Silverthorne Bike Guide: Ute Pass Road
Distance: 15.6 miles round trip from Columbine Landing Recreation Site
Time: 2-3 hours
Elevation: 8,202-9,570 feet
Type: Out-and-back, paved road
Season: April to early November
Parking: Columbine Landing Recreation Site, Colorado Highway 9
If you’re truly looking for an epic Colorado summer or fall day of mountain recreation, start your bike up Ute Pass from the lot at the bottom of Ute Pass Road. This hike and bike double-dip to the summit of Ute Peak isn’t for the faint of heart as you’ll be gaining more than 4,000 feet total over a long day. But the summit feeling on rocks above tree line — pouring down into Grand County on the shady side of the Williams Fork ridge while gazing across at the craggy landscape in the Gore Range to the west — is worth it. — Antonio Olivero
You can ride up to Ute Pass via Colorado Highway 9 by parking at the Silverthorne Elementary School adding 8 miles one-way and 16 miles round-trip to this journey as well as a bit of descent and final ascent at the end of your ride. Otherwise, park at the pull-off at the Ute Pass Road intersection on Highway 9 and climb the 1,382 feet of switchbacks from there. Starting the trip further south at the Columbine Landing Recreation Site will give you a stunning view of the Gore Range to the left as you head up Highway 9 before you take a right up Ute Pass Road.
Also known as Summit County Road 3, Ute Pass Road is a scenic drive through the Williams Fork Range. The first stretch of the road will bring you past ranches with grazing horses and alpaca with Ute Peak’s distinct oblong summit staring down at you. Further up the road, views of the Gore Range will begin to open up amid a steady uphill climb.
The ride is ideal for a sunset if you bring a headlamp for the way back. The alpenglow of the Gore Range’s snow-capped peaks in front of the setting sun is as majestic of a view as you’ll find in the Rockies.
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