Breckenridge Bike Guide: Gold Run Rush preview (video)
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Gold Run Rush is a race like none other. Between huffing and puffing your way to screaming descents at 10,000-plus vertical feet, you just might get a crash course (no crashing, please) on Breck’s mining history as the route weaves by long-abandoned dredges, mine shafts and blonde tailing piles from the 1800s.
This second race of the Summit Mountain Challenge series is a tour of the French Gulch system, a spiderweb of interconnected trails that’s a local favorite. On any given day you’ll find small groups of bikers picking their way through trails like Minnie Mine, Side Door, Prospect and nearly a dozen more, all of which connect to trails that take riders directly into downtown Breck.
Every trail stems from Gold Run Road, a dirt road that passes by ghost towns and modern neighborhoods surrounded on all side by dredge rock and tall, wispy pines. Last summer, the Summit Daily previewed sections of the Gold Run Rush course to give competitors a taste of exactly what they’re in for at the race on June 21.
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The course is split into three routes: a 4-mile juniors route; a 7-mile beginner and teen route; and a 10.5-mile pro, expert and sport route. The men’s and women’s pro/expert riders complete two loops for a total of 17.5 miles. Register now.
Here’s a breakdown of the full 10.5-mile loop:
Begin at Queen of the West Road in the Wellington neighborhood.
Turn left onto Union Mill Road, then right onto French Gulch, which soon turns into a dirt road.
Turn right into B&B parking area and climb B&B Trail east.
Merge left onto Reiling Dredge Trail, crossing French Gulch dirt road to Minnie Mine
Climb Minnie Mine west to Lower Side Door Trail, turn right.
The French Gulch trails weaves through mining relics and blonde mining tails from the 1800s.
Take Lower Side Door to “Y” junction, turn right onto Prospect Trail. Bear left at next major “Y” to stay on Prospect, then bear right at final major “Y” to continue straight over mine tailings.
Descend and take immediate right at next fork on Extension Mill Trail, aka Detroit Placer.
Near end of descent, bear right onto doubletrack.
Turn left onto Draw and bear right at next “T” junction to enter Fall Classic singletrack.
At end of singletrack, cross Gold Run Road onto Slalom trail.
Descend Slalom and turn right onto Upper Flume Trail.
Ride Upper Flume through wispy pine forest to meet again with Gold Run Road.
Turn hard right onto Gold Run Road and climb past ghost town of Preston.
Ride Gold Run Road to pavement and turn left onto Western Sky singletrack.
Cross pavement and continue on Western Sky for descent back to Gold Run Road. Gold Run is first road you reach descending Western Sky switchbacks.
Turn hard right onto Betty’s Trail from Gold Run Road.
Barrel down Betty’s Trail and cross French Gulch dirt road to Midnight Sun Road.
Turn left onto Queen of the West Road for the finish line.
The start and finish for all riders is on Queen of the West Road in the Wellington neighborhood. Parking is available just west of the neighborhood at Stilson Lot (also known as the Christmas Tree lot), with overflow parking on Stables Road.
To reach the Wellington neighborhood, turn east onto County Road 450. Bear right onto Reiling Road, pass through several speed bumps, and take a right at the stop sign for Wellington Road to enter Stilson Lot. Overflow parking is a left at the stop sign.
Editor’s note: Updated June 19, 2017.
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