12.1 miles
988 ft
-988 ft
1 mile
High Point

This route gives a great tour of the best trails Marshall Mesa has to offer. The ride starts at the main parking lot at Highway 93 and Marshall Road. This is a pay lot if you don't live in Boulder County. There is free parking across the street at the RTD lot.

You'll start the ride with a quick rock garden and then hang a right and start climbing the Coal Seam Trail. This trail is a moderate climb with a few rocks and roots thrown in. At the top of the hill you will hit Community Ditch - East, hang a left. Continue on this dirt road for about 1/2 mile, then you will come to a bridge crossing the irrigation ditch on the right hand side and the beginning of the Greenbelt Plateau trail. This, my friend, is the only technical spot in all of Marshall Mesa. Every year it gets a bit more eroded and a bit tougher. Cross the bridge and see if you can get your bike up and over the first rock problem. If you can manage that, the next few erosion logs and rocks shouldn't be an issue. This rock garden is only 50' ft long and no worries if you need to walk. Continue up Greenbelt Plateau until you the hit the staircase, or the alternate line next to it, and turn left to stay on Greenbelt Plateau. Here the trail turns into a farm road (the beginning part still shows damage from the 2013 flood.) Climb up and over the top of the Mesa and you'll find yourself at the trailhead on highway 128.

Hang a right and continue to the crosswalk to cross over Highway 93. Continue along the Flatirons Vista trail past the Flatirons Vista parking lot and you'll get to a fork in the trail. The right hand (uphill) choice is Flatirons Vista, which stays a farm road but is the most direct way to get to Doudy Draw. The left-hand choice is Prairie Vista, so take that left and then stay right (and north) of the small pond. Prairie Vista is a great little singletrack for about a mile, winding up the hill and through the trees. A mile in, you will come to a T-intersection with Flatirons Vista South, take a right. At the southwest corner of the property you will get to a gate and then the trail changes character to a double-track riverbed of small baby-head rocks all the way around to Doudy Draw.

You will find yourself at a T-intersection with Flatiorn Vista and Doudy Draw. Hang a left over the gate and now you are on Doudy Draw, the most technical descent of the ride. This trail is moderately steep and has some rocks, roots and exposure. You'll be temped to let loose, but there are often uphill bikers and hikers so please use caution. At the bottom of the hill you will cross a bridge and have a small climb up to the Springbrook connector intersection. Take a left and head along Springbrook Connector to Springbrook Loop.

Springbrook is one of the best trails in the Marshall Mesa system. It is singletrack, it gets into the trees and it has great views of the Flatirons. I prefer to do it counterclockwise, it's a less steep climb with a slightly rowdier descent. But clockwise is great too, especially on a hot summer day when most of the climb is shaded and the descent is fast and flowy. Heck, it's only a bit over 2 miles so try it both ways and find your favorite.

After Springbrook, retrace your path back along Springbrook Connector and you'll be back to Doudy Draw. Hang a left and continue downhill. Again, this can be a fun descent but watch for other trail users. At the bottom of the hill you will cross a bridge and take an immediate right onto Community Ditch - West. This turn can be easy to miss so if you find yourself riding past a picnic table still going downhill, go back.

Community Ditch - West is a necessary evil to get back to the trailhead. It's a farm road and it's not even double track. Last time I counted, it's up to quadruple track, often covered in cow patties. Buck up and just get through this section. At the end of the trail, you will go through a gate, then under Highway 93 and you'll be back to the Community Ditch - East trail and Coal Seam intersection. Turn left down Coal Seam and you're back to the trailhead.

This ride can be done with many variations - you can use Marshall Valley trail, you can do it in the reverse direction and you can skip Springbrook or Flatrions Vista loop to shorten the distance. For an extra long ride, tack on the eastern trails and do an extended Dirty Bismark.

Detailed Description
Marshall Mesa Doudy Draw Loop is a 12 mile popular intermediate route located near Boulder Colorado. This mountain bike only route can be used both directions and has a moderate overall physical rating. This route includes 14 trails. This route climbs 988 ft with a max elevation of 6,242 ft then descends -988 ft.
Local Trail Association
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Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (bouldermountainbike.org)
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6 Reviews & Comments

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More Stats for Marshall Mesa Doudy Draw Loop mountain bike route
  • Avg time
    1 hr 38 min
  • Altitude min
    5,567 ft
  • Altitude start
    5,567 ft
  • Altitude end
    5,568 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    6 miles
  • Distance down
    5 miles
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
Avg: 4.35 (3 votes)
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Coal Seam
Aug 30, 2023 @ 9:16am
Aug 30, 2023
Flatirons Vista South
Aug 30, 2023 @ 9:16am
Aug 30, 2023
Prairie Vista
Aug 30, 2023 @ 9:16am
Aug 30, 2023
Springbrook Connector
Aug 30, 2023 @ 9:16am
Aug 30, 2023
Springbrook North
Aug 30, 2023 @ 9:16am
Aug 30, 2023
more reports »
  • By WendyBMA BMA & contributors
  • #11904 - 4,872 views