Trailblazer Tuesday: A Thrilling Look at the Mountain’s Backside

This week’s ride gave me a great glimpse into some new trails and a little hunger to further explore the backside of the Resort in the summer time. It certainly didn’t disappoint.

Trails: Scott’s Bypass, Shadow Lake Loop, Keystone, Apex, Thaynes Road, Steps, Drift Road, Jenni’s, Flat Cable, Sweeney’s Switchback

Duration: 1 hour 13 minutes, 9.4 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

Don’t Forget:  A car, water, sunscreen, trail map, camera and a snack to enjoy as you take in the scenery. 

Once again, I combined a group of trails, some that we’ve told you about and some new to me trails.  One of the great things about biking is that you can cover quite a bit of ground in significantly less time than a hike of the same distance would take you. I won’t go into detail on the beginning since Sam introduced you to the Shadow Lake Trail a few weeks ago.


What to Expect: Driving to the top of Guardsman’s Pass is always a treat, but it does tend to be pretty crowded once you get to the top. Want to know the greatest thing about the route we rode? It was practically deserted! We pedaled under Jupiter, Thaynes, Motherlode, Silverlode, Bonanza, Crescent, PayDay and Town lifts. We didn’t see a single person from Shadow Lake to Jenni’s. The Aspens on the backside of the mountain are a few weeks behind the frontside trees, but the serene feeling of fall is abundant. 


Apex and Keystone are two trails I’ve heard about for years, but this was my first experience riding or (even hiking) on them. Keystone is long and rolling, while Apex has some tight, but doable switchbacks as it winds through the Silverlode Mountainzone trails. A quick uphill on Thaynes Road gets you to the Viking Yurt and Steps trailhead. Steps is another trail I’ve often thought about. Man, it looks like a lung buster to climb, but it was a blast to go down. Upon arrival in familiar territory we jumped on Jenni’s, which is just as much fun on a bike as it is to hike, before connecting with Flat Cable and Sweeney’s Switchback. The front side of the mountain is bursting with color as the Aspens transition to winter.  If you are looking for a quick easy ride that covers a lot of ground and acquaints you with the backside of the mountain in the fall, I highly recommend this route on a bike or for a hike.