As you’ve clicked through to this guide, there’s a strong chance you’re planning a mountain biking adventure in the likes of Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins — or somewhere else along the Colorado Front Range. Well, you’ve found the right corner of the internet as Front Range Ride Guides has years of experience creating high-quality tailor-made MTB tours along this incredible mountain range. We have the passion, but we also have the knowledge and expertise to back it up.If anything in this guide to the best mountain biking trails along the Colorado Front Range inspires you to book with us, take a look at our Guided Custom Colorado Bike Tours.
Brief Note on Trail Difficulties Along the Front Range
Given the vast size and diversity of Colorado’s Front Range, there are an almost endless combination of routes and trails to ride by mountain bike. This is why our trained guides have carefully graded our different routes into the following categories: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.Of course, there are nuanced differences between these larger difficulty categories, but they should serve as rough guides to whichever route you’d like to cycle. And if you have any questions about the routes or about our MTB bike tours, please feel free to get in touch.
Boulder MTB Route – Doudy Draw to Springbrook Loop (Beginner/Intermediate)
Starting out in Doudy Draw (what a great name), this 7.9km trail loops back round to Springbrook close to where you started. You have to contend with a river nearby (it has a bridge), and the trail is also used for hiking and horses, so it is fairly well worn and safe (be sure to practice proper trail etiquette). The elevation is 179m and the trail isn’t too complex to traverse, but it also isn’t a walk in the park.
Boulder MTB Route – Betasso Preserve (Beginner/Intermediate)
Located just a short journey west of Boulder, this area is usually reached by cycling from Boulder, along the stunning Boulder Canyon. As this is a reasonably popular route to cycle, the bike direction is changed each month — so watch out for the signs. There can also be lots of hikers, so take care when racing down a particularly steep part of the trail. (No biking on Wednesday or Saturday.)
Fort Collins MTB Route – Blue Sky to Indian Summer (Intermediate)
The majority of this 17.7km route moves along a single track, a lot of twists and blind turns, so be sure to take care and keep an eye out for other users. The Indian Summer part of the trail adds a lot of elevation into the route, changing it from a straightforward trail into something much more difficult. So, if you’d love to take a ride in the area but you don’t want to sweat too much, you could perhaps leave this part out.
Boulder MTB Route – Pictured Rock to Wild Turkey (Intermediate)
As people come back to try various different MTB routes in the Boulder area, they usually come to the realization that the 23.5km Pictured Rock to Wild Turkey Loop is one of the best intermediate trails around. However, it’s perhaps more accurate to say that it’s a combination of some of the best trails, all put together into one cohesive experience.
Starting in Pictured Rock, you can look forward to smooth cycling, but it gets significantly rockier and more technical towards the end. This lets you warm up at the beginning, taking in the sights, before making use of your hard-earned skills.
Denver MTB Route – Buffalo Creek (Intermediate/Advanced)
At 39.1km, climbing up 761m and back down again, this MTB route is one of the tougher options for anyone looking for adventure in the Denver area. If you have the requisite skills and fitness, however, it is more than worth the effort. That said, if you keep a slower pace, there is nothing too technical, so you can consider this mostly intermediate.
However, as there are lots of different ways to tackle Buffalo Creek, you can opt for much more advanced options if you’d like to test your mettle. If you’d also like to brush up on your skills, you may be interested in our Private MTB Skills Clinics.
Boulder MTB Route – Walker Ranch Loop (Intermediate/Advanced)
While only 12.4km, the Walker Ranch Loop makes up for the lack of overall distance by including some of the most challenging climbs and descents in the Boulder area. There are some incredibly fast descents, so make sure you’ve serviced your bike and that everything (especially the brakes) is working properly.
There is one part at South Boulder Creek that is simply impossible to cycle, so you’ll have to be prepared to get off your bike and roll/drag it over the stairs. Otherwise, it’s a fast and incredibly satisfying trail!
Fort Collins MTB Route – Trails on Bobcat Ridge (Advanced)
There are various MTB trails on Bobcat Ridge, and not all of them were made equal. While Eden Valley Spur could be good for beginners, the rest can all be considered fairly advanced. This is the area you come to if you have the skills and, ideally, if you have a local guide to show you around. Ginny Trail is perhaps the most popular, with On the Rocks close behind.
While we don’t have time to go into details about these incredible trails here, we encourage readers to book a Full-day Custom Mountain Bike Tour, telling us they’d like to spend as much time as possible in the Bobcat Ridge area. Just tell us what you’d like and we’ll take care of all the details!
Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface of all the trails worth riding on Colorado’s Front Range. We hope this brief guide has added one or two trails to your bucket list, and we hope you’ll consider taking advantage of Front Range Ride Guides’ extensive experience guiding groups in the area. We’ll show you the very best of the Front Range, bringing the right amount of challenge and fun while also getting you back in one piece!