Mountain Biking Highlight: Keystone Gulch to Soda Creek Loop

This is a longer loop of about 15 and a half miles at Keystone Resort that starts with a big climb, but ends with a fun downhill and wide open meadow vistas and incredible views throughout. This trail has it all including summer time views of the ski resort and lifts, tons of wildflowers, riding alongside streams, open meadows and lots of fun singletrack.  This is a must-do ride for riders who can handle the challenging climb of just over 2,000 vertical feet at altitude.

Keystone Gulch Trailhead
Starting the climb on Keystone Gulch Road

 

Keystone Gulch Biking
Views from the climb, nearing the top of the ridge

 

If you are staying in the West Keystone area, such as Keystone Gulch Townhomes, Northstar or Wild Irishman, you can just start the ride right from your vacation rental and leave the car parked!  The ‘trail’ starts at the Keystone Gulch Trailhead, going up the dirt road, following along side the stream. After about 3 miles of a gradual climb on the road, you will pass by two ski lifts in the Keystone Outback ski area. A little further at 3.4 miles you will be turning right on CO Rd 176.  This is where the real climbing begins for another 3 miles.  You’ll be going up several switchbacks, with some short steep sections and longer mellow climbs.  You will catch some awesome glimpses of the ski runs as you continue to get closer to the top.  Look for the singletrack trail off to the left as you turn up onto the final switchback and you’ll soon be at the Colorado Trail – turn right at the T and start your descent.

 

Biking in Keystone Gulch Soda Creek Ridge
Enjoying the wide open views

 

 

Fun Descent at Keystone Gulch Trail
The descent (and the fun) begins!

 

You’ll take in some great views of the hills, wildflowers and trees on this fun singletrack.  Watch out, as this is a popular trail with other bikers and hikers so keep your finger on the brake.  You’ll come to a signed intersection at Red Trail, where you will turn right.  Head through the meadows and forest until you reach the Soda Ridge Trail.  Continue to ride this trail as it flows up and down through the Keystone Ranch area and various neighborhoods.  This section has a great fast flow and is lots of fun!  Eventually you will come to the Keystone Aqueduct Trail intersection, where you will again turn right. This trail has views over the Keystone Valley and River Golf Course. You will run into the exposed pipe and you may choose to walk this section. You’re nearing the end of your ride, totaling about 15.5 miles.  Look for the bridge that will take you back to the road towards the starting point and give yourself a pat on the back – job well done!

Mountain Bike Trails at Keystone Resort CO
Going through some recent logging operations

 

To celebrate, you’ll likely want to grab a cold one!  Continue the ride and go right on Soda Ridge Road from the Keystone Gulch Trailhead parking area and then left on West Keystone Road.  You’ll meet up with the bike path shortly – turn right on the path and head towards the Keystone Lake, going left at the shore.  Park your bike here and head to happy hour at the Bighorn Bistro inside the Keystone Lodge and Spa- you’ve earned it!

Friday Afternoon Club at Keystone Resort

Ever find yourself wondering how to kill a few hours and not knowing what to do on a Friday? Is it too early to go out and explore nightlife, but too late to start on an adventure like a hike or a bike ride? Perhaps you find yourselves in a situation where you just aren’t quite ready for dinner. Well if you find yourself in that sort of situation on a Friday in Keystone why not jump on the Gondola for the Friday Afternoon Club!

Enjoy a free ride to the top of Dercum Mountain aboard the River Run Gondola.  The ride will take you up to Keystone’s Summit House where you will enjoy an evening of fun atop Dercum Mountain. Every Friday there will be live music from great local bands. Atop the mountain you can also enjoy the fun (and free!) yard games provided. Challenge your friends to a game of Ladderball, Cornhole, Bocce or Horseshoes among others while you take in the breathtaking views from the top of Dercum Mountain towards Lake Dillon and Buffalo Mountain.  Relax and listen to the music while sipping a glass of wine or cold beer. If you do find yourselves feeling hungry there is plenty of mouthwatering food being served up at the Overlook Grille as you enjoy supper at 12,000 feet above sea level!

The Friday Afternoon Club runs every Friday throughout the summer from 4pm to 7pm. The gondola is still active all other days of the week and you can still ride it to the top to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere of the top of Dercum Mountain but it is only free on Friday afternoons and for foot passengers only. Kick off the weekend the right way by enjoying yourself atop Keystone Resort!

Live Music Lineup:
July 5th: The Luv Brothers
July 12th: Funky Johnson
July 19th:  Chancer’s Hooley
July 26th:  Funky Johnson
August 2nd:  Gristle Gals
August 9th:  Funky Johnson
August 16th:  The Schwingers
August 23rd:  The Schwingers
August 30th:  The Luv Brothers

Take a Vail Pass Bike Tour This Summer!

Mountain View Sports re-opens for the summer on May 27th, and they are ready to show you how to experience Summit County on a bike.  Vail Pass Bike Trips are available for anyone from beginners to advanced cyclists.  You can choose your own trip based on your ability and fitness level.  Reservations are required, and trips will depart at 9am, 11am, and 1pm.  Call 970-468-0396 or 800-530-3836 to reserve or get more information, plus rates for bike rentals!

 

 

Easy Trip

This trip is perfect for families and folks that just want spectacular views and not much peddling. Most participates in this trip will stop at Copper Mountain and take a scenic chairlift ride, play miniature golf, scale the rock climbing wall, ride go-carts, visit shops in the village, have a picnic, or have lunch at a local café. When finished at Copper the rider travels down to Frisco through the incredible Ten Mile Canyon on paved trail. Along this stretch of the trail the rider can stop and sit by one of the many beautiful mountain lakes, lounge by the stream, or visit an old mine. Once in Frisco you can also shop and dine. It is up to you.

  • 12 miles mostly coasting.
  • Ride time 1 hour 10 minutes on average. Most riders plan on 4 to 6 hours to do other activities along the way.
  • Shuttle Cost  is $29 adults, $16 kids 12 or under.  Children 3 or under are eligible for transportation at no charge with a trailer rental. This option includes transportation from Mountain View Sports in Keystone to the top of Vail Pass and return transportation from Frisco to Mountain View Sports in Keystone.

 

Moderate Trip

This trip includes all portions from the above bike trip,  plus an extra 7 miles of easy/moderate peddling through the Town of Frisco to the Town of Dillon. This trip enables the rider to explore the Historic Town of Frisco and its many shops and eateries. Plus the rider enjoys the beautiful portions of the bike path that meander along the shores of beautiful Lake Dillon.If you bike occasionally this is a great trip.

  • 12 miles mostly coasting plus 7 miles of peddling
  • Ride time 2 hours 15 minutes on average. Most riders plan on 4 hours to do other activities along the way. More ride time less playtime.
  • Shuttle Cost – $25 adults,$12 kids 12 or under.

 

Moderate to Advanced Trip

This trip includes all portions of  each of the above trips, plus an extra 6 miles of low grade paved trail climbing from the Town of Dillon along the east shores of lake Dillon, ending with a wooded accent by the Snake River into the Keystone Village and beyond to Mountain View Sports in Keystone. This trip is geared for riders that want a bit of a work out and longer time on the bike. The section of paved trail from Dillon to Keystone is gorgeous. Once riders enter the woods along the Snake River most think the climbs are well worth it.

  • 12 miles mostly coasting plus 13 miles of peddling
  • Ride time 3 hours 30 minutes on average. Most riders plan on 4 hours to do other activities along the way. More ride time less playtime.
  • Shuttle Cost – $19 adults $10 kids 12 or under.