Mountain Biking the Peninsula Recreation Area: Frisco, Colorado

The Frisco Peninsula is an excellent spot for mountain biking in Summit County, Colorado.

The Frisco Peninsula is an excellent spot for mountain biking in Summit County, Colorado.

Route: Perimeter trail, and then some
Start/End: Intersection of Colorado Hwy 9 and Water Dance Dr/Peak One Circle/CR 1004 in Frisco, Colorado
Season: Spring – Fall
Difficulty: Beginner, compared to most trails in Summit County, Colorado

When I was recently searching for info on the development of the Frisco/Summit County Bike Park, I realized there were really no online trail descriptions of the mountain biking at the Frisco Peninsula. The best I could do was my personal topo map of the area, a map of the race put on by Maverick Sports and the cross-country ski / snowshoe map available on the Frisco Nordic Center’s website. (See bottom of article for links.)

I’m still learning my way around the Frisco Peninsula, but the mountain bike trails are pretty straightforward. A topo map (among other things) would probably be helpful for anyone concerned about getting lost on Frisco, Colorado’s little finger of mountain bike trails. In-the-know friends, a little exploration and a good sense of direction have suited us just fine.

Ask any local, and they know that the Frisco Peninsula is one of the first places to dry out enough for a mountain bike ride. While the Peaks Trail and other well-known riding is still buried in snow or muddy, the Frisco Peninsula can be perfect for an early-season warm-up ride.

Accessing Trails on the Peninsula Recreation Area in Frisco, Colorado

Typically we ride to the Frisco Peninsula and access the mountain bike trails by turning onto Water Dance Dr, which is just across Highway 9 from Peak One Circle /CR 1004 and the main access to the County Commons Building. From there, we ride onto the dirt trail just beyond Hammerstone Lane, where Water Dance begins to cut right.

This becomes what we call the perimeter trail, which, you guessed it, runs the general perimeter of the Frisco Peninsula.  When I’m interested in cyclocross action, I’ve also accessed the perimeter trail from the main parking area by cutting through the disc golf course toward the lake.

The perimeter trail is pretty darned flat, but the constant turning and consequence of falling into the lake for mistakes makes a beginner mountain biker such as myself take this trail more slowly than the trails on the interior.

In a few places, the trail spits mountain bikers onto the roadway, so we just have to keep our eyes open for the trail continuation on the left. It’s easy to spot now that we’ve ridden it a few times.

More Than the Frisco Peninsula Perimeter Trail

At one point along the perimeter trail, a fork allows mountain bikers to continue along the shores of the lake (by going left) or to access the many trails within the Frisco Peninsula. Usually, we cut right so that we can try a little bit of climbing. After this fork spits us onto a dirt road, we have to keep our eyes open for the narrow, steep trail on the left. For a beginner like me, I usually wonder for a second why we’re tackling this narrow, steep section of trail when there’s a perfectly clear road in front. I don’t have to wonder for long … the trail is SUPER fun.

This is usually where my memory goes and my sense of direction kicks in … It’s easy to get turned around or end up back where you started when mountain biking along the interior trails. But the Frisco Peninsula is a small enough area (bordered by a lake on three sides and a roadway on the other) that I know well enough to never really get concerned about getting lost.

After climbing the steep section and cruising through some straightforward trails that are really some of the easiest (technically and aerobically) in the area, we find ourselves going downhill on the steep, narrow trail that worried me when we began to pedal up. And yep, it’s just as fun (and for me, nerve-racking) on the way down.

From here, we head back to the perimeter trail and cut right to continue along the lakeshore border of the Frisco Peninsula. The trail begins to leave the shoreline as it nears the roadway, Highway 9.

After passing through the southern parking area for the Peninsula, a short climb takes us to a fork. Again, my memory goes, but heading in the general direction of paralleling the roadway takes me back to the parking area; continuing on the interior trails allows for more mountain biking and a longer ride that dumps either on Crown Point Road or back to the perimeter.

Fall means cyclocross races at the Frisco Peninsula in Summit County, Colorado.

Fall means cyclocross races at the Frisco Peninsula in Summit County, Colorado.

Frisco Peninsula Mountain Biking Means a Good Day in the Saddle

It’s pretty amazing that such a small area has enough trails to keep mountain bikers occupied for a few hours (or more, or less). It’s where I did one of my first mountain bike races, it’s great for beginner mountain bike trails in Summit County, it’s ideal early-season riding and I even learned cyclocross dismount/remounts here. As many things I’ve covered here on this website of our adventures in Summit County, Colorado, the Frisco Peninsula is another reason why I love this place.

6/9/10 UPDATE on Frisco Peninsula: Thanks to the Maverick Sports crew for clearing downed trees from the trails at the Frisco Peninsula.

And, I didn’t mention it earlier, but an out and back on Crown Point Road is a good dirt road ride for anyone less interested in trails.

Good Links for Mountain Biking at the Frisco Peninsula

Mav Sports’ map of their racecourse:
http://www.mavsports.com//images.php?id=114
This is a small topo overview of the Frisco Peninsula with the course marked in black. Since the racecourse can change from year to year, you can access the course map at http://mavsports.com/?id=39 by going to the bottom of the page.

Frisco Nordic Center winter map of trails:
http://www.frisconordic.com/images/frisco-map.jpg
This is an outline of winter trails, but it does give some idea of what the Frisco Peninsula looks like.

Wilderness Sports
http://wildernesssportsonline.homestead.com/
Let’s face it. If I’m not familiar with a place, I get a map. Wilderness is the place to get maps and guidebooks, and they have a location on Main Street in Frisco, and another in Dillon.

As fall approaches, check http://americancycling.org for info on Frisco Cross, a weekend of cyclocross racing on the Frisco Peninsula.

More Frisco Peninsula Links

Professional Disc Golf Association’s course description of the Frisco Peninsula disc golf course:
http://www.pdga.com/course_directory/course/frisco-peninsula-rec-area

My outline of the coming Frisco Bike Park and winter tubing hill:
http://www.coloradosummitlife.com/http:/www.coloradosummitlife.com/frisco-peninsula-18-acre-bike-park/

Town of Frisco groundbreaking for the park, includes a download of summer and winter improvements:
http://www.friscogov.com/news/public-invited-to-groundbreaking-ceremony-at-the-frisco-peninsula-recreation-area

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