Breckenridge, Colorado is a hub for mountain bikers of all different fitness levels and abilities. While Breck’s main mountain, Peak 8, is more well known for some of the finest skiing in the country, riders in the summer have plenty to keep them busy. In fact, Breck plays host to prestigious mountain bike races like the extremely popular Firecracker 50, and the Breck Epic, a 6-day stage race that truly lives up to its name.
The ski resort itself is a premier, year-round destination, known for its interesting, varied terrain and of course, its natural beauty. It’s base elevation is 9,600 feet above sea level, and its summit stands at 12,998 feet, with a vertical rise of 3,398 feet.
What Makes It Great
Peak 8 offers nine different trails totalling more than 20 miles of sweet, sweet singletrack, for a range of abilities, from beginner to expert. The best part? They are all accessible via chair lift! Yep, no lung-busting climbs, just load the bike, and cruise to the top. The hardest part of the day may be deciding what trail to take. We suggest starting the day warming up on a smooth green cruiser, and ending the day on a white-knuckle black run, but spending the whole day somewhere in between is a solid option, too.
The trails are built for riding, so expect sweeping banked turns, fun jumps, and challenging obstacles—it’s like a playground for adults. On the ride up, take a second to breathe in the fresh mountain air and soak in the views, they are not easily forgotten.
Once at the top, point the bike downhill and let ‘er rip. Roll across wildflower-covered meadows and through tunnels of aspens, their leaves quaking in the wind of passing bikers. Uphill travel is prohibited, as are hikers on most trails, so feel free to open it up to scenery-blurring, eye-watering speeds.
If you’re just passing through and don’t have a bike, there are several bike shops at the base that can rent bikes well suited to the terrain, as well as all the gear needed. There are even guided trips and instruction available for first timers or intermediates looking to enhance their skills.
Who is Going to Love It
Riding on lift-assisted trails makes it easy to cater to everybody. Beginning riders can stick to the green runs until ready for a bump up in difficulty, or can simply lap the same trail to solidify just-learned skills. It’s one of the fastest ways to shorten the learning curve and get better faster. Experts can ride the black trails all day long, trying to pin it to the bottom just a little faster, catch a little more air on that jump, or smooth out that rough, techy section.
And all these people can do it in the same place. Whole families of varying skills can ride the chairlift together, descend different trails and meet back up at the bottom. Everybody’s happy!
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Free summer parking is available at the South Gondola Lot off of Watson Ave. between Park Ave. and Main St.
Pro tip: there is a Free Ride Transit System in Breck that will take visitors pretty much anywhere they need to go in town.