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White Ranch: Technical Descent Tour


A tour of the southern half of White Ranch's best features.

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7,881' 2,402 m


6,158' 1,877 m


2,799' 853 m


2,800' 853 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed


This ride will reward you for getting the Belcher Hill sufferfest out of the way. The ride features some of the best singletrack in the front range. Technical drops, switchbacks, rock gardens, and climbs. It's everything a dirt lover could want.

Need to Know

Belcher Hill can get very hot! If you want to ride this trail in full sun, start from the west parking lot and skip the lower section on Belcher. Spring, fall, cloudy days, mornings, and evenings are the best times to ride here.

The lower half of the Belcher trail has a lot of trail user traffic. Watch out for hikers, dogs, bikers and horses.


Start at the Eastern (lower) parking lot. Head through the 2 horse gates. After the gates, there's a great rock garden to test your skills. After that there's a short gradual climb through a stand of bushes, and again this trail is heavily used. Use the planks to wind down and up the banks of the steam crossing. Now you'll have a 1740 ft climb ahead of you!

The start of the climb is loose over hard trail, singletrack and moderately steep. Starting at the intersection with Longhorn is a very loose, rocky section of trail. This section is re-purposed doubletrack until the intersection with the Sawmill trail. If you want a little break from the doubletrack, take the Round-Up Loop. Its a fun little singletrack climb. After the intersection with Sawmill, Belcher HIll returns to singletrack. It's full of water bars and steep from here to the top.

At the top of Belcher Hill, drop your seat and unlock your shock! Head South on Mustang Trail. This is where you'll be rewarded for your hill climb suffer fest! Get ready for rapid-fire technical drop after drop broken up by high bank corners and planked sections. After the initial downhill section, Mustang Trail mellows out to a climb, descent, climb, descent until you meet back up with Belcher Hill.

Once you meet back up with Belcher, fight the urge to turn your wheel downhill! For a little more climbing you'll be rewarded with more awesome descending! Climb back up Belcher (yes, the super steep and water-bar strewn singletrack awaits once more) to the very top. This time, once you reach the bench, hang a right for a rowdy descent the only portion of Belcher Hill you've yet to ride. This section is super fast and features tons of water bar drops and rocks to jump. Cross the road (carefully) and continue to descend the final portion of Belcher, around more switchbacks, over drops, and through fun rocky sections, until you hit Rawhide.

Hang a right on Rawhide and follow the mellow dirt road climb to the paved road. Cross the road, descend a short but fun little section of Sawmill and then settle in for the second-to-last climb of the ride. The pedaling is over before you know it and you'll descend a short section of Belcher Hill to the intersection with Maverick, where you'll bear left.

Rip down Maverick, and try to bunny hop the waterbar ruts. Don't miss the rock drops. This section will make you love your dropper seatpost if you have one, or make you want to buy one when you finish the ride! There's a tiny climb at the end of Maverick, once you cross the creek, but it's so short it's not worth counting as a true climb.

Meet up with Longhorn Trail and head to the right. Longhorn starts out with some sweet flowy loose over hard singletrack with water bars. Work on banking your corners and hopping drops. After the screaming upper section comes to an end, cross the creek and look for the "Steep Trail Sections Ahead" sign. This is Longhorn Trail's claim to fame: a solid mile of screaming fast, technical descending to the creek. Things get pretty techy and tight the closer you get to the bottom of the drainage, so hang on and pick your line wisely!

Cross the creek, try your hand at a nearly impossible step-up rock feature and then settle in for a very steep (albeit short) grind to the junction with Whippletree. Optional: If your legs feel up to a bit more climbing, stay right to climb the final section of Longhorn Trail which meets Belcher Hill a little higher up. This will tack on a bit more climbing for a touch more descending on the fast, loose doubletrack. After a short climb on Whippletree, enjoy a flowy descent back to Belcher Hill where you'll turn left to hit the parking lot.

Keep an eye out for other trail users and tear down Belcher. Again, after the creek crossing there can be very heavy trail traffic. Stay strong through the rock garden and finish at the parking lot.


Shared By:

Matt Thoele with improvements by Heath Glasgow

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 210 votes


  4.2 from 210 votes
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292 Views Last Month
86,443 Since May 6, 2013



Catching a little air on Mustang
Jan 5, 2019 near Golden, CO
#followcamfriday on the Front Range's best descent with Dee Tidwell. Maverick to Longhorn.
Apr 28, 2017 near Golden, CO
Just a couple of Spot Bros cruising down the techy stuff
Jan 5, 2019 near Golden, CO
The last downhill section of Longhorn, before you cross the creek.
Jun 25, 2017 near Golden, CO
Longhorn's famous 'canyon drop'
Sep 22, 2017 near Golden, CO
White Ranch “technical descent tour”, Golden, CO. Not the best ride of my life but still a pretty good fun. Lot of drops and lot of fun
Nov 18, 2018 near Golden, CO


Current Trail Conditions

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Nov 2, 2022
Brian K
2h 30m
Oct 6, 2022
Sep 14, 2022
Brian K
3h 00m
Aug 26, 2022
Fernando Lucero
Jun 18, 2022
Tyler Broom
1h 40m
Apr 16, 2022
Alexander Lehr
Apr 3, 2022
Gary Wiese
Mar 29, 2022
Eduardo Lichtle
Just a bit of snow But was very good 9.6mi — 2h 00m