The Front Range is one of the world’s cycling and mountain biking meccas, having bred professional athletes, Olympians, Ironman competitors, and generations of great championship cyclists. Having honed their skills in the foothills of the Rockies, across the great roadways of Colorado and on the steeps of Estes Park, Roosevelt National Forest, Golden, Boulder, and Denver, they are a testament to Colorado’s love for bikes, which is treated as much as an art form than an activity.
Spring and summer in Colorado is primetime for cycling and biking and the opportunities are abundant with spectacular views across to the mountains, thrilling rides, long cruises, and a playground to test skill and ability across Colorado.
Here are some of our favorite road biking and mountain bike routes in the Front Range.
Marshall Mesa is one of Boulder’s most beloved mountain bike trails, with a number of beginner, intermediate, and advanced options, all with a magnificent view of Eldorado Canyon, the Flatirons, and the City of Boulder in the background. The Marshall Mesa Trails are single-track loops, which divert to a number of possibilities to vary the level of difficulty. The ride is very exposed with few trees between Boulder and Denver, so it’s excellent for riding early in the morning or late in the evening and especially spectacular during spring and fall.
Doudy Draw / Community Ditch
Starting across from Eldorado Springs, Doudy Draw and Community Ditch ride out to a Flatiron and Eldorado Canyon Panorama, with a number of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails that ride through Boulder’s hills with magnificent 360-degree views. The exposed trails offer a number of fun riding options including fast downhills, tight turns, rocky stretches, and rolling between hills. This is a great ride for great or early in the day or in the shoulder seasons as the exposed hilly nature makes for a fun and moderately challenging ride.
Boulder Creek Path
For riders who want to see the best of Boulder, Boulder Creek Path is a fun cruise up Boulder Canyon, which provides a thrilling overview of the city while seeing the best of Boulder’s city trails. The trail follows Boulder Creek, which may be rushing whitewater in the spring and calmer later in the summer, as it follows through Boulder Canyon, the famed climbing area, up to the junction with Sunshine Canyon. Meanwhile, the trail passes through historical downtown Boulder, including Pearl Street and Boulder Theater, then runs alongside the creek, all while watching for wildlife such as black bears, deer, coyotes, and foxes. This is a great trail for those who are new to Boulder or just starting to explore the area.
Set just outside of Nederland, the hills of Magnolia feature exciting forest-lined single-track riding with thrilling loops, drops, tight turns, and gorgeous scenery set around the Indian Peaks Wilderness. For those looking for a fun full day trip, Magnolia is as good as it gets. Because of it’s shaded atmosphere, Magnolia is perfect for summer and early fall trips as it’s at a much higher elevation and more densely covered than Boulder or the surrounding area. Eventually the trails connect to the Hobbit 1, 2, and 3 trails which offer a number of options from beginner to intermediate, and any of the trails can be mixed to provide a one-of-a-kind ride that brings out the best in Front Range mountain biking.
North Table Mountain, Golden
North Table Mountain is a mesa of red rock that rises supremely over the landscape overlooking the City of Golden and the I-70 roadway. The trails around North Table Mountain make for thrilling mountain biking on great singletrack trails with beginner, intermediate, and advanced options. With moderate uphill climbs and downhill steeps, the trails weave switchbacks under the mountain with fun steep turns, downhills, and rocky terrain. The views stretch all the way to Boulder, Eldorado Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver, Golden and Clear Creek Canyon. This is a thrilling ride for all levels of bikers!
This Boulder ultra-classic is a must-do for the Strava crowd. The Flagstaff Road ride takes bikers high above the city, gaining over 2,000-feet in four miles. The uphill ride is long and tough, with steep hills, hairpin turns, and pumps your calves in the last gear. The ride loops around the iconic Flatirons and Chautauqua Park and then starts the long uphill, with spectacular views over the city all the way to Denver. After getting to the top, get ready for a heart-pumping downhill ride through tight curves and exciting downhill.
Boulder to Lyons
This classic ride will take you just North of Boulder with the rolling hills for company all the way to Lyons. The ride starts through Boulder’s streets and then joins the main highway for a hill-laden ride to the small hamlet town of Lyons. Along the way you’ll pass by small communities and pristine farmland with the city of Boulder and it’s mountains providing a breathtaking backdrop. On clear days you can see all the way to Pikes Peak! Highway 36 is great for those who want to see Boulder’s rural side, and a way to ride one of the city’s most classic roads.
Boulder to Golden
Riding from Boulder to Golden takes bikers through some of the Front Range’s most pristine scenery, from Eldorado Canyon and White Ranch to the edge of Red Rocks Amphitheater, and into the historical town of Golden, Colorado, home of the famed Coors Brewery, American Mountaineering Museum, and Buffalo Bill’s gravesite. The ride to Golden manages to stay at a moderate grade, with some intense hills interspersed between long cruises. For those who are just getting into long range biking, this is a great ride to take it to the next level!