Mountain & Road Biking in Clear Creek County

Our County provides uncrowded trails and spectacular mountain scenery. Due to the expansive mine network, Clear Creek County has hundreds of miles of railroad grade, stagecoach trails, and mining roads. This trail network sprawls across the county like a spider web. In fact, many of the great single-track trails in the county started as double track wagon trails. There are a great variety of trails throughout Clear Creek County, from beginner paved bike routes, moderate single track, challenging climbs, and a handful of trails that are truly insane. All trail lengths listed are one way, unless otherwise stated.

bicycle_idahosprings

Road Biking

  • Mount Evans Scenic Byway
  • Guanella Pass Scenic Byway
  • Loveland Pass
  • Berthoud Pass

Peaks to Plains Trail

We’re excited to have a bike path that runs completely through the County from our border with Jefferson County to our border with Summit County, the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. For trail updates or to view the new Peaks to Plains Trail please click here

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking has gained a lot of popularity over the years and with some of the best trails just a short drive from Denver there are lots of opportunities for great rides both easy and difficult.  There are hundreds of miles of trails and much of the Arapaho National Forest and other public lands offer lots of single track trails. Areas for mountain biking in Clear Creek County can be found on the Clear Creek County Bike Trail Map Index page or we have listed a few below:

Mountain Biking Etiquette

Mountain bikes are great. They give you an alternative to pavement, a way out of the concrete jungle. They guarantee your freedom from auto traffic. They take you into the woods and the wild, to places of natural beauty.

On the other hand, mountain bikes are the cause of a lot of controversy. In the past 15 years, mountain bikers have shown up on trails that were once the exclusive domain of hikers and horseback riders. Some say the peace and quiet has been shattered. Some say that trail surfaces are being ruined by the weight and force of mountain bikes. Some say that bikes are too fast and clumsy to share the trail with other types of users.

Much of the debate can be resolved if bikers follow a few simple rules, and if non-bikers practice a little tolerance. The following are a list of rules for low-impact, “soft cycling.” If you obey them, you’ll help to give mountain biking the good name it deserves:

  • Ride only on trails where bikes are permitted. Obey all signs and trail closures.
  • Yield to equestrians. Horses can be badly spooked by bicyclists, so give them plenty of room. If horses are approaching you, stop alongside the trail until they pass. If horses are traveling in your direction and you need to pass them, call out politely to the rider and ask permission. If the horse and rider moves off the trail and the rider tells you it’s okay, then pass.
  • Yield to hikers. Bikers travel much faster than hikers. Understand that you have the potential to scare the daylights out of hikers as you speed downhill around a curve and overtake them from behind, or race at them head-on. Make sure you give other trail users plenty of room, and keep your speed down when you are near them. If you see a hiker, slow down to a crawl, or even stop.
  • Be as friendly and polite as possible. Potential ill will can be eliminated by friendly greetings as you pass: “Hello, beautiful day today…” Always say thank you to other trail users for allowing you to pass.
  • Avoid riding on wet trails. Bike tires leave ruts in wet soil that accelerate erosion.
  • Riders going downhill should always yield to riders going uphill on narrow trails. Get out of their way so they can keep their momentum as they climb.

Local Businesses

A Culture of Speed
1538 Miner Street, Idaho Springs, CO
(954) 632-2211
sg3@acultureofspeed.com

Black Diamond Ski & Cycles
1540 Argentine Road, Georgetown, CO
(303) 569-2283

Mountain & Road Bicycle Repair
1514 Miner Street, Idaho Springs, CO
(303) 567-4666
bikecgull@aol.com

Trails

Bakerville Loveland Trail (BLT)
• Elevation gain/loss: 800’
• Length: 5 miles – Easiest
• Access: Take the Bakerville exit off I-70. The trail head is on the south side of I-70 to the right of a large parking area.
• About: The trail parallels the interstate from Bakerville to Loveland Ski Area yet you may not notice the highway traffic as the sound of Clear Creek flowing along the trail drowns out the noise and the trees obstruct the view of civilization. The Bakerville Loveland Trail is paved and is excellent for hiking, bicycling, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing.

Leavenworth/Pavilion Point – Argentine Railroad Grade Trail
• Type of trail: Railroad bed/single track
• Elevation gain/loss: 800’
• Length: 4 Miles – Easy to moderate
• Access: I-70 to Silver Plume exit #226, go south under Interstate, make right going west onto dirt road running parallel to I-70, trail head and parking is a mile up on left side of the road.
• About: In 1916 construction began on the beautiful summer resort called Pavilion Point. Little remains of the site, but many locals remember going to the site for dances years after the railroad ceased operations. This trail starts a half a mile from the railroad yard in Silver Plume and connects with the Waldorf Road. Very scenic, beautiful aspen groves.

Silver Creek Wagon Trail
• Type of Trail: Single track
• Elevation gain/loss: 800’
• Length: 5 Miles – Moderate
• Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit #228, Park in Downtown Georgetown, on your bike go south on 6th Street to its end at the Energy Museum, make a left then a right onto Biddle Street, at Main Street make a left heading east, take Main to Saxon Mountain Road, follow this to the last house and enter what appears to be a driveway, this is the start of the trail head.
• About: Wagon trail constructed in 1887, this is an easy, scenic ride with a few technical spots that can be walked. This route provides a view of Alvarado Cemetery graveyard and the remains of the Silver Creek Town site. Silver Creek Wagon Trail takes you up to 9,200 feet, overlooking the towns of Georgetown and Empire.

Waldorf Road
• Type of trail: Railroad bed
• Elevation gain/loss: 1,600’
• Length: 5 Miles – Easy to moderate
• Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit # 228, follow signs for Guanella Pass Road- Scenic Byway, drive up Guanella Pass, go past the first reservoir (Silverdale), at the 2nd hair pin turn is Waldorf Road on the right, turn onto Waldorf and park on either side, your bike tour starts here heading up Waldorf Road.
• About: A good shuttle ride starts at the Waldorf mine and descends to the Leavenworth/Pavilion Point Trail. From the end of the railroad bed in Silver Plume, take the Silver Plume to Georgetown Express to the other vehicle. You will need a 4-Wheel drive vehicle to shuttle this route.

Argentine Central Railroad Grade to Mt. McClellan
• Type of trail: Railroad bed
• Elevation gain/loss: 1,600’
• Length: 5 miles –
Aggressive, Experts Only
• Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit #228, follow signs for the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, drive up Guanella Pass and go past the first reservoir (Silverdale), at the 2nd hair pin Waldorf Road is on the right, turn onto Waldorf and drive to the end (you will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle), the trail begins at end of the road.
• About: This ride starts at an altitude of approximately 12,000’. The first major silver strike in Colorado came in the fall of 1864 near the top of Mount McClellan. Numerous prospector holes are still visible in the delicate high-altitude tundra. This last section of the ACRG takes you to the summit of Mount McClellan.

Silver Plume to Georgetown Express
• Type of trail: Paved bike path
• Elevation gain/loss: 600’
• Length: 2 Miles – Easy to Moderate
• Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit #228 or Silver Plume exit #226, park in either town, peddle toward the train depot, the paved path entrances are marked.
• About: Peddling above the railroad tracks, this paved bike path offers a moderate climb out of Georgetown. Don’t forget your backpack, as you will need it to pack items purchased in the wonderful town shops.

Silverdale
• Type of trail: Combination 4-wheel and single track
• Elevation gain/loss: None
• Length: 2 Miles – Easy
• Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit #228, follow signs for Guanella Pass Road- Scenic Byway, drive up Guanella Pass to the first reservoir, Silverdale, entrance road to parking area and trail head is on the left, start ride heading across the wooden bridge.
• About: Great beginner and family ride off of Guanella Pass. Suggested route marked by decreasing size rocks, smallest pointing the direction of the path. This ride has rolling streams and never ending majestic views. Look for the old factory foundation.

Union Gap Pass
• Type of Trail: Single track
• Elevation gain/loss: 400’
• Length: 3 Miles – Moderate to Hard
• Access: I-70 to Empire exit #232, follow Hwy 40 into Empire and park in town, on bike head to intersection of Hwy 40 and Main St., go south on Main St., past the ball fields, this road becomes Bard Creek Rd., follow signs for Union Gap Pass.
• About: This trail was named Union Pass on March 4, 1861, the day of President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration. This is a very dramatic ride considering the exposure. In some areas dry stack walls 30’ high hold the trail up. Considering that this route from Georgetown to Empire is in a wildlife tagging area, the Division of Wildlife requests that this trail is not ridden from October to January. This policy is intended to protect the Bighorn mating area during the rut.

Jones Pass
• Type of Trail: Dirt road
• Elevation gain/loss: 2,200’
• Length: 4 Miles – Easy to moderate
• Access: I-70 to Empire exit #232, take Hwy 40 past Empire to Berthoud Falls, take a left at the Henderson Mine exit, go 2 miles to the mine and parking area, and follow the signs for Jones Pass.
• About: This route takes you biking on the crest of the continental divide. Good shuttle ride; expect motorized traffic on this dirt road. Half of this ride is above tree line.

Devil’s Canyon Trail Area
• Type of Trail: 4-wheel drive /single track
• Elevation gain/loss: 600’
• Length: 6 Miles – Expert
• Access: I-70 to Idaho Springs – Hwy 103 or exit #240, go south on Hwy 103, approximately 10 miles up there will be a wide shoulder in the road on the left side, park here, bike through the forest service gate, this entrance will drop you into Devil’s Canyon.
• About: This is the start to an incredible downhill and one of the upper entrances into the Barbour Forks trail. This trail is open to 4-wheel drive traffic.

Barbour Forks Trail
• Type of trail: Single track/dirt road
• Elevation gain/loss: 2,800’
• Length: 8 Mile loop – Moderate to hard
• Access: I-70 to Idaho Springs exit #241, go through East Idaho Springs to fork in road, take the left at the fork onto Miner Street, take this to Soda Creek Road, left onto Soda Creek Rd., past Indian Hot Springs (stop for a geo-thermal soak), go approximately 4 miles up to the end of Soda Creek Rd., there is a parking area at the Forest Service gate, trail starts here.
• About: This trail supplies hillside meadows full of wildflowers, tall stands of aspen, mixed conifers and is considered by many to be one of the best single-track rides in the state.

Warren Gulch Trail
• Type of trail: Single track
• Elevation gain/loss: 3,300’
• Length: 8 Miles – Moderate
• Access: I-70 to Idaho Springs exit #241, go through East Idaho Springs and find parking, start your bike ride heading west to fork in road, veer left at the fork onto Miner Street, take this to Soda Creek Road, left onto Soda Creek Rd., 1.5 miles on Soda Creek Rd.(you will pass Indian Hot Springs Resort), to the Idaho Springs Recycling Center on the right, opposite the recycling center is Steve’s Canyon Rd., turn left onto this road and drive a mile down, Warren Gulch is stenciled on a rock at your left, this is the entrance. You can also start this trail at the top of Hwy 103, 4 miles west of Little Bear Rd. there is a wooden sign for the trail head.
• About: Warren Gulch is part of the Colorado East Mountain Segment of the American Discovery Trail, the nation’s first coast-to-coast, non-motorized recreation trail. This trail is smooth and clean all the way down.

Scott Landcaster Memorial Trail
• Type of Trail: Paved bike path
• Elevation gain/loss: None
• Length: 5 Miles – Easy
• Access: I-70 to Idaho Springs exit #241, head east on Colorado Blvd., veer left at the fork, then turn south (left) on the one way street just past Safeway, make right at stop sign, left at “T” intersection, you are on the bike path.
• About: This ride is mostly flat and easy in both directions. Bring the family or invite some friends. Enjoy a stop in historic downtown Idaho Springs or plan time for a soak at the Indian Hot Springs.