Buttery smooth on the bottom half, and rocky and technical on the top, this trail has it all. The hard work on the way up is paid back with a beautiful, flowing descent. There's a spectacular viewpoint on the Wild Turkey Trail
. You can also continue on the Ponderosa Loop
and add Wapiti Trail
for a full tour of Heil Ranch
From the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance: "This first time you ride this trail, it's gonna feel all jumbled and funky like trying to force conversation on a first date in high school. But, after a couple of runs on this, you'll get your groove on, and it's a flowing pump track of silliness."
All the turns, berms, and rocks mix together for a grand adventure that's quickly become one of the area's most popular trails. Start at the Picture Rock
trailhead, and head up. The climb starts out pretty mellow and continues that way for the first two-and-a-half miles or so, but make sure to save your energy through this section.
As you continue, you'll eventually pass a large grain silo. This is where the climbing starts to get rocky. Make sure to carry your momentum through the rock gardens as you'll need it to get over some of the larger obstacles.
After another three miles or so, you'll reach the end of Picture Rock
where it intersects the Wild Turkey Trail
. Head left to start a clockwise loop. The rocky climbing continues, but will soon flatten out where you turn right onto the Ponderosa Loop
. There are some ups and down ahead, but the trend from here is downwards.
Halfway through the Ponderosa Loop
, you'll arrive at a beautiful lookout. Stop and enjoy the view, then double back a short distance to take the right back onto the Wild Turkey Trail
. When you return to the intersection for Picture Rock
, turn left and begin back down.
The descent starts out rocky, but smooths out past the silo. Enjoy the flow on this section; it's some of the best in the Boulder area. Soon you'll be back to the parking lot where you began.
On the way down Picture Rock
it's tempting to rip, especially after things smooth out after the silo. Just be aware of sections with low visibility and watch out for other trail users.