This is a great link from town up the lower slopes of Baldy Mountain to Baker's Tank, an historic railroad water tank along Boreas Pass Road
. The trail features a respectable amount of singletrack. The road sections are closed to motorized use with the exception Baldy Road and Crossing Route
Wayfinding from the top of Nightmare on Baldy
to Mountain Pride Trail
can be confusing. In general, dramatic (steep) climbs or descents are an indication that a wrong turn has been made.
The description includes an out and back at the upper end of the ride to Baker's Tank. The ride length can be shortened by cutting this section out. However, the 1.8 mile out and back is extremely enjoyable and includes a fun, flowy section of trail with abundant aspen and some of the best dirt in the area.
Trails ridden for this loop in order are: Sunbeam Trail
, Carter Park
, Moonstone Trail
(via Hermit Placer
), Juniata Trail
(or Barney Ford
), Sallie Barber parallel singletrack
, Sallie Barber Road
, Nightmare on Baldy
, True Romance
, Crossing Route
(528.1B), Pinball Alley
, Mountain Pride Trail
, Baker's Tank Trail
(out and back to tank then downhill), Aspen Alley
, Blue River Trail
, Illinois Creek
(High). From Illinois Creek
, Southside Trail
and Illinois Creek Low
are also fun back to the ice rink.
For a little more challenge Jack's Cruel Joke
begins across from Sunbeam Trail
on Sunbeam Drive and can be climbed to Hermit Placer
then to Moonstone Trail
Feeling tired after Aspen Alley
, turn right to Boreas Pass Road
then descend back down the pavement to the ice rink.
If the loop becomes too strenuous, or is being ridden in the fall; Valdero Trail
can be used at the midpoint of the Baker's Tank Trail
descent to connect to Boreas Pass Road
. Boreas Pass Road
west of this intersection passes through a large aspen grove, and offers stunning views of the Goose Pasture Tarn (Town of Breckenridge reservoir). Aspen Alley
can then still be descended.
The description and GPS track begins and ends at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena on Boreas Pass, south of Town.
This loop can be done counterclockwise as well. The lower half of Baker's Tank Trail
is no picnic, but Nightmare on Baldy
and Barney Ford
trails are both great downhill. Barney Flow
trails offer great alternatives to Moonstone Trail
if ridden CCW.
As with many rides in Breckenridge, there are numerous opportunities to lengthen this ride by incorporating adjacent trails.
This ride can be combined with the Classic Breckenridge Route
from Barney Ford
Trail for a longer tour of Breckenridge.
The kid-friendly trail network around the ice arena offers an opportunity for ride swapping with the family.
Park at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. Cross Boreas Pass Road
to Sunbeam Drive. Sunbeam Trail
begins on the left side of the road and leads to Carter Park
At Carter Park
climb the Carter Park
switchbacks to a flume. Go left then take an immediate right onto Moonstone Trail
. Climb to Moonstone Rd.
Cross Moonstone Rd to a singletrack. Turn right at the first junction onto Juniata Trail
(or continue left on Barney Ford
Trail to Sallie Barber Road
). Climb Juniata a short distance and cross Baldy Road and continue uphill on singletrack. The trail crosses a ped/bike bridge then climbs a wide, rocky section of trail before becoming more buff dirt. Continue for another 2/3 mile to Baldy Road again. Cross Baldy Road to Sallie Barber Road
Take the Sallie Barber parallel singletrack
to the west of the pavement, climb back to Sallie Barber Road
and ride through a gate. Sallie Barber Road
contours for a mile before climbing steeply for 1/3 mile to Sallie Barber Mine.
Take an uphill right turn and climb south up Nightmare on Baldy
. The trail begins steeply and is rutted and rocky. After a few hundred feet, a singletrack trail begins on the right.
At the top of Nightmare on Baldy
, wayfinding is a bit more difficult. Turn right at a post on the True Romance
mining road, pass through a wooden chicane and continue contouring south past a steep left and cross a boggy section of doubletrack. The trail then descends to Baldy Road (now a primitive gravel road).
Turn right on Baldy Road then immediately left onto the Crossing Route
doubletrack with a brown, USFS carsonite marker indicating road 528.1B. Crossing Route
climbs briefly then begins to contour passing through a four-way intersection (there is a marker identifying the uphill leg as USFS road 538 & timber barriers on the side trails). Continue straight, on the contour through this junction. After ~1,000 feet, the trail begins to climb a steep, rocky, rutted section. After a short distance, look for a singletrack on the right.
Turn right onto the unsigned Pinball Alley
singletrack, and climb to a high point and fork in the trail. Take a right and descend through an s-curve. Turn left and south out of the s-curve at a mine tailings area onto Mountain Pride Trail
(USFS Trail #9031).
The trail crosses a few dirt turnpikes, then begins to contour. In just under a mile, the trail merges with the Baker's Tank Trail
(USFS Trail #40) at a Y-intersection which includes a sharp right turn downhill. There is a trail marker at this intersection. The ride can be shortened by taking a right onto Baker's Tank Trail
Continue straight at this junction for an out and back section along a fun, flowy, aspen descent to Boreas Pass Road
at Baker's Tank. Turn around and begin back up Baker's Tank Trail
. Take an opportunity to stop after ~1,000 feet at an overlook with a small bench on the south side of the trail.
Continue back to the intersection with Mountain Pride Trail
, turn left and descend. At the midpoint of the descent, Baker's Tank Trail
crosses Valdero Trail
- USFS #9032. Continue due west on Baker's Tank Trail
. The trail is well marked.
Baker's Tank Trail
climbs briefly before topping out and descending to the Boreas Pass winter trailhead. Turn left on Boreas Pass Road
at the trailhead passing a gate. Take Aspen Alley
on the right side of the road just after the gate.
(USFS trail #9133) descends 1 mile through a number of tacky, flowy switchbacks to a gravel driveway adjacent to Boreas Pass Road
Cross the drive, turn left onto the Blue River Trail
. After 1/4 mile turn right at a post onto the Illinois Creek
High Trail. Follow Illinois Creek
passing the Southside Trail
on the left. Descend right through a switchback with a straight option and ride east passing two more left turns before a final curve. Ride straight out across a short bridge back to the parking lot.