Bikes are not allowed to be ridden on the climb up Velocity Basin (BLM land from the lake to the summit); however, you are allowed to hike this section with your bike on your back. The 2,000 ft. climb is steep and most people wouldn't be able to ride it anyway.
At the end of the ride (bottom of the trail), be sure to stay on the doubletrack road until you reach the gate at the water tank. Stay on the doubletrack road and do not shortcut through private property to reach CR2!
As a reminder, please be mindful of other trail users and yield to uphill traffic.
This is more than a ride. It's an alpine adventure that you won't forget. After a 2,000' hike-a-bike, you'll crest the ridge and be treated to spectacular views. Boulder Gulch trail is very steep and descends 3,700' in less than four miles and has a variety of riding (alpine tundra, exposed side hilling, rocky technical fun, and many very steep, loose sections). This is a hardcore alpine experience and you must be fully prepared (be prepared for remoteness, wind, cool temps, and lightning likely during thunderstorms). There is very limited cell service on this route.
From Silverton, take county road 110 past the Silverton ski area. The road will eventually curve right, past the Water Treatment Plant. From here, take County Road 52 to the end (Velocity Basin). Park here and get ready to hike your bike.
From the parking area, there is a trail that heads east. Bikes are not allowed to be ridden anywhere on the climb. With your bike on your back, follow this trail. Your objective is the ridgeline above. After ascending 2,000 ft, you'll reach the ridge where you'll find a faint trail. Follow this trail along the ridge until you eventually reach the high point at 13,000'. Stop and enjoy the incredible views (you'll look down into Eureka Gulch to your left, Velocity Basin to your right, and Boulder Gulch straight ahead).
From the high point, get ready for a spicy descent (the trail descends 3,700' in approx. 3.5 miles). The trail is very faint at the top but becomes more pronounced as you go further down. If you lose the trail at the top, stop and look for cairns.
The initial trail is faint as it descends through the alpine tundra. There are some sections where the trail skirts along the side of steep hillsides. About midway down, the trail jogs left and over a small creek crossing. Continue following the trail as it passes through the trees. There are several sharp switchbacks sprinkled throughout, and some super steep sections of loose rock. Eventually the trail ends at Boulder Gulch stream where you'll see a concrete intake pond. This is Silverton's water source so please stay out of the water. From here, follow the doubletrack road which eventually leads to Silverton. Stay on the doublectrack and do not shortcut through private property to reach CR2!
Shared By: San Juanderer