It’s time to leave the pavement behind, hit the dirt and give your bike a new view. Your bike is ready, you’re just not sure if you are. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Where to begin? There are many trail options out there in Summit County, but if you’re looking for the next step to take your bike from pavement to path we’ve got you covered. Listed here are our top three beginner bike trails in Summit County.
Known as one of the first mountain biking trails dry enough to ride every year, the Oro Grande Trail is a solid early-season riding option. Following an aspen-covered hillside above Lake Dillon, this ride offers panoramic views of both the Tenmile and the Gore ranges. It’s also in a prime location for riding on your lunch break or immediately after work, though it tends to get a bit packed on weekends thanks to the connected Dillon disc golf course and a nearby pump track.
Unlike Frisco Peninsula, the route’s mix of doubletrack and singletrack is dry, hard and ready for moto-style turns — there’s hardly a patch of loose dirt to be found.
One of the county’s most popular early-season mountain bike trail networks is the Frisco Peninsula. This joyful ride is a great way to warm up for the season, get used to the altitude or just enjoy a quick trail ride along the Lake Dillon coast.
The trail system is a blast no matter how hard you ride, but it can get busy. Be sure to hold a tight line on corners. With a number of exposed sections due to tree removal, expect to be out in the sun. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
The Frisco Peninsula is home to nearly a dozen interconnected trails of varying lengths, from 0.5 miles on Olympia’s Link to about 2.5 miles on the Lakeshore Perimeter loop. That makes for near-endless route combinations, and every last trail leads back to one of the three parking lots. It’s almost impossible to get lost — perfect for kids and families.
The trails pass through stands of lodgepole pine and offer views of Lake Dillon and the Tenmile Range. Mountain bikes may only be used on trails marked with a mountain bike symbol. If there is no sign, it is closed to that use.
When the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad company built the Boreas Pass narrow-gauge route in the late 1800s, they hardly chose the route for its breathtaking beauty in September. But it couldn’t have worked out better for modern-day mountain bikers. The road follows the railroad bed, giving cyclists of all abilities access to scenic views and historic mining remains on the Continental Divide, found just south of Breckenridge. It’s a hot spot in autumn, and for good reason: the road is lined with thick, colorful aspen for a tunnel-like foliage climb on a mellow uphill grade. Also remember — Boreas Pass is above timberline; be prepared for changing weather.