The Wheeler Trail
is an absolute monster of a trail to ride in a single day, with a lot of hike-a-bike. The Peak 9 Access Road chops the trail into two (of three) segments to incorporate into loop rides.
From the base of Peak 9, essentially begin climbing the dirt access road and don't stop until reaching the Wheeler Trail
. The road averages 10% grade from top to bottom with more difficult sections above timberline where snowdrifts across the road last into July.
The first mile sees a lot of vehicular traffic to the stables and Ten Mile Station Restaurant, a popular wedding venue. There are several options to bypass this first mile and avoid vehicles. The first is the Prospector Trail
, beginning on the right near the Super Connect chair lift and climbing to Wanderer
. From Wanderer
go left back to the road.
begins on the left, 500' past the Super Connect and climbs to the access road between the stables and Ten Mile Station.
There is another gravel road which forks right at the stables and climbs back to the main access road near a snowmaking building.
After passing Ten Mile Station on the main access road there are a number of less well-established roads branching both left and right. The main roadway is the more established of these lift access spurs.
The Peak 9 Restaurant sits on a scenic ridge about 3 miles up the climb. This is a good place for a rest and a bit of sightseeing. The road becomes more primitive, rocky and steeper above the Peak 9 Restaurant, switching back on itself numerous times before intersecting the Wheeler Trail
From here there are two great loop options: climb south on the Wheeler Trail
to a high point, then down a gripping descent towards Crystal Lakes Road
, passing Francie's Cabin. Continue on Wheeler Trail
to Spruce Creek Road
, the Spruce Creek Trail
and the Burro Trail
via the Burro-Spruce Creek-Burro
Or, climb north on Wheeler Trail
across the Ten Mile Range between Peak 9 and Peak 8 and descend to Copper Mountain. Ride the Copper to Frisco Bike Path
to the Peaks Trail
and return to Breckenridge (this is the first leg of the Breckenridge 100 mountain bike race).
The adventurous rider could continue on the road to the top of Peak 10; a truly unique high alpine adventure! - Note that Fourth of July Bowl is the snowfield on Peak 10 and a frequent backcountry destination, adding to the vehicular traffic on the road. This can be particularly frustrating above the restaurant.