This is, without a doubt, one of the hardest 43-mile rides you’ll find around Boulder. It’s got over 8,000 feet of climbing, and never takes you more than 12 miles away from town. So if at any point you call uncle, you can pretty much coast home.
Distance: 43 miles.
Total Elevation Gain: 8,050 ft.
Ride up Boulder Canyon to the Magnolia Rd junction. Go left (south) on Magnolia and climb until the road turns to dirt, then turn around and carefully descend back to Boulder Canyon. Go left (west) up Boulder Canyon for about 100 yards and then turn right (north) onto Sugarloaf Rd. Climb up Sugarloaf, past the summit, to where the road turns to dirt, then turn around and return to Boulder Canyon. Go left (east) and descend down Boulder Canyon to return to town. Go right (south) on 6th Street and climb all the way up to Baseline Rd. Go right (west) on Baseline and climb past the turn-off to the amphitheater (don’t cheat — keep going straight) and continue to the summit where the mailboxes are. Then turn around and coast all the way home.
If you’d like to make the ride even harder, don’t turn around at the summit of Flagstaff, rather continue on to where the road turns to dirt at Gross Reservoir, and then return to town. If you do this variation, you’re a stud. We call this extended version Where the Sidewalk Ends, because on all three climbs you continue to where the pavement ends.
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