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Insider Look: Mountain Biking the Peaks Trail

Calen Haire17 Aug 2016Things to Do and SeePost a Comment

Summit County is an amazing place to be if you are interested in mountain biking. With hundreds of miles of trails to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Whether you are an expert mountain biker with years of experience or trying it out for the first time, there is sure to be trails here in Summit County that will put a smile on your face!

One of my personal favorites is the Peaks Trail (follow this link for a map and directions to the trailhead). This beautiful stretch of trail follows the ten mile range and connects Breckenridge and Frisco. The great thing about this trail is that it can be ridden so many different ways. For an extreme workout with technical climbs, the trail can be ridden as an out and back from Frisco to Breckenridge and back. For a long ride without the grueling technical climb, the trail can be ridden as a large loop from Breckenridge to Frisco and back on the Recreation path. The trail can be shuttled by dropping a car at the trailhead in Frisco and parking the second vehicle at the Breckenridge trailhead. There also quite a few short cuts that can be taken along this ride as well.

If you are riding from town in Breckenridge, you can ride single track up through the Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Sanctuary. You can also ride up to the trailhead on Ski Hill Road, or you can skip the climb from town by taking the free Breckenridge gondola with your bike and then ride down Ski Hill Road to the trailhead. If you planning on doing the long loop and get tired when you get to Frisco, you can always hop on the Summit Stage, the free county bus, that will take you all the way back to Breckenridge. Please note: There is only room for three bikes on the bus bike rack and it can get a little bit busy in the summer. The best way to catch this bus is to ride through town to the Frisco Transfer Center. It is much more likely that you will get a spot on the rack there.

This trail is 7.8 miles one way and is an intermediate ride. The trail traverses from Breckenridge along the Ten Mile Range with some mellow short climbs and descents. About two-thirds of the way the trail begins a descent into Frisco. This part of the trail is primarily downhill and has sections that can be rocky and technical.

If you choose to ride the trail as an out and back, I would highly recommend starting in Frisco. This way you can knock out all of the difficult climbing on the way out and enjoy a more relaxing ride on the return. The out and Back is about 16 miles in total.

The large loop is about 20 miles and can be shortened with the use of the gondola and or the Summit Stage bus. This loop can be done starting in Frisco or Breckenridge. If you start in Breckenridge it is a 12-mile gradual uphill ride back to Breckenridge once you reach the recreation trail. If you start in Frisco, you can knock out the uphill portion first.

For information on more trails in Summit County, visit the Dillion Ranger District website. And if you have any tips on mountain biking in Summit County, please leave them in the "Comments" section below!