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White Ranch: Technical Descent Tour

Difficult
 4.1 (178) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A tour of the southern half of White Ranch's best features.


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Map Key

13.6

Miles

21.9

KM

100%

Singletrack

7,881' 2,402 m

High

6,158' 1,877 m

Low

2,799' 853 m

Up

2,800' 853 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

Overview

This ride will reward you for getting the Belcher Hill sufferfest out of the way. The ride features some of the best singletrack in the front range. Technical drops, switchbacks, rock gardens, and climbs. It's everything a dirt lover could want.

Need to Know

Belcher Hill can get very hot! If you want to ride this trail in full sun, start from the west parking lot and skip the lower section on Belcher. Spring, fall, cloudy days, mornings, and evenings are the best times to ride here.

The lower half of the Belcher trail has a lot of trail user traffic. Watch out for hikers, dogs, bikers and horses.

Description

Start at the Eastern (lower) parking lot. Head through the 2 horse gates. After the gates, there's a great rock garden to test your skills. After that there's a short gradual climb through a stand of bushes, and again this trail is heavily used. Use the planks to wind down and up the banks of the steam crossing. Now you'll have a 1740 ft climb ahead of you!

The start of the climb is loose over hard trail, singletrack and moderately steep. Starting at the intersection with Longhorn is a very loose, rocky section of trail. This section is re-purposed doubletrack until the intersection with the Sawmill trail. If you want a little break from the doubletrack, take the Round-Up Loop. Its a fun little singletrack climb. After the intersection with Sawmill, Belcher HIll returns to singletrack. It's full of water bars and steep from here to the top.

At the top of Belcher Hill, drop your seat and unlock your shock! Head South on Mustang Trail. This is where you'll be rewarded for your hill climb suffer fest! Get ready for rapid-fire technical drop after drop broken up by high bank corners and planked sections. After the initial downhill section, Mustang Trail mellows out to a climb, descent, climb, descent until you meet back up with Belcher Hill.

Once you meet back up with Belcher, fight the urge to turn your wheel downhill! For a little more climbing you'll be rewarded with more awesome descending! Climb back up Belcher (yes, the super steep and water-bar strewn singletrack awaits once more) to the very top. This time, once you reach the bench, hang a right for a rowdy descent the only portion of Belcher Hill you've yet to ride. This section is super fast and features tons of water bar drops and rocks to jump. Cross the road (carefully) and continue to descend the final portion of Belcher, around more switchbacks, over drops, and through fun rocky sections, until you hit Rawhide.

Hang a right on Rawhide and follow the mellow dirt road climb to the paved road. Cross the road, descend a short but fun little section of Sawmill and then settle in for the second-to-last climb of the ride. The pedaling is over before you know it and you'll descend a short section of Belcher Hill to the intersection with Maverick, where you'll bear left.

Rip down Maverick, and try to bunny hop the waterbar ruts. Don't miss the rock drops. This section will make you love your dropper seatpost if you have one, or make you want to buy one when you finish the ride! There's a tiny climb at the end of Maverick, once you cross the creek, but it's so short it's not worth counting as a true climb.

Meet up with Longhorn Trail and head to the right. Longhorn starts out with some sweet flowy loose over hard singletrack with water bars. Work on banking your corners and hopping drops. After the screaming upper section comes to an end, cross the creek and look for the "Steep Trail Sections Ahead" sign. This is Longhorn Trail's claim to fame: a solid mile of screaming fast, technical descending to the creek. Things get pretty techy and tight the closer you get to the bottom of the drainage, so hang on and pick your line wisely!

Cross the creek, try your hand at a nearly inpossible step-up rock feature and then settle in for a very steep grind (allbeit short) grind to the junction with Whippletree. Optional: If your legs feel up to a bit more climbing, stay right to climb the final section of Longhorn Trail which meets Belcher Hill a little higher up. This will tack on a bit more climbing for a touch more descending on the fast, loose doubletrack. After a short climb on Whippletree, enjoy a flowy descent back to Belcher Hill where you'll turn left to hit the parking lot.

Keep an eye out for other trail users and tear down Belcher. Again, after the creek crossing there can be very heavy trail traffic. Stay strong through the rock garden and finish at the parking lot.

Contacts

Shared By:

Matt Thoele

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 178 votes

#59

Overall
  4.1 from 178 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
39%
3 Star
16%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
1%
Recommended Route Rankings

#18

in Colorado

#59

Overall
905 Views Last Month
73,077 Since May 6, 2013
Difficult

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91%
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Photos

Catching a little air on Mustang
Jan 5, 2019 near Golden, CO
#followcamfriday on the Front Range's best descent with Dee Tidwell. Maverick to Longhorn.
Apr 28, 2017 near Golden, CO
Haulin' down upper Longhorn
Jan 5, 2019 near Golden, CO
Fun descents are to be had on the upper portion of Long Horn.
Jun 24, 2016 near Golden, CO
Just a couple of Spot Bros cruising down the techy stuff
Jan 5, 2019 near Golden, CO
Don't skip the top section of Longhorn. There are plenty of fun features to be played on!
Feb 18, 2017 near Golden, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 11 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Oct 16, 2020
Ben Poliquin
Oct 11, 2020
Nate Kliven
Definitely not for everyone. Lots of climbing, and walked several sections. 13.4mi — 2h 17m
Sep 18, 2020
Bobby Schoen
11.9mi
Aug 30, 2020
Jim Halvatzis
Jul 23, 2020
Timothy Faye
Jul 18, 2020
Petr Bela
Jun 26, 2020
Spencer Merage
W Buis. Hot and tough. Very techy but fun 13mi
Jun 9, 2020
Bob Rafferty
ouch 14mi

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