This is a technical, rocky, rooty lollipop loop from the base of Peak 9 at the Breckenridge Ski Area, up an historic mining road that has reverted to singletrack to Spruce Creek Road
and the Spruce Creek Trail
via a short section of the Wheeler Trail
The Spruce Creek Trail
and the lower section of Burro Trail
are extremely popular with hikers. Expect to stop often descending these trail sections. For this reason, this loop should be avoided on busy, summer weekends.
The trail has a lot of rock. It is prudent to bring extra tubes for this ride.
There is a large, paved parking lot at the base of Peak 9. From Park Avenue, in the south end of Breckenridge go west up Village Road towards Peak 9 base area. The parking lot entrance is 0.1 mile past Primrose Path, across from the Hilton.
Ride out of the east side of the parking lot onto the gravel ski area access road and turn right. After 0.1 miles, at the first bend in the road, a trail begins through a buck-and-rail fence on the left side of the road.
Take the well-marked singletrack into the forest, crossing a bridge over a small creek. The trail begins a gradual climb reminiscent of the Peaks Trail
, but gets more intense, rocky and steep after the first 1/2 mile.
In the first 1 1/4 mile of the climb there are numerous, social singletracks branching both right and left from the main trail. The Burro Trail
is by far the more established, and easiest to follow (if not to climb) of the trails.
At 1.3 miles, the trail tees into a wider track. Go left at this intersection, and remember the turn for the downhill leg. (A right turn at this junction connects to more social trails and an extremely rough equestrian trail used for ski area summer pack tours). Climb this wider trail section for 1.8 miles to Spruce Creek Road
Note there is another social singletrack descending steeply east off the main trail 0.8 miles into this 1.8 mile section. This can be mistaken for the actual trail on the downhill ride. This intersection is at an abrupt turn in the main trail.
At the end of Burro Trail
, shortly after crossing the Crystal Lakes access road, turn right and climb Spruce Creek Road
3/4 mile to the Wheeler Trail
. There is a gated dirt road to the right, and a post on the left side of the trail at this junction. Spruce Creek Road
is open to motor vehicles, and Mohawks Lake further up the road is a popular hike.
(Note: to extend the ride, continue on Spruce Creek Road
to the end of the road and a small trailhead. The upper end of the Spruce Creek Trail
begins on the left side of this trailhead. Descend to, and across the Wheeler Trail
Take a left onto the Wheeler Trail
and roll along over several, bridged creek crossings to a four-way intersection with the Spruce Creek Trail
. There will be a large, picturesque meadow on the right and views of Continental Falls. This is a good place for a rest.
Turn left and descend Spruce Creek Trail
for a mile to a narrow bridge over Spruce Creek. The descent is very rooty, and can be exceptionally dangerous when wet, reminiscent of an east coast trail. After crossing the creek, Spruce Creek Trail
is more rolling and eventually terminates at the Spruce Creek trailhead parking lot.
Turn left at the parking lot and climb back up Spruce Creek Road
to the Burro Trail
, ignoring the Crystal Lakes access road on the right after 1,000 feet. The Burro Trail
begins at a marker post 1/2 mile from the parking lot.
Turn right onto the Burro Trail
and descend 1.8 miles to the aforementioned right turn from the main track. Continue downhill 1.3 miles to the Base of Peak 9.