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Coney Buchanan Loop

Difficult

Trail

11.6 mile 18.6 kilometer loop
50% Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,467' 447 m
Descent: -1,474' -449 m
High: 9,867' 3,007 m
Low: 8,567' 2,611 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)

Dogs

Off-leash
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Map Key

High elevation tech riding through the forest.

Jared Crockett

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

A long climb up a 4WD road through beautiful forest, wetlands, and meadow leads to a raucous descent down sublime creekside singletrack.

Need to Know

You'll need to watch for other trail users, including wildlife (moose are common), as this is a popular trail corridor.

Description

Peaceful Valley. The starting point for this adventure has a fitting name. That is, until you hop on your bike and start pedaling up this ride. The peace you felt back in the campground melts away quickly as your heart nearly pounds through your chest and your lungs struggle to pull in needed oxygen. There is no warm-up period. Heading uphill on North Sourdough (#835) and then the Beaver Reservoir Cutoff Trail out of that valley is a tough way to start, but there is no better setting for a mountain bike ride. See if you can enjoy the beauty that surrounds you through the rivulets of sweat draining off your face.

After you've trudged up the initial singletrack climb, you'll intersect with Coney Flats Road. Now and for the next several miles, you'll follow this jeep road in a westerly direction towards the high Indian Peaks Wilderness beyond. The road is very rocky but never overly steep, and the toughest obstacles may be the large puddles/ponds that often (or always?) cover the width of the road. You'll find ways around for most of these, sometimes through the trees that border the road.

Eventually, the road comes to a large camping area known as Coney Flats next to a pond/wetland/creek. A wooden bridge spanning the water provides access to continue your journey on the other side.

A little further and the road tilts downhill to where it joins the Middle Saint Vrain Road 114.1 4WD road. Though you're still on a road, this is actually a pretty rowdy descent! Not much further and you'll come to the Middle Saint Vrain trailhead where the 4WD road ends and there is a bridge that spans the Middle Saint Vrain creek to take you to the north side and the singletrack descent.

The Buchanan Pass Trail #910 travels for roughly 15 miles over the Continental Divide and through the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Fortunately for us pedal-pushers, the first five and a half miles of it are on USFS land prior to entering the wilderness area. This ride joins the trail about a half mile east of that Wilderness entry point. You can explore up to that boundary if you wish, but I recommend pointing your bars downhill at this point.

Similar to its singletrack brothers in the vicinity, Buchanan Pass Trail #910 is littered with rocks of all sizes. You'll also find, interspersed amongst the rocks, beautiful and sometimes loamy singletrack. Though the overall grade is pretty mellow, it's a techy descent, including a traverse across a scree field, that will keep you on your toes the entire way down.

There are multiple fine photo opportunities along the way, if you can peel your fingers off your grips long enough to snap one. Stay aware for stretches of trail where the tech level goes down a tad and the rocks are spaced just enough to allow for some real speed and launching off of those rocks and roots.

The trail eventually crosses another bridge back to the south side of the creek and then the Middle Saint Vrain Road 114.1 4WD road. Pick up the singletrack that will carry you back to the starting point on the other side of this road.

Contacts

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Check-Ins

May 26, 2019
Shaun Hegsted
only went to beaver reservoir then dropped back down still a bunch of snow
Sep 1, 2018
Charlie Johann
Aug 1, 2018
lubes 17319
Jul 7, 2018
Chris Baker
12mi — 2h 30m

Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 8 votes

#2

in Ward

#2768

Overall
  3.4 from 8 votes
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4 Star
75%
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2 Star
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1 Star
13%
Ride Rankings

#2

in Ward

#353

in Colorado

#2,768

Overall
124 Views Last Month
2,346 Since Jun 26, 2018
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Photos

Crossing the bridge at Coney Flats
Jun 27, 2018 near Nederland, CO
Always the potential for other trail users.
Aug 14, 2017 near Nederland, CO
Fat biking Coney Flats in winter (also Sourdough and Cutoff)
Dec 4, 2018 near Nederland, CO
Deep winter at Coney Flats Trailhead.
Dec 4, 2018 near Nederland, CO
Creek crossing and loamy tech!
Jul 14, 2015 near Nederland, CO
Make sure to look up once in a while so you don't get in to a bad situation.
Jun 27, 2018 near Nederland, CO

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