Monday, February 25, 2013

Marshal Mesa vs Hall/Heil : Trail vs Road

   There are two pretty fantastic rides from our place in Boulder I frequent, and with our not-so-recent move to Gunbarrel, I've been contemplating how to get to them. Bus? Nothing like sitting on public transit in skin tight Lycra. Car? What am I? Some kind of invalid? So I'm riding to the trail head LIKE A MAN. I have ridden each form the front door, and it's surprisingly not so bad. It is a great way to get additional miles and also maximize a workout.

OK, to compare the two trails, here's a graphic:

Road        Mixed Use          Trail

   Let's start with Marshal Mesa. This ride takes you parallel Foothills and Cherryvale, then along about a 22 mile loop form the Marshal trailhead heading West toward Eldorado Canyon then back East toward Superior. This ends up back at the trailhead and back to Gunbarrel the same way:

Marshal Mesa +

Marshal Mesa elevation profile

Marshal Mesa = 45.5 miles
  • Road: 16.5
  • Mixed: 14.5
  • Trail: 14.5


   Next is Hall / Heil. This goes North on one of any number of country roads paralleling 63rd North. Once you get to Lyons a quick lap around Hall followed by a harrowing trip through the rock garden. Back through town and then South up Picture Rock and down Heil. Then it's back down Neva to the house.

 Hall - Picture Rock - Heil

Hall / Heil  elevation profile

Hall / Heil = 43 miles
  • Road: 25
  • Mixed: 2
  • Trail:  16


   So the result is that there is a bunch more road on hall / Heil. The mixed use stuff, mostly jogging trails and dirt roads really are nicer than the paved roads for riding a mountain bike on. The trade off is that Hall / Heil is a lot more technical and more fun mtn biking. so, If you're looking to ride form my house, for some reason, and feeling like more fast miles, hit up Marshal Mesa. If you're feeling like some more technical trails at the expense of some road riding, hall is your best bet!

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