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Sugarloaf Lollipop

Difficult
 4.0 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A lung-busting climb to a stellar descent.


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Map Key

9.7

Miles

15.6

KM

45%

Singletrack

11,156' 3,400 m

High

9,895' 3,016 m

Low

1,283' 391 m

Up

1,283' 391 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

This ride begins in May Queen campgrounds, next to Turquoise Lake. May Queen is a paid parking area ($6) and is strictly enforced. You can opt to park along Turquoise Lake Road instead. Just follow the posted parking signs. The first half of this ride is along paved or gravel road, with the ultimate goal a thrilling descent down a fast, technical section of the Colorado Trail. Worth the trundle up the pavement!

Need to Know

Bring money for parking in May Queen campground, if starting at the marked beginning.

Description

Usually paired with the Turquoise Lake Singletrack, this ride involves climbing up Sugarloaf Pass (part of the Leadville Trail 100) then descending back down to the lake on a great section of the Colorado Trail. Technical and burly, this ride always makes for a great time! Look for raspberries on the road as you climb up the hill!

The ride begins next to Turquoise Lake, which can be crowded on the weekends and on holidays. Bring money to pay for parking ($6). You can also opt to park along Turquoise Lake Road instead. From May Queen, head northwest to the Turquoise Lake Road. Turn left and begin the first climb, about two miles. Arrive at an intersection with Hagerman Pass Road and take a sharp right.

Begin another slow climb, taking caution that this gravel road is used frequently by motorized dirt bikes and four wheelers. You'll pass the Colorado Trail bisecting Hagerman Pass Road. Keep climbing. Take a shape left on County Road 105A and keep climbing—the downhill is your pay-off!

After another two miles with the electric lines buzzing overhead and the hummingbirds inspecting your sweaty body, you'll arrive at the Colorado Trail trailhead on your left. Take a breather. Grab a snack and make sure your legs are loose and your brakes are in tip-top order.

This whiteknuckle descent comes at you fast. There are sections with loose gravel and baby-head boulders. The most thrilling parts include half-pipe like tunnels that really test your mettle. You'll cross the section of Hagerman Pass Road that you just climbed.

You'll eventually be dumped back out on Turqouise Lake Road again. If you arrive at a wooden bridge crossing running water, you've gone too far. Head right before the bridge, down a red-diamond-marked fire road. This intersects with Turqouise Lake Road. Head left back to May Queen or right if you parked along the road to avoid the parking fee.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joe Ventura

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 8 votes

#1

in Leadville

#2229

Overall
  4.0 from 8 votes
5 Star
13%
4 Star
75%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Leadville

#314

in Colorado

#2,229

Overall
94 Views Last Month
3,540 Since Feb 19, 2014
Difficult

0%
0%
14%
0%
86%
0%

Photos

Aspens along the road. with permission from eliot_garvin
Oct 4, 2016 near Leadvil…, CO

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Check-Ins

Jun 13, 2021
Nathan Davis
Aug 2, 2020
Trent R
2.5 hr ride w breaks. Meh clime. Good descent. Could be cleaned largely. Nice views on last 1/3 of climb
Sep 27, 2019
Brandon McCann
Description should read "very mellow climb to wildly technical descent" 9.7mi
Aug 12, 2017
Chad Dean