Hidden Valley Road
Douglas County, Colorado
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Nearby Towns: Sedalia
Nearby Trails: Dakan Road, Rampart Range Road
Season: April through November
Trail Length: 3.07 miles
Elevation: 6,458 to 7,482 feet
This trail is often graded in order to remove the whoopdeedoos and make it much easier. Erosion then creates more whoopdeedoos. This trail changes from year to year.
If you're going into the Rampart Range trail system from the north end, this trail is a great start to your fun. It's the northernmost trail in the system other than Rampart Range Road itself, and it connects with the northernmost point of Dakan Road.
The best thing about it is that it has a series of deep cracks and whoopdeedoos near the start that offer challenges to any vehicle. You can choose your lines through the cracks and you can definitely get into trouble if you don't choose wisely.
The trailhead doesn't have any good places to stop and air down, so if you want to get ready for the trail you should probably do so in one of the pull out areas along Jackson Creek Road before you get to the trailhead.
You start in the headquarters for the Brotherhood of the White Temple, also marked as Shamballa-Ashrama on topographic maps. It starts as a very smooth and easy dirt road.
You soon come to a "Y" in the road. The left portion goes over a bridge, though it is difficult to see that it is a bridge if there is a lot of growth around it. The right portion dips down into a small amount of water. You must go through the water and around the bridge, as the bridge is on private property. The two portions connect again just on the other side of the bridge. The water is not usually deep enough to warrant any concern for any vehicle.
The trail immediately gets narrow, with a fence alongside it. It isn't long before the cracks in the trail start, and the whoopdeedoos are small at first.
To this point, the trail is fine for nearly any SUV. You come to a small hill and note the first of the big cracks and whoopdeedoos, and it may get too difficult for some at this point.
You have to choose your lines through this section, but most 4x4 vehicles should be able to get through this first section without issues.
The second section of whoopdeedoos is much bigger, though. The crack changes every year, but it is always very deep. If you slip in, you could easily end up sideways in the crack, laying on the side of your vehicle. It is soft dirt, though, so you could recover your vehicle and end up without damage. It would be a good idea to travel this section with another vehicle who can pull you out if you get stuck, though.
These cracks can be a lot of fun, and they are the highlight of the trail. Note that it would be impossible to pass someone in many portions of this section of the trail, and it is usually traveled uphill.
Once you finish with the cracks you continue uphill and you come out of the trees. The trail is mellow again and soon you connect with the Dakan Road trail. Turn left to head to the Dakan Road trailhead and back to town, or right to head to Rampart Range Road.
Information last updated on August 5th, 2007.
- September 29, 2007: ran by Dane, Don, Matt K., Mike S. and Roger
- August 4, 2007: ran by Bill S., Bob R., Brian D., Dane, Dave B., Don, Jed, Ladd, Monica, Robert, Steve B., Todd and Walt
From Denver, take I-25 exit 182 onto Wolfensberger Road and head west. Turn left when the road ends on North Perry Park Road. Turn right onto Jackson Creek Road and follow it as it heads to the Brotherhood of the White Temple headquarters, marked with a sign. Turn left at a "Y" onto Hidden Valley Road.
Meet at the Founders Parkway exit 184 off of I-25 at the Conoco gas station to the west of the highway.