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Breckenridge Mountain Biking: Colorado

Mountain Biking in Breckenridge, Colorado

Mountain Bike Destination Guide & GPX Files for Summit County, Colorado

Area includes:

  • Breckenridge
  • Copper Mountain
  • Frisco

Mountain Bike Routes & Trails

MTB Routes and Trails

Breckenridge, Colorado

Whether you're new to the sport of mountain biking or regularly rip up the singletrack around Colorado, Breckenridge summer activities offer experiences perfect for anyone. Breck offers lessons for beginner and intermediate mountain bike skill levels daily. In from out of town? Rent a bike and ride the lift or scope out the trails around town.

While Breckenridge offers some of the finest skiing in Colorado during the winter, it comes alive in the summer and fall months with lush meadows, verdant forests and some of the best singletrack any mountain biker could hope for.

From fire roads to rolling cross-country trails, to paved cruiser rides and lift-accessed downhill, Breckenridge and the surrounding valleys serve up literally hundreds of miles of mountain biking options.

New to the sport? No problem. The advantage of riding at a resort like Breckenridge is that we offer complete gear rentals and expert instruction. It's a great way to get your adrenaline pumping and see an entirely different side of the resort.

Breckenridge is a unique mountain biking destination in that the town accommodates a wide range of mountain biking skill levels. Beginners, intermediates, advanced, and expert riders will all find trails perfectly suited to their abilities. Easier trails can be found on the ski hill, which offers nice cross-country riding, and north of town near Keystone and Lake Dillon - which also offers the best camping options. Intermediate rides exist throughout the area, and the Colorado Trail offers challenges for advanced riders.

Why Breckenridge?

Breckenridge is situated in Summit County, providing a clue not only to the views you can expect, but the elevation, which means the best riding is in summer and early fall. The town installed "Muddy Meters" at some trailheads to help you gauge when to ride. Keeping the trails in good condition to ride another day is a great idea!

Riding in Breckenridge

Rides vary, with trails for beginners to experts and beyond, particularly when adding options north of town towards Frisco and Keystone (where too many trails all start with the name "Soda"). For easier rides, the Flume Loop is a great 7.0-mile loop ride for advanced beginners that can be accessed right from downtown. Bakers Tank loop is a 6.0-mile ride with a generally wide and smooth trail that combines Boreas Pass Road, which itself is a worthwhile ride to the top of the pass. Boreas Pass Road is a gentle fire road, and is more about scenery than riding challenges -- a good way to get beginners hooked! Strong beginners looking to step it up a bit may also like the Aqueduct Trail, an out-and-back or loop north of town from Tiger Road to Lake Dillon with some flowing singletrack.

The popular Peaks Trail out-and-back, which connects Breckenridge and the alluring town of Frisco (the recommended starting point) to the north, is a fun intermediate ride. The trail takes bikers past cascading creeks, through forested woods, along a water flume, over elevated wooden ramps, and through wildflower meadows. Some technical and climbing challenges are thrown in to make things interesting. Expect intense hiker traffic at the Frisco end.

Lots of intermediate riding options exist east of town by combining various short trails into loops that can be accessed from downtown, or by heading north towards Keystone and Dillon Reservoir. However, these combinations are not readily known and require a map and some flexibility. Aspen Alley is a don't miss - the trail winds through a corridor of Colorado's stunning aspens that takes your breath away. Do it as a heavenly downhill unless you like tough climbs. The Turks Trail is something altogether different, much of it a rollercoaster ride through some mining detritus, also great as a downhill but fine on the way up, too. If you like purpose-built stunts, check out the B-Line; if you find yourself on it by accident, don't worry -- you can ride around the obstacles.

The Colorado Trail goes through Breckenridge and is a mountain biking gem. Intermediate riders can do it as an out-and-back, or include it with other trails sections. A combination we like starts at the parking lot just north of town at the Gold Hill Trailhead. Take the paved path south and cross the highway to ride up Tiger Road. Turn right on Galena Gulch Road, and then a left, to connect with the Galena Gulch Trail. Reconnect with Tiger Road and turn left onto the North Fork Road (354). Turn left onto the Colorado Trail, where sections switch between moderate and difficult. Some fantastically fun downhills reward your climbing effort! Take the glorious CT all the way back to the highway - be careful crossing! You can also lengthen this ride by continuing farther past 354 on Tiger Road and picking up the Colorado Trail a few miles farther up.

Advanced and expert riders can make the most of the Colorado Trail by riding it all the way to Kenosha Pass - a tough but classic ride. Do this as a shuttle. There is a nice campground at Kenosha Pass to spend the night if you want to retrace the ride the following day. Or head west to Copper Mountain to ride the Colorado Trail to Searle Pass, a rough ride with hike-a-bike sections to challenge even strong riders. The 16-mile route takes riders to high-alpine tundra at 12,000 feet in elevation, adding another dimension to the challenges. Want to make it a bike-pack trip? Stay at Janet's Cabin (reservations required), just before reaching Searle Pass. The "Dirty" Copper Rectangle (or Triangle as it may be also known) is an extension of the Searle Pass ride, adding Kokomo Pass and Ptarmigan Pass to the challenge and making for a long 33-mile loop.

If that's not enough, the 24.5-mile 10-Mile Traverse takes riders within one mile of all 10 peaks in the Tenmile Range, from Peak 10 at 13,633 feet to Peak 1, just 828 feet lower. Lots of scary rocks, hike-a-bike, and high-altitude endurance (which is why we haven't tried it yet!).

As with all these high elevation rides, electrical storms are a very real threat! There is no hiding when you are above tree line. Check the forecast, start earlier than you think you should, bring extra clothing, and extra food and water. And be prepared to bail if needed.

Breckenridge is Super Mountain Bike Friendly!

Any town that hosts a 6-day, 240-mile mountain bike event with 40,000 feet of elevation gain is truly into mountain biking. But Breckenridge isn't all hard-core. VIDA MTB clinics get women pysched about the sport, and the town also offers mountain bike lessons ("camps") for youngsters. A perfect way to introduce friends and family to the sport!

Open Space and Trails Department

The Breckenridge Open Space and Trails Department has acquired over 4,000 acres of land and built more than 47 miles of trails for public recreation. Breckenridge has been recognized as a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community through the League of American Bicyclists. The town sets an ambitious annual trail construction and maintenance schedule; one noteworthy addition in 2015 includes the Wellington Bike Park and Pump Track, which includes large pump track, a strider track, three flow trails (one beginner and two intermediate) and a skills area featuring "skinnies" and a small rock garden.

More than a Ski Town

And so Breck has been embracing the non-ski season, creating summer enticements for mountain bikers. Ski shops morph into bike shops in the summer, but sometimes with limited success. We stopped in two ski/bike shops trying to get mountain bike trail beta, with zero success. In both instances, staff admitted they weren't mountain bikers and didn't really know the area's trail system. So we bought a map and were on our own -- not necessarily a bad thing, but there's nothing like getting the local scoop on the best rides.

Here's what you need to know before you get rolling:

Gear

You'll need a bike, helmet, a few water bottles (or hydration bladder) and a backpack to carry any other essentials.

The right bike can turn rocky, teeth-chattering trails into a luxurious ride. If you don't own a mountain bike (or left yours at home), stop by one of the full-service rental shops and we'll outfit you with everything you need.

Choose your bike style

Mountain bike: Full-suspension bikes roll over most rocks and bumps and handle dirt and tight corners with ease. With gears to make the ride up easier and the ride down faster, this is the best choice if you plan to ride on the mountain.

Comfort cruiser: If you're looking for something a little more relaxed, these are perfect bikes for getting around town or doing a little sightseeing on some of the easy gravel trails.

Cruisers are also great for pulling young kids in a bike trailer (trailers also available for rent).

Junior bikes: Let's not forget the little ones! We have bikes to fit your children so that everyone can get a great ride in together.

Lessons

If you're new to mountain biking or looking to learn more technical lines, we've got classes for you. We approach mountain bike lessons in a similar way as ski lessons – we'll assess your current ability and help you achieve the next level.

Beginner/Intermediate Lessons: If you've never ridden a mountain bike (or it's been a while), we highly recommend this 2.5-hour class to help you gain a better understanding of the basics. This includes:

  • Braking (when to use the front and back brakes)
  • Shifting
  • Turning
  • Managing obstacles

Once you're comfortable on the bike, you're ready to test your skills on the mountain.

Your instructor will lead you on some intermediate (blue) trails with some small obstacles, berms and gentle switchbacks that progress downhill, providing guidance and helping you along the way.

You'll learn at your own speed.

Dirt Girls Sessions: This ladies-only group tour consists of four weekly, ability-appropriate riding sessions. Each week, the guides up the ante and challenge your skills one switchback at a time.

These sessions are led by local women for women who want to ride without pressure from the opposite sex and want to develop a sense of camaraderie with other female bikers.

Trails

Breckenridge has no shortage of singletrack for the novice or the expert. You may find yourself coming back for more each year (or perhaps several times a year).

With so many trails to choose from, we've narrowed the field to the "must rides."

Boreas Pass: Boreas Pass is a great place to warm up and acclimate to the altitude before hitting the more technical stuff. It's also a perfect spot for beginner-to-intermediate riders.

At just under eight miles, it doesn't contain anything too technical and has a gentle ascent with some utterly spectacular views of the Tenmile Range along the way.

Breckenridge resort: That's right: You ride it in the winter, and you can ride it in the summer too!

There are 12 trails available near Peaks 8 and 9 (accessed from Peak 7 in 2014). They range from challenging intermediate rides to highly technical rippers.

If you want to skip the steep climb, you can pay $30 for an all-day bike haul pass, ride the lift up and tear down the trails as many times as you want.

Colorado Trail/Kenosha Pass: If you're up for a beast of a trail with views that are completely worth it, head out on this 33-mile trek that's predominantly above tree line.

It's an all-day, life-changing adventure for experienced riders.

Organize a shuttle from Breckenridge to the start at Kenosha Pass to keep it a one-way haul vs. a round-trip suffer fest.

Mountain biking in Breckenridge is an experience you won't soon forget. Many of our summer visitors come back year after year to rip down new singletrack the likes of which only Breckenridge can provide.

Trails

Choose from a selection of green, blue and black mountain-bike specific trails on the resort, or head out on the hiking trails or mountain roads. A few of the trails include:

Green Trail:

Whirl: .5 miles. A fun introduction to wide singletrack with rollers and berms.

Blue Trails:

Pioneer: 3.8 miles. A mix of a singletrack and mountain road ending with a smooth wide singletrack leading to the Fun Park.

Swinger: 4.0 miles. Cruise top to bottom on graded singletrack.

Edge Trail: .4 miles. A short, fun route between Frosty's and Swinger with great views of the valley, this trail offers a slight climb on a singletrack across steep terrain.

Breakaway: .2 miles. This mid-mountain connection between Dwight's and Swinger, offers a gentle singletrack across steep terrain.

Wanderer: 3.7 miles. A rolling, cross-country trail that leads to The Village at Breck at the base of Peak 9. Please stop if you encounter riders on horseback.

Sawmill: 1.0 miles. Follows the valley between Peak 8 and Peak 9. Take the mountain roads or town trails to the base of Peak 9.

Prospector: 1 mile. A short but steep singletrack that leads to the road and then takes you down to The Village at the base of Peak 9.

Black Trails:

Game Trail: Closed Summer 2016 for construction.

Dwight's: 2.6 miles. Winding singletrack offering some banked corners, rocky descents and narrow routes through the trees.

Frosty's Challenge: 1.8 miles. A steep fun descent that connects to Wanderer. Climb back to Peak 8 or follow Wanderer to the base of Peak 9.

Frisco, Colorado

You are definitely in the right place if you like gorgeous single track and old dirt mining roads. Frisco is surrounded on 3 sides by National Forest (75% of Summit County is public land) and it takes locals years to bike it all so you will never ever ever be bored. The good news is that you can learn to mountain bike or fulfill all your dreams of gnarly mountain biking achievement here. We’ve got it all.

You are definitely in the right place if you like gorgeous single track and old dirt mining roads. Frisco is surrounded on 3 sides by National Forest (75% of Summit County is public land) and it takes locals years to bike it all so you will never ever ever be bored. The good news is that you can learn to mountain bike or fulfill all your dreams of gnarly mountain biking achievement here. We've got it all.

CLASSIC MOUNTAIN BIKING RIDES IN FRISCO:

Peaks Trail - This is a favorite because it has enough climbs and technical bits to make you feel hero-like, but it won't destroy you so you can go on to do more exploring on your bike the next day. It can be ridden from Frisco or Breckenridge, but here in the office we prefer an out and back from Frisco (about 18 miles) with a post ride beverage on Frisco's Main Street.

Frisco Peninsula - This is a classic lunch hour ride with incredible views and waterside riding along Dillon Reservoir. Also, there are a lot of trails which head off from this trail, and they are perfect for exploring with little chance of getting lost on this peninsula. This 6 mile ride is a great way to get your legs ready for more.

American Lakes Trail

Photo Copyright: Tripp Fay

Copper Mountain

Although most renowned for its world-class skiing, Copper Mountain also sits right in the heart of truly world-class biking, both on the road and on the dirt.

For the hard core types, try riding a mountain bike along the Colorado Trail across Copper Mountain ski area and up the Guller Creek valley. A challenging, technical ride enjoyed by locals in mid- to late summer follows that single-track up and over Searle Pass, then over Kokomo Pass and finally over Ptarmigan Pass and down to the Vail Pass bike path for an easy downhill cruise to Copper. Warning: It requires a full day, includes some hike-a-bike sections and should be attempted only by the most experienced, fittest bikers.

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