Traversing a whopping 30 miles with rugged terrains and stunning vistas, the Copper Triangle ride in Copper Mountain, Colorado, is not your average bike trail. With five to six miles above the treeline, the looped route presents a series of challenges even for experienced riders. This trail is undoubtedly an epic adventure, yet requires thorough preparation and navigation.
The trail starts near the American Eagle chairlift in Copper Village. A dirt road switchbacks up the hillside, eventually transforming into a singletrack portion marked with a white rock. Despite being heavily used by horses, the trail stays in good condition, leading to the Guller Creek crossing and a long open valley.
Hiking your bike up to Searle Pass (12,035 ft, 7 mi) signals that you're entering the challenging above-treeline portion. Before moving forward to Kokomo Pass, make sure to check the weather; being caught in a thunderstorm at this elevation is risky.
Beyond Kokomo Pass begins a thrilling 3,000-foot vertical descent to Camp Hale, complete with rolling singletrack, fast double track, switchbacks, and loose technical sections.
While the trail is well-marked up to Camp Hale, a number of riders reported navigational difficulties thereafter. Specific issues arose around Ptarmigan Pass, where the trail instructions can be misleading. One should watch out for an unmarked trail dropping off to the right at Wilder Gulch.
The Copper Triangle serves up an intense, thrilling biking experience. However, it's crucial to prepare for the arduous climbs and the tricky navigation post-Camp Hale. Consider bringing extra food, water, and possibly GPS to avoid any pitfalls on this must-ride trail.