BEALL: On the decent from the top of Emerald you will traverse the mountain riding a gentle grade on non-technical singletrack. There are several ups and downs along the way and some trickier sections, but you need not be an expert mountain biker to enjoy this trail. The Beall Trail offers views of Rabbit Ears Pass, the Flat Tops Wilderness Area and surrounding ranch land. You’ll meander through open meadows, pine forests, aspen groves and the beautiful gamble oak forest that is so prevalent on Emerald Mountain.
RIDGE: The trail can accessed from the front side of Emerald at the base of Howeslen Hill, as an out and back, or as a loop in either direction via Cow Creek off Road County Road 33 “Twenty Mile Road”.
To get to the trailhead at Cow Creek head out Routt County Road 33 “Twenty Mile Road” and turn left on Cow Creek (County Road 45). You’ll find the trailhead about a mile down on your left.
From the Emerald/downtown side you have the option of riding up a number of trails to the summit of Emerald Mountain. At the top follow the two-track along the ridge. To access the trailhead continue down and to the left just before the closure gate.
Note: Both the Ridge and Beall trails can be linked together from their respective trailheads on Cow Creek Road for a 13-mile loop, 11.5 of which are on great singletrack. For the easiest climbing, head up Beall and down Ridge. You can also add in the Rotary Trail for an additional loop.
BEALL, Know before you go:
One of the newest editions on Emerald Mountain, the Beall trail recognizes the efforts of Ben Beall, the 13-year chairman of the Emerald Mountain Partnership who was instrumental in negotiating the land exchange between the State Land Board and the BLM in 2007. The negotiations yielded the largest land swap in Colorado history, adding 4,193 acres of public land called the Special Recreation Area on Emerald Mountain.
You can access the Beall Trail from two places — the top of Emerald Mountain or via Routt County Road 45, known as Cow Creek Road, off Road County Road 33 (Twentymile Road). From downtown, ride up your favorite Emerald Mountain trail and connect with the Quarry Mountain Trail. The Quarry Mountain Trail leads to the two-track road along the top ridge of Emerald Mountain. Follow the road west to the BLM sign and the start of the Ridge Trail. The Beall Trail begins just to the left of the Ridge Trail.
RIDGE, Know before you go:
The Ridge Trail is another recent addition to the amazing network of trails on Emerald Mountain. Located on the backside of Emerald, it offers stunning views and smooth, tacky riding, and the options to link together longer rides, via either the Rotary Trail towards the bottom, or a return up the Beall trail or back on County Road 33.
Parking is available at Howelsen Lodge, or on Cow Creek (County Road 45)