Breckenridge Bike Guide: Aspen Alley
Distance: 1.3 miles one way
Time: 15 minutes
Elevation: 9,876-10,376 feet (509 vertical feet)
Type: singletrack, descent
Season: mid-June to September
Extensions: Boreas Pass Rd
Parking: Park at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena lot and hop on the free Boreas Pass loop bus. Ride the route for about 15 minutes until the bus reaches the Bluffs Condos stop. Pedal up Boreas Pass Road for about 1 mile to the trailhead. The trail ends at a small dirt lot about 0.25 miles east of the ice arena.
The term “roller coaster” gets tossed around with abandon in the mountain biking world, but not every trail is worthy of the title. Aspen Alley lives up to the name and then some — taking riders on a loopy, whip-fast joy ride through a mix of pine trees and, of course, the must-see aspen groves.
The trail also provides stunning views of Breckenridge Ski Resort from start to finish. In 2015, the Breckenridge trail crew finished a series of trail improvements, including mellow berms on the numerous switchbacks and natural-rock pavers on flood-prone sections. And the upgrades were a godsend: The trail sees a ton of traffic from late May until the start of winter.
Pedal through the Boreas Pass access gate and take an immediate right onto Aspen Alley. The 1.3-mile, one-way trail is downhill from start to finish, with only a handful of brief flat sections to catch your breath and rest your brake finger. The singletrack is more flowy than technical — don’t expect massive roots or jagged rocks — and thanks to the addition a few years back of switchback berms, it’s even more fast. On average, a single run only takes about 15 minutes, making it a prime candidate for looping three or four times via the Summit Stage bus. Due to high volume, portions of the trail tend to get rutted or dusty depending on the conditions.
Aspen Alley and Boreas Pass are popular routes for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers and day-trippers from May to October. Expect traffic on the ride to and from the trailhead, along with the occasional uphill hiker on the singletrack. When the access gate is closed, the road and all connecting trails are too muddy or snowy for travel. Show the berms some love, and avoid this ride until the gate is opened.
Though short and sweet, this trail is one of the most accessible in Summit County due to its proximity to the Boreas Pass trailhead. Either park close by or ride up the paved section of Boreas Road and shoot down one of the most fun singletrack sections in Breckenridge. You’ll want to get back out and lap it again right away. Plus the falling aspen leaves coat the trail golden at the end of September providing one of the most picturesque descents in the county.
— Taylor Shelden
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