Summit County Bike Guide: Sallie Barber Road and Mine (video)
By the numbers
Distance: 9.5 miles
Time: 2 hours
Elevation: 9,600-10,685 ft. (1,085 vertical feet)
Type: Dirt road, trail
Season: June to mid-October
Extensions: Turk’s trail, Nightmare on Baldy, Sweet Dreams, Barney Ford trail
SUMMIT COUNTY — The French Gulch area provides a number of ride options and dozens of opportunities for history buffs to pedal past abandoned mine shafts, dredge remnants and trails that cross old mining tails.
One of the most picturesque routes is the trail leading to the Sallie Barber Mine, a well-preserved structure perched on a ridge above French Gulch. It’s also relatively close to Main Street Breckenridge, making it a perfect early-morning or late-afternoon ride before heading to town for a bite.
Expect traffic on lower French Gulch Road, which is surrounded mainly by private land for the first few miles. Please respect all “No Trespassing” signs. Most historic buildings are private and fragile; please view them from a distance. Beautiful stands of aspen in French Gulch make this a spectacular fall ride.
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From Main Street, turn east onto Wellington Road and climb out of town toward French Gulch. Stay straight through several four-way intersections. When the road reaches a three-way intersection, stay straight/right and continue uphill until the road turns to dirt. This is French Gulch Road.
Wind along the left side of French Gulch, passing below the enormous Wellington Mine on the left at about 2.6 miles. Ride past the remaining buildings of the Lincoln townsite at 4.1 miles. The road narrows here, passing a fork to Humbug Hill on the left (this steep Jeep road accesses several riding options).
Just beyond this spur, take Sallie Barber Road that forks right and drops to a stream. Climb for roughly a mile to the high point and Sallie Barber Mine. Continue on the main road, which descends a steep, rough section as it heads back toward Breckenridge. The road finally levels and contours through the trees past several side roads. Bear right (downhill) on the singletrack Barney Ford Trail, then take another right 100 yards after a downhill follow signs 1.5 miles down this fun singletrack. Cross paved CR 503 and follow signs for Moonstone Trail, then take Carter Park Trail back to Carter Park in town. All told, it’s about 12 miles of wildly varying terrain from start to finish along the in-town route, and about 7-8 miles of the same if you skirt the paved ride through Wellington and park along French Gulch Road.
From I-70, follow Highway 9 south to Breckenridge. Stay right at the traffic circle on the north edge of town onto North Park Avenue. Drive by City Market and park in one of the large lots located on the left side of Park Avenue, adjacent to the gondola. There are also numerous parking areas along French Gulch Road, including the B&B trailhead lot about 1/2-mile past the Wellington Mine on the righthand (south) side.
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