Panorama of Left Hand Canyon road biking route near Boulder, Colorado
Panorama of Left Hand Canyon road biking route near Boulder, Colorado

Left Hand Canyon Road Biking Route

Boulder
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Left Hand Canyon Road Biking Route

Distance: 32.7mi
Elevation: 680mi
Time: 4-5h

Difficulty Rating:

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Left Hand Canyon is one of the best road bike rides in Boulder and along the entire Colorado Front Range. Featuring a long steady climb along a shaded shoulder, it is the perfect way to spend a day out in Boulder.

Left Hand Canyon Road Biking Route Map

Getting there

From Boulder, head north on US 36 towards Lyons. The entrance to Left Hand Canyon will be on the west side of US 36. Parking is along the road at the beginning of Left Hand Canyon Dr.

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About

Type of Ride

Single-day

Re-supply points

Utica Street Market in Ward, CO

When to do

April - November

Toilets

Ward, CO

Level of Car Traffic

Moderate

Road Type

Shared roads with cars

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

One Way


Left Hand Canyon
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Left Hand Canyon

Left Hand Canyon is a world class Boulder bike ride. It begins in the flats of Boulder Valley and climbs to the historic mining town of Ward. Newly paved and nice wide shoulders make this an enjoyable bike ride. Left Hand Canyon gradually climbs out of Boulder Valley along a curvy canyon road that follows the path carved out by Left Hand Creek. You will be surrounded by tree covered mountains as you ride through sections of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest.

The road becomes steeper as you continue to climb towards Ward, until a section called “Turn of events” where the climb becomes strenuous up the final mile and a half. You will know you are getting close to town, when you start seeing abandoned classic cars and trucks along the road. Ward is not technically a ghost town, but there is a sense of a place time forgot.

Once you make your way into town, you will see the 3 or 4 buildings that make up the main street and downtown. One of the buildings is the Utica Street Market, which is a bike friendly destination for snacks and refreshments and is also the turning around point to head back down the canyon. The way down is fast and flowy! Put it in the big ring and blast downhill. Make sure to be careful and watch for sections of loose gravel or debris on the road as you fly back down.

Insider Hints

  • Utica Street Market in the town of Ward is a bike friendly destination for snacks and refreshments.

  • Continue to climb up to Brainard Lake Recreation Area

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