Breckenridge Bike Guide: Wire Patch Trail (video) | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge Bike Guide: Wire Patch Trail (video)

SUMMIT COUNTY — There's a new trail in town and it's dressed to the nines for autumn riding season.

Found in Breck's sprawling French Gulch system, the recently finished Wire Patch Trail is a 1.1-mile slice of singletrack over dredge rock and through thick, blazing patches of golden aspens dotted with evergreen pines. It took volunteer crews two summers to finish the trail, which opened to the public earlier this summer along with another new trail, Weber Gulch near Sallie Barber Road.

Like just about every trail in the area, the brand-new strip at Wire Patch is relatively flat and flowy, with only brief uphills and descents. That makes it a perfect introduction to everything in-the-know riders love about French Gulch mountain biking: buffed trails, endless connectors and beautiful scenery, including views of Breckenridge Resort to the west and towering Mount Guyot to the east.

Wire Patch is also a perfect warm-up for tougher rides in the area, like the brutal Humbug Hill or Little French climbs and mellow Sallie Barber Road en route to Nightmare on Baldy (yet another nasty climb). Enjoy the leaf peeping while you can — the ride only gets wilder from here.

Highlights

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Wire Patch Trail is an out-and-back with two trailheads: one a few hundred feet uphill from the parking lot at French Gulch Road (the base of Humbug Hill), the other about 1.1 miles east up French Gulch on your way to Sallie Barber Road. Both trailheads are fair game — this isn't a one-way trail — but the upper trailhead is more rewarding for speed junkies. The lower trailhead takes riders on a slight incline from start to finish.

If you've never been on a brand-new trail, now's your chance to taste fresh, smooth dirt before rain and snow and traffic wear it down. The entire ride is immaculate, and that only makes surrounding views of Breck, Mount Guyot and blazing aspens more enjoyable — no need to stare at your front tire.

Parking

Wire Patch Trail is found near the end of French Gulch Road. From Breckenridge, head east on County Road 450 and bear right at the junction with Forest Hills Drive. Continue another 0.5 miles to the stop sign. Take French Gulch Road and continue through the neighborhood until the road turns to dirt near Country Boy Mine. From there, drive about 3 miles to the brown access gate on French Gulch Road. Park in the lot on the right and access the lower trailhead by pedaling uphill immediately after the gate, or continue on the road for 1.1 miles to the upper trailhead on the left.

By the numbers

Distance: 1.1 miles

Rating: Intermediate

Time: 30-45 minutes

Elevation: 10,340-10,559 vertical feet (288 feet vertical gain)

Trail: Singletrack and dirt road, out-and-back

Season: Late May to early October

Connectors: Humbug Hill, French Gulch Road, Sallie Barber Road, Minnie Mine