Easily accessed from the Dredge parking lot, the Galena Ditch Trail
provides a great start to this singletrack adventure and minimizes road riding to the Colorado Trail (CT). A steady climb up the CT peaks with full views of the 10 mile range and gives way to a ripping descent!
Cross Tiger Road from the Dredge parking lot and ride up dirt Summit Gulch Road
approximately one mile passing the more primitive Galena Gulch Road on the right, then a home and another drive on the right. You'll pass several confusing Private Property signs. Rest assured that you have every right to be here.
At a timber chicane on the left of the road, begin the Galena Ditch Trail
. Contour along the historic flume for several miles. Crossing Rock Island Road
and Rock Island Trail
enroute to Georgia Pass Rd.
You ride along the top of the retaining bank (not in the ditch bottom), mostly along sharp mining rocks, and some packed dirt. Although dead level, there are steep slopes on both sides on the skinny trail, and a couple places require decent balance, so it's not really a beginner trail.
Go left and northeast on Georgia Pass Rd (South Fork Swan Road) back to Tiger Road. Turn left and descend to CR 354 after 1/2 mile. Here, you'll find yourself at an open spot along the Swan River. If you've brought a water filter, this is a great place to use it. Otherwise, it's a nice place to eat a snack and cool off. You'll want to catch your breath here, because the next 3.5 miles bring a big uphill grind with over 1000' of climbing. This section gets quite a bit of sun, and it's granny gear climbing in spots, making this a real grunt.
Turn right up CR 354 for just less than 1 mile to the Colorado Trail. Climb steadily for a good 45 minutes to an hour to "West Ridge". The climb levels off before passing a junction on the right leading down to Keystone Gulch Road
( West Ridge Loop - South Connector
). After a bit of descending and contouring climbing, there is a second junction to Keystone Gulch Road
The next descent is beautiful riding - less technical than the first descent, and flowy enough to let it rip. It's good enough to restore your energy, which is good because you're not done yet.
Much of the rest of the trail trends downhill; however, after passing a final junction on the right with Red Trail
, there is a short and sharp climb which you can see on the elevation profile below.
Keep an eye on the MTB Project mobile app for this one, because it's possible to get yourself headed in the wrong direction.
At the bottom of the descent there is a four-way intersection with the Horseshoe Gulch Trail
. Take a left and head back to the Dredge Parking Lot and trailhead.
In the early 1900's, water was diverted through Galena Ditch to be used by Stanley Revette's mines. 100 years later, it makes a pretty cool bike ride!