“A "gravel grind" on 4x4 roads that provides some great views.”
— Jared Crockett
This is a network of 4x4 forest service roads. There are many different ways you can ride this, and there is a lot more here than what I have mapped. There are some steep climbs and some exhilarating downhills. The little "speed bumps" that the forest services builds into the roads are great for when you're on a downhill (catch some air!). This ride provides some beautiful scenery, grandiose views and some peaceful tranquility.
Need to Know
Do this trail in the summer and you may have to share it with a jeep or two, no big deal. But, the forest service closes this road for winter to motorized vehicles. Be on the lookout for those awesome Colorado days in the middle of the winter that are 60 degrees and come hit this trail. You'll likely have it to yourself!
Begin the ride at the forest service road gate. There is enough room at the gate for two or three cars to park. Be respectful as there is a private residence right next to the gate. You'll start off nice and easy for about 100 yards and then be greeted with a tough uphill climb right off the bat. Don't let it get you discouraged, it's not too long. Once you're up there the road flows pretty well.
There are many choices for how to ride this network of roads. All the roads interconnect in such a way that it is possible to create multiple loops and figure eights. You need to be somewhat wary as not every road can be used for looping. Some of them are short spurs that lead to dead-end camp sites. If you follow one of those, no biggie, turn around and go back.
The northernmost section of this road provides the most spectacular views looking west over the Estes Park valley and into Rocky Mountain National Park. This section of the road also passes through "the Notch" which is a major outcropping of boulders.
If you're into this sort of thing, you can multi-task on this ride. Get in some good riding as well as find a few geocaches!