This trail climbs, mostly gradually, right from the trailhead. You'll start out on a rough dirt road, but don't worry - the singletrack starts just up ahead.
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.
The area is extremely rocky - the ground is covered with many softball to basketball sized rocks. But the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance and others have done much work to clean up the trail, make it flow better, and keep it sustainable.
Ride this trail about 2.5 miles to the junction of the Ponderosa loop. You can connect this to multiple loops at the top of Heil, or to the Picture Rock
trail, which leads down to Lions and Hall Ranch
The 5200 acre open space making up Heil Ranch
trails and the newer Picture Rock
trail are part of a large land purchase made by Boulder County Parks and Open Space in 1993 and 1994. The area housed large quarry operations from the 1890's to the 1960's.