Boulder's Picture Rock Trail

Picture rock trail is one of Boulder County's newest trails to their collection of off-road/multi use trails. This 5.2 mile trail starts in Lyons Colorado and finishes (that is subjective) at the top of a foothill ridge where Heil Ranch Trail ends. This means you can ride from Heil trail head to the Picture Rock Trail head! The trail was masterfully constructed to cater to the recreational cyclist and less so to the extreme athlete/downhiller by strategically placing speed "narrows" often and with plenty of corners that prevent anyone from descending at a high rate of speed. Learn more of how the trail was constructed from the video below

However this trail is probably not for a beginner especially as you near the top because rock gardens on the trail will require many cyclist to have to dismount which might be frustrating to the beginner. When planning at day at Picture Rock Trail be sure to bring lots of water because those 5.2 miles will take you a healthy 1-2 hours to complete, also remember to bring you camera because the views along the trail, especially in the spring with all the wild flowers is very beautiful! For the adventurous cyclist you can continue on at the top riding one or both of the loops at the top.

Difficulty: Medium
Trail Map
Trail Website
Your comments on the trail!


rigid single, ouch

i rode this the other day without reading anything about it. ooooouch.. I've really only ridden Betasso and Hall on my rigid singlespeed without issue. Should have done my homework, this trail knocked multiple parts loose on my bike (and body!). But hey, it's better than being inside. I bet it's a blast on full suspension.

User Conflict Mitigation?

I love the fact that there is new trail being built in Boulder County, but I believe that the layout of the Picture Rock trail has only increased user conflict. Although the speeds may be slightly slower, the many, many, many, many turns make for very short sight lines. I'm no expert in trail building, but it seems like blind corners are more dangerous that higher speeds with good sight lines... As a result, I've had more near-miss incidents on the Picture Rock trail than on any other trail in the County. I certainly hope that this trail building philosophy does not continue in Boulder County!