A high altitude endurance fest, this is the route of the famous Leadville Silver Rush 50.”
— Alex Key
Featured Race Jul 8, 2017
A portion of the race route crosses private land that is only open for the official race. The GPS track here follows County Rd 1 to meet back up with the route to avoid trespassing on private land. Take the MTB Project mobile app
with you to stay on track.
This is a very tough, high altitude ride that will challenge even the fittest riders. Overall the route is not super technical, with only a few steep rocky sections, but the amount of climbing is pretty brutal. There are loads of really great views of mining hills and the valley.
Need to Know
There are a ton of trail/road intersections along this route. Make the extra effort to check your map/app several times along the way so you don't get lost.
This route was mapped during the actual 2015 SR50 race.
Park near the base of Dutch Henri Hill at Colorado Mountain College and hike up to the wide trail at the top and take a right. Continue down this short section of trail until you hit a small paved driveway. Take a left and the driveway turns into a service road and you being your epic journey. Follow the power lines until the trail turns into the trees. From here the trail steadily climbs for over 2,000 ft.
Approximately 11 miles out the trail will come out onto a large service road (2B). Take a left and blaze down the long descent to meet up with County Rd 2. Take a right and follow the paved road until you come up to a sharp(ish) right curve. The trail continues into the trees at this curve.
Once you come up to County Rd 1 get on the road and follow until you hit 1A, then take a right. Follow 1A until it meets back up with the trail, then take a left (this section is slightly different than the actual race route to avoid trespassing on private property).
From here you'll blast down a quick descent and then ascend a very steep climb over the mountain pass. On the other side of the pass prepare for a very steep and rocky descent. This trail winds down to another service road (Rd 3) that you'll take until you come up on a wide trail intersection on the left (Rd 3B). Ride this trail for about a mile or so until it dead ends. Congrats! This is the halfway point. Now turn around, get psyched, and go back the way you came.
History & Background
You'll find lots of old crumbling mining structures along this route. There is a ton of mining history in Leadville and this ride is actually very close to the National Mining Hall of Fame.