Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blue Sky Trail (MTB)

This trail starts at Horsetooth Reservior, goes along the foothills through Devil's Backbone Open Space all the way to Highway 34, and then back. It is a long trail with steep climbs lots of rocks and some very technical sections. There are many options for biking in this area as blue sky trail connects to Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, Devil's Backbone Open Space and Coyote Ridge Natural area. See the map for more info.

GPS log

Trail stats
Round trip dist = 20 mi
Total elevation gain = 2,755 feet
Ride time = 3 hours 45 min
Trail type = rocky technical single track
Start Coordinates =  40°31'7.01"N, 105°10'5.53"W

Go west on Harmony road 5.3 miles past Taft Hill (where it becomes West CR 38E) to the Blue Sky Trailhead parking lot. If you park in this lot, plan on paying $6.

Trail walkthrough
From the parking lot turn right when you reach the trail so that you head south towards the Devil's Backbone area. This first section is a gradual 3.1 mi climb up to the intersection with Rimrock Trail. Then stay on Blue Sky Trail for another 0.3 mi and you'll reach the intersection with Indian Summer Trail. I'd recommend taking Indian Summer Trail first rather than on the way back like I did. This trail is a 1 mi (380' vert) climb followed by a 1 mi descent back to Blue Sky.

View of the ridge (facing north)

Go another 1.3 miles on Blue Sky until you reach the Laughing Horse Loop. If you take a left on this loop you will go through extremely difficult rocky terrain with steep drops and long rock gardens. From what I remember going right is much easier.

View from Laughing Horse Loop (I think)

On both Hunter Loop and Wild Loop bikes are only allowed on one side of the loop (not mentioned on the map). After Hunter Loop there is a 1.8 mi (500' vert) descent to Devil's Backbone trail head. Once you reach the trailhead take a lunch break and head back to Horsetooth Reservoir.

Devil's Backbone