Random towns in Colorado intrigue me. I always wonder why a group of people decided to get together and establish a town where, all factors considered, there is not much of a reason to set up shop there. They all seem to have the same aesthetic, as if there was some sort of effort to create a uniformity within their random existence. Lots of dogs running around, bar, old trucks, convenience store, low speed limits, intriguing economic plans. You know, small town Colorado.
Ward is one such town, and what we call the ride to the town (as in “let’s do Ward today”). It is probably one of the strangest towns you can access from Boulder. Picture kids in a souped up go-kart whipping through town with their possibly rabid dogs chasing them and their hippie parents watching from their porches and you have Ward. It also has a convenience store whose client base is almost completely composed of cyclists.
That said, Ward is a great longer distance ride that is easily reached from Boulder. Accessed from the same roads that make up the Jamestown ride, it winds up an adjacent canyon to Jamestown before ending at Ward. The ride is a gradual uphill climb until the last mile and a half, where it climbs steeply into town. From Ward you can head farther up to the Peak to Peak highway and some additional rides. If you decide to do it as an out and back, the descent is really fun. We usually hop on Lee Hill to loop back to Boulder.
Distance: 22 miles from downtown Boulder to Ward. 43.2 miles rountrip with Lee Hill Included.
Directions: From downtown Boulder, take the same route as the Jamestown ride, but at the intersection of Lefthand Canyon Drive and James Canyon Drive take a left and remain on Lefthand Canyon Drive. The road turns into Indiana Gulch Road at the beginning of the steep climb. Continue climbing until you hit the town of Ward (you will know because there will be a ton of bikes parked outside the convenience store. And probably some rabid dogs tearing around).