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Crane Park to Camp Hale Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A fantastic, singletrack loop ride from the Tennessee Pass area to Camp Hale.


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Map Key

23.0

Miles

37.1

KM

75%

Singletrack

10,503' 3,201 m

High

9,336' 2,846 m

Low

1,850' 564 m

Up

1,850' 564 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

15%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Wait until it's dry... Additional regulations as apply to USFS land and the Colorado Trail.

Overview

This is a great 20+ mile ride - one of the best in the area. This can be looped, out-and-backed, or shuttled from either Camp Hale or Crane Park/Tennessee Pass area.

This description and map is for the loop from Crane Park just north of Leadville. The most fun route is to descend from Crane Park/Tennessee Pass area down to Camp Hale; however, you have to make that happen.

Any loop involves a good climb. The one described is the "mellower" version. The out-and-back IS all singletrack, but also much more effort.

Need to Know

This route is best ridden after the solstice to avoid super muddy sections. Always beware of hikers...they are plentiful.

Description

Park at Crane Park/Webster's Gravel Pit Road a 1/2 mile south of Ski Cooper on Hwy 24. Park immediately on the left upon entering road.

From the parking area, ride up the primarily dirt road for approximately one mile to the top of hill. DON'T DESCEND. Turn right onto Wurtz Ditch Road and follow it for about 1/3 mile where Colorado Trail crosses. Turn RIGHT onto the Colorado Trail singletrack. Go across two bridges and ride up/down the flowing trail for three miles to the Tennessee Pass parking lot.

Turn left, past the outhouse, to a continuation of the Colorado Trail along Wurtz Ditch. Cruise slightly downhill for several miles on a mix of single/doubletrack to the Colorado Trail descent on the right. This is a FAST downhill (beware of hikers) into Mitchell Creek for a mile, then ride along the drainage bottom to a bridge over a creek and then some railroad tracks.

Cross the tracks and head up the road. Cross Hwy 24 to continue on the Colorado Trail. There is a steep climb and then it's mostly descending for several miles to a fire road. Cross the fire road (but note it) to continue on the Colorado Trail down to Camp Hale flats.

From here, you can turn around and climb back (a grunt), or go straight on a dirt road to an intersection. Turn right and follow for just under a mile to an intersection with a bridge on the right. Head right over the bridge and follow a mellow fire road (same one you crossed) for 2+ miles all the way back to Hwy 24.

Ride up (south) Hwy 24 for 1/4 mile to where you crossed it originally near railroad tracks and follow the descent route back up the Colorado Trail, to Wurtz Ditch Road, back to the Tennessee Pass parking lot. Turn right up the stairs/trail to continue on the Colorado Trail back toward Crane Park and return to the parking area.

You can also incorporate the Mitchell Creek Trail/Loop into this ride.

History & Background

Camp Hale has a robust history worth exploring. It was the former training ground for 10th Mtn Division.

Contacts

Shared By:

Cooper Mallozzi

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 5 votes

#2

in Leadville

#2295

Overall
  4.0 from 5 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
20%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Leadville

#320

in Colorado

#2,295

Overall
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2,321 Since Aug 17, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Overlook of Camp Hale/Hwy 24 along Colorado Trail Segment #8 (Crane Park to Camp Hale)
Oct 20, 2016 near Leadvil…, CO
Camp Hale.
Oct 21, 2016 near Leadvil…, CO

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Check-Ins

Jun 14, 2020
Tim McCabe
Not the shuttle originally thought but great XC ride. Fun downhill at top and bottom, lots of pedaling and dirt path in between.
Aug 2, 2018
Jerrod Johnson
Not as bad as mileage or vertical would suggest. Uphills are on roads and gradual. 23.1mi
Jul 7, 2018
John Moore
Jul 16, 2017
bryan urban
23.1mi
Jul 9, 2017
Katie Purdy
8mi
Jul 9, 2017
Rich Purdy
Jun 3, 2017
G M
21.4mi
Aug 24, 2016
Andrea Tupy