Breckenridge Bike Guide: X10U8 trail (video)
SUMMIT COUNTY — French Gulch might as well be a mountain-bike playground.
Running smack through the middle of this MTB wonderland is X10U8, a wonderfully fast section of singletrack nestled between French Gulch Road and the Minnie Mine trail. At 0.75 miles the trail is almost over before it begins, but for two or three minutes it’s one hell of a ride, featuring berms, small table-tops and narrow pine corridors. It’s the perfect place to test the feel of your new enduro.
X10U8 sits low on the hillside, nearly at the same elevation as French Gulch Road, and is often one of the first trails in the area to dry out in early summer and after rainstorms. The entire stretch is usually ready to rock by mid to late May.
As for the name, X10U8 isn’t a “Star Wars” droid. Just sound it out a few times as you’re powering through the berms, and by the time you fly through the final corner and skid out onto French Gulch Road, you’ll be ready for lap two. The dictionary can wait.
The French Gulch area is home to several trailheads and parking lots, but none are open to overnight parking or camping. It’s also a popular spot for hikers, including dogs, and trails are occasionally closed for mountain-bike or trail-running races.
The 0.75-mile trail weaves from the Minnie Mine trailhead to French Gulch Road. From the Reiling Dredge lot, pedal several hundred yards up Minnie Mine to the X10U8 marker on the left side of the trail. Drop into the trail and be ready for small table-tops on the left-hand side. They’re easily avoidable by staying to the right of the trail.
Pedal through 0.25 miles of small jumps and tight turns before coming to the first berm section. The berms vary in size from hairpin to long, slingshot-style corners. Very few are tall (don’t expect a legitimate downhill course), but be wary of loose dirt a month or two into the season and after long, dry stretches.
The berms last for another 0.25 miles before leading to a final series of pine and aspen corridors, punctuated by the occasional table-top. The trail ends at a meadow near the base of a mine tail on the shoulder of French Gulch Road. From here, take a leisurely cruise up the dirt road for another lap or split off to one of more than a half-dozen nearby trails.
X10U8 and the remaining French Gulch trails (Minnie Mine, B&B Trail, Side Door, etc.) are all accesible by French Gulch Road. From Breckenridge, head east on County Road 450 and bear right at the junction with Forest Hills Drive. Continue another 0.5 miles to the stop sign. Take French Gulch Road and continue through the Wellington neighborhood until the road turns to dirt. From there, drive 3 miles to the Reiling Dredge Trailhead. Parking is in a small lot on the left.
Editor’s note: This article originally printed in June 2015 and is updated annually for accuracy.
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