When we awoke to a beautiful, warm fall day we knew we had to get out and enjoy it or we would be kicking ourselves for wasting it inside. We were also itching to try out the bikes we recently purchased, so we HAD to get outside! After a quick search for nearby trails, we decided to take the Coal Creek & Rock Creek Loop.
Coal Creek Trail

Getting to the Trail

There are multiple places available to gain access to these trails, but we decided to start our loop at the Flatirons Mall so we could have a nice patio lunch after our ride. For more on these trails and other nearby options, the Boulder County site has a great list.

Coal Creek Trail
From the mall, we hopped on the US 36 Bikeway for a little bit before turning on 88th Street and riding until connecting with the Coal Creek Trail at Dillon Road.
Coal Creek Trail

Scenery Along the Trail

Even though many of the trees and shrubs have died, it still made for a beautiful, colorful ride – with the hot sun and the bright blue sky making everything seem much more alive.
Coal Creek Trail
The Coal Creek portion included many streams, and even a little waterfall. There were some small shaded areas that had snow and ice, but for the most part the trail was dry and easy to ride.
Rock Creek Trail
Shortly after turning onto the Rock Creek portion of the trail, we went through an open space where we saw a coyote running around.
Rock Creek Trail
After crossing under 287, we rode next to the pumpkin patch and watched cows chow down on the remaining bits of that iconic symbol of fall while we admired the Rocky Mountains in the background. After the pumpkin patch, we went over a dam and around Stearns Lake, which provided a great view too! Did I mention how BLUE the sky was?
Rock Creek Trail
We got a little turned around trying to find the way back to the mall, but eventually we got back on the right trail and were relieved to sit down for dinner after an 18.5 mile leisurely ride. We had no idea we would end up being out for 4 hours, but it was wonderful to spend so much of our day soaking in the sun.
There are probably only a few more of these beautiful fall days left this year, so make sure you take advantage of all of them before the cold comes (then go play in the snow, of course)!
Rock Creek Trail

Trail Summary

I am just getting into biking, and although long, I thought this loop was fairly easy. It was gravel and flat, aside from a few hills. But you can always walk those if you have to… I won’t tell if you won’t! There were a few construction areas that took away from the ambiance a bit. But we just rode by those areas a littler quicker!
Overall the views were great, the ride was relaxing and it made for a wonderful day!