Summit Daily staff


Summit County Bike Trails: Recreational Pathway System map

The Blue River Trail, designed to allow recreation access to the famed Blue River, provides safe travel between Silverthorne Elementary School and the Dillon Dam without crossing Highway 9. A 220-foot single-span bridge, built in 2009, provides an eye-catching, architectural feature to the landscape.

What to Know before you Go: Silverthorne’s Blue River Trail is 3.5 miles of hard surface paved trail that meanders through the Town of Silverthorne as it follows the famed Blue River. The Blue River Trail is a relatively flat, family-friendly route, so please expect to encounter bikers, pedestrians, dog walkers and families along this popular trail. Excessive speeds are not recommended.

Parking: The Blue River Trail can be accessed from various points throughout the trail. North Pond Park, Willow Grove Open Space, Town Hall and the Outlets/Softball fields are all accessible parking areas for the trail. Please visit www. silverthorne.org to see a map of the trail and parking areas.

Description: Starting from the North end of Silverthorne at the North Pond Park parking area, riders will head south, down the sidewalk towards the Ponds subdivision. To the right, riders will be greeted by a way finding sign directing south, shortly followed by another sign indicating that the bike path is 300 feet away. This trail, aptly named the Blue River Trial, curves gently away from the highway, providing an easy, paved ride along the shores of the Blue River.

The path cruises along the left of the Blue River with relatively flat terrain for a short distance and crossing a boardwalk. The well-marked trail will signal downward, underneath the Bald Eagle Bridge, directly beside the river. During spring high run off this area can flood, requiring the need to cut up and over the road. Once crossing under the bridge, dense willows provide the cover of shade along the path until the path lands in the Blue River Run subdivision. Follow the way finding signs to a residential roadway, Blue River Circle, which reveals impressive views of Buffalo, Red, and the Gore Range. The stretch of trail on Blue River Circle spans for approximately .3 miles, passing green bicycle signs pointing south. Before riders reach Highway 9, green bicycle signs will direct riders left, back toward the river and over the beautiful Tammy Jameson Memorial Bridge. Riders will exit off the bridge into the Willow Grove parking lot (another parking option and access point for the trail). Here, the current trail along the river ends. Instead, follow the signs to the left, up through Willow Grove, then leading left at the first stop sign, and short jog to the right Rainbow Drive. Follow Rainbow Drive .3 miles before taking a right onto Center Circle and then onto 6th Street where the bike path resumes. The bike path leads through a wooded area with the Riverside Lodge located on left and the Pavilion just across the river on the right, the Outlets at Silverthorne just ahead. With the Chipotle restaurant on the left, riders will go under Highway 9, still alongside the river, behind the outlets. This point of the Blue River Trail is the most challenging, with switchbacks climbing 125 ft. to the dam road.

Frisco to Dillon & Keystone

  • Distance: Rating: Easy
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation: 9,025-9,250
  • Type: Out & back ride, utilizing paved trails and roads
  • Season: April to November

Following along both paved trails and roads, the section of the ride between Frisco and Dillon makes a pleasant, moderate ride on its own. This route provides great views of Dillon Reservoir, along with a scenic ride along the Snake River to Keystone Resort.

Know Before You Go: This route passes through a portion of the Keystone golf course. Please stay on the path and respect areas posted as restricted to bikes. Check out the new paved community pathway between the River Run Golf Course entrance and Summit Cove to access new singletrack trails at the golf course.

Parking: In Frisco parking is available at the marina within public lots adjacent to Main Street. The main Keystone parking lot is along the north side of Hwy 6 across the Hwy from the Keystone Lodge. In Dillon, parking is available at the marina, and along Hwy 9 at the intersection with Tenderfoot Street. (Tenderfoot Trailhead), the Dillon Nature Preserve Trail Head and the Snake River Inlet Parking north of Swan Mountain Road.

Description: The first part of this ride utilizes the description outlined for the Around-The-Lake Loop up to Swan Mountain Road. From there, the path crosses the intersection of Swan Mountain Road at the light and continues north adjacent to Hwy 6 along the Snake River as you enter Keystone. Stay on the trail in sections that pass adjacent to private sites above the river. Once you cross beneath County Road 8 (West Keystone Road), bear right, climb a slight hill and continue until the pathway ends in the Mountain House parking lot. From there, the route alternates between paved pathway and roads. For more information, pick up a copy of Keystone’s Trail Map at the Mountain Bike Headquarters in River Run or call (970) 496-3610.

Dillon Reservoir

  • Distance: 18 miles
  • Rating: Easy – more difficult
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Elevation: 9,025-9,500 ft.
  • Type: Loop ride, utilizing paved
  • trails & roads
  • Season: April – November

Following a combination of paved trails and roads, this scenic route is a combination of shorelines, towns and marinas, along with a challenging ride over Swan Mountain Road.

Know Before You Go: Swan Mountain Road is a winding mountain road with an elevation gain of 500 feet that does not have paved shoulders. Be aware at times there is heavy vehicle and construction truck traffic on the road. Please use caution when riding along this 6-mile section of the route. The route is not advised for families with small children or bike trailers.

Parking: Five parking areas can be used along the route including the Tenderfoot Trailhead at the Tenderfoot Road/U.S. 6 intersection, Dillon Nature Preserve Trailhead just off Hwy 6 just past the Roberts Tunnel Road entrance, Snake River Inlet north of Swan Mountain Road near Hwy 6, Blue River Parking Area east of Hwy 9 on the south side of Swan Mountain Road immediately after crossing the Blue River, County Commons exit Hwy 9 west onto County Road 1004 and proceed one- quarter mile to County Road 1005 to the County Commons building, Giberson Bay 2 miles east of Frisco along the Dillon Dam Road, Dillon Dam Road and Overlook 1.5 miles west of Dillon on the left side of the road after passing operations buildings.

Description: Starting at the east end of Main Street adjacent to the Frisco Marina, this level section of recpath winds along the Dillon Reservoir’s shoreline passing by the Frisco Cemetery, Tenmile River inlet, and the Summit Middle School. The path continues through lodgepole pine forests to a section that parallels the Dillon Dam Road. After crossing access roads for Giberson Bay parking and the Heaton Bay Campground, it parallels the road again for a short distance and then crosses the dam. Beyond the dam, the path curves south and merges with Lodgepole Road until you connect to the Dillon Marina. The path resumes above the marina. Follow the recpath to Gold Run Circle, then east on Tenderfoot Road to the trailhead where the recpath resumes and continues parallel to Hwy 6 to Swan Mountain Road. The path will cross the Snake River by means of a large pedestrian bridge. Shortly thereafter, the path intersects another recpath. Take the right fork, which will lead you to Swan Mountain Road. Cross Swan Mountain Road and continue on recpath through Summit Cove following signs for the recpath, which after a climb out of Summit Cove, intersects again with Swan Mountain Road use caution at this intersection. Use caution crossing Swan Mountain Road and continue on the recpath to the Sapphire Point parking area. A restroom facility is available at the summit. Take the Sapphire Point Trail (pedestrian only) for great views of the surrounding peaks. The route then descends quickly to the intersection with Hwy 9. Cross Hwy 9 at the light. The separated recpath resumes just past the intersection on your right. You will then come to the intersection with Frisco Farmer’s Korner Trail. Take a right onto the Frisco Farmer’s Korner Bike path. The path climbs over a hill, then continues through the Bill’s Ranch area. There are several connections that will lead you back to the town of Frisco and the Frisco Marina, including Miner’s Creek Road, 2nd and 7th streets.

Frisco to Vail Pass

  • Distance: 14 miles
  • Rating: Moderate – Difficult
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Elevation: 9,100 – 10,600 ft.
  • Type: Paved trails & roads
  • Season: Late May – October

The ride is a steady climb with steep grades and switchbacks approaching the top of the pass.

Know Before You Go: This trail is very busy especially during the summer weekends and holidays. Anticipate a large number of other bikers, inline skaters, and hikers on this popular trail. Expect to encounter people stopped along the trail. Do not ride at excessive speeds especially in Tenmile Canyon where sight distances are reduced. Check weather forecasts before starting your ride. Weather conditions change quickly within Tenmile Canyon and on Vail Pass.

Parking: From I-70 take the west Frisco exit 201 to Main Street; the bicycle park and ride is on the right hand side of Main Street immediately east of I-70. Parking is also available at the Vail Pass Rest Stop located near the summit of the pass on the south side of I-70 and at the Wheeler Flats Trailhead by Copper Mountain.

Description: Follow the paved recpath from Frisco, along the historic Denver, South Park and Pacific narrow gauge railroad grade through Tenmile Canyon to Copper Mountain Resort. The bike route continues along the paved bike lane on Copper Road. Expect construction traffic detours and dismount zones on the west end of the resort, through Copper Mountain to the Union Creek Trailhead. The paved recpath resumes adjacent to I-70 to the summit of Vail Pass.

Frisco to Breckenridge

  • Distance: 9.5 miles (one way)
  • Rating: Easy
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation: 9,050-9,600 ft.
  • Type: Paved trail - out & back
  • Season: April to November

Following along sections of the Blue River between the Town of Breckenridge and Frisco, this paved recreation trail is a popular route for cyclists and inline skaters.

Know Before You Go: There may be construction in areas along this recpath – use caution in these areas. This trail is one of the most heavily used sections of the Summit County Recreational Pathway System, especially during the summer weekends and holidays. Anticipate a large number of other bikers, inline skaters, and hikers on this popular trail. Expect to encounter people stopped along the trail. The trail crosses several roads and driveways that have vehicular and large truck traffic. Use caution when crossing these areas.

Parking: In Breckenridge drive on Watson Street one block west of Main Street. Parking is available on both the north and south side of Watson Street. The trail begins at Watson Street on the west side of the Blue River and continues north. Other parking areas include the Kingdom Park/Breckenridge Recreation Center, Gold Hill Trailhead off Gateway Drive – County Road 950 – and the Dillon Reservoir Blue River Inlet Parking Area.

Description: Start at the Watson Street parking lot in Breckenridge and follow the recpath along the Blue River adjacent to commercial shops, the Summit County Justice Center and Kingdom Park. At French Street and North Park the trail passes through underpasses next to the river (watch out for water and gravel in these areas). Kingdom Park and a scenic reclaimed section of the Blue River are along the route. At the County Road 3 crossing the trail swings to the west and follows along the abandoned Denver, South Park and Pacific narrow gauge railroad grade. Near the Snowbridge Rest Stop, the trail swings back closer to Hwy 9 and crosses several roads that have heavy truck traffic on and off the Hwy. Use caution when crossing these gravel roads. The trail then crosses a pedestrian bridge over the river. Please do not stop on the bridge, as it creates congestion on the path. At the base of Gold Hill the trail is constructed on the top of an 1,800’ elevated retaining wall above the Hwy. A fenced horse meadow borders the west side of the trail north of Gold Hill. Watch the horses, but please do not venture out onto the meadow. As the trail approaches Farmer’s Korner it veers to the west behind Summit High School where you will come to an intersection. Continue straight ahead on the Frisco Farmer’s Korner Path. The spur to the right will take you to the intersection with Hwy 9 and Swan Mountain Road. The Frisco Farmer’s Korner Trail climbs a series of small hills, then continues through the Bill’s Ranch area, which is defined by posts located on the path, to the West Frisco Park n’ Ride. There are several connections to the town of Frisco off the recpath in this section, including 7th and 2nd streets. Be aware that motor vehicles are allowed on the recpath through the Bill’s Ranch section, which provides access for residents to their homes along the recpath.


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The Summit Daily Updated Jul 22, 2013 08:48PM Published Jul 22, 2013 03:39PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.