Go Play: Peaks Trail in Summit County (video)
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Peaks Trail is a rocky, rooty, adrenaline-pumping route that connects Breckenridge to Frisco. But it’s much more than a thoroughfare: It’s one of the most popular technical trails in Summit, loved by bikers, hikers and trail runners alike. Much of the trail sits high above the Blue River valley, running along the Tenmile Range from Peak One to Peak 10.
Know before you go
Thanks to the mellow rec path between Breckenridge and Frisco, the traditional out-and-back route on Peaks Trail can also be taken as a loop. The loop described here begins in Breckenridge at the Gold Hill Trail cutoff and uses the paved rec path to return to town. For a longer route, riders can continue on the Peaks Trail all the way to Frisco. Out-and-back rides from Frisco are also a popular, but they’re much more demanding during the initial climb (about 7-8 miles). You can access the trail in Frisco from either the Second Street trailhead — which adds a fun yet grueling singletrack section to the route — or Miners Creek Road.
Start at the Watson Trailhead/South Gondola Lot (just south of the gondola in Breckenridge). Follow Park Avenue south to Ski Hill Road and turn right on the paved recpath. Follow Ski Hill Road until the recpath ends and follow the road as it passes the base of Peaks 8 and 7, then turns to dirt at the Peaks Trailhead.
Turn left on the Peaks Trail and continue for 4.8 miles until you reach the Gold Hill/Colorado Trail junction. Turn right on the Gold Hill Trail and follow to the paved Blue River rec path (3 miles). Be ready for roots, rocks and several boardwalks that cross over marshy creekbeds and wetlands.
From here, turn right and travel south for 4 miles until the pathway returns to the gondola and the trailhead (13.8 miles total). For the longer route, remain on Peaks Trail and ride it downhill to Miners Creek Road. Turn right and follow to the paved rec path into Frisco. If you’re returning to Breckenridge, turn right and again follow the rec path signs back to Breckenridge. This option adds 7 miles for a total of 20.8 miles.
Park at the South Gondola Lot in Breckenridge, the Breckenridge Peaks Trailhead (found adjacent to the Peak 7 base), or at the Second Street Trailhead in Frisco. If you want to avoid the long rec path ride back to town, Summit Stage buses run throughout the day from Breckenridge station (between the north and south gonodola lots) and the bus shelters along Main Street in Frisco.
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