Colorado Trail: Ten Mile Range Bypass

Breckenridge

Salida

Many Colorado Trail bikepackers opt to bypass around the ultra-steep Ten Mile Range using this route.

Mountain Biking Easy

Distance
19 km
Ascent
285 m
Descent
132 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.8 km
High Point
3 km
Gradient
Colorado Trail: Ten Mile Range Bypass Map

The Colorado Trail (COT) is widely regarded as one of the very best long distance mountain bike trails in the world. Running for 535 miles between Denver and Durango, the trail crosses high alpine mountain passes and drops into beautiful valleys as it traverses the most beautiful portions of the state of Colorado. The COT forms one third of the Triple Crown of Bikepacking, along with the Arizona Trail and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The problem for bikepackers is that the Colorado Trail wasn’t originally built with bike travel in mind. Sure, plenty of sections are absolutely incredible on the mountain bike… but others, especially on a fully-loaded bikepacking rig, are notoriously brutal. The Miner’s Creek/Wheeler section of the trail is one such ultra-brutal section.

Description

Instead of hike-a-biking straight up the Ten Mile mountain range and then being faced with the possibility of having to hike-a-bike DOWNHILL on ultra-technical singletrack, many bikepackers choose to bypass around the Ten Mile range between Breckenridge and Copper. Conveniently, a paved bike path provides a very pleasant connection, keeping riders off of the highway.

By itself, this bike path is a very popular road biking route, so as a bypass option for bikepackers it is very pleasant indeed. Sure, you’re not on singletrack, but at least you’re riding your bike instead of hiking! If pedaling from Breckenridge to Copper, this route demands a respectable climb up the bike path. If traveling the opposite direction, it’s a high-speed downhill coast.

Difficulty

Easy

Mostly smooth and non-technical singletrack with unavoidable obstacles 2in/5cm tall or less. Avoidable obstacles may be present. Ideal for beginner riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Road sections
  • Wet-weather friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area