Summit County Bike Guide: Boreas Pass (video)
Boreas Pass Road follows an abandoned narrow-gauge railroad bed, giving cyclists of all abilities access to scenic views and historic mining remains on the Continental Divide, found just south of Breckenridge. The popular Bakers Tank Trail also can be accessed along this route, but hold off for at least another week or two. Just about every route that branches off from the main road is still sopping wet, including Bakers Tank (it looked more like a streambed) and upper portions of Aspen Alley. Thankfully, all 12.5 miles of the road itself is hard, bare and gleefully fast on the descent.
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Know before you go
Well-maintained and gradual, this road is excellent for novices. When the gate near the trailhead is closed, the road is still snowy and wet. Cyclists should avoid this ride until the gate is opened. Expect vehicle traffic, which can be heavy on weekends. Boreas Pass is above timberline; be prepared for changing weather.
From I-70, drive south through Breckenridge on Highway 9. Turn left onto Boreas Pass Road (also known as Broken Lance Drive if taken to the right) at the stoplight on the south end of town. Drive 3.5 miles up this winding road to pavement’s end. Park in a pull-off on the left where the road becomes dirt.
Begin climbing toward Boreas Pass. The ride follows an abandoned railroad grade, which once was the route of the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad. This fairly smooth dirt road climbs gradually through beautiful aspen groves, making it a superb fall ride. Pass Baker’s Tank, which stored water for railway use, at 3 miles. Continue climbing on the main road along the flank of Bald Mountain. At the pass, you’ll have incredible views from the Continental Divide. Perched near the road is the restored Boreas Pass Section House. From the pass, return as you came. The road actually continues another 11 miles down to the vast expanse of South Park and the small town of Como.
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