Boulder Canyon

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Hard
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
47.4 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
891 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama on Boulder Canyon road biking route in Boulder, Colorado

Boulder Canyon is the most scenic canyon in the area and an excellent bike ride. Cycling in Boulder Canyon is not for the fainthearted. Narrow shoulders, aggressive traffic, and broken concrete make this a ride for only the diehard thrill seekers that want to challenge themselves.

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Route Description for Boulder Canyon

Boulder Canyon is an epic bike ride that is part of the Buffalo Bicycle Classic, where they actually shut down the canyon for the popular bike race. Beware that cycling in Boulder Canyon can be a stressful ride, with lots of traffic, narrow shoulders and broken concrete. This bike ride is best done early in the morning, before traffic picks up.

Boulder Canyon Drive follows alongside Boulder Creek as the road twists and climbs past sheer canyon walls of granite. The jaw-dropping canyon is a popular tourist destination for motorists and rock climbers.

The halfway mark of this bike ride is Boulder Falls, which is a 21 m high waterfall that is fed by spring runoff from Upper Dream Canyon. Boulder Falls is also a transition point, where Boulder Canyon becomes increasingly steep, with a max grade of 10%. After a lung busting climb, the canyon gradually becomes less steep, until the final push over the Barker Reservoir Dam. Ride into the town of Nederland which is the turnaround point.

Be careful riding back down the canyon! It is fast and fun, but also a white-knuckle experience!

Insider Hints for Boulder Canyon

Getting to the Boulder Canyon Trailhead

From Boulder, take Canyon Dr. west to the beginning of Boulder Canyon.

Route Information

  • Type of Ride


  • Re-supply points

    Salto / Tin Shed Sports Nederland, CO

  • When to do

    April - November

  • Toilets

    Eben G. Fine Park, Barker Reservoir Recreation Area

  • Level of Car Traffic


  • Road Type

    Shared roads with cars

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Boulder Canyon Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Boulder Canyon Reviews

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