Trail #: 30
Type: X-Country
Trail Network: Moonrakers >>
Distance: 5.60km
Elevation Gain: 100m
Elevation Loss: 540m
Average Grade: 12%

Signature Ride(s)

This trail can be found on the following signature ride(s):


Trail DescriptionPrint Description Only

Gold was discovered in Canyon Creek in 1882.  Sufficiently good prospects were made that it warranted putting in a trail to reach further up the canyon.  Today that same trail has been used to create one of the premier rides in Golden.  This is a two-way trail best ridden beginning from a point high up off the Tallis Forest Service Road – heads up for uphill riders and hikers.[read more]

Canyon Creek trail has always been known for it’s long fast and winding descent.  However, with the establishment of the new upper entrance trail (bypassing the old muddy route), the upper section offers some really fun, somewhat techy, terrain through Cedar forest.

The main canyon section of the Canyon Creek ride has gotten even better.  We’re all familiar with the awesome view of the upper canyon.  However, there is now some incredibly fast cornering, as all the berms have been built up.  Add to this some fun jumps and an optional gap jump over the creek.  It all adds up for one of the best rides around.

There are 2 ways to reach the entrance to Canyon Creek trail: i) following the Tallis Forest Service Road for 4.8km from the direction of Cedar Lake Trailhead; or ii) from the Gudjonson Trailhead via Dam Dypass (which also involves riding double track old road for a few km).  Described here is the directions from the direction of Cedar Lake.  Check out the map to figure out a route via Dam Bypass.

Park at Cedar Lake Trailhead and ride the Tallis Forest Service Road up for 4.8km to the sign post marking the start of the trail.  The trail starts with singletrack ups and downs through rooted Cedar forest.  Eventually the trail reaches a wider track in travelling through less dense forest .  One last short uphill leads to a jaw-dropping view of the canyon falling away 200m on your right.  Cruise along the canyon’s edge for 50m before the real fun begins.  Race downhill for about 2.5km hitting berms and jumps along the way.  Watch for the gap jump over the creek (which you can ride around on the left if you choose).  Rather than following Canyon Creek all the way to the bottom, most riders will branch off at the lower lookout kiosk and ride back to Cedar Lake following Bear Claw or Moonraker trails.  Note: finding the start of the Canyon Creek trail can be difficult as the markers signing the way up the Tallis Forest Service Road often go missing – read the bullets below for directions up the Tallis Forest Service Road.


From Cedar Lake Trailhead follow the road south (left).  On your right is a sign indicating 4.8km to Canyon Creek trail.  Directions from this sign are given here, but in general stay on the main road for 3.7km before turning up right for 1.1km to the signed start of Canyon Creek.

From the 4.8km sign:

  • 4 km the entrance to North Star is on your left, stay on the main road
  • 5 km don’t go left, stay straight on the main road
  • 0 km don’t go left or right, but stay straight on main road (a yellow 4km Forest Service Road marker is visible)
  • 2 km don’t go left, stay straight on the main road
  • 2 km don’t go right or left, but stay straight on the main road
  • 7 km don’t go left, but instead turn up right off the main road and continue for 1.1km to the signed start of Canyon Creek

While it is mentioned above that you can start your ride from either Cedar Lake Trailhead or the Gudjonson Trailhead, there is an even better epic.  Check out the suggested ride for the CBT – Canyon Creek Epic.

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Elevation Profile