For those craving an experience beyond the typical mountain bike trail, the Georgetown Mining Loop offers a thrilling ride through Georgetown's history-laden landscapes. This route, which can be broken down into two shorter loops for the less daring, combines old wagon roads, mule trails, and railroad grades into a challenging 27-mile circuit. The trail is not only a workout for your legs but also a glimpse into Colorado's storied past.
- Distance: 27 miles
- Level: Very Difficult
- Route Type: Loop
- City: Georgetown
- State: Colorado
Getting There: Head west on I-70 from Denver to Georgetown, exit #228. Park under the overpass at the Visitor's Center on the right.
Trail Features and Highlights
Step Back in Time
- Historic Significance: Ride past remnants of old mining camps and towns, many of which have long been abandoned. The crumbled pack walls and barely-there trails add an eerie beauty to the ride.
- Technical Terrain: Expect a challenging mixture of singletrack, doubletrack, and steep, rocky descents that will keep even seasoned riders on their toes.
- Versatility: The route can be divided into two shorter loops: Pavilion Point/Silverdale or Silver Creek Empire Pass.
- Start Point: From the Visitor's Center, follow signs to the Georgetown Loop Railroad, and then ride to Silver Plume via the bike path.
- Seven-Mile Climb: Ascend the Argentine R.R. grade past Pavilion Point to Waldorf Road.
- Rocky Descent: Speed down Waldorf Road to Gunella Pass Road—a fast and rocky ride. Cross over to upper Silverdale.
- Final Challenge: A difficult singletrack journey back to Georgetown, ending with an extremely technical descent that's challenging even when walking the bike.
Tips and Recommendations
- Route Finding: Keep a copy of the directions handy. Navigating this loop can be moderate to difficult.
- Gate Closure: Be aware that the gate on the road down to Georgetown is sometimes closed.
- Emergency Services: When at the bottom, you'll pass by an Animal Shelter, useful to know in case of emergency pet care.
Summary: A Challenging Historic Expedition
The Georgetown Mining Loop is not for the faint of heart, but it rewards with an unparalleled biking experience filled with history, technical challenges, and jaw-dropping scenery. This loop is fast becoming a local favorite and offers a unique way to explore the rich past and natural beauty of Georgetown and surrounding areas.