“Cross the Continental Divide between Breckenridge and Como via Indiana Gulch and the Gold Dust Trail”
— D L
A phenomenal point to point or out and back ride between two iconic mountain towns. The trail description begins at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena then travels south and east up Indiana Gulch to Boreas Pass Road
. After crossing Boreas Pass, descend wicked-fast singletrack and traverse a smooth, flowy flume trail before a final, technical push into Como.
Don't let the % singletrack be a deterrent. Much of the doubletrack along the route is primitive. While there are longer sections of paved and dirt roads than many great rides, those along this route offer incredible views, a tour of historic mining vestiges, and allows interconnection of some outstanding trails.
Need to Know
This description requires a shuttle. Drive time from Breckenridge to Como is around an hour. The Como Depot is a great place to leave a vehicle. There is also a small pull off near the historic round house that can be used as shuttle vehicle parking.
This ride can test wayfinding skills as well as legs, so bring a good map. The ride also covers a lot of ground and crosses windswept Boreas Pass. Bring adequate clothing as weather can change rapidly and shuttle vehicles may be far away.
This ride is a challenging, but fun out and back. As with many area rides, multiple, alternate routes abound. There are a number of different routes to and from Boreas Pass Road
other than Indiana Gulch. Baker's Tank Trail
offers a more direct route, but increases the amount of dirt road to Boreas Pass Summit. Get creative on the return trip and choose an alternate descent to Indiana, or climb an alternate route and descend Indiana on the return as it is the most direct route down from Boreas Pass.
From the Ice Arena, head for a small bridge at the southeast corner of the parking lot. Cross the bridge and turn right along the creek on Illinois Creek Low
. Follow this west until Highway 9 is directly ahead and begin to climb the Southside Trail
. Follow Southside to Illinois Creek
High and turn right. The trail contours at first then kicks up a technical climb before descending to the Blue River Trail
at a post.
Take a right at the post and climb the Blue River Trail
until it tops out and descends briefly to paved Indiana Creek Road
. Go left (east) on the pavement. After 0.6 miles, the pavement transitions to dirt. After another 0.8 miles pass a trap shooting range on the right at which point Indiana Creek Road
becomes more primitive transiting to FDR 593.
Shortly after this transition, take the singletrack above and parallel to Indiana Creek Road
which rejoins the road after a few hundred feet. Descend back to the dirt road within the creek. There is a singletrack in the willows along the left side of the road that loops back to the road.
After emerging from the willows, turn left (east) up the valley. There will immediately be a fork with FDR 611.3A, (aka The Grind). Take the left fork and continue on Indiana Creek Road
Climb 1.7 miles up Indiana Creek Road
to Boreas Pass Road
, passing FDR 597 (Dyerville Road) on the right at mile 1.2. Indiana kicks hard just below Boreas Pass, so save a little for the last 1/4 mile.
Turn right at Boreas Pass Road
and climb 1.5 miles to Boreas Pass summit and the Continental Divide. This is a good place to regroup, refuel and check out the restored, historic Boreas Pass Section House.
Drop over Boreas Pass into Park County and look for a post marking the Gold Dust Trail
(trail #698) 1/3 mile from the summit on the right at the first sweeping bend in the road. Turn right onto the trail and enjoy the ripping, 1.6 mile descent to N. Tarryall Creek Rd.
Cross the road slightly uphill and continue on singletrack, across a creek then onto a 2 mile section of incredibly fun flume trail. The flume section ends in a short descent to Park County Road 50. Cross the road and continue on singletrack, through the wetlands and across several timber foot bridges.
The trail climbs and descends technically for another 4.2 miles, saving its best section for last. (Note there is a trail junction to the right 0.5 miles beyond the foot bridges. Bear left at this junction, staying on the main trail.) Gold Dust Trail
ends on the gravel Pine Street. Turn right and zip a mile down to Como, or turn around and start on the return leg of an epic out and back.
This ride is frequently combined with Boreas Pass Road
from Como to create a loop back to Breckenridge rather than riding the Gold Dust Trail
as an out and back. This adds mileage to the roundtrip. The climb up Boreas Pass from Como can be a bit arduous, and is no less tiresome and much less enjoyable than simply returning on Gold Dust Trail
; in part due to vehicular traffic. This section of Boreas Pass does have numerous aspen groves and there are great views along the climb.