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Waterton Canyon and High Line Canal Trail

Littleton, Colorado , United States
41 mi




ft elev +


This ride is brought to you by Laura and Rose of 
Gravel Bike Adventures is a Colorado-based gravel biking website that believes it is vitally important to include women’s voices in the gravel biking industry. Our goal is to encourage people (especially women and members of the LGBTQ+ community) to explore the power of the outdoors through venturing onto dirt roads. Our interactive website provides routes, downloadable maps, advice and other resources. The tools on the website help to build community by giving cyclists the confidence to see what is possible, get inspired, spark conversation and ultimately plan their own adventures.

This is a 41-mile beginner gravel ride including Waterton Canyon, the High Line Canal Trail and Chatfield State Park with minimal elevation gain and non-technical surfaces. Expect to see lots of Colorado wildlife!

Miles: 41.3
Elevation gain: 1,549 ft
Gravel ratio: approximately 70% gravel / 30% pavement
Difficulty Rating: ⛰⛰  (out of 5)
Enjoyability Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (out of 5)

Highs: It doesn’t get much better than Waterton Canyon and Chatfield State Park on a fall day! The fall colors were impressive, and seeing herds of big horn sheep, antelope, deer and wild turkeys never gets old!
The trail surface of Waterton Canyon is non-technical, hardened, packed dirt. Because of this, any beginner can feel comfortable on the trail and easily pick up some speed.
The High Line Canal Trail in this area around Chatfield is a nice, winding, double track dirt trail. In addition, there are great views of the city of Denver and Deer Creek Canyon in the distance.
Chatfield State Park construction is finally done! After a year of waiting, all the major roads are finally open and newly paved. Other upgrades include many new bathroom facilities and lots of open space to play.

Lows: We are officially on record that bulls are one of the scariest animals out there! On Roxborough Park Road, there was the biggest, angriest, horniest bull (pun intended 🙄) trying to charge out of his side of the fence to get to the cows on the other side of the road. The little wire fence, didn’t seem like it was going to hold him and we sped past as fast as we could!
Although the High Line Canal trail is generally quite lovely, some chunky, black rock has been added to the trail in certain spots that wasn’t fun to negotiate. The trail is frequently used for horseback riding which meant we had to dodge many of piles of poop. 💩

Other Notes:
There are many public bathrooms/port-a-potties all throughout Chatfield State Park as well as in Waterton Canyon.
We spotted a place to fill up water bottles at the start of the Waterton Canyon trail. There are no places along the way to pick up any fuel, however, so make sure your pockets are stocked with a few snacks! (We like Honey Stinger Energy Chews and Patter Bars.)

Driving Directions to the Start: We parked near the intersection of South Wadsworth and Deer Creek Canyon. There is plenty parallel street parking available along Deer Creek Canyon Road. 
Roxborough Road
Scary Bull on Roxborough Rd
The beautiful scenery in the canyon
Big Horn Sheep
BABY Big Horn Sheep!
at the turn around point at the top of the canyon