“An adventurous loop ride to Boulder Lake via Gunsight Ridge Trail.”
— Leslie Kehmeier
This is a great loop ride with an out and back to start and end. You'll ride through rolling terrain, and past a scenic lake.
This version of the Boulder Lake Loop starts at Bennett Pass. Pedal east on USFS Road 3550 to the Gunsight Ridge Trail
. Ride north on the trail, climbing to the Camp Windy
Turn right here and enjoy a quick but short descent to Grasshopper Road.
Pedal east along the road to the top of Crane Creek
. From here the ride drops into steep and rowdy descent through massive pine trees covered in light green moss. Although there are a couple of small drops to negotiate, this section of the route is mostly fast and straight-on downhill. About midway through, there's one quick respite before the descent transitions to a level traverse.
The trail then heads south crossing several small drainages and crossing a couple of small meadows. The forest continues to be fairly dense until reaching the intersection with Boulder Lake.
Turn right to follow the Boulder Lake Loop or stay straight to finish Crane Creek
. From the intersection the route continues downhill until one last little climb to USFS Rd 4870. From the intersection with Crane Creek
pedal across relatively flat trail to a bridge crossing Boulder Creek. On the other side get ready for continuous and steady climbing west toward Boulder Lake.
As you reach the shore, the grade flattens and you'll get a view through the trees. It's a beautiful spot with rocky cliffs surrounding three sides of the lake.
Get ready for more climbing as you grind your way up steep slopes above Boulder Lake. From here, the route alternates between easy and hard uphill sections while following the base of a ridge.
The final push comes after crossing some open and extended patches of scree and loose rock.
Boulder Lake Trail
ends at Bonney Meadows Campground.
Stay right on Bonney Meadows Road to continue ride back to the bottom of Gunsight Ridge Trail
. Stay left here to follow the route back to the beginning at Bennett Pass.