Situated around Turquoise Lake near Leadville, Colorado, the Lakeside Rim Trail promises a versatile experience for intermediate bikers. Whether one is interested in fat biking or just looking for a scenic mountain bike route, this 13-mile loop offers something for every level of cyclist.
To reach this trail, head south from Leadville on US24 for 3.5 miles. Turn west onto 300, and then make a right onto CR5. After 1.9 miles, take a left, following the signs to Turquoise Lake. At 1.3 miles, a right turn at the sign to Matchless Boat Ramp will guide you to the parking area closest to the water. Note that it is a fee area.
The Lakeside Rim Trail offers two main riding options: a clockwise loop that starts with pavement and ends with singletrack, or a counterclockwise loop that provides an exhilarating out-and-back experience. Opting for the clockwise route will make the singletrack more enjoyable, as per seasoned riders.The trail starts smooth and fast near the campgrounds but progressively becomes rougher, making the ride more challenging than the little elevation changes might imply. Along the trail, cyclists will encounter various rocky and rooty sections that add a layer of difficulty, and also quick descents that come as a rewarding surprise.
For those considering a winter adventure, the Lakeside Rim Trail offers a groomed snowmobile trail on a 15-mile loop around the lake. The grooming takes place on Mondays and Fridays. The quality of your experience will heavily depend on weather conditions, as freshly groomed tracks can quickly soften and make riding challenging. The recommendation for winter rides is to go counterclockwise for better views and a good warm-up before hitting the big climb.
Overall, the Lakeside Rim Trail offers an opportunity for a superb riding experience, packed with versatile terrain and exceptional Colorado scenery. While the lack of a complete singletrack loop might disappoint some, the available routes still provide plenty of opportunities for an engaging and scenic ride. Don't miss the quirky bar in town—it's a place as unique as the trail itself.