Dillon Bike Guide: ‘Tour de Trash’ lunch loop (video)
By the numbers
Distance: 14.5-15.5 miles
Rating: Moderate to advanced
Time: 2-3 hours
Elevation: 9,100-9,620 feet (520 feet vertical gain)
Trail: Double-track, dirt road, singletrack and rec path
Season: Late May to early October
Connectors: Tenderfoot Trail, Wide Open Trail, Keystone Aqueduct Trail, Rossetter Trail
SUMMIT COUNTY — Yes, the Tour de Trash is more fun than it sounds.
Set aside the tongue-in-cheek nickname and this mellow (yet lengthy) route from Dillon to Keystone and back is one of the best extended lunch loops on the north end of Summit County. It begins at the popular Oro Grande Trail just outside of Dillon and takes riders on a surprisingly eclectic tour of the area, from Lake Dillon and the new Dillon disc golf course to lush Keystone singletrack, the secluded (yet close) campsites at Tenderfoot Mountain and, yes, the Summit County landfill.
So sure, you might catch a whiff or two of Summit’s ripest plot of land, but it’s just a small hiccup on an otherwise fun ride that feels much shorter than 14.5 miles. It passes by at least five connectors for impromptu exploring, if you have the time, and expert riders can easily finish it in about two hours.
Is it a true lunch loop? Not quite — it’s more of a nice distraction if you have a few hours to kill before a night shift or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s also the best of both worlds: After starting on double-track and dirt road at Oro Grande and Frey Gulch Road, the descent into Keystone is fast (yet friendly) singletrack before linking up with either the Summit County rec path or a few short trail connectors. You get road, you get trail, you get trash — not a bad way to spend a half-day in the saddle.
Editor’s note: A big thanks to local bike guru Mike Zobbe for the trail suggestion and the name. I can’t take credit for that gem.
[iframe width=”640” height=”360” src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/o1th3kSIJmw” frameborder=”0” allowfullscreen></iframe]
From the Oro Grande trailhead outside of Dillon, ride about 3 miles on overgrown double-track with roller-coaster descents and occasional short climbs overlooking Lake Dillon and almost all of southern Summit. The trail continues straight at a four-way intersection with the Dillon disc golf course before hitting the first (and only) sustained climb on a singletrack switchback. After topping out, ride another 0.5 miles past the landfill to the Summit Shooting Range parking lot.
From here, continue straight and uphill through the parking lot to Frey Gulch Road. Ride another 2 miles and watch for Forest Service trail No. 9035 (dubbed “Keystone Convention Center Trail) on the right. Turn here for the best singletrack of the ride through tight aspen stands and impossibly lush undergrowth. It’s the perfect secluded autumn ride.
Descend on the singletrack for about 0.75 miles to a parking lot behind the convention center. Look for the large convention center sign near a recpath and turn right to head back toward Lake Dillon. Ride beneath the highway to another parking lot and continue straight for a ride around the lake. Bear right onto the Summit County Recpath after the lake.
You have two options: Continue on the recpath for about 7 miles as it parallels the Snake River to Lake Dillon and the Oro Grande trailhead. If you’re hungry, restaurants and coffee shops are clustered around the Keystone Lodge. You can also continue south over a large bridge and bear right onto Keystone Ranch Road for 0.25 miles of pedaling on paved road to Keystone Gulch Road, a dirt access road that leads to The Outback at Keystone. This road connects with Aqueduct Trail just after the beaver pond. Turn right and ride the Aqueduct singletrack to Rossetter Trail through the golf course before reconnecting with the recpath.
From Interstate 70, drive east on U.S. Highway 6 to Dillon. Turn left on Lake Dillon Drive at the stoplight. Take an immediate right and follow the road that parallels the highway, turns to dirt and passes a water tank after a short and steep incline. Park in the pullout on the right by the Tenderfoot Trail sign.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.