ride, consider the Super Walker ride. Otherwise, turn around and retrace your steps back down Chapman Drive. This is a surprisingly fun descent that invites speed but be cautious of and courteous to other trail users.

History & Background

The Bridge to the Red Lion was heavily fought over after a flood washed the old one away in June 2010 after a record snow year. The Red Lion is the host of many weddings and the major beneficiary of the bridge (Chapman Drive was used as a fire road in principle) but wanted the city to bear the entire cost. After much wrangling, they compromised, and taxpayers got better access, trailhead parking, and a greatly improved Chapman Drive trail that opened in December 2012.…

The floods of 2013 caused damage to Chapman Drive/. An extensive reconstruction was completed in 2016 with Chapman Drive reopening in October 2016.
For more information, click here.


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Jul 16, 2018
Sean Casselberry
Mar 18, 2018
Dax Burgos
Jul 1, 2017
Mario Ortez
May 28, 2017
Matthew Horr
Jun 27, 2015
Marc Zeff
11.4mi — 3h 00m
Jun 4, 2015
Jeff Rath
straight up and straight down
Apr 21, 2015
Aaron Slosberg
Jun 5, 2014
Jake Gibson
1h 15m

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Trail Ratings

  2.8 from 11 votes


  2.8 from 11 votes
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in Colorado


77 Views Last Month
5,894 Since Apr 6, 2013
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

Jeff Winkler
Boulder, CO
Jeff Winkler   Boulder, CO
Riding this in winter or early spring is hit-or-miss. It takes a while to melt any snow accumulation and during the melt-freeze cycle Champan becomes an ice rink. Apr 11, 2019

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