Silverthorne Bike Guide: Blue River Trail (video)
By the numbers
Distance: 3.5 miles
Rating: All abilities
Time: 30-45 minutes
Elevation: 8,730-8,630 (100 vertical feet)
Type: Out-and-back, paved rec path
Season: Early May to November
SUMMIT COUNTY — Few rides in Silverthorne are more relaxing than the Blue River Trail. The fully paved recpath winds along the banks of the Blue River, the county’s premier Gold Medal waterway, as it flows through neighborhoods and past prime fishing holes. It’s a near-perfect ride for a solo sunset ride or a quick morning jaunt with the family. A few years back, the town completed a series of trail renovations, including new pavement, wooden bridges over marshy ground, and much-needed signage at trail crossings in the town core and near the North Pond trailhead. The trail is lined with lush, thick pines and oaks from start to finish — it’s thankfully shaddy on hot days — and passes by several picnic tables and secluded benches.
Know Before You Go
The Blue River Trail is one of the first rec paths to open in the spring and one of the last to close in fall. This makes it wildly popular with runners, cyclists, anglers and day trippers. Watch for dogs, and be wary of several blind corners in the town core. If parking in town, obey any lot restrictions near businesses.
Due to the trail’s long season, several underpasses and wooden bridges can flood and remain closed until June. Always respect trail closures, and watch for ice when temperatures drop in October and November.
The out-and-back paved trail is 3.5 miles and dotted with trailhead connectors, including several in the town core near the Outlets at Silverthorne, the Silverthorne Recreation Center and Silverthorne Town Hall. The trails ends at Blue River Fields to the south and North Pond Park to the north.
From the Blue River Fields lot, ride along the sidewalk past the outlet stores and follow the path as it follows the Blue River. Look for bike path signs when crossing Wildernest Road and continue north past the next batch of outlet stores. The trail crosses several roads in the first 1/4-mile, so be on the watch for cars, pedestrians and other cyclists.
After passing the second outlet village, continue on the paved path lined with handrails as it leads to an underpass at Highway 9. Climb briefly to the backside of the third outlet village at 1/2-mile. The trail flattens out soon after and continues north on a slight downhill grade, passing by several bridges and stairways leading to the Silverthorne Pavilion and restaurants on the west banks of the Blue.
Follow the path for about 2 miles to the first neighborhood, Blue River Run. Again, follow the bike path signs on residential roads to reconnect with the trail behind the neighborhood. Continue another 1.5 miles on a nearly flat grade to North Pond Park. Take a water break, turn around and enjoy a slight uphill back into town.
From Interstate 70, take the Silverthorne exit. Parking is available at the Blue River Fields dirt lot (River Road, past the Red Village Outlets), Silverthorne Recreation Center (430 Rainbow Drive), or by following Highway 9 north through the town core to North Pond. For this route, drive about 3.5 miles and turn right on Hamilton Creek Road. The paved parking lot for North Pond Park is on the right and leads directly to the start of the trail.
This article originally published in August 2015, and has been updated September 2017 for accuracy.
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