5.3 miles
1,052 ft
-1,051 ft
2 miles
High Point

Want the fastest way to the goods? The intermediate-advanced bike-only downhill-only rowdy, bermy, jumpy Hard Money? Well, here you go

From the Historic Gilpin Tramway, make the first right onto Millsite Trail. This 2 mile singletrack through the pines is one of the nicest ways to climb nearly 700 ft. The tread is very accommodating and there are few technical challenges, but it is designated as an intermediate trail. While it is only an average grade of 6.4%, there are some punchy sections and climbing corners that will add to your workout. If the altitude is hurting you, there's a great overlook at 1.6 miles in to catch your breath. The top of Millsite hooks up with Easy Money. Take the left fork on Easy Money to continue the climb, then cross the service road and keep going. Keep heading up Easy Money, up and up and up. You'll have the option of 2 addition switchbacks if you want to see the summit of Maryland Mountain, otherwise take the left onto Hard Money.

Now here are the good. Hang onto your saddle for 2 miles of you-won't-stop-grinning downhill fun. At the bottom, take a left on Historic Gilpin Tramway for another lap or to get back to the trailhead.

Detailed Description
Hard Money Loop is a 5 mile popular expert route located near Black Hawk Colorado. This mountain bike primary route can be used one direction and has a moderate overall physical rating. This route includes 2 trails. This route climbs 1,052 ft with a max elevation of 9,176 ft then descends -1,051 ft.
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16 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
arrrkane (Jul 14, 2022 at 2:00)
Trail Hard Money
Great trail. Works best if ridden very fast. Good combo of flow and tech
  • - 1
Moonie2123 (Jul 11, 2022 at 14:41)
Trail Hard Money
Steep, dusty, blown out, a little sketchy, but still fun. Make sure your brakes are sorted
  • + 0
KC25 (Jun 21, 2022 at 16:47)
Fun downhill with some small jump options. A few tight switchbacks but very rewarding after the relatively easy climb on tramway
  • + 0
provin1327 (May 14, 2022 at 18:51)
Trail Hard Money
Spencer is correct. This trail needs some serious maintenance. Many of the sections are getting blown out and loose as marbles. The majority of the trail ia in good shape but it really does need some work and rock armoring in spots.
  • + 1
spencerimre (Nov 7, 2021 at 9:32)
Trail Hard Money
I can see how this would be tons of fun when properly maintained, but it's really blown out as of November 2021. Still a cool trail though.
  • + 0
hi-dr-nick Reporter (Oct 11, 2021 at 15:24)
Trail Hard Money
^if you’re lapping with an e-bike why does it even matter which way you climb? Bahahah

Superb trail though, and they’re currently adding more line variants.
  • + 1
FatahRuark (Jun 10, 2021 at 19:53)
Trail Hard Money
Best DH trail near Denver. More fun and flow than Floyd Hill (although FH is pretty awesome too). If you're lapping with an e-bike I recommend riding the Tram Road all the way to Easy Money. Smoother and faster climbing that way.
  • + 0
finnmerellshreds (Jun 7, 2021 at 15:25)
great loop
  • - 1
finnmerellshreds (Jun 7, 2021 at 15:25)
Trail Hard Money
amazing trail!!!!!
  • + 1
Blondero (Jun 4, 2021 at 14:11)
Great hiking trail, recommend bikers go around paymaster if they don’t like the hikers
  • + 2
WendyBMA BMA (Jun 6, 2021 at 8:04)
Millsite IS a great bi-directional multi-use trail. But I recommend that if hikers get sick of bikers, they can use the hiker-only trail, Summit.
  • + 1
JonathanMyewW2 (Jun 2, 2021 at 19:53)
This Should not be recommended as a climb trail it's much funner going down and kills the party when there's a ton of people climbing it .I recommend climbing old tram way to easy money for all the trails
  • + 2
WendyBMA BMA (Jun 6, 2021 at 8:06)
There are 4 more bike-only downhill hill trails coming to the system, Millsite will remain a popular climbing trail since it's shorter and more shaded than the Tramway and Easy Money. It's a great trail to come down at non-peak times.
  • + 3
Abacall (Jun 2, 2021 at 17:58)
Trail Hard Money
Super well built trail with more fun options and sneaky pops and doubles than any trail I've ridden. Not just machine made smoothed-over stuff, plenty of jank along the way. We need more of these kids of trails!
  • + 1
provin1327 (May 22, 2021 at 19:07)
A well built trail that travels along a creek and is nice and shady but its a much steeper climb (and only one mile shorter) than taking Tramway around to Easy Money. This trail feels more like a descent that you cab climb up than a dedicated climbing trail.
  • + 1
provin1327 (May 22, 2021 at 19:01)
Trail Hard Money
Such a fun trai! Fast and flowy with loads of chunky spots, smooth steep loose berms, armored berms, hips, jibs, and optional gap jumps. Very well built and a serious leg burner!
Deleted threads/comments are hidden

Trails in Route

Millsite Trail2 miles
Hard Money2 miles


  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Other Activities
    • E-Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • eBike Allowed
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
  • Ridelogs
More Stats for Hard Money Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    8,189 ft
  • Altitude start
    8,192 ft
  • Altitude end
    8,196 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    3 miles
  • Distance down
    2 miles
  • Distance flat
    935 ft
Avg: 3.65 (3 votes)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Hard Money
Aug 13, 2022 @ 10:07am
Aug 13, 2022
very dusty on the sunny side
Millsite Trail
Aug 13, 2022 @ 10:07am
Aug 13, 2022
more reports »
  • By WendyBMA BMA & contributors
  • #28920 - 4,513 views
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