Boulder Weekend Loop
Chris sits in front of a computer screen most days where his passion for traveling by bicycle was ignited after seeing others’ trip accounts and photos flicker across the internet. With a handful of trips under his belt, including a 2 month tour across the USA, he now plans summers around touring and bikepacking. Follow along at bicyclewanderlust.com.
For anyone living in, or visiting, Boulder, CO this is a car free way to go bikepacking in the Front Range mountains for a few days. While this may not be the most remote route, it still very physically challenging with over 10,000 feet of climbing in under 70 miles, 65% of which is unpaved. Food and water are available in the town of Nederland and both free and payed camping are available throughout the route making this a logistically simply trip to plan.
The main route consists mostly of gravel roads and double track, with a small amount of single track, but for those feeling strong and wanting to experience some amazing Colorado trails, this route takes you past two trail popular mountainbiking areas: West Magnolia and Walker Ranch. The former of the two is located near Nederland and free camping. Staying the night here will allow you to setup camp and hit some flowy trails unloaded.
77 Mi.(124 KM)
% Rideable (time)
- Must Know
- Trail Notes
- Singletrack at Walker Ranch and the Sourdough Trail.
- Rewarding downhill sections of the Switzerland Trail.
- Starting and ending in Boulder, where you an find lots of bike shop and food options.
- Ample free camping near Nederland and along the Switzerland Trail.
- Spectacular (and well earned) views of the Rocky Mountains.
- Parts of the route may be under snow as late as mid-june. Optimal months for this route are July – September.
- Expect storms in the evening. Weather can change very quickly in the mountains.
- If you are traveling from lower elevations, plan on this route being more difficult than you expect.
- Free camping options are spaced out well on the route, giving you options whether you want to take 2 or 3 days to complete the route.
- If you plan on staying at a pay campground, try to get a reservation in advance or you may need to make some new friends and share a spot.
- If you want to travel light and commit to doing the route in 2 days, there is lodging available in Nederland.
- Plan on filling up on water in Nederland. Some payed campgrounds may also have water.
- Depending on snowmelt, there will be small, but clear mountain streams to pull water out of with filtering/treatment.
Expect the first day to be hard, especially for those new to bikepacking or anyone coming from low elevation; It’s pretty much a full day of riding up hill. You’ll be rewarded on the following day (or two) with some great mountain trails and a long, fast descent back into town.