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Heil - Picture Rock Combo

Intermediate
 4.2 (9) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Good singletrack, rocky paths, gradual incline that tops out to amazing views of the valley.


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Map Key

20.0

Miles

32.2

KM

Loop

6,798' 2,072 m

High

5,406' 1,648 m

Low

2,241' 683 m

Up

2,241' 683 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

15%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

Overview

Fantastic panoramic view of the huge valley of Heil. Longs peak in the distance. When the weather is good, there are numerous bikes, but they are always extremely courteous and step aside for hikers. Paths are just big enough that you can squeeze by one another.

Need to Know

Exposure near the top and on Picture Rock trail.

Description

Starting at the Heil Ranch parking lot, you'll climb right from the beginning at first onto a dirt fire road, but then the singletrack Wapiti Trail comes up quickly on the left. Rocky gradual climbs for about 2.5 miles to where the Ponderosa Loop starts. Turn left onto Ponderosa Loop, which climbs slightly at first, then descends along easy, rolling terrain to the overlook.

Soak up the 180 views and then continue north down Wild Turkey where you'll get a bit of a break for some downhill and all the way to the bottom of Picture Rock. Along Picture Rock you'll see multiple old rock mining excavation sites and some nice views of the valley, all while cruising working your way down some switchbacks and rocky terrain.

Once at the Picture Rock parking lot you have a 5-mile climb back to Wild Turkey Trail. Turn left to finish the Wild Turkey Trail and then head left onto the Ponderosa Loop. Shortly after turning onto the Ponderosa Loop you'll reach the top of Wapiti Trail. This is a good place to rest as by now you'll be pretty tired.

From here it's a simple descent on Wapiti Trail to the Heil Ranch parking lot!

Flora & Fauna

Wild turkeys on "Wild Turkey Trail," possible rattlesnakes in areas, coyotes and maybe mountain lions.

Be aware, there is a sign for an "aggressive grouse" on the Ponderosa Loop near the overlook. Please take this sign seriously! That grouse ain't messin' around.

History & Background

Old rock mining area with ruins still left to check out

Contacts

Shared By:

Lauren Clack

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 9 votes

#2393

Overall
  4.2 from 9 votes
5 Star
22%
4 Star
78%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#334

in Colorado

#2,393

Overall
70 Views Last Month
3,452 Since Apr 21, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Such a relief to finally make it up to that bench at this intersection.
Oct 20, 2015 near Lyons, CO
The first section of Heil singletrack has great scenery before you dive into the forest.
Oct 20, 2015 near Lyons, CO
A sign warning of an aggressive grouse and the aformentioned aggressive grouse.
Jun 18, 2015 near Lyons, CO
Day 36 Fire Engine
Jun 18, 2015 near Lyons, CO
Scenic Overlook off Ponderosa Loop
Nov 11, 2017 near Lyons, CO
Sunlight on the stone trail
May 8, 2018 near Lyons, CO

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Check-Ins

Feb 11, 2018
Taylor King
Trail closed due to muddy conditions per Boulder County Open Space sign.