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Summit County Bike / Rec Path Conditions and Status

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking of heading up Summit County to ride, and I'm unsure of the conditions of the bike path.  

 

I heard Frisco to Copper Mountain was closed fairly recently because of avalanche danger.  I'd think it would be open by now, but I can't seem to find any info online as to the current status of the path.   I though someone here might know.

 

I'm also wondering about Vail pass.  CDOT posted this about the conditions a few weeks ago, but lots of melting has happened since then:

http://www.coloradodot.info/news/2013-news-releases/05-2013/partial-opening-of-vail-pass-bike-path-today

 

They are also going to pave the path from Copper to the top of Vail Pass and fix some bridges in the next few weeks.  Yeah!   They say they'll keep the path open with flaggers, which is pretty cool.   I can't imagine they won't close it to reconstruct the bridges though, so maybe folks can ask/update about the status here.  Thanks!

post #2 of 15
Summit County's paths are all in excellent condition, barring the occasional frost cracks and lumps in the usual spots. And of course, you should never count on any curves being entirely gravel-free, especially this time of year. I do not believe that the Ten Mile Canyon section between Frisco and Copper Mountain is "closed due to avalanche," as it was a couple seasons ago (you could not even get through if you wanted to), but the top section along the ponds does tend to flood on warm spring days due to snowmelt runoff. The front cover photo in yesterday's Summit Daily News showed a cyclist riding through about 4" of water there. Worst-case scenario--and not for the timid--you can exit the path at Officer's Gulch (just downhill of the flooded section) and ride on the shoulder of I-70 to Copper Mountain.

They have re-routed the section of the path near the Dillon Marina, adding a new segment that runs between the road (where you used to have to ride) and the shore. The new segment was open over Memorial Day, although it was not complete and you had to ride through some gravel near the entrance to the Dillon Marina. They reclosed it last week, with a short detour up through the south part of Dillon. I don't know whether they finished it or not, or whether it will be open again this weekend.

For anyone who is used to riding up through the development near the Keystone River Golf Course and out the back to the Keystone Ranch Road, avoiding the often-crowded section of the path along the Snake River west of Keystone, be advised that the homeowners (I assume) have replaced the old chain at the north end of the development with a solid maze-type wooden fence. You'll have to dismount and turn your bike up vertically on its back wheel to walk through the gate now. Still worth doing, but a little annoying.

For clarity, I believe that they plan to RE-pave part of the Vail Pass path. For those unfamiliar, the entire path is paved and has been so for quite a while.

Enjoy!

Best regards,
Bob
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bob!  

 

So you can skim a pond on skis at A-basin and on a bike by Copper in the same day!   Ya got to love Summit County.  I'm hoping to join you up there full-time someday soon.

 

And thanks for clarifying they are re-paving what has to be the best bike path in the world.  Maybe a summer thread topic? smile.gif

 

Vail Pass bike path.  Image source and to see more: http://www.summitbiking.org/area_rides/vail_pass_summit.html

 

It's worth a trip out here to ride if anyone is thinking about it.  See all the amazing Summit County road bike rides here: http://www.summitbiking.org/  The mountain biking is pretty amazing too.

 

Edit: the link above doesn't cover the path into Eagle County and Vail.  Breck to Vail and back is an example of a big ride one can do pretty much all on bike path: http://www.mapmyride.com/us/breckenridge-co/breck-to-vail-out-n-back-route-45264942


Edited by tball - 6/8/13 at 10:46am
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post



For anyone who is used to riding up through the development near the Keystone River Golf Course and out the back to the Keystone Ranch Road, avoiding the often-crowded section of the path along the Snake River west of Keystone, be advised that the homeowners (I assume) have replaced the old chain at the north end of the development with a solid maze-type wooden fence. You'll have to dismount and turn your bike up vertically on its back wheel to walk through the gate now. Still worth doing, but a little annoying.

 

 

 

Bob, 

  Well, I'm one of the homeowners responsible for the change in the gate through our neighborhood.  It is the neighborhood's hope that this will encourage alternate routing of some of the bike traffic in the area (there is a bike path that goes to the same place). Last year we had numerous issues with the large number of bikes coming through the neighborhood. Confrontations between groups riding at high rates of speed and local pedestrian traffic were too common. Our neighborhood dumpster/mailbox area is being used as an outdoor urinal site. I would estimate on a summer weekend we see between 500 and 1000 bikes. There has been a distinct lack of courtesy demonstrated by a minority.  

  The narrow path leading to the gate is private property not a county road, under the control of the HOA. It has a zoning easement for pedestrian only access. If the change in the gate does not improve the situation then further action may have to be taken. 

  So if everyone just tries to be a little more respectful the gate will remain as is. I ride the County paths too, but every ride doesn't have to be a time trial. 

post #5 of 15

Much as I like Strava for keeping track of my rides, I'm afraid it leads to more of this ^^ type of behavior.

post #6 of 15

I'm curious as to how extensive the single track mountain biking is in the Vail/Summit County area. I ride a bunch in Park City which has an extensive network of trails. Just curious as to how it was there.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

There's tons of mountain biking in Vail/Summit County.   I can't compare it to Park City, but everybody loves the mountain biking in Summit/Vail.

 

Here's a nice map of the trails network in around Breck and Keystone to give you an idea of the trails (it doesn't show Copper/Leadville/Vail area trails which is even larger):

http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=1202

 

Breck, Keystone, Copper, Vail, and Beaver Creak all do a nice job with the MTB trails on their mountains.  

 

Also, the 500 mile Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango goes through Summit County and has some nice rides on it:

http://www.coloradotrail.org/index.html

 

My only complaints are a) the season is short because of the high elevation, and b) many above tree line trails are very rocky and not exactly what I think of as fun single track.  There is also a very large wilderness area where you can't ride everywhere North of I-70 in Summit County.   That's fine with me, as it's a great place to hike and backpack without those pesky MTB's!

 

As both a road and mountain biker, I do think it's the road biking that really stands out.  The mountain biking is pretty typical of what you'll find all over Colorado.  It's Colorado, so it's great!  The road biking in Summit/Vail, on the other hand, I believe is difficult to match anywhere.  Enormous dollars have been put into the network of bike paths that create an exceptional high mountain road biking experience.


Edited by tball - 6/8/13 at 11:00pm
post #8 of 15
Just want to let everyone know that all is well on the Summit County bike paths now. The flooding on the upper part of the 10 Mile Canyon section, between Frisco and Copper Mountain, has not been a problem for at least a couple weeks. The new section I described above near the Dillon Marina is complete, with no more gravel. Crews are working on various segments of the path, repaving sections (near Summit Cove, for one) and patching cracks and holes, so you may encounter an occasional detour, although I have not had a problem anywhere yet. The extensive Vail Pass repairs have not begun yet, but there may be closures there at times as well. The repairs are needed, though, as some of the cracks in the path have worsened since last summer, and the bridges have deteriorated as well (especially the transitions between bridge and pavement). Still very much rideable, though--at least until the repairs begin. Beware of significant sand and gravel on the path as you pass under the freeway near the bottom at the Copper Mountain end!

SteveSmith7--I am dismayed that you've had to deal with inconsiderate cyclists in your neighborhood. That doesn't help any of us. I wonder, though, if we're talking about the same place. The gate I'm describing does not affect a narrow path, as you have described, but a paved road nearly as wide as the Keystone Ranch Road it intersects. You said that there is a bike path that goes to the same place as your gate, but the one I'm describing is nowhere near the bike path. To get to the same spot without going through the neighborhood, you need to exit the bike path in Keystone and then ride nearly two miles on the roads through other neighborhoods and the Keystone Ranch Road.

Whether it's the same spot or not, it is too bad that you have had to deal with the annoyance of disrespectful people, cyclists or otherwise. I appreciate the problem you face, and I hope that your gate does the trick. If it is the same one I'm describing, It certainly will prevent anyone on a bicycle from racing through that section, at least, as it requires a full dismount and essentially carrying the bike through the maze-like gate. I truly hope it solves the problem, without the need for any further action.

Best regards,
Bob
post #9 of 15

Bob,

  It's the same place.  I didn't mean to describe it as a path, it is a one lane paved emergency access road.  It's a short detour to get to the Ranch by continuing down the bike path to the first bridge and crossing the river there over to the Science School and back to the Ranch Road. 

 

  Although we're not at peak season yet we haven't had any issues so far this year.  I hope it stays that way.  My wife thinks that bike traffic has decreased somewhat. Fingers crossed.

 

Steve

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the update Bob.  Looking forward to riding again this weekend.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

Bob,

  It's the same place.  I didn't mean to describe it as a path, it is a one lane paved emergency access road.  It's a short detour to get to the Ranch by continuing down the bike path to the first bridge and crossing the river there over to the Science School and back to the Ranch Road. 

 

  Although we're not at peak season yet we haven't had any issues so far this year.  I hope it stays that way.  My wife thinks that bike traffic has decreased somewhat. Fingers crossed.

 

Steve

 

 

Steve, that last comment makes me think the motivation is to decrease bike traffic altogether.  

 

I'm sure it's within the HOA's rights, but it's pretty petty of the homeowners IMO.  Peak bike season is all of 2-3 months/year.  There is also a golf course and cross country ski trail going through neighborhood, so not much privacy there.   I'm sorry if any bikers were discourteous, but creating an impediment for bikes seems very small to me.  I'd feel differently is some attempt was first made to deter and prosecute the alleged speeders and urinators.  Those are violations of the law.  Riding a bike through your neighborhood is not.


Edited by tball - 6/24/13 at 10:22pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Although we're not at peak season yet we haven't had any issues so far this year. I hope it stays that way. My wife thinks that bike traffic has decreased somewhat. Fingers crossed.

Sounds good, Steve. I'll keep my fingers crossed too.

wink.gif

Out of curiosity, when in the season did you find the biggest problems? Particular month? Holiday? Weekends? Non-weekends?

Best regards,
Bob
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

Thanks for the update Bob.  Looking forward to riding again this weekend.

 

 

Steve, that last comment makes me think the motivation is to decrease bike traffic altogether.  

 

I'm sure it's within the HOA's rights, but it's pretty petty of the homeowners IMO.  Peak bike season is all of 2-3 months/year.  There is also a golf course and cross country ski trail going through neighborhood, so not much privacy there.   I'm sorry if any bikers were discourteous, but creating an impediment for bikes seems very small to me.  I'd feel differently is some attempt was first made to deter and prosecute the alleged speeders and urinators.  Those are violations of the law.  Riding a bike through your neighborhood is not.

You're right, it absolutely was an attempt to decrease bike traffic. Go back and read my first post.  The access road being used is private property under control of the HOA so riding there could be against the law if we chose to take that route. It has a public easement for pedestrian traffic only. 

 

Traffic patterns are managed all the time, cars or bikes. Ever see a stop sign, speed bumps, etc.? Do you want to live in a world where there's enough law enforcement presence to be citing the 1% of bad apples riding bikes?  I don't. We''re used to plenty of visitors in the neighborhood so yea it had to get pretty bad for any action to have been taken.  

post #13 of 15

tball was mostly correct...not "pretty petty" of the homeowners but very petty and I hope they fail miserably

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

The repairs on the Vail Pass bike path between Copper Mountain and the summit of Vail Pass have begun.  Watch out for construction vehicles! 

 

I was up there today and there were numerous trucks driving up and down.   Even with their lights flashing, they are VERY hard to see around the blind corners in the heavily wooded section with the 3 or 4 bridges.  Even though I was just running, I was startled by a truck coming up when I was going down.  He couldn't help but to take up the entire path.  If I was on my bike and going even half the speed I usually descend I would be smashed on the grill of an F-350 dually.  

 

Go slow, very slow through the Vail Pass construction zone where you don't have visibility ahead.   There's going to be a lot of construction traffic going up and down this summer.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

 

The Vail Pass bike path is closed between Copper and the top of the pass weekdays for resurfacing.  It will still open on weekends according to CDOT:

 

Quote:
 

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will close the Vail Pass Bike Path between Copper Mountain and the top of Vail Pass for the next few weeks.

Beginning on Tuesday, September 3, the path will be closed around the clock on weekdays to all bike and pedestrian traffic for rotomilling and paving operations.  Work hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays.

The path will be open for travel on weekends.  In addition, the path on the west side of Vail Pass remains open seven days a week.

Drivers on eastbound and westbound Interstate 70 also should expect occasional lane closures near the top on the east side of Vail Pass, allowing construction equipment access to and from the bike path.

Construction began on the five mile recreational path in early July.  In addition to removing and replacing the asphalt pavement, work also includes reconstructing five timber bridges, new signing and striping.

Columbine Hills Concrete Inc. of Silverthorne, CO is the contractor for the $998,000 project.

http://www.coloradodot.info/news/2013-news-releases/08-2013/vail-pass-bike-path-closures-begin-next-week

 

I ran up there after they were done for the night, and they've gotten busy.  Be careful if you ride through there on the weekends.  The rotomilling has left a very rough surface and big pieces of the path are gone where they are rebuilding culverts.  I hope they get it done before the snow flies so we can enjoy the new surface this year!

 

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