If you're looking to get away from the crowds of West Mag, just on the other side of the Peak-to-Peak exists a great array of oft-overlooked trail.
The land here is a mix of Forest Service and Boulder County Open Space, be aware of both sets of restrictions.
Connecting up the DOTs makes for a fun half-day adventure and includes plenty of technical bits as well as some nice views at a few key overlooks. The trail winds up and down through varied sections of trees, rock outcrops, creek crossings and mining debris. One thing to keep in mind is that you'll be following the most well-traveled trails throughout this tour, so when it doubt, follow the more established trails.
Starting at the West Mag parking lot, cross over Hwy 119/Peak-to-Peak Hwy and down Magnolia Rd for a few hundred feet and get on the easily-visible Boot
trail to your left. Follow this up and over as it becomes Reboot
and continue on this for 1.1 miles. You'll see the Dog Trail
leading off to your left but it's a much less traveled trail so you may miss it entirely.
At the end of Reboot
is a T at the Powerline Trail
, take a left downhill here but be on the lookout for a quick right onto the Blue Dot Trail (#606.1)
You'll follow Blue Dot Trail (#606.1)
out to a fork, where you can either take either option to loop you around to the rest of Blue (just be sure if you take the left to not take another left downhill/back to Powerline Trail
Now that you're on the full Blue Dot Trail (#606.1)
you'll have two miles of techy trail with some steep hike-a-bikes, tight tree groves, and a dicey handmade bridge creek crossing thrown into the mix. But you'll make it if you're careful and will come to a nice meadow with a trail intersection. Be sure to go left here, otherwise, you'll end up on the Dots Access Road
fireroad leading back out to Magnolia.
You're now on the Yellow/Red Dots loop, which can be done in either direction. There are fewer switchbacks and a bit better flow if you go right/counter clockwise though. If you go right, you'll do Yellow first and finish on Red. When you're done with the loop, simply retrace your steps back onto Blue Dot Trail (#606.1)
and enjoy those hike-a-bikes all over again. Then pop back onto Powerline Trail
and back out to the car.