MTB Project Logo

CT - Segment 8: Copper Mountain to Tennessee Pass

Difficult
 4.5 (10)

An awesome, unique high alpine ride to over 12,000 ft but a steep and loose finish.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

25.8

Miles

41.5

KM

Singletrack

12,250' 3,734 m

High

9,334' 2,845 m

Low

4,153' 1,266 m

Up

3,494' 1,065 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

49%

Max Grade (26°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Section Of

Description

In the SE corner of the ski area overflow parking lot, look for a bridge crossing the Tenmile Creek and/or the Colorado Trail information sign. Rather than crossing the creek, the trail heads directly south keeping the creek on your left hand side. In a short distance it crosses over highway 91 and continues on great rolling singletrack with several bridge crossings and a few short downhill sections as it crosses the ski resort. There are a few times as you cross the resort that the trail merges with maintenance roads for short distances - continue on keeping your eye out for CT trail signs. (These spots are marked on the map).

The trail then begins to enter heavier treed sections via nice wide switchbacks. As you leave the ski area, the trail bends south and heads up Guller Creek, which you'll cross a few times. Some crossings may require dismounts depending on season and water level. You'll remain along Guller Creek for about 2.5 miles while you chew up about 1000' of elevation gain.

Next, you'll ride a few long switchbacks to climb your way out of treeline and into the lower basin below Elk Mountain. Once above treeline the trail tends back south, giving you your first view of Searle Pass. The pass is only approximately a mile away (500 vertical feet) at this time but, remember you're riding at 12000'. At the pass enjoy the views, a snack, and a well-deserved break. This is also a good point to turn around if weather conditions, or physical fitness are questionable; bearing in mind that the ride back to Copper Mountain is 7 miles and incorporates a short climb back into the ski area boundary.

The CT between Searle and Kokomo Passes is a very unique, timberline traverse, punctuated with short, stinger climbs. The ride high point is 1/2 mile east of Kokomo Pass. Again, offering stunning views to the south and Climax Mine; and a second opportunity to assess conditions and fitness. This is the ride commitment point.

Descend 1/2 mile to Kokomo Pass, and continue a blistering 5 mile descent to Camp Hale. There are absolutely stunning views to the west of the Holy Cross Ridgeline including Mountain of the Holy Cross in the first mile below Kokomo Pass.

3.5 miles below Kokomo Pass, cross Cataract Creek. Below this crossing the trail becomes pretty steep and loose, so get that butt behind the saddle. A mile below the creek crossing bottom out at the southeastern corner of Camp Hale on road 714, East Fork Eagle Road.

Continue following the CT south to Tennessee Pass.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Wilder

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 10 votes

#1764

Overall
  4.5 from 10 votes
5 Star
70%
4 Star
10%
3 Star
20%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#321

in Colorado

#1,764

Overall
204 Views Last Month
11,658 Since Sep 14, 2014
Difficult

0%
0%
17%
17%
58%
8%

Photos

The final crank up Searle Pass
Aug 22, 2015 near Brecken…, CO
In Our Sights 
<br>
Searle Pass seen up ahead, trail goes right over saddle point
Apr 7, 2013 near Brecken…, CO
Looking South from Searle Pass
Jul 15, 2015 near Brecken…, CO
Starting the fun descent down the north side of Searle Pass.
Aug 1, 2017 near Copper…, CO
Above Janet's Cabin
Aug 22, 2015 near Brecken…, CO
First major pass along the route
Jul 31, 2017 near Copper…, CO

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 22 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Aug 11, 2020
Gabe Schilke
Aug 3, 2020
James scheh
road Copper to the junction with Eagle road. all clear great ride. Lots of terrain above 11,500'. 18mi — 4h 30m
Jul 13, 2019
Tomasz Nowakowski
Sep 2, 2018
Markus Galehr
Jul 29, 2018
Nolan van Harte
7.5 hours total with breaks. There is a water fall adjacent to the two red bridges when you are nearing Camp Hale 32mi
Jul 18, 2018
Eric Coe
Copper to Kokomo Pass. Out and Back
Jul 16, 2017
Dave Harris
Aug 24, 2016
Andrea Tupy