I had made a loop a couple of years ago to have fun in Red Rocks and to start training for racing. As you may know, a lot of COS trails have been decommissioned and new connector trails have been built. That causes some problems with these loops, so I went out today and made another!
There's a great BBQ joint called Rudy's at the corner of Hwy 24.
A small brewery called Fossil is tucked into the strip mall facing Hwy 24 and usually has a food truck. Really good beer, patio, and they have a real pour.
The 31st trailhead, as all trailhead parking lots in Red Rocks, has had break-ins. Just make sure to keep valuables out of sight.
First, you need to know Red Rocks well. If you're not riding here a lot, you're going to get frustrated with all of the intersections with no signs. Consider this a local's lap for those who like to punish themselves—if you're from out of town... good luck! You can always download the GPX file to help!
Park at the 31st Street entrance south of Hwy 24. Make sure to secure any valuables as there have been break-ins here.
The beginning of this route is up Lower Hogback Trail
northbound with the higher option right above Hwy 24. Pass the steep down to the alternate lot and keep attaining the ridge via Red Rock Rim Trail
. At about 1.7 miles in, the road will intersect after the first downhill. Take the right and you'll continue straight towards Red Rock Canyon Trail
, passing under the old Garbage Chutes
trails. Take the left onto Red Rock Canyon Trail
towards Roundup Trail
is a great push with a lot of blind turns when the plant life is awake. This is a good section for a bell. There is a fun connector about 3.2 miles in. Your marker is a small pine tree on the right of the trail with no branches on its left side. You can still get to Sand Canyon Trail
if you miss this turn, but it's not as exciting.
After Roundup Trail
, stay left to start climbing Sand Canyon Trail
and East Fork Sand Canyon Trail
towards Intemann Trail
. Get comfortable, as you'll need to earn some more turns. Around 4.5 miles in, there is a hazard that is rideable. If you mess up your line, it'll be a nice tumble into the creek below.
You'll meet up with Red Rock Canyon Overlook Trail
(719) around 4.8 miles as a left turn as Intemann Trail
takes a hard right uphill. Finally some downhill! There are new improvements on this trail and a fence to block descending into Garbage Chutes
. Continue up Red Rock Loop (719) to the new connector trail towards White Acres Trail
. There will be a right turn onto this connector at 5.8 miles.
At the top of this climb, the connector trail will T-intersect—take the singletrack up to the right towards White Acres Trail
. Keep climbing back towards the Palmer Trail
. Fun, slow, technical climb with an amazing view. Around 6.6 miles, keep an eye out for a sharp right turn uphill into scrub oak. Once again, if you miss the turn, you'll end up on Palmer Trail
no matter what, so this is just a faster connector.
When you meet up with the T-intersection onto Palmer Trail
, take the right. Short rock garden descent then another rock climb. At the top, you'll have a Y-intersection for Palmer Trail
and Red Rock Loop (719). Another descent!! Around 7.2 miles, the trail will be exposed on the left with a rock face on your right. Navigate this technical wonder in a lower gear because an armored, punchy climb is around the right turn.
At 7.6 miles, you'll be back at the connector. Take that right towards White Acres Trail
, then the right again at the T-intersection. This time, you'll take the left at 7.9 miles towards the pavilion (Hannah Montana). The entrance is the only technical part while the rest you can open up.
When you arrive at the dirt road, Lion Trail
, at 8.6 miles, continue left uphill toward Upper Codell Trail
. Take the right onto the trail at 8.8 miles. Drop that seat post!
This trail is very exposed with a hell of a tumble if you step off to the right. Fall to the left. There is one step-up that gets most people. Don't be afraid to walk it!
When you're spit out onto the dirt road, continue to the left and keep a look out for the rest of Upper Codell Trail
. At the end, go across the road and climb to the top of the ridge to Cordell Trail
. Enjoy the great views as you can rest your legs and let 'er rip! Don't go too fast though as there is a speed check feature at mile 9.8!
Finish the last switchbacks, don't miss the bonus singletrack before the road, and hang a right to cruise out of Red Rocks.