Another highly recommended trail in the Boulder area, just outside Lyons. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to enjoy this trail more than my previous one (Sourdough). I was praying that this trail was not recommended by the same people that recommended Sourdough. Well I had surprise coming my way.. a very pleasant surprise.
Trail Stats & Information
Nearby City: Lyons
Length: 10 total miles
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Aerobically: moderate. Technically: moderate+
Duration: 1.5 to 2.5 hours
Trailhead Elev: 5500 feet
Top Elev: 6800 feet
Guide Book Description
One of the best singletrack rides in the Boulder area. With that said, you will see a crowd on almost any weekend. There is a stiff climb in between mile one and two that has several technical sections on extremely rocky tread. The upper loop around the old Nelson Homestead is absolutely beautiful. Do this ride, preferably on a weekday.
Tread: 10.0 miles on singletrack.
HELL YEAH!!.. just thinking of this ride makes me want to do it again. In my books, The Hall Ranch Trail has everything a mountain biker looks for and needs. The Trailhead is easy to find, with ample parking. The trail starts off on a some what sandy singletrack, that quickly dissappears and becomes a somewhat rocky singletrack, and that soon becomes a VERY rocky ( rocky, not rocks!!) path. This very rocky section is brutal, and you will have to be from a very good stable to ride the rocks, I myself like most people walked a lot on this section.. but that doesn’t spoil a thing, this trail is so scenic, you don’t even know you are walking, ‘cos you are already enjoying the thought of coming down these rocks. After about 0.5 miles, the trail becomes a hell of a lot smoother and easier, and although you are still climbing, you don’t really notice it.Once at the top, where there is a split in the trail ( one trail leads to Antilope) you carry on, and start your first short downhill that is fast and fun. Now it’s just a fantastic easy and scenic ride. At Nelsons loop, I went “Clockwise” as suggested in the book, the trail is fantastic, it climbs but because of the stunning scenery, you don’t have time to realize you are busting a lung. Once you pass the old Nelson Homestead, and are topped out, in your wildest dreams you cannot know what is waiting for you. If the first half of this trail was near perfect, the second half is completely perfect. FAST, smooth downhill, all in an open area, that gives you excellent vission of what is or isn’t in front of you!!.. Oooohhh Yeahhh.. This is what mountain biking is about!!. You are never gonna want this ride to end, but I’m afraid it does, and when it does, you are gonna be so high on the rush, you are gonna be thinking of this trail next time you have sex!!
I have been testing trails now for 2 years for www.mountainbikemayhem, and have done well over a hundred trails throughout the USA, I can honestly say that this trail is probably the best all round trail I have done. To me, the “Hall Ranch Trail” is what Mountain Biking is about, and I give it a 10/10
Traffic on Trail : Early on a week day, and it was filling up quick
Wild Life : hundreds of Ground Hogs (or whatever they are called)
Scenery : Stunning 360% Scenery
Other : I can imagine that this trail gets extremely busy in the weekends
My Trail Rating : 10 / 10