It's not often you'll find this much easy beginner singletrack way up in the Rockies! This is a great ride for beginners ready to leave the bike path and try out "real" mountain biking. And everyone else should have a blast too!
Park at the recreation path parking area off of Swan Mountain Road. Follow an unmarked trail uphill, cross Keystone Ranch Road, and regain the singletrack for another half mile. You'll hit an intersection with Keystone Aqueduct Trail
, right at an junction with Soda Ridge Road. You are now on top of an aqueduct and you follow this for over a mile.
You'll snake through neighborhoods and open hillside, sometimes directly in the aqueduct (where it's not contained in pipe). Surprisingly fun!
After the neighborhood ends, leave the aqueduct and climb gently uphill through a massive logging operation. In summer 2013, there were MASSIVE piles of dead lodgepole pines waiting to be burned. Kind of sad, but due to the hills and big mountains in the distance, it's surprisingly scenic.
When you're overlooking a historic homestead, you are at the junction of Soda Creek Trail
and Red Trail
. Take Soda Creek Trail
down to the homestead, and continue pas on well-signed singletrack.
Ascend a series of boggy meadows. The trail is well designed and stays dry despite the marshy sections. Remember to turn around for great views of Quandary Peak (14,265') and other big mountains in the distant Ten Mile Range.
Reach a low saddle, pass through some moist, healthy forest, and then descend an open meadown on fun, flowy singletrack until you get to the Cove Trailhead in Summit Cove.
If you have energy left, climb the singletrack across the road, ascend a bit, then descend left back to the same road you just crossed (or just take that road for a bit). Look for the Swan Mountain Rec Path
to the left, hop on it, and cruise back north/east until you get on the Snake River Path. Follow this through a golf course and look for a bridge to get across the river. You're now on Soda Ridge Road and just a short ways back to the car.
There are MANY ways to make this longer. Look at the map for more singletrack options as well as paved paths.