Breckenridge Bike Guide: Boreas Pass to Baldy Loop (video)
Distance: 8 miles (bus only), 10-11 miles (full bike descent.
Time: 1.5-2 hours
Elevation: 9,650-11,050 feet (1,00 feet vertical gain)
Trail: Singletrack, dirt road and paved road
Season: June to late September
Connectors: Aspen Alley, Juniata, Barney Ford, Barney Flow, Carter Park
Make friends with your neighborhood mountain passes — and free bus system — for a loop featuring mellow climbs, abandoned mines and classic Breck singletrack. 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 Breck Free Ride bus systems are both free (yes, completely free) and service almost every mile of the county. That includes Boreas Pass, a hub for offshooting singletrack and dirt trails found just east of downtown Breck. The bus makes a loop every 30 minutes during the summer, giving residents, second-home owners, hikers and even bikers access to a network of trails: Aspen Alley, Boreas Pass Road, Baker’s 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. For starters, taking the bus cuts out a long, hot, nasty grind over the 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.
From the access gate on Boreas Pass Road, pedal about three miles on a mellow climb until you reach Baker’s Tank. Bear slightly left onto a short, steep climb to the start of Baker’s Tank Trail. Turn left onto Baker’s Tank Trail and continue riding on singletrack through pine stands and small meadows.
After about a mile, Baker’s Tank connects with the Mountain Pride Trail. Bear right at the junction to remain on the wide singletrack of Mountain Pride. Follow Mountain Pride for about 2.5 miles as it weaves and winds through mining ruins, mining tails and abandoned cabin towns and on fun and fast doubletrack, passing straight through a collection of buck-rail fences and small creek crossings. Next, 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.
For a true loop, ride the paved Bald Mountain Road west (toward downtown Breckenridge) for roughly 1 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.
There’s no piece of terrain or trail that better represents Breckenridge riding than this. The views are outstanding, the climbs aren’t punishing and the singletrack is among the best in Summit County. That’s the truth, from the heart. I love this ride. Be wary that some of the ride is on Boreas Pass Road, which is trafficked by vehicles in the summer.
— Jeff Westcott
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