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Picture Rock/Wild Turkey Loop

Intermediate
 3.9 (116) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A combination of a few of the best intermediate trails in the Boulder/Lyons area.


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Map Key

14.6

Miles

23.5

KM

100%

Singletrack

6,666' 2,032 m

High

5,394' 1,644 m

Low

1,324' 403 m

Up

1,325' 404 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

13%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Overview

Buttery smooth on the bottom half, and rocky and technical on the top, this trail has it all. The hard work on the way up is paid back with a beautiful, flowing descent. There's a spectacular viewpoint on the Wild Turkey Trail. You can also continue on the Ponderosa Loop and add Wapiti Trail for a full tour of Heil Ranch.

Description

From the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance: "This first time you ride this trail, it's gonna feel all jumbled and funky like trying to force conversation on a first date in high school. But, after a couple of runs on this, you'll get your groove on, and it's a flowing pump track of silliness."

All the turns, berms, and rocks mix together for a grand adventure that's quickly become one of the area's most popular trails. Start at the Picture Rock trailhead, and head up. The climb starts out pretty mellow and continues that way for the first two-and-a-half miles or so, but make sure to save your energy through this section.

As you continue, you'll eventually pass a large grain silo. This is where the climbing starts to get rocky. Make sure to carry your momentum through the rock gardens as you'll need it to get over some of the larger obstacles.

After another three miles or so, you'll reach the end of Picture Rock where it intersects the Wild Turkey Trail. Head left to start a clockwise loop. The rocky climbing continues, but will soon flatten out where you turn right onto the Ponderosa Loop. There are some ups and down ahead, but the trend from here is downwards.

Halfway through the Ponderosa Loop, you'll arrive at a beautiful lookout. Stop and enjoy the view, then double back a short distance to take the right back onto the Wild Turkey Trail. When you return to the intersection for Picture Rock, turn left and begin back down.

The descent starts out rocky, but smooths out past the silo. Enjoy the flow on this section; it's some of the best in the Boulder area. Soon you'll be back to the parking lot where you began.

On the way down Picture Rock it's tempting to rip, especially after things smooth out after the silo. Just be aware of sections with low visibility and watch out for other trail users.

Contacts

Shared By:

Peter Wills with improvements by Wendy Sweet

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 116 votes

#168

Overall
  3.9 from 116 votes
5 Star
28%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
19%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
3%
Recommended Route Rankings

#55

in Colorado

#168

Overall
271 Views Last Month
24,613 Since Apr 13, 2017
Intermediate

0%
2%
67%
15%
16%
1%

Photos

Looking out over Heil Valley.
Jun 17, 2016 near Lyons, CO
One of the landmarks of Picture Rock Trail.
Jun 12, 2019 near Lyons, CO
A sign warning of an aggressive grouse and the aggressive grouse
Apr 18, 2015 near Lyons, CO
I love the forest canopy of Heil Ranch.
Aug 25, 2016 near Lyons, CO
A nice resting spot with a bench and a view.
May 25, 2013 near Lyons, CO
Overlook on Ponderosa Trail is incredible!
Sep 19, 2017 near Lyons, CO

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Check-Ins

May 25, 2022
Allison Saltz
May 19, 2022
natelav89
May 7, 2022
Stefan Feider
May 1, 2022
Rowan Paris
Dec 25, 2021
Private User
Nov 14, 2021
Steve Connolly
Excellent trail construction and maintenance! Trail extends a bit into burn area at the southern end. 15mi — 2h 22m
Nov 9, 2021
Kelly Cucchi
Nov 7, 2021
Jeff Krawczyk