Description: I know what you are thinking.  "If I had a nickel for every time I wished I could get on a bicycle and pedal to a great micro-brewery I'd be rich."  Well, here you are.  And we're not talking just one brewery here.  No no no.  We're talking bike riding to SIX great breweries in Boulder, over some of the best multi-use paths and dedicated bike lanes in the country.  Boulder is one of only four towns to win a Platinum award as a 'Bike Friendly' town from the League of American Bicyclists.  And it's home to many seriously good and nationally known breweries.  A perfect marriage, n'est pas?

This route selection has been developed through 2 years of dedicated beer taste testing, cycling, and sometimes falling into ditches.  We've put some serious effort here.  And based on our extensive experience I can tell you it is very likely you won't make it to all of the breweries on this list.  And that is probably a good thing.  However many you do visit, remember to drink responsibly and catch a bus if you've have too much to drink.  Boulder buses all have bike racks for two or more bikes.  Or call an Uber, or Boulder Yellow Cab.  You don't want to be huffing it back to Boulder with too much alcohol in you.  It's illegal and it can make for a messy trail, if you get my drift.

 University Bicycles

University Bicycles

Now that we have that out of the way let's talk about how much fun this ride is on a nice day.  Probably 80% of this ride is on beautiful multi-use paths along Boulder Creek, South Boulder Creek and Goose Creek.  Where there is riding on roads there are dedicated bike lanes to keep you safe.  Even without the breweries sprinkled in this is a fantastic ride.  

If you are planning a meal on this ride, which I highly recommend, the earlier you eat the better.  All breweries except Wild Woods and Upslope offer great food menus to compliment their beers.  All breweries also offer beer flights or tasters which allow you to try beers in 3-4 oz pours, helping to keep down your intake of alcohol.

Brewery Hours: 

  • Monday through Saturday most breweries are open by 11 or 11:30, with the exception of Wild Woods which opens at 4pm Tue-Fri and 2pm Saturdays, and closed Mondays.
  • Boulder Beer and Wild Woods are both closed Sundays. 

Challenge Level: Easy, 13.5 Miles, 240' Elevation, Up To 5 Breweries, As Long As You Like.  We've had visitors who haven't ridden bikes in many years ride this route with little difficulty.  That said, sun, heat and alcohol all will have an impact on how far you can comfortably ride.  It's recommended this ride be done as a lunch ride, when it's cooler.   Take a water bottle with you and refill it often at the breweries.  Note that this ride is not optimized to just hit breweries, but to give you both a flavor of Boulder beers and our great trail system.  Certainly you could cut out a good section of the trail riding, but you would be missing some beautiful scenery in East Boulder if you do.  So don't.  Besides, you want to burn off those beer calories, right???

Trailhead: This ride starts from University Bicycles, 839 Pearl St., Boulder, CO 80302, as they have the most bikes available for rental in the downtown area.  If you are staying close to downtown this is an easy walk from your hotel or B&B.  The staff at UBikes is very friendly and will get you rolling on a great bike in no time, along with a helmet, lock, and tire repair kit.  Don't forget to add your own water bottle or pick one up at UBikes.  

Before You Ride:  I try to be as clear as possible on directions in the Trail Guide, but this route can be a little confusing at times.  I highly recommend checking out the photo directions on the EveryTrail map below.  There are also directions for downloading the EveryTrail GPX file and uploading it into MotionX GPS ($1.99) for the iPhone, if you are interested.  Click on the EveryTrail link below and look at the Tips section of the route.  For just tracking mileage to the next turn or direction, download Strava, free for the iPhone and Android.  Just fire it up and start tracking before you leave University Bicycles.  It will accurately track your distances and you'll have you're own record of the ride.

Map Resources: EveryTrail Map, Boulder Bike and Pedestrian Map  

Trail Guide: For this ride, because there are so many trails you will travel and cross I'm going to provide more of a dry list of directions.  My apologies, but better a dry list of directions than a lost rider!

  1. From University Bicycles cross Pearl, heading south on 9th, crossing Walnut and Canyon.  After Canyon take the path to the right just before the bridge over Boulder creek which will take you to the statue of Chief Niwot.
  2. Turn left onto Boulder Creek Path traveling east/southeast.  Boulder Creek Path is well marked and will always parallel Boulder Creek, either on the north or south bank.  There will be a lot of people on the trail, so just ask if you are not sure.  
  3. After about 2.7 miles from UBikes you will come to the underpass for Arapahoe Rd.  Take the underpass, but about 100' past the underpass you will see a short paved connector trail up to Arapahoe.  Turn right onto the connector and right again on Arapahoe crossing back over the bridge.  Just past the bridge you will see the signature yellow patio of Fate Brewing (1600 38th St.).  There is a bike rack just in front of the building.  Pause.  Relax.  Drink.  Eat.
  4. Return to Boulder Creek Path the way you came and continue onward down the path.  Watch for and follow the Green/Blue signage for Boulder Creek Path.
  5. At 4.1 miles you will pass the turn for Goose Creek Path.  You will take this path on your return.
  6. At 4.5 miles you will pass under 55th St.  Continue on across the wooden bridge toward the business office ahead.  Past the office watch for a sign toward Stazio Ball Fields, heading toward the fields.  Here Boulder Creek Path changes to South Boulder Creek Path.
  7. At about 5.1 miles you will see the last sign for Stazio Ball Fields indicating the fields are 0.1 miles to the left.  DO NOT turn here but continue straight on South Boulder Creek Path.  You will pass under a small railroad bridge and come to a second Arapahoe Rd. underpass.  Take the connector trail up to Arapahoe instead of taking the underpass.
  8. Turn right on Arapahoe staying in the painted bike lane until you come to 55th St.  If you are not comfortable with the traffic on Arapahoe, the sidewalks are extra wide here and allow bikes.
  9. At 55th cross Arapahoe Rd at the light and then continue in the same direction you had been traveling on Arapahoe, now just on the opposite sidewalk.  You will quickly cross Conestoga, Patton Dr. and then come to a strip center containing Brü Handbuilt Ales (5290 Arapahoe), a great brewery and eatery.  Pause.  Relax.  Eat.  Drink.  
  10. The next stop is probably my favorite brewery in Boulder, Wild Woods Brewery (5460 Conestoga Ct).  Return to 55th St. and cross back over, heading north.  After about 100 yards you will see a divided entrance to a business park on the left.  Turn left here, and then quickly turn right after the first building.  In the back corner you will find a most worthy brewery, run by the team of Jake and Erin Evans.  Pause. Relax.  Say hi to Jake and Erin for me.  Enjoy their great beers and pick up a Beyond Boulder business card!
  11. Return to 55th, turn left, cross the railroad tracks and at the next intersection turn right on Central Ave.
  12. About two blocks down Central, near the corner of S. Flatiron Ct., and at the 7.4 mile marker you will find the new digs of Upslope Brewery (1898 S. Flatirons Ct.) with their signature grain silo and outside seating area.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Three breweries down, how we doing?  Still feeling strong, my friend?  Okay, let's continue.
  13. Return down Central, turning right 55th and continuing on the bike lane.  At about 8.2 miles you will come upon a connector path with a large boulder identifying it as the Boulder Creek Path.  Aha!  You have returned.  You will take the connector down, across the wooden bridge, and head back west on the Boulder Creek Path toward downtown.
  14. After about 0.4 miles on the BCP you will come to the turn we mentioned above in step 6.  Turn right onto Goose Creek Path.  Watch for, and listen for the chirp of, prairie dogs.  You should see many of them along this section if the weather is nice.
  15. After about 0.3 miles on GCP you will come to a split.  Stay on Goose Creek Path to the left toward East Mapleton Ball Fields.
  16. After about a 1/2 mile GCP will pass under Foothills Parkway.  You will cross 47th, turn right, turn left and down the underpass (following the sign for GCP and East Mapleton Ball Fields).  After the underpass turn left crossing the wooden bridge and continuing along GCP (Do not take the trail that parallels Foothills Parkway.)  
  17. Very shortly after this you will see the sign for Community Cycles on the right and a sidewalk leading up to the parking area.  Take this sidewalk, ride through to the front of the business and you will be on Wilderness Place, staring at the back side of Boulder Beer (2880 Wilderness Place), which is situated in the middle of the one-way loop road.  Ride to the right around to the parking lot.  Rinse.  Repeat.
  18. Return to Goose Creek Path and continue on this trail, always following the creek.  You will go under several underpasses, until it ends at Edgewood Drive at 11.3 miles.
  19. Turn left on Edgewood, using the bike lanes, to 19th St.  
  20. Turn left on 19th, going up a small rise.  Here the road becomes 20th.  Take 20th to Pine and turn right onto Pine.  
  21. After you pass 17th St. look to the right for 1619 Pine.  Do you recognize this house?  This is the Mork and Mindy House.  Don't remember Mork and Mindy.  Well then, Nanu-nanu to you.  If you are old enough to remember it, here's a little trivia to lay on your friends.  
    1. What TV show did Mork first appear on?  - Happy Days
    2. Which comedian joined the show in later seasons as Mearth? - Jonathan Winters
  22. Okay, enough Earth Humor.  Continue a little further on Pine to 16th and turn left.  This will take you to Pearl St.  Turn right on Pearl and quickly look on the right for Mountain Sun Brewery (1535 Pearl St.) a few doors down. If you still have any ability to sample beer you should definitely try Mountain Sun's selection.  It's incredible.  NOTE: Mountain Sun is a cash-only business.  There is an ATM in the back.
  23. Continue on Pearl where you will be forced to turn right on 15th.  One block later you will turn left on Spruce.  
  24. Cross Broadway and turn left on 11th, then right on Pearl.  Two blocks down is University Bicycles where you can return your bikes.  Congratulations!

Après Hike:  Yeah, I'm thinking we don't need one today!

Restrooms: You better hope so!

Cell Service: Good coverage.