Here’s another truly awesome road ride, more popular with locals than with visitors, with a pretty much perfect bike path the whole way and zero traffic.
What Makes It Great
No traffic because you’re on a public bike path running the length of Clear Creek from Golden, CO to the Platte River, although there will be a few street crossings. I would not call this a beginner ride. There is also some route finding and common sense involved; you won’t get “lost” but you can take wrong turns and get turned around with some out-and-backs.
Who is Going to Love It
Riders who want to start from the heart of Denver and ride away from the city (and then back) will enjoy the transitions this route offers. It's good for all levels of riders, but it can be tiring to go big for newer roadies.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The idea is to hop on the Clear Creek trail where it intersects the Platte River trail, about 7 miles north of the downtown REI/Starbucks. As I’ve mentioned before, this northern route on the Platte River trail is slightly unsavory in spots and not as well kept up as the southern route. You take a left at the trail intersection just over the bridge and ride all the way to Golden...there, you can brave it and finish the ride with a climb up Lookout Mountain; or, you can simply hit one of the coffee shops, Woody’s pizza, or one of the many breweries in Golden. Either way you’ll be stoked.
You can also continue from here to Morrison and connect quite a few out-and-backs and even loops back into town via a southern route. There’s public parking near this intersection if you need to drive there. Be aware the trail washes out a bit in the spring and you can actually get shut out from this ride.