This route begins and ends at the Sugarloaf Mountain
Trailhead in Roosevelt National Forest. While there is ample parking at the trailhead, the Sugarloaf Mountain
trail is popular and it's a common starting point for off-road vehicles, so finding a spot may be difficult if you arrive at a peak time.
There is no restroom at the trailhead.
If you run this route when there are many off-road vehicles on the Switzerland Trail
OHV road, consider joining the Bald Mountain Trail
on the east end and doing an out-and-back rather than a loop. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the Bald Mountain Trail
If you do an out-and-back on the Bald Mountain Trail
you can turn around at the summit, the west end or about 0.5 miles from the west end, just before the forested singletrack turns into wider, steep, downhill singletrack with loose footing.
You can head to the south end of the trailhead parking lot to begin on the Switzerland Trail
OHV road (FS 120J) or follow a short connector trail next to the trailhead sign that passes by a few campsites before connecting with the Switzerland Trail
The Switzerland Trail
OHV road is slightly downhill or flat from the trailhead to where it intersects with the east end of the Bald Mountain Trail
. It is then slightly uphill or flat from that point to where it intersects with the west end of the Bald Mountain Trail
. The road is wide and rocky with some uneven and loose footing in places. It is fairly exposed and can be dusty if it hasn't rained or snowed for a bit. You can keep up a good, quick pace along the road, however, as the inclines are moderate and there's plenty of room to step around or over any obstacles. If you are running at a peak time you are likely to encounter a fair number of off-road vehicles on the road. There's plenty of room to pass, although the dust and noise may be an issue for some people.
The Bald Mountain Trail
is the gem of this route. It varies from wide to narrow singletrack and features incredible views from the summit. The west end begins with steep uphill on mostly loose footing. It then transitions to narrower singletrack with more moderate incline through forest and then a high altitude meadow before cresting on the summit. The summit is a large, flat meadow with grasses, wildflowers and aspen trees that features incredible views of Boulder and the front range to the east and the Indian Peaks and Continental Divide to the west. Follow a short spur at the top for the best views west.
The trail from the Bald Mountain summit to the east end begins with narrow, steep singletrack winding to the south and transitions to wider, steep singletrack with loose footing. With the exception of a few short breaks, it's steep all the way down.
The route finishes with a slight uphill along the same portion of the Switzerland Trail
OHV road that you took on the way out.
Aspen trees and wildflowers.