Located just 10 miles away from Idaho Springs, Colorado, Centennial Cone Trail is an intriguing blend of natural beauty and athletic challenge. Ideal for intermediate-level cyclists, this loop trail spans 13 miles, featuring smooth single tracks, switchbacks, and staggering views of Clear Creek. However, the journey isn't all smooth sailing; prepare for some challenging climbs and a few technical sections that may raise your pulse.
Upon starting from the parking lot, the Travois Trail lures you into a seemingly straightforward ride. But don't be deceived. The trail climbs gradually, winding along ridges and providing breathtaking views. Cyclists have unanimously agreed: it’s worth the effort, even if your thighs disagree at times.
One peculiar feature of this trail is its alternating weekend schedule: mountain bikers can only hit the trail on even-numbered days, while hikers claim odd-numbered days. During weekdays, there are no such restrictions. Always check the website for closures during Elk Breeding season or other local events.
Cyclists who've tackled the trail both clockwise and counter-clockwise advise going counter-clockwise for more downhill sections. Clockwise is only recommended for those looking for a challenging uphill grind.
Referred to as "No Country for Old Men" by locals, the trail features a few technical sections that could be dangerous if not navigated properly. Water-barred switchbacks and a reasonable number of eroded sections add a layer of complexity.
The scenic splendor is unquestionable, with fields of wildflowers and sweeping views over Clear Creek. However, riders should remain vigilant as sightings of mountain lions and black bears have been reported.
Cyclists report that the trail can get crowded, especially on holidays, but commend the general politeness of trail users. Yielding and making room is commonly practiced, making the riding experience smooth for everyone.
For those coming from Idaho Springs, take I-70 east to Hwy. 6 exit #244. Head east on Hwy 6 to Hwy 119, turn left, and drive for half a mile to Douglas Mountain Road. Turn right, and it's about a mile to Centennial Cone Park.
Combining the splendors of nature with the adrenaline of mountain biking, Centennial Cone Trail offers an experience that’s hard to replicate. Whether you're a local or just visiting Colorado, this trail deserves a spot on your must-ride list.