Spruce Mountain Trail: An Enchanting Ride with Views to Match
For those eager to embark on the Spruce Mountain Trail journey, getting there is straightforward. From Interstate 25, take exit 163 (County Line Road). Make a left and proceed for 2.5 miles till the T intersection. Here, make a right onto Spruce Mountain Road. After 3.6 miles, a primitive dirt parking lot welcomes cyclists on the left side.
- Initial Transition: Starting with a relaxing green trail, it doesn't take long (half a mile) for things to ramp up with a black diamond segment. This challenging segment, however, quickly mellows once riders reach the Spruce Mountain peak.
- Riding Distance: This 4-mile trail takes riders on a 2.5-mile loop on top of Spruce Mountain. After completing the loop, riders descend the one-mile track they climbed initially.
- Trail Complexity: Given its level tag as "Intermediate," Spruce Mountain Trail provides a balanced challenge. The ascent has some tight switchbacks that demand attention, but the downhill segment is rewardingly smooth. Few sections might be slightly technical, but with a bit of grit, they're easily conquerable.
- Scenic Beauty: Along the route, cyclists can pause to admire breathtaking overlooks. The loop at the peak offers not just a serene ride, but panoramic views, making the ascent well worth the effort.
- Trail Composition: The terrain is diverse, with some sections having hardpack dirt, making the ride down speedy and thrilling. There's a bit of a sandy stretch, but occasional rain can make it more compact. The 1.6-mile singletrack north of the loop offers a delightful climb and descent, and is enjoyable in both directions.
- Additional Options: For those looking to mix things up, the 2.3-mile loop on top is double-wide, and while it's not the best for riding, it's decent. An additional treat is the service road dropping off the SW side, marked black on trail maps but is more intermediate due to its steepness.
Many who've ridden this trail express pleasant surprise at its beauty and challenge. Despite its prairie location, it rises with forested beauty, mainly covered with ponderosa and Douglas fir trees. A few cyclists noted it's a misnomer to call it "Spruce" Mountain, as spruce trees are noticeably absent.Riders who frequent this trail often mention the rewarding feeling of burning off mileage effortlessly on the descent. Most notably, the blend of easy to moderate difficulty levels means riders of varying expertise can enjoy it. However, weekends might get crowded with hikers, so cyclists should be ready to share the trail.
As with any shared space, it's essential to be courteous. Mountain bikers should remember that on weekends, the trail sees a good number of hikers. Everyone is there to enjoy nature, so mutual respect goes a long way.
Situated in Palmer Lake, Colorado, Spruce Mountain Trail promises an enticing experience for intermediate mountain bikers. With its well-maintained paths, variable terrain, and picturesque views, it's no wonder this trail has fast become a favorite for many. Whether looking for a quiet ride amidst nature or aiming to challenge oneself with its switchbacks and climbs, Spruce Mountain delivers. Just remember to