Think of Tiger Road as the main trunk of a tree with several trails branching off from it. This area is an outdoors athlete's playground—the amount of trails open to hiking, mountain biking, Jeeping, skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding is staggering. Galena Ditch can be used to access the famed Colorado Trail, as well as an almost endless network of trails, both in town and up in the high country.
What Makes It Great
The route is basically flat, with a barely perceivable 190-foot elevation gain over its four miles. It’s mostly non-technical as well, save for the narrow sections. What it lacks in obstacles however, it makes up for with its natural beauty. The vast majority of the ride is cruises through wonderfully aromatic pine forest, broken up by a few wildflower-dotted meadows, and expansive views.
Old West history buffs love the area for its mining past, with plenty of remnants still visible today, in varying states of preservation. Besides parking at the historic dredge, the trail rolls past several old gold mines, lasting proof of the hard work from long ago. Over 100 years ago, the actual Galena Ditch was used to drive a hydraulic elevator to bring rock and gold from 35 feet below the stream level to sluice boxes on the surface. All told, the Breckenridge mining district yielded 31 tons of gold over the years.
The trail is easily accessible from Breck via the bike path, making it a nice after-work spin without the need for a car. And, despite its 9,000-foot elevation, the area tends to be snow free and drier than the higher rides in the spring, perfect for early-season fitness gains.
Who is Going to Love It
True beginners may have some difficulty with the narrow sections with slopes on either side, but it’s easier than it looks. Just keep an eye on where you want to go, not at what you want to avoid (good life advice, too). Aside from that, anyone will enjoy the trail, from trail runners and hikers, to riders of all almost all abilities. It also happens to make a great XC ski run in the winter.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From exit 203 off of I-70, go south on Hwy. 9 through Frisco toward Breckenridge for 5 miles. Turn left onto Tiger Road by the golf course, and continue on about 2.6 miles until you get to a parking area with a pond and a historic dredge boat. After you park, cross Tiger Road and ride up Summit Gulch Road for about a mile, the trail is on the left.