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South Saint Vrain Figure 8

 4.0 (43)
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16.3 Miles 26.2 Kilometers



2,072' 632 m


-2,086' -636 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (8°)

10,586' 3,227 m


8,749' 2,667 m


Shared By Jim Mapes



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A challenging mountain link-up with a substantial downhill finish.

Jim Mapes

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


The best link-up of the technical descending in the Brainard Lake area. When ridden as described, the climbs are tough but mostly manageable for strong riders and the descents are fully engaging.

Need to Know

The sections near Brainard Lake skirt the wilderness boundary and care should be taken to not venture onto trails that are closed to bicycles.

Unless you're very experienced in this type of technical riding, expect to dismount frequently during the course of the ride.The rock gardens on the downhill sections of the latter half of the ride are especially challenging.


From the South Saint Vrain Trailhead near the Peak to Peak (Highway 72), climb up Road 96 to the junction with the North Sourdough. Take North Sourdough to the south (left). Cross over the South Saint Vrain Trail and continue to Brainard Lake Road. Cross Brainard Lake Road to Road 2321 (passing the junction with Sourdough Trail - Southern Half on your left.

Ride up Road 2321 until the Little Raven Trail. Head north on Little Raven Trail until you get back to Brainard Lake Road. Head right on Brainard Lake Road for a short distance then turn left on the unmarked trail that crosses the meadow. Go left on the Brainard Lake Road for a few hundred feet to the kiosk on the right and the start of the South Saint Vrain Spur. Take the South Saint Vrain Spur to the main South Saint Vrain Trail being careful to turn right (left is off limits to bicycles). Ride the South Saint Vrain Trail all the way back to your start.


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Your Check-Ins


Sep 20, 2018
Ben Friedman
Sep 15, 2018
Stephen M
Jul 26, 2018
John Cordera
Jul 22, 2018
dave van tol
Jul 22, 2018
Greg Gitke
Jul 21, 2018
Chris Smith
Great ride. Be ready for the elevation as there is a lot of climbing. Lots of rocks. Back side descent very technical and fast.Follow river to parking
Jul 21, 2018
Sarah Lewis
Jul 1, 2018
dave van tol

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 43 votes


in Ward


  4.0 from 43 votes
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in Ward


in Colorado


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14,088 Since Oct 9, 2014
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Peter N
Peter N   Colorado
Not for the faint of heart, but hell of a ride. The climb up sourdough is super technical, expect slow pace and a bunch of time out of the saddle hoping over tons of rocks both large and small, loose and stationary. When you're about to jump on Little Raven at the very tippy top of the climb, continue on the road for Aug 7, 2018
Dave Farrell
Louisville, CO
Dave Farrell   Louisville, CO
5 stars if you like endless rock gardens, both climbing and descending. Otherwise four stars, mostly because the endless technical riding will make you a make you a better mountain biker. This ride needs you to focus from start to finish. It's 16 miles total, and I biffed on the last half mile. Nothing really hurt but my pride. The SSV rebuild was the best part of the day. Nice job BMA. Sep 2, 2018
Rob Linnenberger
Louisville, CO
Rob Linnenberger   Louisville, CO
Do you dislike flow and hate rhythm. When you see a talus field, does it look like a good Mountain Bike ride? If you answered yes to the previous questions, then this is the ride for you. I knew it would be rocky, but it really is 16 miles of uninterrupted rock gardens. I thought that if I could describe it with two words it would be Monotonously Horrendous. The horrendous part doesn’t even occur to you until about mile 5 or 6 when you realize that the entire ride is just rocks and at that point it becomes horrendous. On the other hand I didn’t like Comfortably Numb in Whistler either. It is billed as Whistler’s premier back country ride. It is a flatter version of this with endless roots instead of rocks. So there you go. 1 star for me. Sep 3, 2018

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