Downhill Mountain Biking Near Denver
Updated: Jul 6, 2022
There are many options for mountain biking in Colorado, but few downhill rides are accessible on the front range. The rides listed below are all located along the front range and offer some of the most intense downhill/enduro-style riding in Colorado. Technically it’s not all downhill, since each ride involves a fairly strenuous climb. However, here at ColoradBro, we assure you that these descents will be well worth your effort. All while avoiding hours of potential traffic on i70 getting to one of the major resorts. These rides are considered intermediate to expert on MTB Project and we have linked each profile below. DM us on Instagram if you have questions about the rides.
Located just outside golden, you will begin your ascent up Belcher Hill to arrive at the downhill access points. Belcher hill can take even the toughest riders off their bike, so be sure to bring water and keep your mojo up. Rest assured, the downhill will be well with this steep and occasionally technical climb. We recommend avoiding the summer heat when attempting this ride as it is exposed to direct sun. Regardless, don't forget to bring sunscreen!
White Ranch offers several solid rides, but the downhill gem of this area is The Longhorn Trail. This section of trail is designated as a downhill only trail so you should not have to worry about oncoming traffic and you can really let it run. Longhorn is fast and technical singletrack from top to bottom. Flowy and technical, simultaneously. Enjoy sections of fast bank turns on hard dirt pack. This trail is rarely loose because it sees a substantial volume of riders to pack it down.
Stay on your toes because there are fun drops off of roots and man made steps along the ride. The lowest section of the trail continues to steepen and the rocks get a bit looser as you descend into a thin valley. You’ll know you’ve completed the longhorn when you begin to ascend once again out of this valley onto the Whippletree trail and go across the mountain to the parking lot.
Left Hand Canyon - OHV Area
A lesser-known area, and rightfully so. These rides are not for the faint of heart. Lefthand canyon entrance is located at the Northern Boundary of Boulder. Ascending through a massive burn area, shade is sparse while climbing. At Lefthand, the general rule of thumb is to ride up the dirt roads and down the singletrack. The OHV area is unique because other bikers have created many of these trails by riding them consistently. You can ride down almost any trail or mountain face and find gnarly downhill, offering adrenaline for seasoned experts.
Our favorite ride in this area is Ride Like a Moto. We recommend reading more about navigating the trail system before getting on your bike. This system is managed by the USFS and is not well marked since many of the trails were created and maintained by local riders.
As you begin your descent, you will quickly be challenged by long sections of loose rock and descending sharp turns. Techy and exciting! Your rear wheel is likely to be drifting the corners through the loose dirt as you careen over beautiful Left Hand Creek. We do not recommend riding any of the downhill sections at OHV solo, so make sure to bring friends. If you reach the bottom unscathed, the adrenaline will surely be pumping through your tired hands!
Likely the most well-known ride on our list, Floyd Hill is custom fit for flowy and powerful downhill laps. Located just off of the Floyd Hill exit on i70 before Idaho Springs, this trail is very accessible from downtown Denver. In addition, the ascent is less strenuous than the alternative rides mentioned above. Once you begin ascending, the trail will eventually fork and you can ride in either direction to reach the summit. If you ride left at the fork, you have the option to add on the Canyon View Loop if you’re looking for a longer ride. This loop is approximately 500 ft. of decent and subsequent climbing before returning to the main Floyd Hill trail.
Once you reach the top of Floyd Hill, enjoy some scenic views with fellow riders while you prepare for an intense downhill. Immediately after you drop in, keep your balance as you ride over enormous boulders on the lefthand side of the trail. Riding these rocks compares to riding over a teeter-totter and is a great skills challenge. Then the downhill really gets going! Since Floyd Hill was designed specifically as a mountain bike park, every bank guides you around the turn perfectly. Flow through every turn! Choose your own line as you descend down Floyd Hill as fast as you choose. In the lower section, expect some rock drops and hand-crafted dirt ramps that you can air out without concern of a dirty landing. Our recommendation is to take them with speed and prep for the next jump as soon as you. Speed is the key!
We will see you on the trail soon and remember to always wear protection while riding! We have linked to our favorite helmet and mouth guard below.