Summit County Bike Trails: Keystone Gulch
By the numbers
Distance: 14.5 miles
Rating: Easy – more difficult
Time 3-4 hours
Elevation: 9,240-11,920 feet
Type: Out-and-back, dirt road
Season: Late June to early October
Throughout the summer, Explore Summit Weekender will run mountain bike and recpath trail guides from our annual Explore Summit County Bike Guide. The rides will be a mix of dirt trails, singletrack and paved roads from across Summit County.
Keystone Gulch Road climbs gradually along a lively stream near the base of Keystone Mountain. This route offers other trail options farther up the drainage, including a challenging climb to North Peak and a loop combining abandoned logging roads and the West Ridge section of the Colorado Trail.
Know Before You Go:
When traveling within Keystone Ski Area’s boundary, stay on routes designated for bike travel and expect to encounter vehicles on Keystone Gulch Road.
Begin pedaling up Keystone Gulch Road. Novices will enjoy the first few miles of this well-maintained dirt road. It climbs gradually along a meandering stream and through a shady forest. Wind along the base of the ski area, passing two chairlifts. At 4.5 miles, near the third chairlift, the road veers left and begins climbing more steeply. Novices may want to turn around here. To reach North Peak, ascend steadily for a couple of miles. At about 6 miles (just before the top), there’s a fork to the right near a gate. Continue straight to North Peak and the Outpost Restaurant, which is usually open for lunch, or, for more exploring, turn right onto the side road. Climb over rocky terrain for a little more than a mile to the scenic Erickson Mine. This historic structure is private and fragile; please view it from a distance. Since this side trip is mainly above timberline, make sure the weather is good before you head out.
From Interstate 70, follow Highway 6 east to Keystone. At the stoplight, turn right onto Keystone Road. Turn left immediately, cross the Snake River and turn right onto Soda Ridge Road. Drive 0.4 miles and turn left onto Keystone Gulch Road. Park near the gate.
More trail information is available at http://www.exploresummit.com or in the Summit Daily News’ Bike Guide available locally.
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