Warning: this is a difficult trail at extremely high altitude. Do not ride this if there is any chance of thunderstorms. Only the most fit riders can hope to actually ride much of this trail. For most people, this will be less of a bike ride and more of a high-alpine adventure with a fun and fast descent.
Park in the lot right on the west side of HWY 9. (Gateway Drive)
The climb starts straight out of the lot and doesn't let up until you get to the top. It's rideable for most folks, but grueling. You'll pass through a lot of dying forest (Pine Bark Beetles) and some nice Aspen stands.
From the top, continue downhill to reach the junction with Peaks Trail
. From here, you can continue left on Miners Creek Trail, which goes up and around the Ten-Mile Range. Or you can turn right and go down the Peaks Trail
all the way to Frisco.
But if you're just turning around at the top of Gold Hill... stretch your hands (and your smile muscles) before for the downhill as you'll be holding on for dear life with few breaks.
From the Peaks Trail
you'll have rocky and rooty terrain that is typical for this area. The grade is not too steep at this point, so if you can ride it, enjoy it now - it gets harder! As you get close to tree line, you'll encounter a short extremely steep hike-a-bike until you reach an alpine cirque and flat clearing. Enjoy a nice rest here before the next big climb out of the cirque. This stretch is pretty smooth and will be rideable by climbing experts with big lung capacity.
You are now at 12,000 ft, and thankfully the trail is now nearly level for over a mile. It's mostly rideable with short sections of scree. Enjoy incredible views of Breckenridge and the Ten Mile
A final set of switchbacks gets you to the saddle at 12,500 ft. with big views of Copper Mountain, the Gore Range, and beyond.
From here continue on this trail down the other side of the mountains until it ends at the Wheeler Trail
. The trail is smoother and easier on this side. Follow Wheeler Trail
to Copper Mountain.