Heil Valley Ranch Trail.
The Wapiti Trail and Ponderosa loop was one of the Trails I had found in books, and had planned to ride it, however I soon learned from riders on the forums that there were new trails linking to this Trail, and they all suggested the following:
==> Up Wapiti Trail ==> Left onto Ponderosa ==> Left onto Wild Turkey ==> Left onto Picture Rock, 5.5 miles downhill ==> Turn around at Lyons and head back up Picture Rock 5.5miles ==> Left onto Wild Turkey ==> Left back onto Ponderosa ==> and finally another left back onto Wapiti for the downhill to the trail head.
For the FULL SIZE map click ==> HERE <==
Trail Stats & Information
Nearby City: Boulder and Lyons
Length: about 23 miles
Trail Type: Loop with out & back for Picture Rock
Skill Level: Aerobically: moderate. Technically: moderate
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Trailhead Elev: 6000 feet Lyons TH 5400 Ft
Top Elev: 6600 feet
Guide book Description
As one of Boulder County’s newest Open Space Parks, Heil Valley Ranch includes all the furnishings of a carefully constructed trail system. Its wide and smooth singletrack climbs moderately through ponderosa pine forests to incredible views of Longs Peak and Mount Meeker, as well as to an overlook of Hall Ranch and the ruddy sandstone hogbacks near Lyons. The ranch’s technically tame terrain makes it ideally suited for riders who haven’t yet mastered the big drops and rocky trails for which the Front Range is famous. More advanced riders will appreciate Heil Valley Ranch as a spinner’s playground, offering ample opportunities for spinning both up and down its smooth-running course. Terrain: Singletrack and dirt road, delivering a smooth-riding and wide surface that courses in and out of ponderosa pine forests and meadows.
This Trail is a hell of a sweet trail, that actually looks more difficult to ride than it really is. Although I would rate this trail as being moderate, there are a few technically demanding stretches that are just waiting to tear your bike apart. The nice thing about this trail is that it is 98% singletrack, the trails I took, added up to more than 22 miles of sweet singletrack. Just like the “Hall Ranch” trail, this beauty offers everything a mountain biker could wish for, but saying that, it does seem to be missing something, what it is I don’t know, I just did not get the same buzz as I did from Hall Ranch, But something tells me that this trail gets better the more you ride it.
I am very glad that the local chapter pointed out that there were now two new trails linking the Wapiti Trail, because it is without doubt that it is the Wild Turkey and especially the Picture Rock Trail that makes this loop a real beauty and “must” ride trail in the Boulder / Lyons area.
Traffic on Trail : 2 mountain bikers, 1 horse rider and 1 large group of hikers
Wild Life : 3 huge wild Turkey’s
Scenery : scenic trail, lots of open places with great views
Other : To get the most out of this ride, combine it with Wild Turkey and Picture Rock Trail
My Trail Rating : 8.5 / 10
My special thanks to everyone that posted on the forums, telling about Picture Rock and Wild Turkey.