This trail’s name is a little deceiving, I think. Anything with “Pass” in it sounds like some kind of high alpine, skinnier-than-a-runway-model strip of grippy heaven surrounded by aspen trees in air so fresh you wanna slap it.
This trail would not be like that. And I’m not sure what the hell I was thinking. It’s just outside Camp Dick (heh heh), heading toward the Indian Peaks Wilderness. And duh, anything up in that area is just frickin’ rocky as hell. So, yes, I admit, I didn’t really do my homework; I was just bent on riding something new.
So in the same dude-like “I think that stripper really likes me!”sense of mindless optimism, we embarked onto the Middle St. Vrain Trail that starts just east of the Camp Dick (heh heh just one more time) campground. This trail eventually crosses the creek and connects to Buchanan Pass, allowing you to bypass the campground.
I was ready to rock out, and it’s a damn good thing. One big-ass rock garden followed another in a parade of pedal-slamming, wheel-jamming opportunity. Luckily I was in the Zone and so was Rick. We cleaned probably 90% of this stuff, dodging dogs and hikers, without incident. You don’t even really get that out of breath, because the trail is so incredibly gradual for most of the four-mile stretch to the wilderness boundary.
Rick pondering the preponderance of babyheads.
One of the more mellow sections. Doesn’t that rock look like a face?
Same spot, different view.
The ride is totally doable by riders with decent skills, but the crux is whether or not you really want to. If you love slow, techy riding (both “up” and “down”) then this trail could be one of your favorites. It certainly has some nice views of the water.
Cool place to dip your feet
And the return trip back down has some fun bits.
One of the smoother areas
But there is not a lot of buffed flow, by any stretch of the imagination. And there’s no real destination, I don’t think. I’m pretty sure you just hit the wilderness boundary and turn around. I’m not entirely sure, because we got a bit tired of the struggle and turned back, especially after a hiker told us the Coney Flats area above was a muddy mess. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, so that’s not a surprise.
At any rate, it was still a fun adventure. Boulder County doesn’t have a lot of trails like this, so if this is your bag, get up there and get some. But it is definitely in a hiker’s trail, if you know what I mean. Nothing about its character was truly intended for bikes. We only saw three other mountain bikers. So, if you like to haul the mail over smoother stuff or have high-mountain views, this trail’s probably not for you. And avoiding the weekends will surely bring more solitude.