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Galena Gulch to Colorado Trail - West Ridge

Consensus:    (details)
 3.9 from 8 votes
  Intermediate from 4 votes
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Rank: #13 in the Summit County, CO area
#91 in Colorado
#583 Overall
Featured Ride near Breckenridge,  area, 
“Excellent singletrack riding with a balance of contoured flume riding, climbing and sweet descents!”
Michael Ahnemann on Oct 1, 2013
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15.124.3 milesKilometers 2,251’686 m Ascent 11,162’3,402 m High 5.7% Avg Grade
80% Singletrack -2,254’-687 m Descent 9,407’2,867 m Low 14.3% Max Grade
Overview
2:45 average ride time for 15.1 miles. Details

Easily accessed from the Dredge parking lot, the newly opened Galena Gulch 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!
Description
Cross Tiger Road from the Dredge parking lot and ride up Galena Gulch Road. Continue on to Summit Gulch Road. You'll pass several confusing Private Property signs. Rest assured that you have every right to be on the main road to access the Galena Gulch Trail up here. At the first hairpin on Summit Gulch, bear left to the Galena Gulch Trail, stepping over a buck and rail fence. Contour along the historic flume for approximately 3 miles.

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!

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.

You pass several large mine tailings that the forest is slowly reclaiming.

The trail ends, and a short, fast doubletrack descent to Tiger Road follows. Proceed up Tiger Road, bearing left on to CR 354 after about 1 mile. Ride up CR 354 for just less than 1 mile to the Colorado Trail. 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.

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.

The rest of the trail has changed quite a bit due to big clearcut logging operations that have changed the character of the area and reduced the amount of shade available. Although the rest of the trail trends downhill, there are a couple of short and sharp climbs which you can see on the elevation profile below.

Keep an eye on the MTB Project mobile app for this one, because there are a couple of unmarked trails that branch off this one, and it's possible to get yourself headed in the wrong direction, although you'd eventually pop out to the road and make it back to the trailhead either way.
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Sep 1
dry
Aug 8
Dry and flowy!!
May 26
dry and beautiful
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COMMENTS
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