“A great technical ride along the rim and gorge of Dry Creek.”
— Toby Link
This little gem can be ridden in either direction but be prepared for several steep sections and significant exposure as the trail traverses the sides of the gorge. The trail has several access points from the west ( Western Civilization
(harder), or Western Civilization to Last Frontier Connector
(easier), and from the east ( Girdner Trail
From Western Civilization
, the trail heads south through a small gully before opening up onto a small ridge. It follows the contour of the hillside into Dry Creek gorge while getting progressively more off-camber until reaching the highlight of the trail, an exposed lookout point offering nearly 360 degree views. From here, some steep (20% grade) switchbacks take you up to the ridge and on to the unmarked intersection with Middle Finger/Checkpoint Charlie trails. Past this intersection, the trail mellows and takes you past an unnamed connector (across the dry stream) before looping around and back into the gorge.
From the south end of the Western Civilization to Last Frontier Connector
, the trail is fairly tame to start, but slowly tightens and becomes more technical and exposed as it enters the gorge. While it stays high on the ridge and has some great views, it is slightly downhill and so is a real blast, but requires your complete attention to navigate the rocks and little ups and downs considering the narrow width and exposed drop off to your left.
Eventually, Highway 89A will come into view and the technical descent into the gorge begins. A few obstacles and small drops keep it interesting. Follow the trail across Dry Creek and up the other side of the gorge. It's a steady climb but not difficult otherwise, eventually meeting up with the Ledge'n'Airy Trail. Turn left to head north to Girdner Trail
, or turn right to head south to the Cultural Park/Trailhead.