1 - 2
FATMAP difficulty grade
The short Prairie View to Jewel Pass loop packs a serious punch into such a short ride! With a steep climb to start, most riders will quickly be hike-a-biking to complete the climb up the steep doubletrack toward the small mountain summit.
But at the top, it feels like you’re on top of the world despite such a relatively quick (albeit painful) climb.
Views spread out in all directions: the prairie to the east (hence the trail’s name), Barrier Lake directly below, and then the Rocky Mountains formidable and impressive to the west. While the climb consists of not-so-fun doubletrack, the singletrack descent down the backside of the mountain is to die for! The chunky descent flows down a steep staircase of root steps for a couple miles, before eventually bottoming out in a valley.
The descending continues, though, on slightly mellower-grade singletrack rolling down the valley toward the lake.
Here, the trail is much rockier, with small-scale but consistent rock gardens spread throughout.
While the descent is consistently rough, there aren’t any huge features or death-defying obstacles, leading most locals to rate this an intermediate trail.
If you’re coming from a smooth, flatter part of the world, this could easily rank among the more difficult trails you’ve ridden, so take the trail grades you hear with a pinch of salt.