A great out-n-back that brings you up above tree line. This area is busy in the summer and a popular backcountry skiing area in winter.
If traveling on the weekend you'll see plenty of hikers and some other bikers. The trail is eroded in some spots. Depending on the time of year there may be snow on the trail.
The last bit of the ride is above tree line so watch out for the typical afternoon thunder storm. It is also in the alpine area so be ready for quick changes in temperature and weather.
One of the few places you can ride bikes around Cameron Pass due to restrictions such as wilderness areas. The best way to start the wide is to park at the lot at the summit of the pass below Diamond Peak. This allows you to avoid paying for entrance.
Carefully, cross Hwy 14 to Michigan Ditch
. There is usually a gate blocking the ditch road, ride around it. Continue along the gravel road until the turn off for American Lakes Trail
turn off, turn left.
The trail will start to gain altitude by using contours and switchbacks and presents riders with water bars, roots, rocks, and even a wooden bridge over a creek. Once you get above tree line you are close to the lakes. This is a nice spot to refill water, eat a snack, or even go fishing. When you are ready, continue up the last bit to the summit of Thunder Pass.
On top of Thunder Pass enjoy the views into the forbidden land, RMNP. Get ready for the downhill, it will soon put a smile on your face! Head back the way you came.