The 6 Most Breathtaking Road Bike Routes in Boulder

The 6 Most Breathtaking Road Bike Routes in Boulder 

Whether you are an avid mountain biker, road cyclist, or new to the sport… this post has something for everyone.


Do you know that sunny day biking feeling? When you’re soaring down a hill and everything kind of feels right in the world? Those happy, carefree days biking around the neighborhood.


Coasting downhill can be a nostalgic trigger as strong as the scent of fresh-cut grass or homemade cookies.


For so many people, bicycling is a life-long hobby. They learn to ride as a child and continue pedaling into the sunset well into their 80’s or 90’s. The stamina, flexibility, and endorphins that biking gives provide us with that opportunity. It’s gentle on your joints and incredible for your heart and immune system.


Boulder County has so many amazing types of bike rides to enjoy. It’s one of the best things about living here!


A Boulder realtor here at Burgess Group | Compass, our very own Jennifer Gilligan is an avid biker. If you’re a cyclist, there’s a good chance you’ll see her on one of Boulder’s local rides.  Jennifer loves the challenge of a good, slow, steady mountain climb.


Jennifer helped us compile a list of the best, most scenic road biking routes in Boulder.

1. Flagstaff Road to the Mailboxes AKA SuperFlag.  

The Details:

5.5 miles

7.3% grade

Total elevation gain of 2,162 ft.

Finish at 7,831 ft.


If you need a breather stop at Overlook Gulch for the view. Take some time and catch your breath while enjoying sweeping views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness.


Once you’ve rested up, continue and finish your ride at The Mailboxes.


If you want a little more, head out to Gross Reservoir for additional mileage and climbs.


Or, for those who are short on time, you can always turn off and enjoy a figure 8 around Artist Point to the Amphitheater and then back down Flagstaff. 


Pro Tip:

Take this route during the weekday. As any Boulder real estate agent can tell you, there is a LOT of Saturday and Sunday local and out of town traffic.

2. Ward or Jamestown:  

Park at the Greenbriar Restaurant. Enjoy a 16.5 mile trip to Ward. This route has a very nice increased gradient starting at mile 15.


The ride to Jamestown is around 8.2 miles. This is a great beginner ride.


The best part? Both of these options host a General Store. Stop for a nice treat before heading back down! 

3. Sunshine Canyon or Gold Hill:  

The Details:

5.7 miles

5.3% grade

Total elevation gain of 1,669 feet

Finish at 7,202 feet.


Ride up from Mapleton and enjoy switchbacks up Sunshine Canyon. You can stop when you hit the dirt. Or, if you want a little extra challenge, continue and head up Gold Hill. 


This section of gravel is STEEP so be prepared to use your lungs.

4. Peak to Peak through Raymond!  

If you are looking for scenic and peaceful, this ride is for you. 


Ride up through Ward to Peak to Peak Highway. Head the direction of Estes Park. This ride is for the adventure seeker! Plan to spend a couple of hours in the saddle!


5. Boulder to Carter Lake.  

The Details:

  • 75 miles round trip
  • 3,198 elevation gain.  


Looking for a bike ride with some distance? This is a good one for you.

Here’s what to do:

Head on out on 75th.

Ride alongside the Colorado Rockies Front Range to the breathtaking Carter Lake Reservoir


Our Boulder realtors love this route because it’s incredibly scenic! The Colorado Rockies are your background for the whole ride.  For a quick “pick me up” take a pitstop in Hygiene at the General Store. Their cookies and cinnamon rolls are the stuff dreams are made of.

6. NCAR Hill Repeats:  

The Details:

  • 2 miles
  • 5.7% grade
  • Total elevation gain 700 feet


This is a great ride if you’re short on time.

South Boulder hosts a nice climb to the top of NCAR. This overlooks the city of Boulder.

The best part? You can see the end of your ride! Most can complete the climb in around 10 minutes.  But don’t discount this ride… if you do several laps on this route, you’ll feel the burn.


If you have any questions about these routes, have anything to add, or simply want a biking buddy feel free to reach out to our Boulder realtor Jennifer Gilligan! And don’t forget to let us know what you think about these routes (send pics!). 

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