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Vail Pass...One of the Most Beautiful (and Easiest) Rides in the County

Jamie Goswick13 Aug 2013Things to Do and SeePost a Comment

On top of Vail Pass

I have to admit, I don’t have much biking experience. In fact, before my Vail Pass ride, I probably hadn’t been on a bike in almost 20 years. With that said, I don’t know what in the world possessed me to get enough courage to ride a bike 23.5 miles. I’ve never come close to riding a bike that far. It turns out, 23.5 miles wasn’t all that bad!

Summit County is supposed to be one of the best biking communities in the country. After all, we do have miles and miles of bike paths, giving you views people pay a lot of money to come and see on a yearly basis. Working here at Summit Mountain Rentals, we speak to a lot of guests. As you can imagine, altitude can be a big concern sometimes for our customers, even for athletic people. Riding a bike at sea level might not be so tough. But riding a bike at 9,600 feet can be a little more challenging. And because this is something we deal with frequently, I wanted to experience a bike ride that we can recommend to guests that would be easy for someone like me, who hasn’t ridden a bike in a long time. I also wanted a ride where I could bring my 6-month-old son, Kylan, along. I called Alpine Sports and they suggested that I give their Vail Pass Shuttle a try.

I had the option of doing a ride in the morning or one in the afternoon. I opted for the morning ride, so I could avoid any afternoon thunderstorm that might pop up. The last thing I wanted was to be stranding between Copper Mountain and Frisco in a thunderstorm with my little man. I met at the Alpine Sports location on Park Avenue in Breckenridge at 9:30 a.m. They got me fitted on a good bike, showed me how to set up the Chariot that Kylan rode in and explained the trip to me. Around 10:15, we loaded up in a van and headed up to Vail Pass. The shuttle ride to the top of Vail Pass took about 25 minutes. As you can imagine, the view at the top of the pass was beautiful.

The SKY Chutes

What makes this ride so great and easy? It’s all downhill to Frisco! It’s about a 1,600 foot drop in elevation. It took me about 20 minutes or so to ride the six miles to Copper Mountain. This was my favorite section of the ride. I thought the steep switchbacks were fun. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be riding a bike up those switchbacks! But I saw a lot of people doing it. And to me, that’s amazing! The trail goes straight through Copper village, giving you a beautiful view of the Sky Chutes. The peddling through Copper Mountain and about two miles east is pretty flat. Then all of a sudden, it’s downhill again. This section was absolutely beautiful. Wildflowers were everywhere and the peaks towered above me. The views were breathtaking.

Beautiful View of Copper

It took us about 30 minutes to ride the 7.5 miles to Frisco from Copper Mountain. At this point, it was time for me to make a decision. Did I want to meet the shuttle at the Frisco Marina and drive back to Breckenridge or did I want to ride the entire rest of the way to Breckenridge? I sucked it up and went with option two. It’s only about a 10 mile ride and a 600 foot elevation gain and I felt like I still had the energy to do it. However, it was a little bit harder trek than I imagined. There’s only one big hill to climb, which is by the hospital. And honestly, that hill wasn’t too bad. However, by the time I got to Tiger Road, my legs were pretty tired and the ride was getting pretty tough. But I knew I only had about four more miles to go and I went for it. And I’m glad I did. The weather was beautiful, the views were stellar and I burned a lot of calories. I can’t wait to do it again!

Thanks to our friends at Alpine Sports, for allowing me to go on the ride. They are nice enough to offer our customers 20% off their regular rates. For rates, visit our

Summer Activities page or visit Alpine Sport’s website.