Summit County Bike Guide: Peaks Trail loop (video)
July 28, 2017
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Peaks Trail is a rocky, rooty, adrenaline-pumping route that connects Breckenridge to Frisco, with diverse singletrack on flowy terrain. But it's much more than a thoroughfare: It's one of the most popular technical trails in Summit, loved by bikers, hikers and trail runners alike. Much of the trail sits high above the Blue River valley, running along the Tenmile Range from Peak 1 to Peak 10 as it passes through charred trees from the Peak 2 wildfire in July 2017.
Looking for a loop? Bear away from Peaks Trail at Gold Hill Trail to give your legs a break on the Frisco-to-Breckenridge recpath. The loop described here begins in Breckenridge, continues to the Gold Hill Trail cutoff, and then uses the paved recpath to return to town. (This option doesn’t really pass through the burn area.) For a longer route, riders can continue on Peaks Trail all the way to Frisco. From there, pedal back on the recpath or take a free Summit Stage bus to your car in Breck.
Out-and-back rides uphill from the Frisco trailhead are also popular, but they're much more demanding during the initial climb (about 7-8 miles). You can access the trail in Frisco from either Miners Creek Road or the Second Street trailhead, which adds a fun yet grueling singletrack section to the route.
Start at the Watson Trailhead/South Gondola Lot (just south of the gondola in Breckenridge). Follow Park Avenue south to Ski Hill Road and turn right onto the paved recpath leading up Ski Hill Road. Follow this until the recpath ends and continue on the road as it passes the base of Peaks 8 and 7, then turns to dirt at the Peaks Trailhead.
Turn north (toward Frisco) onto Peaks Trail and continue for 4.8 miles until you reach the Gold Hill/Colorado Trail junction. Turn right on the Gold Hill Trail and follow to the paved Blue River recpath (3 miles). Be ready for roots, rocks and several boardwalks that cross over marshy creek beds and wetlands.
From here, turn right and travel south for 4 miles until the pathway returns to the gondola and the trailhead (13.8 miles total). For the longer route, remain on Peaks Trail and ride it downhill to Miners Creek Road. Turn right and follow the paved recpath into Frisco. If you're returning to Breckenridge, turn right and again follow the recpath signs back to Breckenridge. This option adds 7 miles for a total of 20.8 miles.
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Park at the South Gondola Lot in Breckenridge, at the Breckenridge Peaks Trailhead (found adjacent to the Peak 7 base), or at the Second Street Trailhead in Frisco. If you want to avoid the long recpath ride back to town, Summit Stage buses run throughout the day from Breckenridge station (between the north and south gondola lots) and the bus shelters along Main Street in Frisco.
Editor’s note: This guide first printed in June 2015 and is annually updated for accuracy.
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