This is a great ride that is close to the south side of Denver. It's not too long but has a little bit of everything: a good climb/downhill, slickrock, and slightly technical rock features to practice skills on.
The "Rocky Pass" section at the top of Hidden Mesa
can get a little rough after a rain storm, but it also adds to the challenge. The only real downside of this trail is the first mile is on flat doubletrack or even paved trail as an approach.
There's a fair amount of horse traffic, so remember to be courteous and yield to horses.
This trail is a great fun ride close to the South Denver Area. It will never make the top ride in the area, but it is a short, fun ride that is dry most of the year. It features a difficult climb and a fun slickrock area with ledges that are fun to practice your skills on.
The trail starts at the Hidden Mesa Trailhead just north of Franktown off of Parker Road
. This ride starts out on the Farm Lane
. The first half mile of the trail is more of an approach than a fun ride. After leaving the parking lot, Farm Lane
is a short doubletrack road across a flat section before crossing Cherry Creek. After crossing Cherry Creek, the route takes a right and joins the paved Cherry Creek Trail
After about 1/4 of a mile on the Cherry Creek Trail
, a sign marks the junction where the route turns left off of the paved trail. You'll then be on a gradual uphill single/doubletrack for about a mile. Nothing difficult, just a nice steady climb. After a mile of steady climbing, you reach the "Rocky Pass" section. It is about a 1/4 mile steep, loose rock climb. The total climb is about 400 ft vertical.
At the top of the climb, you'll reach "Mesa Top Junction East" which marks the Rim Loop Trail
and the lollipop loop section. Ride either way on the Rim Loop Trail
. The top of the mesa is a fun rocky ride with quasi slickrock sections. Most of it is fairly easy, but there is one section with several rock ledges that will test your beginner/intermediate skills. The largest of the ledges are around a foot high.
The trail then reaches "Mesa Top Junction West" where you'll take a right (if riding clockwise) and follow doubletrack 0.4 miles back to "Mesa Top Junction East" where you'll hang a left. You'll now be back on the Hidden Mesa
"Rocky Pass" Trail you climbed to get on the Mesa. It's a fun downhill all the way back to the trailhead.