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black Peak 9-Wheeler-Spruce-Burro Loop

  4.7 ( 6 )

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14.0 mile 22.6 kilometer loop


Ascent: 3,040' 926 m
Descent: -3,048' -929 m
High: 12,500' 3,810 m
Low: 9,695' 2,955 m


Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)


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Trail shared by Jeff Welch

A long grind up Breck's Peak 9 service road leads to a steep, rowdy, and exciting descent.

Jeff Welch

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


This ride features a big climb or vehicle shuttle followed by a ripping backcountry singletrack descent through the alpine, and a rooty and rocky finish through the woods back to Breckenridge.


This ride starts at the Beaver Run parking lot in Breckenridge and climbs the Peak 9 Access Road to the Wheeler Trail. If you are masochistic or have no friends, pedal this road 5.5 miles and 2,650 feet up to the junction with the Wheeler Trail. If you believe that roads are for drivin' and trails are for bikin', then leave a shuttle vehicle at Beaver Run and drive as high as your vehicle allows. Most 2wd vehicles can make it to the Overlook Restaurant at 11,255 feet, although some big diversion berms will challenge low slung vehicles. 4x4 high clearance vehicles can drive higher, all the way to the Wheeler Trail if one desires.

However you chose to get there, keep a sharp eye out for the Wheeler Trail intersection, as the tread can be a bit overgrown and hard to spot. The most obvious marker is a tall wooden post on the right with trail markings engraved in it. Take a left here and ride south through some boggy willows to a steep but short climb to climb over a ridge.

Once you reach the top of the ridge around 12,500 feet, high five your buddy and put your suspension into fun mode, because a ripping, steep descent into the Crystal Lakes drainage awaits you. The trail tread is very smooth, but extremely steep and if you haven't bled your brakes in a while, you'll learn about it real quick. As you reach tree line, the trail becomes more rocky and technical, although there are no stopper moves.

When you reach the Crystal Lakes Road, continue straight on the singletrack through a fast rocky section with many natural jumps, becoming rooty and forested, before the trail spits you out onto an old road. Turn right and descend a short distance past a gate to another intersection. Look for the signed singletrack on the left towards Wheeler Trail and Spruce Creek Trail.

Climb and descend slightly until reaching a four-way intersection between the Wheeler and Spruce Creek Trail. Turn left, and descend a wide, fast, and very rooty section with occasional rocky sections to keep you honest. It's easy to carry a lot of speed here, but be careful, as this is one of the most popular hiking trails in Summit County. Expect to see a lot of traffic; yield and make mountain bikers look good.

Eventually, you'll pop out at the Spruce Creek Trail. Take a left and prepare for one final, but short climb. You'll quickly come to an intersection in the road and you have two options. Continue pedaling straight on Spruce Creek Road for a short distance until reaching Burro Trail on the right, or go right and push your bike a short ways up Crystal Lakes Road to reach Burro Trail.

Burro Trail begins on an abandoned roadbed and descends moderately over embedded and sometimes loose rock. A few social trails branch off but for the most part the main tread is obvious. After a bit over a mile, the trail makes a hard right and leaves the old roadbed - look for a blue blaze and arrow, and a cairn, at this point.

Continue to follow the rocky and rooty singletrack, following the blue blazes on trees at intersections back to the Beaver Run parking lot. Like the Spruce Creek Trail, the lower reaches of Burro are heavily used by families on foot so watch your speed and be courteous.


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Sep 22, 2018
Jeff Croston
Aug 24, 2018
James Flanagan

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 6 votes


in Breckenridge


  4.7 from 6 votes
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in Breckenridge


in Colorado


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2,278 Since Jul 22, 2018
Difficult Difficult

Just finished it today. The ride up Peak 9 Rd is brutal. Only the first 2000ft are bikeable. The las 1000 ft is filled with large loose rock and gravel. I saw some 4 wheel drive going up but I don't think it's possible for a 2wd to get past 2000 ft especially if it's low to the ground with all the big rocks. I suggest going early in the morning before it gets hot. You don't need more water than the usual if you're just going to do the 14 mile loop, but I took lots of rest stops. Overall, this trail is amazing. If you're looking for a trail that gives you a view from 12000 ft high and close up of the red autumn mountain sides that you see in pictures, this is the trail you want to do. Also, the downhill is gnarly. I wouldn't consider it a double black diamond but definitely 1 black for sure, that continues to give for 6 miles. Sep 19, 2018
Jeff Welch
Denver, CO
Jeff Welch   Denver, CO
The road may have gotten washed out at some point, but it was 100% rideable when we did it earlier this year. Yes, it is steep and loose and at elevation and most people will walk some of it (I did), but it is for sure possible to ride. As for the rating of the descent, I agree that doubleblack is a bit generous. I actually rated it single black initially, then reviewed the MTB Project guidelines for ratings, which defines doubleblack as grades over 20% (among other criteria). The entire first descent is over 20% so I went with doubleblack. For sure, there are no technical/rock features that merit that rating and it's a soft doubleblack. Sep 19, 2018
john nobody
Evergreen, CO
john nobody   Evergreen, CO
The trailhead directions assume that you can park at the resort which you can only do occasionally. Both times I’ve tried it’s been “for special guests only”. Directions should be updated to public parking. The descent is more suitable for DH and I’d reckon the people rating this 5 didn’t ride up. Not enough payoff for the climb. Sep 30, 2018

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