Go Play: Mountain biking at Copper Mountain a well-kept secret
IF YOU GO
The American Eagle operates daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for biking.
More trail information is available at http://www.coppercolorado.com.
Summit County is a mountain biker’s paradise. In the summer, it seems like every other car has a bike rack.
From the extensive network of trails in and around Breckenridge to Keystone Resort’s renowned downhill bike park, there’s a lot to choose from. But for the first-timer, the idea of charging singletrack can be intimidating. Narrow trails, big rocks, steep drop-offs, the need to be acclimated to the altitude and conditioned for some serious climbing — it’s a lot to think about. And with so many trails to choose from, knowing where to go can be equally difficult.
There might be a solution hiding in plain sight.
When it comes to mountain biking in Summit, Copper Mountain won’t be the first place that jumps to mind, but maybe it should be — especially for beginner and intermediate riders.
“Copper’s one of those best-kept secrets,” Kevin Kahle, owner of Rebel Sports in Frisco, said of the mountain’s trail network. “In the summertime it is just off the beaten path.”
While you won’t find big drops, boulder gardens or a trail network as extensive as Keystone’s, the big views of the Tenmile Range and substantial singletrack offerings make Copper as much fun for beginners as it is for more advanced riders.
And at just $15 dollars for an all-day lift-served biking pass, it’s also the least expensive option in the area for those not interested in pedaling uphill. Copper season pass holders can even ride for free in the summertime.
MORE THAN BIKING
Beyond biking, the mountain recently received some acknowledgement from the trail running community as well. James Gill, owner of Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports, which runs the La Maratona Verticale and the annual UROC 50K and 100K trail runs, called Copper a “hidden gem” for runners.
Unlike Keystone and Breckenridge, Copper does not currently offer biking lessons, but anyone with some basic riding skills should enjoy giving the resort’s trails a try.
Kahle suggested it’s a solid choice for any family with younger children who mountain bike.
“My kids were able to come down (the intermediate trails) last year,” he said, adding that other activities in the village, like bumper boats and go-karts, increase the family appeal. “I don’t think a lot of people realize the fun park even exists.”
Most of Copper’s singletrack routes are about 3 miles in length and are accessible via the American Eagle chairlift in the resort’s Center Village. The trails are a mix of mountain meadows and thick pine forest and weave their way back down the mountain with a number of less aggressive traverses. The Colorado Trail also crosses through the resort, offering the potential for a lengthier cross-country ride.
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More trails will open for the season on Sunday for mountain bikers in Aspen, Snowmass Village and Glenwood Springs.