In the Colorado Rockies west of Denver, Summit County is home to some of the most beautiful and thrilling mountain biking trails in the United States. Breckenridge is an ideal staging ground for adventures appropriate for mountain bike skill levels and the perfect place to soak up panoramic views before picking up mountain bike rentals and hitting one of the surrounding scenic mountain biking trails.
Breckenridge Mountain Biking Trails
Vacations designed around mountain biking while staying at an epic Rocky Mountain location like Breckenridge are increasingly popular and give visitors access to some of the most remote wildlands and evocative landscapes in the region. Extreme weather and high elevations can make the hundreds of miles of mountain bike trails a challenge. Extra preparation can make all the difference, particularly for people who are not acclimated to the conditions.
Connecting with a top-notch Breckenridge bike store that can provide detailed information about the condition of mountain biking trails in the area and reserve the most appropriate kind of mountain bike rentals for planned rides is critical. On arrival, it always makes sense to stop by the shop to get oriented and hear advice about what kinds of safety gear and accessories are most crucial for riding in the Colorado mountains. If you’re planning to go mountain biking in Breckenridge, stop by Base Mountain Sports to get some local advice.
Essential gear for riding Rocky Mountain trails begins with the right style of bike. For example, plenty of bicycling families come to Breckenridge to unwind together, mostly wanting to ride the gorgeous streets, bike paths, and rural roads around town — meaning that a cruiser bike or an electric bike might be the best choice for a bike rental. Families riding together may also need extra gear like a tag-along or bike trailer to bring along small children and have helmets for everyone.
Boreas Pass (Beginner)
The Boreas Pass ride southeast of Breckenridge is a wonderful way to appreciate the stunning panoramic views without focusing on aggressive climbs or single tracks. The ride includes a paved road through attractive neighborhoods that turns to dirt and climbs towards Boreas Pass, nestled between Boreas Mountain and Hoosier Ridge.
The route includes several overlook points that provide convenient spots to break for water and take photographs or reflect on the views down into valleys and out towards distant peaks. The most challenging aspect of this ride is the altitude, which tops out over 11,000 feet. It is important to drink plenty of water and take breaks, when necessary, even for riders who have already become accustomed to the elevation.
Spruce Creek Road (Beginner)
The Spruce Creek Road ride is an iconic Breck trail excursion because it is fun and can adapt to more challenging mountain bike path skill levels. This is because the heart of the route is an old 4×4 dirt road that starts in the south part of town and runs up into the mountains, where it provides access to a host of other interesting trailheads that you can use to expand the basic Spruce Creek ride.
The Spruce Creek loop trail by itself is about five miles of riding on a packed dirt road and doesn’t present any sudden surprises. This means that it is a great choice for cyclists who want to appreciate the landscape and views and can be an ideal location to look for birds and signs of wildlife. Because of the many branching trails, this route can be expanded to include several hours of exploring less-traveled paths.
Peaks Trail (Intermediate)
The Peaks Trail, also popular with hikers, is one of the most famous mountain biking trails in the United States and has been ranked the 140th best trail in the world. The trail is almost nine miles long and runs between Breckenridge and the nearby hamlet of Frisco. It is better to start at the Breckenridge end of the trail to experience a grand blend of exhilarating downhill sections and more mellow cruising. Still, the ride in either direction includes both drops and steep climbs as it varies between 9000 feet and 10,500 feet in elevation.
The surrounding high-elevation aspen and pine forest transforms season-to-season, and this trail yields more satisfaction and discovery with each visit. It also provides excellent conditions for practicing on different terrain, from the forested trail with branches obscuring sightlines to rocky switchbacks best tackled with mountain bike rentals equipped with front suspension.
The trail from Barney Ford to Moonstone (Intermediate)
For cyclists excited about challenging themselves with a thrilling downhill ride, nothing can beat the drop through the woods between Barney Ford, on the east side of Breckenridge, and Moonstone. The ride is short enough to complete in less than an hour and provides amazing views when the forest opens around the many switchbacks. Any rider with intermediate mountain bike skill can make the adventure more epic by combining it with the nearby Flume Loop.
The trail is most known for including a variety of uncommon features that challenge riders to stay alert. There is a range of berms, bridges, jumps, and other obstacles that are best conquered by skilled mountain bikers who are properly equipped — mountain biking shoes and clipless pedals are essential for maintaining control and power through the toughest sections.
Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge (Advanced)
The Colorado Trail between Breckenridge and Kenosha Pass is another of the region’s world-class rides, ranking even higher than Peaks Trail at number 65 in a global listing. This is a long ride, over 20 miles, and is best for the expert rider or cyclists with advanced mountain road and biking skill levels. The Colorado Trail is a state landmark that stretches from Denver to Durango. The Breckenridge section includes brutal climbs through lush vegetation that can be especially challenging in wet conditions.
The gnarly roots, sharp curves, and treacherous singletrack that characterize this route can be mastered by alert riders. The trail can be very exposed in places and can become dangerous in severe weather. Safety gear and other add-ons that increase comfort — including additional warm layers, well-fitted cycling clothes that prevent chafing and wick moisture, and emergency water and snacks — are important to bring along on this ride.
Other trails to consider
These five rides are just the beginning of what Breckenridge has to offer for scenic views on mountain biking trails. Other routes worth riding include:
- River Trail (Beginner)
- B & B Trail (Beginner)
- Aspen Alley Trail (Intermediate)
- Slalom Singletrack Trail (Intermediate)
- Horseshoe Gulch & Soda Creek Trail (Intermediate)
- Wheeler Pass Trail (Difficult)
- B-Line Trail (Difficult)
Breckenridge Mountain Bike Rental Shop
Now that more people are becoming aware that Breckenridge is home to some of the most compelling mountain biking in the world, it is becoming as much a destination for cyclists as it has long been for skiers. The only way to truly make the most of the incredible range of options available is to work with skilled and enthusiastic cycling professionals like those at Base Mountain Sports. Call us today at (970) 453-6405 for reservations and to get the best local insights on riding in Summit County.
Featured Image: Brian Koehn/Shutterstock