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A short tour up into the alpine and ends at the border of Rocky Mountain National Park.


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Map Key

11.6

Miles

18.6

KM

60%

Singletrack

11,314' 3,449 m

High

10,263' 3,128 m

Low

1,195' 364 m

Up

1,195' 364 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Once you make it on top of Thunder Pass you need to turn around due to it bordering Rocky Mountain National Park.

I also believe dogs need to be on a leash.

Overview

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.

Need to Know

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

mattnorville Norv with improvements by Ben Jacobson and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 11 votes

#1695

Overall
  4.4 from 11 votes
5 Star
64%
4 Star
27%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
9%
Recommended Route Rankings

#279

in Colorado

#1,695

Overall
8 Views Last Month
6,657 Since Sep 21, 2014
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Photos

A moose enjoying herself
Sep 21, 2014 near Grand Lake, CO
Approaching American Lakes right near treeline.
Aug 10, 2022 near Grand Lake, CO
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 28, 2020
Issei Nakahara
11.6mi — 3h 50m
Jul 18, 2020
Joe Camel
Epic. 10/10 would do again 11.2mi — 1h 23m
Aug 24, 2019
Timmy Kessel
By myself, unreal trail and views. must do again!!
Aug 5, 2018
Richard Hackett
Aug 3, 2017
Mike Gonzales
Flat Tire 8.5mi
Aug 14, 2016
David Asselin
With Michigan ditch closed I had to climb up from Colorado State forest (I have parks pass). The climb was work but very rideable. 12.4mi
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