Scouts’ honor: You’re sure to love, be challenged by top local trail |

Scouts’ honor: You’re sure to love, be challenged by top local trail

by Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff

Standing at the top of 8th Street is peculiar.

The street shoots up to the east from Grand Avenue and dead-ends into houses and mangled brush. Most afternoons after about 5 p.m. a steady stream of bikers and hikers seems to appear out of nowhere, dirty and sweaty after a long trek.

Only a look down a what looks like a private driveway reveals the truth.

A sign and row of blue wine bottles mark the trailhead to Boy Scout; a trail that takes hikers and bikers from Glenwood Springs up the side of Lookout Mountain and likely into a humbling experience.

“It’s probably our premier climbing trail,” says local mountain biker Sean McCourt, who has ridden Boy Scout for years.

“About one out of 10 go up it and the other nine come down it,” he says.

McCourt first started riding the trail in the mid-1990s, at first only going down the trail. Then one day he saw someone riding up the trail.

He said, “You can ride up this thing, no way.”

“It’s an expert trail, definitely, going up.”

Though the grade humbles many mountain bikers, the terrain of ‘Scout’ also regularly has bikers walking.

“It’ll be like this,” said Melainie Langley, a mountain biker and salesperson at Sunlight Ski and Bike, as she held her hands in front of her at about a phone book’s width. “Then a sheer drop,” she said as she swooped her hand down steeply.

Some parts of the trail traverse the edge of a 30- to 35-degree shale slopes, said McCourt.

“If you go over the edge it’s not going to kill you, but it’s going to scare you a bit,” he said.

The narrow trails and steep hillsides “provide a nice thrill element.” And if the thrills didn’t get you worried there are other things to look out for.

“You gotta watch out for bears,” said Langley. “There are tons of berries on that trail.”

Though the trail has been around for years, it has gotten more popular in the past few years and is the most popular trail in Glenwood, she said.

Boy Scout’s proximity to town and difficulty are likely what make it popular.

“It’s a great technical downhill,” said McCourt. “For a lot of people it’s on the edge of their ability and its easy to get to.”

People access Boy Scout at a variety of points. Some ride straight up 8th Street onto the trail. Others take the Doc Holliday Trail, which eventually hooks up with Boy Scout, and some access it from other trails on Lookout Mountain or County Road 120 in Spring Valley.

Though easily accessed, Boy Scout is an advanced bike trail going up or down. Hikers and bikers both use the trail in both directions so users need to keep an eye out for each other.

Boy Scout is sure to be a popular pick this three-day weekend, with warm temperatures and sunshine.

“It’s perfect right now,” said Langley. “It’s real smooth and looks really good.”

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.