Like many trails on the front range, you'll earn your downhill on this trail. This trail is known for a technical uphill featuring an obstacle known as "The Wall". Once past the difficult uphill you are presented with views of the Denver cityscape and surrounding southern metro area.
The downhill erases any bad memories of the climb causing you to plan your next visit while packing up your gear at the car.
Several hiking-only trails intersect with both the Plymouth Mountain and Red Mesa trails. Signage is good at all intersections so take a map or the MTB Project mobile app, and know which trails are for mountain biking.
Start your ride on the Plymouth Mountain Trail
heading up a short but steep drainage. It's a 2 mile obstacle filled climb that's a lung buster for all but the superhuman.
To make the climb even more interesting, towards its end you'll hit "The Wall", a stretch of granite steps and loose rock unrideable by most. For those of us without legs of steel, the adjoining stairs of shame present an optional bypass.
As the trail levels out, you'll have the option of riding the mellower Red Mesa Loop
or Plymouth Mountain Trail
. Both loops provide scenic views of the southern Denver metro area and are rideable by an intermediate rider.
The loops can be enjoyable in either direction. A short excursion up Plymouth Mountain Summit Trail takes you to its summit and a rock outcropping with more scenic views.
Between the whoop-de-doos, obstacles, and steep descent, heading back down will definitely put a smile on your face. However, due to its proximity to Denver, this trail gets busy so be sure to lookout and stop for hikers and horses on your way down.