MTB Project Logo

Chapman Drive Out-And-Back

Easy/Intermediate
 2.9 (13) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

11.4

Miles

18.4

KM

10%

Singletrack

6,754' 2,059 m

High

5,413' 1,650 m

Low

1,343' 409 m

Up

1,342' 409 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (3°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Overview

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.

Description

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 heading to Walker Ranch. 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.
dailycamera.com/news/boulde…

The floods of 2013 caused damage to Chapman Drive. An extensive reconstruction was completed in 2016 with Chapman Drive reopening in October 2016.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Wilder with improvements by Wendy Sweet

Trail Ratings

  2.9 from 13 votes

#3186

Overall
  2.9 from 13 votes
5 Star
8%
4 Star
8%
3 Star
62%
2 Star
15%
1 Star
8%
Recommended Route Rankings

#419

in Colorado

#3,186

Overall
143 Views Last Month
8,374 Since Apr 6, 2013
Easy/Intermediate

30%
0%
70%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Boulder from above.
Dec 8, 2014 near Boulder, CO
Just three miles from downtown Boulder, pretty awesome views!
Apr 15, 2013 near Boulder, CO
This terribly misleading sign means you're in the right place.  This road is absolutely open to public hiking and biking.  Rural Boulder County roads are full of these misleading signs that should be taken down.  The land around the road is public, you have every right to be on the road!
Apr 15, 2013 near Boulder, CO
Mark is nice about opening gates, for the ladies at least.
Apr 6, 2013 near Boulder, CO
Winter along the Boulder Creek Path!  The trail is often snow-covered but rideable with regular MTB tires.
Feb 1, 2013 near Boulder, CO
Winter along the Boulder Creek Path!  This is the Western end of the Boulder Creek Path - snow-covered in winter, but rideable!
Feb 1, 2013 near Boulder, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 57 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 23, 2021
Don Blake
Jun 21, 2019
Greg Ballard
May 11, 2019
Chris Gummer
Jul 16, 2018
Sean Casselberry
11.4mi
Mar 18, 2018
Dax Burgos
11.4mi
Jul 1, 2017
Mario Ortez
May 28, 2017
Matthew Horr
Jun 27, 2015
Marc Zeff
11.4mi — 3h 00m