Summit County Bike Guide: Boreas Pass to Bald Mountain lunch loop (video)
By the numbers
Distance: 8 miles (bus only), 10-11 miles (full bike descent)
Time: 1.5-2 hours
Elevation: 9,650-11,050 feet (1,400 feet vertical gain)
Trail: Singletrack, dirt road and paved road
Season: June to late September
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SUMMIT COUNTY — Breckenridge has got to be one of the few mountain-biking meccas of the world where the best trails are just a free bus ride away.
If you haven’t yet heard, the Summit Stage and in-town Breck Free Ride bus systems are both free (yes, completely free) and service almost every mile of the county. That includes Boreas Pass, a hotbed of singletrack and dirt roads found just east of downtown Breck. The bus makes a loop every 30 minutes during the summer, giving residents, second-home owners, hikers and, yes, even bikers access to a network of trails: Aspen Alley, Boreas Pass Road, Bakers Tank, Mountain Pride — the list goes on.
This is a godsend for folks who can’t make it through the day without a MTB fix, but can’t afford to spend several hours pedaling uphill. Taking the bus cuts out a long, sweaty, nasty grind over the hot pavement of Boreas Pass Road or the tight switchbacks of Carter Park. It also saves your legs for the best part: the ride from Boreas Pass to Bald Mountain Road via Mountain Pride, a typically gorgeous slice of singletrack through pines, meadows and mining ruins.
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From access gate on Boreas Pass Road, pedal about three miles on a mellow climb until you reach Bakers Tank.
Bear slight left onto a short, steep climb to the start of Bakers Tank Trail.
Turn left onto Bakers Tank Trail and continue riding on singletrack through pine stands and small meadows.
After about one mile, Bakers Tank connects with Mountain Pride Trail. Bear right at the junction to remain on the wide singletrack of Mountain Pride.
Follow Mountain Pride for about one mile as it weaves and winds through mining ruins, mining tails and abandoned cabin towns.
When the trail reaches the largest mining structure, take a hard right at the switchback to weave back uphill. The descending road leads through private property.
Continue on Mountain Pride for another 1.5 miles on fun and fast doubletrack, passing straight through a collection of buck-rail fences and small creek crossings.
Mountain Pride ends at Bald Mountain Road. Turn left onto Bald Mountain Road for about 1.5 miles of descent on dirt road to the paved trailhead parking lot.
From here, load the bus for a 15-minute ride back to town.
Or, for a true loop, ride the paved Bald Mountain Road west (toward downtown Breckenridge) for roughly one mile. Near the end, watch on the right-hand side for the Barney Ford connector. This singletrack descent leads through pines and meadows for another 0.5 miles to the Barney Flow connector. This leads about 0.25 miles to Carter Park and a final 0.25 miles of descending on switchbacks into downtown.
Parking and shuttle
The Boreas to Baldy lunch loop takes full advantage of Summit County’s free bus service. Remember: Busses can only carry three bikes at a time. If the rack is full you’ll have to wait — or bike.
To ride it as a shuttle loop, board the Boreas Pass Loop bus at Breckenridge Station on the :05 or :35. The station is next to the south gondola lot on Highway 9. You can also park at Stephen C. West Ice Arena, found on the south end of downtown at the intersection of Highway 9 and Boreas Pass Road, and take the same bus on the :09 or :39.
Ride the Boreas Pass route for about 15 minutes until the bus reaches the Bluffs Condos stop. Pedal up Boreas Pass Road for about 1.5 miles to the brown access gate by a small parking area.
Editor’s note: This article originally printed in July 2016 and is annually updated for accuracy.
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