Galena Gulch to Colorado Trail - West Ridge

Consensus:    (details)
  4.1 from 11 votes
blue  Intermediate from 4 votes
Rank: #1 in the Southern Summit County area
#109 in CO, #784 Overall
Views: 6,315. Last 30 days: 610
Green
Condition Details | Update
Aug 12 Green - Dry
Featured Ride in the area near Keystone,
“Excellent singletrack riding with a balance of contoured flume riding, climbing and sweet descents!”
Michael Ahnemann on Oct 1, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
15.124.3 milesKilometers 2,251’686 m Ascent 11,162’3,402 m High 5% Avg Grade (3°)
80% Singletrack -2,254’-687 m Descent 9,407’2,867 m Low 19% Max Grade (11°)
Dogs: Leashed
Overview
2:44 average time for 15.6 miles. Details

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!
Description
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.
History & Background
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!
View in 3D
COMMENTS
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PHOTOS of Galena Gulch to Colorado Trail - West Ridge
  4.3 from 3 votes
Great singletrack, great scenery. (Keystone, CO)
  4.3 from 3 votes
July wildflowers looking good! (Keystone, CO)
  4.0 from 3 votes
Finishing the hot southern exposed steeps with Mt Guyot looming behind (Keystone, CO)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Heading up the start of Horseshoe Gulch with big views (Keystone, CO)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Quandary Peak and the Ten Mile Range (Keystone, CO)
  4.0 from 2 votes
The CO Trail is gorgeous in this section (Keystone, CO)
  3.3 from 3 votes
This is an exceptionally pretty spot on the CT. (Keystone, CO)
  3.3 from 3 votes
The first open meadow view (Keystone, CO)
  3.3 from 3 votes
Looking north toward Soda Creek. And Dillon Lake/reservoir further on th... (Keystone, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Riding the berm that makes the Galena Ditch (Breckenridge, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Cool tree tunnels on sections of the Galena Ditch Trail (Keystone, CO)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Typical high-alpine CO singletrack. (Keystone, CO)
  2.5 from 4 votes
Bizarre tailing piles from the old gold mines (Breckenridge, CO)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Ride Prep from Dredge Boat Trailhead (Keystone, CO)
  2.0 from 2 votes
One of the historic dredge boats from the early 1900's the piled up moun... (Keystone, CO)