J. Wells to Asher Brewing and Avery

5 miles

This portion of the trail is the longest "dry" section, but it's also one of the most interesting.

Retrace your steps to get back onto the Goose Creek Path, heading east, but not for long. Take the first left onto Wonderland Creek Greenway Trail. Note: coyotes have been known to frequent this area. They're usually not aggressive, but some have been known to attack joggers. If you see signs warning of coyotes, and take them seriously.

Follow the path north past the disc golf course, under Valmont road, and up past a small park on your left. Stay on the path, crossing Kings Ridge Blvd, eventually passing a small pond on your left, and emerging up at the intersection of 47th Street and Kings Ridge Blvd. Carefully cross the intersection to the north and almost immediately turn right onto another paved path. Take the first right, then the first left onto another shady path running along a ditch on your left and some fenced back yards on the right. The path will cross a bridge, then continue along the other side of the ditch. On your left is UCAR, the umbrella organization for much of the climate science that happens in Boulder and beyond. You may see small aircraft flying directly overhead. Boulder's municipal airport is just to your right behind those trees.

You will soon come to, and cross, Independence Road. You're now on a dirt path called the Cottonwood Trail. There will be more prairie dogs on your left, and the irrigation ditch still on your right. Behind the ditch you can see horses at a private ranch. Stay on the Cottonwood Trail (a good place to look for hawks and vultures, by the way) until it ends at Jay Road.

You're now on the most trafficky part of the Boulder Ale Trail. Someday I hope the local government will be able to connect the existing paths. But for now, you must stay along the shoulder of Jay Road, where generally polite cars will pass you at 45 MPH.

The official route

The Lobo Trail officially follows Jay Road all the way to Spine Road, then turns onto Wellington Road. If you follow the signs, you will pass a brick Greek Orthodox church on your right. (If you're coming the other direction, take the one-block detour onto Juhls Drive. You'll bypass the traffic and get to see some of the few farm houses close to Boulder.) When you get to the stop light at Spine Road, turn left.

Take the first right onto Wellington Road and walk past the surburban houses. (Alternatively, keep walking north on Spine Road until you see a cinder trail leading off to your right, which will take you to the same place.) Look for the Lobo Trail sign and turn right. Be careful – you don't want to turn right immediately, but rather continue north for 20 feet and then turn right. If you find yourself on a subdivision road, you are in the wrong place; you want to be on a shady cinder path.

Deviating from the norm

If you really hate cars, there is a decent, unofficial alternative—especially if you are on foot. It involves a very short social trail on what appears to be the property of Celestial Seasonings. It's not great for a bicycle, but on foot it's passable. We did not see any "no trespassing" signs, and clearly other people have travelled this path before us, but try it at your own risk. We noticed it when we looked closely at the OpenStreetMap of the area. You will see a social trail connecting Pioneer Road and Sleepytime Drive. You can leave Jay Road at 55th Street, turn right on Pioneer Road, and then cut through to Sleepytime Drive.

Once you're at Celestial Seasonings, stop for a free taste in the tasting room, then leave their campus to the East. When you get to Spine Road, turn right, continue for about two blocks, then catch the cinder path trail on your left. You are now back on the Lobo Trail (you deviant, you).

All together now

However you got here, stay on the path as it crosses Robinson Place. Proceed under the 63rd Street underpass. Turn left when you come to a bridge and continue on the cinder path trail.

If you are stopping at Avery or Asher, continue past 63rd, and take the first two lefts (one across a bridge, then another bearing left around Twin Lakes. You'll have to pass through a gate into the dog-friendly portion of the trail. You will see the new (as of February 2015) red-and-white Avery building directly in front of you. If you're looking for Asher, it's just a bit to the left of Avery, 3 buildings down, on the right side of the street.

* Okay, we admit it. There are segments of the trail where there are cars. See the Route Overview page for more details.