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Proposed Mountain Bike Trail from Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch
Submitted By: Frances Fierst on Feb 18, 2008

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Proposed Mountain Bike Trail from Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch

Eldorado Canyon State Park in conjunction with Boulder Mountain bike Alliance (BMA) is currently exploring the possibility of a mountain bike trail that would connect Eldorado Canyon with the Walker Ranch trail. The Action Committee for Eldorado (ACE) would like to gather the opinions of Boulder area climbers regarding this possible mountain bike trail. The exact location of the trail has yet to be determined, but will involve both existing and new sections of trail to minimize erosion and potential conflcit between different recreational user groups. Two obvious roadblocks to this plan are financing the construction of new trail on steep terrain and negotiating access through Boulder Open Space. There are no plans to use current ACE funds to finance the trail. Please let us know if you would like ACE to support and endorse the trail.

Comments on Proposed Mountain Bike Trail from Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Add Comment
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 1, 2008
By richard magill
Feb 20, 2008
Of course you should support it!
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Feb 20, 2008
I don't see how anyone can say without seeing the financials. What I know for sure is that it will not be free, so I'm curious... How much?
As for parking, perhaps it must be tied to creating additional parking, if a place for such even exists... But personally, I've never had a problem finding parking in the park except Labor Day/Memorial day. I head in at 6 or 7am, but not everybody wants to do that, I suppose. Or car-pool instead of meet in the park.

Come to think of it, carpooling into the park is always good. We should all start making more of an effort to leave a car out, trail or no trail.
By Casey Flynn
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 20, 2008
The comments on ACE's website seem to be universally in favor, and I would agree. I am a climber, not a mountain biker, but I think everyone should be able to enjoy the land equally. Less car travel to Walker in order to bike is a great idea. It seems to be a really popular biking area and anything to keep people active and out of their cars is great for a multitude of reasons. I think multi-use of state owned lands is the best direction and will foster more support of the park.

I would agree with Tony Bubb that funding and cost should be looked at, and I am interested in what it would cost me personally. But I don't agree with Paz Ramirez. According to mountain bikers there is a big deficiency of mountain bike trails in the Boulder area. And think about it: even if there is already one bike trail in Eldo, how many climbing routes are there?

I was unsure what I thought before checking out the comments on ACE's site, but the community seems all for it for a multitude of well supported reasons. If you don't know how you feel, I recommend checking out the site. Now I'm in too.

By Doug Lintz
From: Kearney, NE
Feb 20, 2008
Regardless the OSMP will probably implement seasonal closures (Feb. through Dec.) for Western Green Mountain Ring Tailed Spiney Chipmunk migrations.
By richard magill
Feb 20, 2008
Just a few notes:

1. I mountain bike a lot so I am biased. I would ride that trail someday when I visit the area. Walker Ranch has great riding and a linkup to Eldo would be a blast.
2. Although there is a lot of mountain biking in the general vicinity of Boulder (especially down in Jeffco or up by Nederland), Boulder Open Space is unnecessarily restrictive and there is a trail shortage closer to Boulder.
3. Cost estimates would have to come from someone like the IMBA, but I have heard $15,000 per mile as a gross estimate. But I am sure it is already budgeted in the Boulder Open Space budget, and as such they will either spend it on trails or on some other project like information kiosks or some such nonsense.
4. Mtn biking is super low impact, environmentally speaking. But these ring-tailed spiny chipmunks would be good in stew.
5. It would be really hypocritical for one "access-concerned" group like climbers to go out and oppose access for another user group like mountain bikers. But I don't know, is it par for the course for your standard Boulderite to be a hypocrite?
By richard berk
From: Denver, CO
Feb 21, 2008
They are adding several new trails east of there btwn Eldo and Doudy Draw/hwy 93. See this map

map 1

Linked from this page

Eldo Doudy trail study

Don't mtn bike much myself but they will be a great addition to the already good trail running in that area.
By Jonathan Siegrist
From: his truck
Feb 21, 2008
Access is an issue for all outdoor enthusiasts in Boulder (except hikers and runners), but Mountain Bikers definitely have it the worst. With all the hundreds (thousands?) of miles of trails in the area, only a select few are open for mountain bikers and most require a drive or an approach on tarmac that is far longer than the trail itself. I have long wished for there to be a mountain bike trail connecting these two great areas. Part of the beauty of access is to SHARE with the community.
By cisco manzo
Feb 22, 2008
Being a member of BMA and a climber, I support it. I honestley don't think parking will be a huge issue as probably 90% of the mountainbikers will ride into the Park and do the linkup to Walker or vice versa. The trail will more than likely be very technical and that will keep recreational riders away. I know that parking in the summer is out of control in the park but its going to always be that way. The park is not just for climbers. Mountain bikers will have a low impact on that situation, at least this one will.
By David Brown
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 22, 2008
I vote no.

I'm a mountain biker and a climber, and Walker Ranch is my favorite Boulder County trail. I really see no need for a trail through Eldo. Walker Ranch is a great trail as is, and if it's not challenging enough, you can do as many laps as you want.

As for Eldorado Canyon, it is too crowded right now. Eldo's fragile canyon ecosystem is already at the breaking point; stressing it further would be irresponsible.

If the resources to build this trail are indeed available, they would be better spent on the proposed interconnect between Heil Ranch and Hall Ranch. Overall impact would be lower, and it would be one killer ride.
By Charles Danforth
From: L'ville, CO
Feb 22, 2008
The Heil-Hall connector is partially built already and will be completed in the very near future. Funds for this are not an issue.

As for the Eldo-Walker connector, I'm always in favor of more trails, but I don't necessarily see the need for this one. Recently, a number of foot traffic only trails (Dowdy Draw and Flatirons Vista in particular) have been opened to bike traffic and I don't see why we can't do this with the existing Eldo-Walker connector. It would a very nice (and very challenging) bike connector. Hiker and climber traffic in the first mile or so on the Eldo end might be an issue, but traffic is in general very low on this trail. Spend the money improving the few places here so that it can support bikes.
By MonksUseBroaddison
From: luxury
Feb 23, 2008
There is no reason this trail should not be built. If the connector is built traffic on Flagstaff will be dropped and actual impact on the Earth i.e. polluting gas machines will be lowered. It seems that those refuting the proposal are trying to possess the land for themselves and are not actually looking at the benefits for all. Those Dowdy Draw trails are weak and should not be used as reason not to build this needed connector which makes riding from Boulder to Walker on a mnt bike enjoyable.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Feb 23, 2008
"There is no reason this trail should not be built. If the connector is built traffic on flagstaff will be dropped and actual impact on the Earth i.e. polluting gas machines will be lowered."
"It seems that those refuting the proposal are trying to possess the land for themselves and are not actually looking at the benefits for all."

I agree with the latter, but not so much the former....

I figured it'd be people driving one way to drop a car off, going to the other trailhead, then riding back, then having to go fetch the other car.... Seen that sorta thing done plenty.

I don't think that means that we shouldn't build the trail- just saying I am not sure I agree with the argument. Seems possible that both sides are saying whatever they can to support their position, which is pretty normal.
By MonksUseBroaddison
From: luxury
Feb 25, 2008
That is true.
By Dave Vaughan
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 25, 2008
A connector trail between Eldo and Walker would be a great addition to the spartan mountain biking around Boulder. I would be very supportive of this moving forward unless the expense was extremely high.... With a connector trail, I'm sure many people would ride Eldo/Walker from town as opposed to driving up to Walker and then riding, thereby saving some foothills traffic and gas....
By rob rebel
From: Denver, co
Feb 28, 2008
I am usually for new trails and access of almost any kind but I don't like the parking situation in Eldo on the weekends. One thing we do know is there are more mtn bikers in the Boulder area than there are climbers. Climbers are already create significant (too much) traffic in Eldo, and if Boulder mtn bikers join the Eldo weekend warriors, it makes me a little worried.

How much traffic does Walker Ranch see now on the weekends? Would we expect this amount of cars at Eldo if the trail is built?

The one thing I am for is more money going to the state park system if this is built.
By bwillem
From: the wasatch
Feb 28, 2008
Anyone else notice a proposed trail into (I think) Mickey Mouse Wall, etc. on the map?
By Buzz Burrell
From: Boulder
Feb 29, 2008
I easily and fully support this trail.

Climbers must spend serious time and effort preserving our ability to access climbing areas; this work is critically important in order to practice our sport. So here is another user group in the same predicament ... do they not deserve our kinship and support? And as others have noted (except for one person, who apparently does not live in this area), mountain bikes have been banned from most trails on public lands in Boulder County; they in particular have been severely restricted. An Eldo-Walker Connector would greatly expand biking opportunities well out of proportion to its short length due to it's synergy with existing routes.

Regarding parking, cost, impact ... these are all very valid concerns. But If this project gets the OK, then YEARS of study will commence, by the State, the County, and the CIty ... this project will have to squeeze thru hoops tighter than your nose hair could get thru. So the question at hand is simply "Do you support the trail?" After that, there will be no shortage of well paid government employees to address the other questions.

Just thank your lucky stars you're a climber and not a biker here in Boulder, and keep supporting the Access Fund, the FCC, and ACE, so that luck doesn't go away. ;-)
By Buzz Burrell
From: Boulder
Feb 29, 2008
Approval has been given for an official trail to the Mickey Mouse Wall (no bikes or horses allowed). This came after a full year of serious effort by the local FCC representative, Tom Issacson. It is slated to be constructed Sept 08. Most of the alignment is clear, but how to approach and cross the tracks is not.
By David Hous
From: Boulder, Colorado
Mar 1, 2008
I would like to add my support for the new connector trail. While there are pockets of good mountain biking in Boulder County, the longer trails are pretty far from town. Creating some link-ups like the Heil-Hall link and this one from Eldo to Walker would be a huge plus. I support the idea of a separate trail, in fact, I would like to see some bike-only trails. There are numerous hiker-only trails but none that I know of that are bike only. The biggest barrier to mountain biking is user conflict; primarily with hikers. I understand this: It can suck to be hiking along and have a rider speed by and startle you. Some bike-only trails would help to reduce the conflict. For the same reason I like the idea of one-way loops which would keep the singletrack single.

On the money side I'm not too worried. OSMP has a good budget thanks to our repeated approval of Boulder taxes for this purpose. I also think it would not be hard to substantially supplement public funds with private fund raising.
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Mar 1, 2008
Casey wrote:
I am a climber, not a mountain biker, but I think everyone should be able to enjoy the land equally.

Excellent attitude, Casey.
By Brad Schildt
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 2, 2008
Regarding the parking issue, I agree that potentially on summer weekends (32 out of 365 days each year), there may be additional parking issues in Eldo. For the other 333 days of the year, there will be no parking issues. Let's not restrict access for other recreationalists (and ourselves) due to parking issues on the busiest 10% of the year. It is too hot to climb in Eldo midday in the summer anyway.
By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 3, 2008
I got talked into kayaking SBC one year and ended up portaging most of it. Seemed to me that there was a grade that follows the north side of the creek bed most of the way. Maybe it's an old gas line or something.

IF the road grade is there and IF a right-of-way or easement can be negotiated then it will end up being a very popular beginner's trail. It will also become a very popular fishing access path.

I think this would be a great project for BOSMP to pursue. Imagine, OSMP providing a link between 2 sections of Eldorado Canyon SP!

If OSPM got really clever, they'd put another trailhead and parking space up past the yoga ashram to link west to the Eldo Canyon trail that heads up behind the Bastille. From there it's just a short ride up the road to the ECSP visitor's center and the start of the SBC link trail. Add a short bit of trail to the east to connect into the Dowdy Draw/Marshall Meas trail network and make a pretty cool system of MTB trails on the south end of BoCo. That trailhead could also serve as the access for Mickey Mouse climbing access.

In theory, the review process b OSMP and ECSP will sort out environmental impacts, parking, fee structures, etc, so I'll let those guys worry about that.
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 3, 2008
If you haven't already done so, please go to and vote on this issue.

So far, the majority of votes are in favor, but there is opposition from the equestrian community to a mountain-bike-only trail that excludes horses.
By jack roberts
Apr 22, 2008
I vote NO.

The newly established mountain bike trail by Doudy Draw is a total wreck.
I've been using this trail for over 15 years as a hiker and most hikers and equestrians have always backed-off from using it when it was too wet, muddy and in such a state where the erosion that would be caused outweighed the recreational fun to be had. Not so with mountain bikers.
It seems that the muddier the trail the greater the number of bikers that need to ride the trail regardless of the erosion caused. If this is an indication of the attitude of Front Range bikers then I say no to this link-up. I'd rather not encourage this link-up until mountain bikers show more restaint on riding muddy trails. As a hiker, climber or biker I don't want to encourage the opening on more trails if people are just going to display their irresponsible attitudes.
By Ben Walburn
May 1, 2008
I vote Yes.
Environmental, parking and impact concerns being addressed

I climb, I bike. I've been climbing in Eldo for 14 years. Concerns for parking are valid, however; There ain't s@#t to ride around here. Those "mountain biking" trails outside of the canyon are nothing more than dirt sidewalks. Thousands of climbs in Boulder County, hundreds/thousands(?) of hiking trails, thousands of cyclists, not a whole lot of biking trails. What if we said the Third Flatiron was sufficient climbing to meet the numerical and technical needs of Boulder area climbers and those who visit Boulder. I bet most of us would be looking at the wealth of rock in the area saying "what the hell is the problem". This is what biking in Boulder feels like, it is simply insufficient.

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