For cyclists yearning for a mixed bag of terrains, a variety of views, and some heart-pounding elevation, the Indian Creek Loop near Waterton Canyon, Colorado offers it all. With a total distance of 29 miles—17 miles of which are off-road—this is not a ride to be taken lightly. However, the challenge comes with an invaluable payoff: scenic forest views, thrilling descents, and a satisfying sense of accomplishment.
The ride starts and ends with a 6-mile stretch on the gravel road through Waterton Canyon. The trail picks up in earnest as you reach the dam, transitioning into a fire road which eventually morphs into singletrack—marking the beginning of the Colorado Trail. Expect a continuous climb for another mile until a trail spur on the left initiates a series of intense ascents.
As you come across a trail intersection, you'll find a choice between returning to Waterton or scaling uphill toward the Indian Creek Loop. The next half-mile is another steep climb to the ridgeline, followed by gentler rolling hills.
A quick, steep descent will bring you to a T intersection. If you head left into Stevens Gulch, prepare for a fun, fast descent back towards Roxborough Loop. Veering right continues the journey towards the Indian Creek campground—your mid-way point. After reaching the creek bed, the trail meanders uphill alongside the creek, leading you through scenic forests.
Once at the Indian Creek campground, potable water and latrines are available. Refill and gear up for another series of climbs.
Descending from the fire road is mostly fast and fun, although several oddly-spaced speed bumps may pose a hazard if not navigated carefully. Near Roxborough State Park, the trail turns into some delightful singletrack, which eventually leads to another tough climb. The descent back to Waterton Canyon is a thrilling downhill ride through a dusty chute with loose rocks.
Indian Creek Loop offers a challenging yet rewarding experience. With its variety of terrains and some punishing climbs, this trail is ideal for those seeking a day-long biking adventure.
Drive south on Wadsworth Blvd, past C470, for about 3 miles. Turn left onto Waterton Rd; the parking lot is about 100 yards from the intersection.Enjoy the ride, and don't forget to pack your sense of adventure!Note: Trail conditions and access points can change, so it's advisable to check local sources for the most current information.