Summit County Bike Trails: Oro Grande trail (video)
SUMMIT COUNTY — Known as one of the first mountain biking trails dry enough to ride every year (sounds like a recurring theme right about now), the Oro Grande Trail is a solid early-season riding option. Following an aspen-covered hillside above Dillon Reservoir, this ride offers panoramic views of both Ten Mile and the Gore ranges. It’s also in a prime location for riding on your lunch break or immediately afterwork, though it tends to get a bit packed on weekends thanks to the connected Dillon disc golf course and a nearby pump track. Unlike Frisco Peninsula, the route’s mix of double-track and singletrack is dry, hard and ready for moto-style turns — there’s hardly a patch of loose dirt to be found.
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Know before you go
The rolling terrain is great for novices and is usually dry by mid-May. Large stands of aspen also make this an excellent fall choice. This ride can be shortened to a 6-mile loop by turning right onto a dirt road at about 2.3 miles, following it past the cemetery to Hwy 6, crossing the Hwy and accessing the paved recpath, which takes you back to Dillon. Non-motorized trail. No ATVs or dirt bikes allowed.
Ride up the dirt road and turn right immediately. Follow this fork past the water facility building on the right and up into the trees. Pass Tenderfoot Trail on the left. The road meanders through open meadows and stands of aspen as it crosses several hills. Just beyond a fence, at about 2.1 miles, you’ll come to a 4-way junction and an open area. To do the short, 6-mile loop, turn right and descend. Continue straight for the longer ride and climb, passing under power lines. Then veer left and pass a couple of side roads. The main road remains obvious as it climbs more, then descends to a wood fence and 3-way junction at 2.8 miles. Continue straight, passing through the fence onto a road that becomes more of a trail . Veer left near a large berm and climb through a sagebrush hillside. Pedal across a steep slope and swing sharply left above the landfill. Climb through the trees and descend to connect with a main dirt road at almost 4 miles, near a small public shooting range and power station. From this point you can either return as you came, continue into Frey Gulch (see the Frey Gulch ride) or follow the direction to loop back using the Hwy and paved recpath. Turn right, pedal a short distance past the power plant and take a left on the singletrack trail on the left. Follow it around to the landfill gatehouse. Cross the road in front of the gatehouse and take the singletrack trail that begins next to the chainlink fence down to Hwy 6. To access Keystone, turn left. To complete the loop, turn right and descend along the Hwy a short distance. Cross the Hwy at the Swan Mountain Road stoplight and turn right immediately onto the paved recpath. Follow the recpath back to Dillon. When it merges with a paved road, turn left and descend past some condos. Continue straight and climb a steep hill. Turn right onto Lake Dillon Drive, cross Hwy 6 at the stoplight, take a sharp right and ride back up to the trailhead.
From I-70, drive east on 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. Park in the pullout on the right by the Tenderfoot Trail sign.
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