Bike Guide: Dillon dump loops
If you’re on the other side of Dillon Reservoir, the trail system around and above the Summit County Resource Allocation Park hazardous waste facility (known to most as the Dillon dump or SCRAP) is the best destination for, as previous versions of this guide described it, “touring the trash.” — Antonio Olivero
Yes, rides on these trails will come with their share of whiffs from the latest deposits at the dump, but in an area known for two S-words, smell and speed, it’s the latter that will stay with a rider in the Dillon dump area.
A loop connecting Sage Trail to Scrappy Trail and then to Snake River Bluff would be the best beginner-friendly loop to get a rider the most speed while avoiding most of the unpleasant smells. It’ll also allow you to return to your parked car at the Dillon Cemetery lot on Cemetery Road off U.S. Highway 6 across from Lakeside Drive. Parking there will seamlessly lead you up to the Sage Trail, a gentle 1-mile ascent that climbs 277 feet and should take you about 10 minutes.
As the west-facing views of Dillon Reservoir and Summit County’s various iconic mountain ranges become more prominent in the near distance, you’ll crest out at 9,333 feet at a four-way intersection where the Oro Grande, Buzztail, Scrappy and Sage trails meet up. If you take a right at this junction and head down Buzztail, the ride will bless the rider with a novice-friendly downhill, weaving 1 mile to an intersection with the more advanced Snake River Bluffs trail. Buzztail is known for flowing from a fun, easy, wooded section to more of a flumy ride, the start of which you’ll know you’ve reached when you suddenly climb 8 feet.
Making a left at this intersection will bring you to the southeastern terminus of the 3-mile Oro Grande trail, an up-and-down doubletrack regarded as one of the best rides for views in the county. This will take you out of your way in regard to where you parked at the cemetery, but if you choose this path, you can ride Oro Grande for a short ways before descending the tame Cemetery Hill trail back to the parking lot.
For what may be the best loop, continue straight at the intersection to Scrappy. This 2-mile trail should take you about 15-20 minutes, beginning with a climb of about 300 feet over a half-mile (which gets very steep toward the end) before the flow and speed above the landfill begins. This singletrack will have its mix of switchbacks and straightaways before connecting with Snake River Bluffs down at 9,074 feet. From here, you can find your way back to your car when you intersect with Sage Trail once again. Cyclists will be favored with built berms over a 10-15 minute ride, including a steep switchback descent just past the 0.75-mile mark that will leave you howling for another “Tour de Trash” once you get back to your start point.
Network: Sage, Scrappy, Snake River Bluffs, Cemetery Hill, Oro Grande, Buzztail
Season: Early May to October
Connectors: Frey Gulch Road, West Hills Flume, Furlough, Two Stump, Wide Open, Tenderfoot Mountain, Powerline Loop, Seven of Nine, Incline, Moab, Dillon Reservoir recpath, Snake River recpath
Parking: Near the archery range and Dillon cemetery on Cemetery Road
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