Circumnavigation of Mt. Guyot

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Featured Ride
Trail

38.5 Miles 62.0 Kilometers


80%

Singletrack

5,204' 1,586 m

Ascent

-5,312' -1,619 m

Descent

12,033' 3,668 m

High

9,462' 2,884 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Unknown

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An epic Breckenridge/Park County loop around the iconic Mt. Guyot in southern Summit County.

Don Leinweber

Overview

An epic ride in southeastern Summit County and northwestern Park County crossing the continental divide twice, incorporating French Creek trails, the Colorado Trail, Galena Ditch, ZL, and the Breckenridge flume trails in a monster loop.
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

  • This loop is a beast, so be prepared with ample food and clothing.
  • Some hike-a-bike is necessary at the first continental divide crossing over French Pass.
  • The eastern side of French Pass holds a snow field long into the summer. This can be a bit hazardous to descend. Be prepared to get creative.
  • Michigan Creek Road (PCR 54) is open to motor vehicles, as is Glacier Ridge Road.

This description begins on Betty’s Trail along Reiling Road which can be accessed from Highway 9 at the 7-Eleven (Huron Rd) about 3/4 miles up valley. From downtown, Columbia Lode, Corkscrew, French Creek, and Vista Point trails provide a dirt route to Betty's Trail. Carter Park, Moonstone Trail, Barney Ford, V3 provide an alternate route to X10U8 from downtown.

Description

Mt. Guyot is an iconic peak with its double-promontory ridgeline on the Continental Divide east of Breckenridge visible from many locations throughout Summit County. As with most featured rides in Summit County, there are numerous ways to complete a Circumnavigation of Mt. Guyot. This description is a pretty long version. Shorter alternatives are also described in lesser detail and the divergence from this description are indicated throughout.

If you're looking for the shortest circumnavigation of the peak, that route begins at Sallie Barber trailhead, picking up the description at the Wirepatch Trail; then at Georgia Pass, descend South Fork Swan Rd to the Great Flume, ride to and climb American Gulch Road to Little French back to Wirepatch and Sallie Barber TH (a 24 mile loop). This description is also different than the loop used in the Breck Epic.

Begin at the west end of Betty's Trail in French Gulch. Ride east, up valley back to French Gulch Road near Gold Run Road. Continue east on the road to X10U8 Trail on the left of the road. Climb X10U8 to Minnie Mine, descend right to the Reiling Dredge TH. Cross French Gulch Rd to the Reiling Dredge Trail, ride to B&B Trail. Turn left on B&B and climb to Turk’s Trail. Climb Turk's Trail to, and turn left at Sallie Barber Road, descending back to the gate.

Ride west a short distance, then turn right onto Humbug Hill (GH 61) and right again onto Wirepatch. Climb Wirepatch to French Gulch Road just below Little French Trail. From here to Michigan Creek Road (PCR 54) remain on French Creek Road (non-motorized) and French Pass Trail.

French Creek Road (non-motorized) climbs at a manageable gradient until crossing the creek, after which the road becomes much more primitive and progressively steeper, topping out in a hike-a-bike (for most) to 12,070 French Pass.

French Pass Trail is the eastward extension of the road. The initial drop is steep and typically a snow packed cornice until mid-summer. The trail crosses a creek just below timberline approximately 1 1/2 miles from the pass then continues downhill to Michigan Creek Road (PCR 54).

Turn left and climb Michigan Creek Road to 11,600 Georgia Pass. This is the longest section of dirt road in the loop and is open to motor vehicles. At Georgia Pass there are two options: descend to the Great Flume for a shorter loop; or turn right and climb 1/2 mile up Glacier Ridge Road to the Colorado Trail (CT - Segment 6: Georgia Pass to Breckenridge). This description follows the latter.

Though not on the slopes of Guyot, the CT makes for a much better descent than South Fork Swan Rd. Ride the Colorado Trail for 7 miles crossing Middle Fork Swan Rd enroute to the North Fork Rd. (Here is another opportunity to diverge from the loop by continuing on the Colorado Trail west.)

At the North Fork Swan Rd go left and descend to Tiger Rd. Turn left and climb to, and take a right turn onto South Fork Swan Rd. Look for the eastern end of Galena Ditch Trail on the far side of the initial flat, at a 90 degree left turn in the road. (Alternatively, to shorten the loop continue up South Fork Rd. to American Gulch Road and climb that back to Little French.)

Ride Galena Ditch to Summit Gulch Road. Turn left and climb to ZL Trail. Ride ZL to Discovery Ridge Trail. Turn left and descend to The Ledge Trail.

Turn right, then an almost immediate left onto singletrack down to (paved) Gold Run Road. Ride Gold Run Road to the dead-end and Tom’s Baby. Climb Tom’s to Middle Flume Trail. Turn right and take Middle Flume to Mike’s Trail. Descend Mike’s to Lower Flume Trail. Turn left, following the pavement markings to the singletrack. Follow Lower Flume back to Huron Road and the end of the mapped ride.

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