OverviewWalker Ranch is one of the finest rides in the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. This mostly singletrack trail follows rolling terrain near South Boulder Creek, in the foothills west of Boulder, Colorado.
Trail DescriptionThis trail can be ridden clockwise or counterclockwise. The directions start from the main Walker Ranch parking area off Flagstaff road. There is also parking at Crescent Meadows and at the Ethel Harrold trailheads.
From the Walker Ranch Trailhead, take the Columbine Gulch Trail left and climb on singletrack for about 0.8 miles. You'll then steepy drop into Columbine Gulch via a series of tight switchbacks. The trail T's into a doubletrack trail at mile 1.6. Take a right and follow this down Martin Gulch to South Boulder Creek at mile 2.5. Cross the bridge over South Boulder creek and begin a VERY steep section of hike-a-bike up some large stone and log steps. At the top of this climb, begin a long ridable climb all the way to Crescent Meadows at mile 4.5. From here, follow the Walker Ranch trail right as it widens into doubletrack and drops steeply back to South Boulder Creek and a bridge at mile 5.6. Ride along the northwest side of the creek along an old road/railroad grade for about .5 miles until the doubletrack begins climbing. Follow this climb back up and below Langridge Dike until you reach the trailhead and your car at mile 7.6.
0.0 - Walker Ranch Trailhead
0.8 - Top of Columbine Gulch Climb (nice views)
1.6 - T interection at the bottom of Columbine Gulch
2.5 - South Boulder Creek (first crossing)
4.5 - Crescent Meadows trailhead
5.6 - South Boulder Creek (second crossing)
6.1 - Beginning of the climb away from South Boulder Creek
7.6 - End of Loop/Trailhead
Getting ThereFrom Downtown Boulder (Intersection of Broadway and Canyon/Hwy 119):
Take Broadway south, past the CU campus, to Baseline Rd. Take a right on Baseline and follow this to Chautauqua Park (on the left). Continue west on Baseline which shortly changes to Flagstaff Road, turns right and climbs steeply up Flagstaff Mountain. Reset your odometer at the Fire Danger sign at the end of Baseline proper, where the road turns right.
Continue climbing Flatstaff Road, eventually leaving OSMP land at mile 4.6. Conintue west through an area of houses and pass the Meyer's Gulch trailhead (on the right) at mile 6.9. At mile 7.25, take a left into the Walker Ranch Trailhead.
When to BikeThis can be ridden most of the year, although snow and ice may keep it unrideable during some of the winter months.
There are no fees to park, ride, or hike at Walker Ranch
Mountain lions and bears are both common here. There was an incident involving a mountain lion and a mountain biker several years ago. The rider wasn't injured, but had to dismount and keep the bike between he and the lion for several tense moments.