It's rare to be able to access good, true singletrack so close to town without the need for a car—this is just one of the draws of the Flumes Loop. It's also a great early season ride, as it dries out earlier than some of other rides near town.
The whole loop consists of Lower, Middle, and Upper Flumes, as well as Mike's Trail in the Highlands neighborhood. The trail combines nature and history as riders cruise along old flumes that gold prospectors in the 1800s used to supply their mines with water.
What Makes It Great
Right outside of town is superb, insanely fun singletrack, perfect for an after-work ride, or hours and hours of riding for a beginner.
The aptly named trail pedals up, over, along, and below old mining flumes, through picturesque forests and wildflower-dotted meadows with humbling, sweeping views of snow-capped mountains. You even see how the upper crust live while pedaling past the “Parade of Homes,” a neighborhood of million-dollar cabins that line a section of trail. What’s not to love?
While most of the trail follows the contours of the areas, the 400 feet of climbing and the thin air at 9,500 feet of elevation will definitely get your heart going.
Although the loop is stellar going either direction, riding it counterclockwise gets most of the climbing out of the way in the beginning. Start with a short climb on Lower Flume, then hit a steep switchback, and a .5-mile climb to the flume on Upper. Follow the flume for two miles with clear views of the Breck ski area, passing Mike's Trail on the left at mile 1.5, and jumping on Middle Flume to the left at mile 2.8. Middle Flume is 2.2 miles with a few wooden bridges and a bit of technical, rocky sections to keeps riders honest. This turns into the blast of a downhill on Mike’s then onto Lower and back home.
Flumes is just one of many rides in the area. The entire trail network is very well signed and it’s hard to get truly lost. For a bump up in difficulty and some air time, check out the Slalom trail.
Who is Going to Love It
This trail is fun for any rider. Groups or families with members of varying skill love that beginners can learn the ropes of singletrack, kids can pedal their hearts out, and faster riders can use it as a warmup and training ground.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking is found at the Breckenridge Recreation Center, located on the west side of Hwy 9 on Airport Road. Ride 1/2 mile east across Hwy 9 on Valley Brook Road/Highlands Drive, there are signs for Lower Flume on both sides of the street.