“A popular trail for good reasons. It's a rolling forested trail with diverse singletrack.”
— Michael Ahnemann
The Peaks trail is one of the most well-known mountain biking trails in Summit county, but it's a good hike as well. It's no surprise - this trail has something for just about everyone. There are some great big mountain views at the halfway point of the hike, and it's long enough with a bit of climbing to make it feel like a huge journey out and back, or a manageable one if you shuttle, or take a bus from one end to the other.
Need to Know
This is a busy trail with both mountain bike and run/hike traffic. It is great in either direction, so start in either Breckenridge or Frisco.
You'll start out from the trailhead at the end of 2nd Ave. in Frisco. Just continue driving all the way down 2nd Ave until you see the obvious trailhead - there are usually a bunch of cars parked there. The trail is fairly obvious, but not well-marked here. Just a heads up, the trails around Rainbow lake are a tangled mess and not signed very well or not at all. Just take the trails that feel more traveled and it's fairly easy to stay on the right track. The Hiking Project mobile app
would be helpful here as well.
Rainbow lake is under a mile from the start of the start, and it's a scenic spot to regroup and hang out for a bit. After this, the trail gets a bit more technical for a while, as it dives into the woods over roods and rocks. When it's wet or damp (often), it can be quite slippery in here!
There are a few places where other trails branch off from this one. One is the Gold Hill trail on the left about 3 miles in, and the other is the Miners Creek Trail just past that on the right. Just stay straight and follow this trail the whole way - it's easy to follow.
About halfway along, you'll reach the high point of the hike. There's a bench with a nice lookout to the east. After that, some big clearcut logging has drastically changed the character of the trail for about a mile. Views are now wide-open, and the trail is still recovering from the operations there.
Shortly after that, you'll head back into the woods, and twist around on a very fun section of trail. There are some bridge crossings over mostly swampy mud. The concentration of trail users is often heavier here as you near Breckenridge, so be alert.
Just a bit more up and down over the last mile - nothing too steep, and you'll pop out near Peak 7 at Breck.