Ralston Creek Trail

Colorado

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Ralston Creek Trail Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: Jefferson
Length: 13.6 miles
Trail end points: Clear Creek Trail at Sheridan Blvd./SR 95 and Fairmount Trail at 64th Pkwy.
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6505698
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Ralston Creek Trail Description

Most of the Ralston Creek Trail follows its namesake waterway, winding through several parks, neighborhoods and open areas in Arvada. On its western end, the trail becomes gently hilly and passes scenic Tucker Lake and the Arvada Reservoir. A highlight of the route is a trek over the spectacular Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge on the trail's eastern end, which spans 400 feet and is supported by suspended cables.

Just past the bridge, trail users can pick up the Clear Creek Trail for a longer trek southwest to Golden or east to northern suburbs of Denver. In the west, the unpaved and more rustic Fairmount Trail heads south from the end of the Ralston Creek Trail to North Table Mountain Park and Golden's Tony Grampsas Memorial Sports Complex.

Parking and Trail Access

The best parking access is midway at Oak Park on Oak Street, north of Ralston Road. Refer to the TrailLink map for additional parking locations.

Ralston Creek Trail Reviews

Never again. Although very scenic in some areas the signage along this trail is lacking, especially in important areas when there is a fork in the trail. I found myself going the wrong way several times. The City of Arvada needs to step up and provide direction for riders who don't know this trail. When it's getting dark and becoming cold, the challenge of finding your way back on the this kind of trek does not become fun anymore.

This is a great concrete running trail that is moderately shaded and pretty easy to follow. It connects with a couple other trail systems, most notably the Clear Creek Trail on the eastern end. Sometimes there are concentrations of homeless underneath Wadsworth Blvd. but they seem to keep to themselves. Occasionally, the disc golfers at Memorial Park will take up the whole path and/or smoke, but that's just a minor personal annoyance.

The worst part of the trail is when the trail briefly ends and you have to run along Brooks Dr. and Johnson Way on either the sidewalk or the road to get back onto the trail at the Apex Tennis Center.

Traveling west is an ever slight incline and as you reach the end of the trail on the western end of the trail, there are some serious uphill climbs. In the winter, the city does a pretty good job of keeping the trail cleared of snow but there are still icy patches around.

There are several different spots to enter the Ralston Creek Trail. This trail connects up to the Clear Creek Trail around the 62nd and Sheridan area and you enter it by going up the Gold Strike Bridge, named so because this was the first place gold was discovered in Colorado, but the only way to enter at this point is to have come from the Clear Creek Trail. another place to enter is from the downtown area of the city of Arvada, but this section goes through many different parks, open spaces, playgrounds, neighborhoods and golf courses. it can be very difficult to follow the trail here since many parts are not marked and you have to either guess or play trail detective to find your way through. The main spot where a lot of people enter is at Blunn Reservoir. Take hwy 93 to the 64th street exit and there is a little parking spot past the water treatment plant next to long lakes ranch park. If you are going to enter at this point be prepared for a long and very steep climb on a trail that switchbacks up the side of a mountain and then switchbacks on the way back down, There is very little shade at this location so bring lots of water and wear sun screen. Although paved and smooth, The mountain side of this trail is not recommended for casual, beginner or commuter cyclist.

Accordion

I started this trail at I-76 and Sheridan and did most of it on a longboard and stopped on top of the mesa when the trail starts to do switch backs down to Blunn reservoir. My comfort level with speed is in the neighborhood of 15 MPH and skating off the mesa back towards our starting point can easily exceed 20 mph which meant a lot of foot braking for me. Once your off the mesa the path is a very comfortable slightly downhill all the way back to the car. This trail also has tons of shade and lots of parks along the way. One note of caution, there is multiple bridge crossings and some of them are in bad shape. My friend crashed on one of them and I destroyed some mounting hardware and bearings going over the bad bridges. I've done this trail multiple times and will continue to use it.

We rode our bikes from the Arvada Reservoir to Memorial Park today, doing a car shuttle and it was a great time on the trail. It starts with a pretty big climb up and around the reservoir, but then a nice coast down into Arvada. There are places where the trail isn't well marked, but part of the fun was figuring out where to go next. It was surprising to see so many playgrounds and parks along the way, and we really enjoyed the ride. Just over 13 miles.

Thanks to the guys at the gate of the Arvada Reservoir who were so nice and gave us a map of the Arvada park system!

This was a great ride from my snow and my wife you climb hills occasionally took us about five hours by trip from where we live I'm taxing make it to Tucker lake I was very beautiful out there I do recommend this particular bike ride very good scenery very good workout.¿¿

Good family outing trail. Gradual uphill as you head west. From Violet St near west end to the lakes at the west end of the trail is fairly steep grade. I suggest stopping at Violet St. Still a good 10 mile trail with lots of variety of scenery.

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