This route will take you through the southern, central, and northern sections of the Austin Bluffs Open Space, including the trail to the top of Pulpit Rock.
There are some sections of the trail with exposure as you descend from the ridge above Pulpit Rock, but the trail is plenty wide. Remember the rule that your bike will go where you are looking (so look at the trail, not the drop off) and if you are really new to mountain biking you can aways walk these sections.
You start off in the parking lot of the Mountain Lion Field House/UCCS Baseball Field which has plenty of parking, or if riding to the area from elsewhere there is easy access from the Santa Fe trail through the Trader Joes parking lot and under Nevada Ave.
Head up the crushed granite path on the south side of the Austin Bluffs Open Space which parallels the road to the UCCS Campus Garden, watch for the singletrack that branches off to the right, this will carry you to the far east side of the Open Space. There are several branching trails here you can explore, nothing that is too difficult as long as you don't go up on the ridges around the Open Space where the trails get more advanced.
As you follow the trail back to the west you'll encounter a couple of short steep-ish downhills that can be walked if your skills are still developing. Follow the map past several trail intersections until you intersect the trail that climbs to the ridge behind Pulpit Rock, turn right here and start climbing.
Once at the top I like to follow the wide center trial to the west ridge, then loop around the top on the outermost trails, there are nice views in all directions from up here. Next you'll descend a bit ending up at Pulpit Rock. There is no bike friendly trail to the top but it's a short hike from the bike accessible trail if you want to go all the way up.
From there the ride back down is just fun until you get to the northernmost loop, then cross back on the west side of the Open Space to the parking lot where you started.
Shared By: Lloyd Gauthier