5.0 miles
Distance
288 ft
Climb
-3,693 ft
Descent
01:18:33
Avg time
Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of Boulder Gulch Trail
  • BLM
    BLM
    Land Manager

Boulder Gulch Details

  • Activities
    • Hike
    • Mountain Bike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
    Silverton
    , Colorado
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T1 Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Primitive
  • Bike Type
    AM
  • Trail Usage
    Multi-use
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular direction shown
  • Climb Difficulty
    Double Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
    Extreme
  • Trail Visibility
    Sometimes hard to follow
  • Season
    July - Sept
  • Alpine Trail
    Yes
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
  • TTFs on Trail
    Rock Garden
  • Global Ranking
    #27613 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    80 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 90 in Hiking

This is more than a ride. It’s an alpine adventure that you won’t forget. After a 2,000’ hike-a-bike, you’ll crest the ridge and be treated to spectacular views. Boulder Gulch trail is very steep and descends 3,700’ in less than four miles and has a variety of riding (alpine tundra, exposed side hilling, rocky technical fun, and many very steep, loose sections). This is a hardcore alpine experience and you must be fully prepared (be prepared for remoteness, wind, cool temps, and lightning likely during thunderstorms). There is very limited cell service on this route.

From Silverton, take county road 110 past the Silverton ski area. The road will eventually curve right, past the Water Treatment Plant. From here, take County Road 52 to the end (Velocity Basin). Park here and get ready to hike your bike.

From the parking area, there is a trail that heads east. Bikes are not allowed to be ridden anywhere on the climb. With your bike on your back, follow this trail. Your objective is the ridgeline above. After ascending 2,000 ft, you’ll reach the ridge where you’ll find a faint trail. Follow this trail along the ridge until you eventually reach the high point at 13,000’. Stop and enjoy the views (you’ll look down into Eureka Gulch to your left, Velocity Basin to your right, and Boulder Gulch straight ahead).

From the high point, get ready for a spicy descent (the trail descends 3,700’ in approx. 3.5 miles). The trail is very faint at the top but becomes more pronounced as you go further down. If you lose the trail at the top, stop and look for cairns.

The initial trail is faint as it descends through the alpine tundra. There are some sections where the trail skirts along the side of steep hillsides. About midway down, the trail jogs left and over a small creek crossing. Continue following the trail as it passes through the trees. There are several sharp switchbacks sprinkled throughout, and some super steep sections of loose rock. Eventually the trail ends at Boulder Gulch stream where you’ll see a concrete intake pond. This is Silverton’s water source so please stay out of the water. From here, follow the doubletrack road which eventually leads to Silverton.

Access Info Restricted Access

The primary route to get to this trail begins at Velocity Basin. Bikes are not allowed to be ridden on the climb (BLM land from the lake to the summit); however, you are allowed to hike this section with your bike on your back. The roughly 2,000 ft. climb is steep and most people wouldn’t be able to ride it anyway.

Be prepared for weather because this area attracts a lot of lightning. The high point is 13,000 ft and weather conditions can change in minutes. The trail is steep the whole way down so be sure your brakes are in good working order!

Disclaimer

This is a hardcore high alpine adventure ride. Not to be taken lightly because of the remoteness, elevation, and exposure to lightning. If it looks like dark clouds are moving in, get down as lightning strikes are very common up here.

Local Trail Association
Traditionally Indigenous Territory
More Stats for Boulder Gulch hike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    -3,405 ft
  • Altitude min
    9,511 ft
  • Altitude max
    13,021 ft
  • Altitude start
    12,916 ft
  • Altitude end
    9,511 ft
  • Grade
    -12.871%
  • Grade max
    -71.512%
  • Grade min
    82.002%
  • Distance climb
    3,394 ft
  • Distance down
    4 miles
  • Distance flat
    782 ft
  • Avg time
    01:18:33
  • view trail stats
Status:
on May 20, 2021
Snow Covered
Avg: 3.65 (3 votes)

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
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The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
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  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
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  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
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  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
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  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
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ATV/ORV/OHV Filter
Max Vehicle Width
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Radar Time
      Directions to boulder-gulch trailhead (37.870430, -107.631170)
      update trails status or condition

      Boulder Gulch Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      May 20, 2021 @ 10:59am
      May 20, 2021
      Sep 24, 2020 @ 1:47pm
      Sep 24, 2020
      Pretty much a skid fest, suffer ride for 95% of folks. Scenic AF, but the approach and descent is type 2 fun.
      Dec 2, 2019 @ 12:13pm
      Dec 2, 2019
      Snow Covered
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

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      • 0 rides
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      6 Months
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      • 41 rides
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      Photos

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      12 |
      Jun 8, 2021 @ 10:11am
      Jun 8, 2021
      9 |
      Jun 8, 2021 @ 10:11am
      Jun 8, 2021
      9 |
      Jun 8, 2021 @ 9:10am
      Jun 8, 2021
      9 |
      Jun 8, 2021 @ 9:09am
      Jun 8, 2021

      Trail Lists

      1 Review & Comments

      • + 3
      dernat (Jul 18, 2020 at 20:36)
       It was explained to us that access from Velocity Basin is a bit complicated and ultimately requires mountain bikers to physically carry their bikes virtually straight up from the parking lot. There is a trail that skirts lookers left, but that apparently isn’t being used anymore and crosses onto private property. Furthermore, BLM restrictions in Velocity Basin prohibit vehicles of any sort off the road. Therefore, you must carry your bike - NOT push. We were told that the BLM could shut this trail down if users do not adhere to these guidelines. You will not find this information posted, thus the reason for this comment.
      [Reply]

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      Videos

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      Chunky delight!
      | Jun 8, 2021 , Silverton
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