Summit County Bike Trails: Miner’s Creek
Distance: 6 miles
Rating: Moderate to Difficult
Time: 1-2 hours
Elevation: 9,040 feet - 10,160 feet
Type: Out and back, dirt road
Season: June to late October
Providing quick access to a network of singletrack trails near Frisco, Miners Creek Road winds past beaver ponds and a meandering creek as it climbs toward the Tenmile Range. From Miners Creek, riders can access portions of the Peaks, Rainbow Lake and Gold Hill trails. Climbing Miners Creek to access the lower portion of the Peaks Trail’s singletrack makes for a great quick loop from town.
Know Before You Go: The part of the road described in this ride is usually dry enough to ride by early June, though the water might be high at creek crossings. There’s fun to be had exploring the several side roads in this area. Expect occasional jeep traffic. There also are camping sites along the Forest Service road. The ride includes roughly 1,100 feet of elevation gain with a continuous grade.
Parking: From I-70, drive through Frisco on Highway 9. Just south of town, turn right at the stoplight at Road #1004. Take the first right at the Miners Creek Road/recpath/Bill’s Ranch sign. Take an immediate left and drive up a narrow paved road a short distance. Park at the trailhead.
Description: Ride past the gateposts and up the recpath access road. Cross the recpath and get onto Miners Creek Road, a dirt road that swings left and climbs. You’ll pass a lot of spurs forking off this route, but the main road remains obvious. The road curves to the right where a couple of spurs, blocked by rocks, fork left. Continue climbing on the main road, eventually crossing over Miners Creek. Climb briefly, passing a fork to the right. (This fork leads to some short loop opportunities that eventually descend toward Frisco and connect with the paved recpath.) Continue climbing along the main road as it meanders along the creek and through shady pine forest. Pass several campsites and, at about 1.3 miles, splash through a creek. Climb more and cross another creek at almost 2 miles.
After another half mile or so, the road curves right and starts climbing more steeply. A short distance up this hill, the main road forks left where an extremely rocky side road continues straight. This is the recommended turn-around point. The road does continue but gets incredibly steep and rocky before ending in about a mile at the upper Miners Creek Trail trailhead.
This extremely rugged trail section qualifies as an advanced bike ride and is better enjoyed by most as a hiking route. The upper portion of the trail eventually connects with the Wheeler Trail.
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