Arguably the best bang-for-your-buck loop on Green Mountain.


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Green Mountain is arguably *the* most easily-accessible mountain bike trail system near Denver.

Located right above C470 near the I70 interchange just south of Golden, it's easy to reach one of the many trailheads no matter where in the city you're driving from.

This ease of access, combined with the outdoor-addicted masses living on the Colorado Front Range, means that Green Mountain is busy every day of the week.

On the weekends, it can be downright *packed.* Nevertheless, Green Mountain is still well worth a ride, especially if you live nearby.

But if you've never ridden there before, where should you begin? It's a valid question, but one of the highest-value mountain biking loops climbs up the Box-O-Rox trail, loops around the top of the mountain to soak in the incredible vistas on the Summit Loop, and then descends back down the mountain on the swoopy, bike-optimized Rooney Valley. Box-O-Rox is a consistent climb to the top of the mountain, but the grade reversals and bike-friendly bench cut make it an eminently pedalable uphill.

You will likely encounter some loose, rolling rocks in the trail tread in places, hence the name that is oh-so-appropriate.

But before you know it, you'll reach the crest of the small mountain and enjoy stupendous views across the Front Range megalopolis. At the top of Box-O-Rox you could turn right to reach Rooney Valley as quickly as possible, but a left turn to loop around the north-northeast side of the mountain yields impressive views of Golden and downtown Denver.

This is a short loop anyway, so you might as well add in some scenic, mostly flat pedaling to round up that mileage number. Finally, the moment you've all been waiting for: the marquee descent down Rooney Valley! This trail has been reworked in recent years to make it bike-optimized, with manicured berms in most of the corners, flowy rollers, grade reversals to get the water off the trail, and an overall fantastic kinesthetic flow trail experience. While many people may call it a flow trail, this is by no means a jump trail.

Rather, it's a smooth, swoopy singletrack rolling down the entire mountain that literally even the most beginner of mountain bikers could enjoy! Do note that while most people try to ride down Rooney Valley, it's technically a two-way trail, so you could see uphill bike traffic as well as hiker traffic.

This is, as mentioned, an incredibly-popular trail network, so even as you're whooping and hollering down the mountain, be sure to keep an eye out for oncoming traffic and yield to the uphill trail users.