Canyon Loop

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The Canyon Loop is a short but stunningly beautiful 20 minute lap.From either parking lot or the Betasso Link Trail, take the Canyon Loop Trail in the required direction. Both directions are fun and the county usually changes the required direction on the 1st of every month. You start at a high point and descend about half way before climbing back up to where you started. The trail is bench cut on a steep slope. So although the trail is technically pretty easy, it can cause problems for those with a tendency for vertigo. Most of the trail is pleasant singletrack, relatively flowy, and about 3 feet wide, but perhaps 1/4 of the loop is on the historic Betasso Ranch road. There's an incredible overlook counterclockwise from the trailhead, less than a mile along the trail that overlooks Boulder Canyon with great views of the the University of Colorado and the city.

Important stuff you should know:

  • This trail is closed to bikes on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • This trail has a required direction for bike traffic at all times (look for the arrow when you get on the trail)
  • Trail direction changes on the 1st of the month

Please obey these rules and BMA will continue to work with BCPOS to make the system work better.

Betasso Preserve is one of the few places to get in a mountain bike ride from town without the use of a car. Ride up the Boulder Creek Path, which goes through town and up Boulder Canyon to the intersection with Fourmile Canyon. Then you have to jockey with traffic on Boulder Canyon Drive (Highway 119) to the Betasso Link Trail, or you can head up Fourmile Canyon to the Fourmile Connector Trail.

Canyon Loop GPX File44.78 KB
Canyon Loop Google Earth File3.33 KB
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Canyon Loop Click on image to enlarge
Canyon Loop Click on image to enlarge

T: 3 A: 5 C: 4

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3.2 mi.
450 ft.


I have to take issue with Ranger Hartnett's post that Betasso trails are in "great shape." I rode the Canyon Loop and Benjamin Loop trails yesterday morning and there is a lot of ice that will turn to mud soon. I'm leaving the condition as "fair" because almost all terrain is "rideable" but would caution riders that the ice is dangerous and that trail damage is an issue for at least the next week.

Trail Meter: Good»Fair

Rideable on all tire sizes, but there is mud and ice in many spots.

Trail Meter: Poor»Good

Almost no mud, either snow or dirt around the whole loop. Had to walk a small section near the canyon link junction, otherwise rideable on fatbike with 4.8" tires. But the benjamin loop is not as good. Going to deteriorate fast with this weather.

At least one long muddy stretch and lots of mud, ice, and snow in other spots.

Trail Meter: Fair»Poor

It's either ice or bone dry. Icy sections are really dicey, and not rideable in spots.

Mostly snow and dirt mix, you will run into ice on the areas of the trail that do not get sun.

Trail Meter: Good»Fair

Lots of ice on Sun 01/17, but some dry spots and good packed snow too. Studded tires would have worked well.

Good snow pack on all but south aspects where it's dry dirt. Rode it on regular tires no problem.

Fantastic snow bike conditions.

Trail Meter: Poor»Good

So good, only a bit of sticky mud and slush.

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