ElevationAscent: 992' 302 m
Descent: -991' -302 m
High: 6,805' 2,074 m
Low: 5,904' 1,800 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)
Popular rides nearby
11.8 mi 18.9 km • Loop • 1,750 ft Ascent 533.54 m Ascent
Picture Rock/Wild Turkey Loop
14.6 mi 23.5 km • Loop • 1,324 ft Ascent 403.47 m Ascent
North Boulder Loop
8.3 mi 13.4 km • Loop • 372 ft Ascent 113.47 m Ascent
Indian Peaks Traverse (IPT)
71.3 mi 114.8 km • Point to Point • 9,089 ft Ascent 2770.37 m Ascent
Coney Buchanan Loop
11.6 mi 18.6 km • Loop • 1,467 ft Ascent 447.04 m Ascent
7.8 mi 12.6 km • Loop • 1,516 ft Ascent 462.02 m Ascent
“A good intermediate ride relatively close to Boulder, with many options for linking to other trails.”— Michael Ahnemann
Electric Mountain Bikes Not Allowed
These trails were the original mountain biking trails at Heil, but others have since been added, including the Picture Rock trail that now makes it possible to ride from Heil Valley Ranch to Hall Ranch.
It's not the best ride in the area, but it's a solid trail with a moderate climb, mostly straightforward intermediate terrain, and a few additional obstacles, plus a fast descent back to the trailhead to keep advanced riders entertained.
Once you hit the singletrack, it's a steady climb for about 2.5 miles, all the way up to the junction with the Ponderosa Loop. The trail mostly runs through a heavily forested area, so there's plenty of shade. You're likely to see deer or other wildlife along the trail - maybe even a black bear.
The area is extremely rocky, but the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance and others have done much work to clean up the trail, make it flow better, smooth out the rocks, and keep it sustainable.
Eventually, you'll hit the junction with the Ponderosa Loop, marked with a wooden signpost. Here, you can continue straight to ride the loop counter-clockwise, or make a left. It doesn't matter which direction you choose - either way, you'll find yourself rolling trail, with many rocks, some loose, along the way. The trail is still intermediate here, but pay attention - the loose rocks can throw you off your line.
Halfway around the loop you'll find a scenic overlook with a park bench - perfect for a breather and a snack. The overlook provides a far away view of Hall Ranch below - which you can ride to by joining up with the Picture Rock trail.
Also along the Ponderosa loop are turnoffs for the Wild Turkey trail, which then leads to the Picture Rock trail, which can be ridden to Lyons and Hall Ranch.
Once you complete your loop up top, you'll head down the way you came. It can be a fast descent if you let go of your brakes, and trail improvements over the past couple of years have made this a nice flowy descent. It's still rocky though, and you might feel like you should check all the fasteners on your bike when you reach the bottom!
Watch out for riders and hikers coming uphill. This is a popular trail, and you'll likely have to stop to yield at least a few times on the way down.
History & Background
Local Club: Boulder Mountainbike Alliance
Apr 23, 2020: BMA Supports “20 is Plenty”
Land Manager: Boulder County, CO - Parks and Open Space