My 5 Favorite Mountain Bike Routes In Breckenridge

Corey Philip // November 17, 2021

I've been fortunate to spend a few summer months in the recent years getting in a ton of riding in the area.  I'll share with you my fav routes, anecdotes and area pointers, along with my own pix and vids!

About The Area 

Not quite 2 hours from Denver is this Mountain Bike Mecca with 792 miles of trail near all ridable from town.  That's what's cool about... you can hit nearly everything from town pretty easily.  Compare that to Crested Butte where basically all the trails are a far ride from town.  

The other thing I really love about Breck is that none of the trails allow Moto-bikes, so they stay in 'smoother' shape.

Important Trail Details

Here are a few details on trails you'll here about when looking into Breckenridge.

  • Peaks Trail... This trail seemingly pops up in every things about Breckenridge Mountain biking.   I'm not sure why.  The trail isn't particularly good and is often packed with hikers.  I avoid this trail at all costs.
  • Sidedoor.  This is a smooth flowing jump trail that descends 550' over about 1.3 miles.  The berms require hardly any breaks and the drops are smooth as butter so you can fly.  The trail is lined with jumps, most of which are table top with some double lines that can be hit optionally.
  • Aspen Alley. This a smooth rolling trail through Aspen trees.  Nothing wild just a classic mountain bike ride.
  • Bakers Tank.  I always looked forward to getting on this trail.  It starts from higher up the mountain and drops your into Aspen Alley.  The descent was fast and long with a good bit of chop, but not so choppy that it becomes gnarly.

[Gnarly Route] Breck Epic Wheeler;

Advanced | 26.2 miles | 5,364'

... if you need a reminder of what an XC death march is.  Trail Forks

This is the route used in the Breck epic stage race. Starting from town you climb up Wheeler, descend on the Co Trail segment, and then head back from Frisco on Peaks.

When I told a guy at the bike shop which route I was doing that day he said "Oh you're going on a death march".

It is a death March indeed.  The climbs are steep are rocky.  The traverse along the top is incredibly rocky to the point that it is nearly unridable even though you're really not climbing.  The descent is also steep and rocky... exponentially exasperated by the fact that you're just plain burnt out by the time you get to it.

It might be part of a cross-country race, but damn I would not want to be on an XC bike here. After exhausting myself to climb, the descent felt brutal on my 150/140 trail bike.  I'm glad I have done this route, but someone would have to drag me on it again. The fun/burn ratio on it is just poor.

The Wheeler Descent.

Advanced | 14.0 miles | 3,040'  

... If you want a killer descent from Alpines (and have the lungs for a steep climb).  MTB Project

This route has you climbing the peak 9 road to catch Wheeler and then descending Wheeler. It might be a fire road for the climb but it is loose and rocky.  It take some serious power, endurance, and balance to make it up with no foot down. At the top you wander through some high alpine wet lands, before facing a final climb up burst of a climb to the top and then from there it is pretty much all downhill, with the top starting smooth and fast and then getting really rough.

Heads up: there are wetlands near the top so early in the season there are usually a few inches of water.  Best to wait until well into July to hit this.   

Corey's Jump Link-Up

... If you want to hit all the jumps in the area. Trailforks.

This route basically starts from the little pump track in town. The park also has a couple little flow trails to warm up. Trails in this route are: Hardluck, Sidedoor, and B-Line.  Hardluck is a tight 'dual slalom-esque trail.  Sidedoor feels like a park flow trail and B-Line... also feels like a bike park flow trail with a skinny.  

Heads up: on the first climb, you'll end up coming up into the front of a rustic old home... you're all good.  Just fallow the fire road around it.

Muggins Gulch, Co Trail 7.3

... If you want a fast, flowing, non-technical ride.  A solid ride for intermediate riders.  Trailforks.

I love this ride.  I've probably ridden this route more than anything else in Breckenridge.  It's long enough to get you away from crowds, but not too long that kills you.  The climb is as challenging as you want to make it and the descent is just plain fast, and well buttery as my video thumbnail implies.  

The ride starts out with the relatively flat ride for about 4 or miles miles through some kind of old man made gulch.  You can get rolling pretty quick and warm up you're legs.  Then it it is time for a climb.  When you hit the descent, momentum gets going pretty quick.  HEADS UP: the trail has switch backs.  It's easy to get rolling mindlessly and blow the trail.  You'll see plenty of signs that other people have done just that.

Guyot Shorty

.. you want a back country all-mountain ride.  Trailforks.

This is a shorted version of the Breck Epic Guyot route which starts from town and totals about 43 miles and 7,000' of climbing (link to the full Guyot Route if you're feeling strong).  This route basically cuts out the climb from town and and hits the meat of the guyot route.  Even though it is shortened from the Breck Epic route, don't underestimate it.  It takes a lot stamina.

The route itself is broken up into 3 climbs and 3 descents.  

The 2nd climb and descent is where things get eventual.  This climb is the steepest.  It's steep but not technical.  Then you hit a descent which is pretty fast and has a very unique feel.

For the 3rd climb, you're back on a fire road, and then the final descent is on the Colorado trail.  The descent starts out kind of pedally and timid but as you get further down it turns really technical.  In this ride with my friend Pete, I recall telling him it was a killer descent, but 10 minutes into I was thinking to myself "he probably thinks I am liar".... sooner or later though it turned rowdy.

About the Author

Corey Philip

Mountain biker and trail runner. I work remotely and travel around riding awesome trails 66% of the year. Bike: 2020 Specialized Stumpjumper. Youtube | Strava | Instagram