Often overshadowed by other areas of the valley that offer “the best” riding, wildflowers, loops, etc., the Lily Lake Area is a beautiful spot to ride that has great camping, mild singletrack and amazing views.
Access to the Lily Lake Trail area can be found at several spots off Kebler Pass Rd. and rides from town are pretty easy. The first access is off of Splains Gulch Rd, the second at The Y/ Irwin Forks, and the last is at Ohio Pass Rd. Trailhead. There isn’t too much advantage to any one of these parking areas. Splains features the most climbing from your car, but is closer to town. The Y usually has a lot of parking, but can get crowded on weekends. Ohio Creek has a trail map and a shorter climb to start, but is the furthest from town.
The main feature of this trail area is the loop between Kebler Wagon Pass Trail, Lily Lake Trail, and the connecting roads of Splains Gulch and Ohio Creek. Another great thing about this loop is that you can ride any direction and still have a great time. Once you’ve gained the bench on top you’ll get smooth riding, few hills, stupendous wildflowers, and a beautiful lake. One of the best views of the West Elk Wilderness lies just past the lake where a short trail cuts out to the edge of the trees and the Ohio Creek Valley drops off below you. Both the lake and the overlook are great places to take a picnic lunch too, and make for an excellent mountain biking date.
Although most folks that ride Lily Lake do it because they want the beauty and serenity not the miles and gnar, this loop ride is pretty short. There are a few good options for bigger loops if you’re looking for a longer day. Tacking on miles via the Dyke Trail or Elk Creek are options, as well as riding down to the Carbon Trail and tackling that beast back into town.
While riding here is generally pretty easy, there is at least one loose steep climb. It is short and the majority of the trails are packed dirt with few obstacles. Allow yourself between 1.5 and 2 hours to ride this loop, depending on how much lounging you do.
Trail Heads 2
- Splain's Gulch
- The "Y"