The Sourdough Trail is a mixed bag for a lot of riders, our take is that it is one of the best trails in the Boulder area, some riders find it overly rocky, overly technical, and generally frustrating. All of which can be true, however those are some of the reasons why it is such a good ride.
If you know what to expect before you get on to the trail it will probably be a more enjoyable experience. Strong Intermediate riders will be pushed to their limits and potentially beyond. Expect to climb, expect to be at high altitude, expect to be exhausted, expect to be challenged, expect ripping fast downhills that get your heart racing, expect to get wet crossing the creek, and expect to have fun, which comes back to going into the ride with the right expectations, if you ride within your abilities, get off the bike when you need to, push you self when you need to, you will have a fun time.
This is a fun trail. I park at the parking area just a mile or so up Co Rd 116 from Hwy 72 and head North from there. The first half is a 3.4 mile climb up to 10,200' that has few breaks of downhill to give you a break so it's a bit of a lung bleeder in sections, but it's mostly in the cover of the trees which helps keep you cool even on hotter days. Once you get to the 'top' it's a 2 mile mostly downhill to Brainard Road at 10,000'.From here you can continue on past Brainard Road on Wapiti Trail that takes you down to Beaver Reservoir. For me, by this time, I normally turn back because the uphill isn't over with a climb back up to 10,280' but then it's 95% downhill all the way from there back to the parking lot.It's rather rocky throughout, which raises the technical level, but not as bad as other around such as Heil Ranch, but it's not far behind. I don't think I personally would ride this on anything less than a fully suspended bike, but it's doable. The scenery along the trail is nice and serene tucked back in the woods, and toward the top you can see Boulder through the trees.Overall a great trail I'd ride any time.
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