Summit County has a plethora of excellent road bike routes for all levels of cyclists. The Summit County rec path offers over 50 miles of paths through the county, connecting Silverthorne, Frisco, Copper Mountain, Vail Pass, Breckenridge, Dillon, and Keystone. Each path offers it's unique challenges, but no route is unattainable. These are listed in no particular order, as they are all spectacular!
1. Dillon to Vail Pass - 18 miles one way, 1,597' of climbing. Ride on the path along Lake Dillon Reservoir, enjoying the beauty surrounding you with views of Buffalo, Peak One, Mount Royal and more. The path will lead you through Frisco and up the Ten Mile Rec path where you find yourself surrounded by trees, and riding alongside Ten Mile Creek into Copper Mountain. Climb from Copper Mountain to Vail in open nature with a glimpse or two of chipmunks, beavers, deer and moose.
2. Dillon to Keystone - 8 miles one way, 270' elevation gain. Enjoy a ride on the path along Lake Dillon Reservoir, with the breathtaking views of the Ten Mile Range just beyond the water. As you enter Keystone you ride alongside the Snake River under a canopy of trees where you will have several locations that allow you to stop and have a picnic.
3. Keystone to Montezuma - 6.3 miles one way, 1,014' of climbing. This will challenge you to stick with the climb. Riding on a shared road, which parallels the Snake River, there is minimal traffic and an abundance of views. The steepest section of the climb happens in the last mile of the climb. You know you've made it when you see the wooden Montezuma sign strung over the road, the pavement ends and the gravel road begins.
4. Keystone to Loveland Pass - 9.2 miles one way, 2,697' of climbing. This ride is not for the faint of heart. Cyclists ride up highway 6, sharing the road with vehicle traffic (although there is an adequate shoulder). Leaving Keystone and riding up to Arapahoe Basin is the most grueling section of the ride. Arapahoe Basin is more than half way to the summit, and a nice stopping point to catch your breath and gather your thoughts. Hopping back on the bike and riding towards the summit you will be in awe of the beauty surrounding you, including the ski area, and the numerous peaks surrounding you.
5. Dillon to Ute Pass - 19.6 miles one way, 1,381' elevation gain. Cyclists will share Highway 9 with vehicle traffic (there is an adequate shoulder). As you ride past open pastures, a home or two, and livestock, you will appreciate the Gore Range and all of the beauty it has to offer. Once you arrive at Ute Pass Road, you will start your climb to the top where the views are worth the five miles of climbing. Be sure to have your camera or your phone handy as you will want to snap photos. The descent on Ute Pass is one not to be missed! Enjoy sweeping turns, manageable speed, the wind in your hair, and nature surrounding you. Keep an eye out for the occasional deer.
6. Lake Dillon Loop - 18 miles, 1,100' elevation. The majority of this loop is on the Summit County Rec Path, while two miles will be on Swan Mountain Road. Clockwise you will climb Swan Mountain on the bike path and ride down Swan Mountain Road with vehicle traffic. Counter clockwise you will climb Swan Mountain Road in the dedicated climbing lane alongside traffic, and descend on the bike path. At the summit sits Sapphire Point. Take a few minutes and walk the trail to experience the views overlooking Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne. This would be a great spot to sit and watch the sunset!
7. Dillon to Breckenridge - 16 miles one way, 695' elevation gain. Ride on the rec path from Dillon to Breckenridge. This is an easier ride than the others listed, however you will know that you went out to ride.
8. Dillon to Summit Estates - 16.6 miles, 984' of climbing. One of the locals favorite climbs. Ride the bike path to Tiger Road and head East to Estates Dr. Climb up through Summit Estates, a luxury home community, offers views overlooking the golf course, and an occasional glimpse of the wildlife here in Summit County. The only way on this route is up, reaching the cul-de-sac at the end of the road. Estates Drive is another great descent with sweeping turns and lots of speed.
9. Dillon to Freemont Pass - 23.8 miles, 2,299' of climbing. Ride on the bike rec path through Frisco to Copper Mountain and head south on Highway 91 towards the summit. Freemont Pass is a fairly straight ride with a few turns, and a couple of false summits. The shoulder is adequate for cyclists while vehicles use the traffic lanes. The climb starts at 2% - 3% grade, but quickly greets you with a 7% grade for the duration.
10. Dillon to Hamilton Road Loop - 14 miles, 774' elevation. Enjoy your downhill ride on the Summit County rec path to Hamilton Creek Road and then be ready for your climb. A beautiful ride with views of the Gore Range as you climb your way through the luxury Hamilton Creek development. You will loop at the top and enjoy the descent back down to the rec path.
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