Mountain Biking Frisco Colorado – The Lakeshore Perimeter Trail

  • 6.2 Distance
  • 4 Difficulty (1-10)
  • 610 Total Ascent
  • 9293 High Point

The Lakeshore Perimeter trail should be on your list as one of the first trails you ride when visiting Summit County.  With only 610 feet of climbing over 6.2 miles, this trail will ease you into adjusting to our 9000-foot plus elevation and offer incredible views of the Dillon Reservoir along the way.  It is a flowy Lakeside trail that provides the right amount of tech, winding corners, and speed sections to bring out your smile and have you searching for more.  There is Just one catch:  This trail is busy and quite popular.  The Frisco Peninsula also has a wide variety of trails to disperse the crowds.  In my experience, most of the traffic is using the Lakeshore Perimeter trail clockwise.  I prefer to ride this trail counterclockwise because there is more downhill that way.

The Lakeshore Perimeter Trail is busy, so you will need to manage your speed more where your line of sight is diminished and only go faster when you have a clear line of sight. The views are incredible, and you will find a love for every inch of this trail, Even the climb up the Rec Path back to the new Dickey Day Use parking lot.

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Parking

I like to Park at the new Dickey Day Use parking on either side of the Peninsula Road leading into the Peak One Campground. This parking area leaves the final 134 feet of climbing to the rec path, which is easier to manage and more fun.  If this parking area is full, there are several other places for parking in Frisco Adventure Park, and it’s free.

If you are starting from Frisco by bike, I would make my way to the Frisco Marina and begin on the Dillon Reservoir Rec Path from there.  I would work my way up to the top of the Peninsula rather than starting in the residential area off Peak One Boulevard.  Many people start either in this residential area or the dirt left-hander right after the fencing for the residential neighborhood called the Perimeter Connect.  This clockwise loop will have you climbing up to the top of the Frisco Peninsula on the same dirt I really like to descend.

Starting Out

Starting at the new Dickey Day Use Area puts you as close to the top of the Frisco Peninsula you can get by car.  From here, you will ride the rec path as it heads towards Highway 9. At your first intersection, turn left on the Rec Path.  You will ride passed two dirt roads to your left, the second of which is the crown point road.  You will find the Perimeter Trail sign a few feet after the crown point road to your left.  This is a new section of trail and is not on the map at the trailhead.  This is the start of the Perimeter Lakeshore trail, which is one of the best trails the Frisco Peninsula has to offer.

The Trail

The first quarter-mile, you will wind your way in and out of the trees on some sweet singletrack.  It is a ramp-up and an introduction to some incredible trail riding you are about to embark on. When you cross the Buzz Saw trail, you will see a sign for the continuation of the Perimeter Trail to your right.  Take in the views and turn right on the new singletrack that will make you appreciate starting this way.

The descent from here to the old Dickey Day Use Parking Area is classic Summit County riding.  You will make your way around a tight corner, straighten out for a bit before entering a small aspen grove, which will start your return to the Buzz Saw trail through some switchbacks.  Turn right on the Buzz Saw trail, and merge right again on the Perimeter Lakeshore Trail to continue the switchback turns until you get to the old Dickey Day Use Area dirt road.  Careful on this sandy left-hand corner as it generally always washes my front tire out and gets me squirrely, it’s all part of the ride.

The dirt double track will allow you to group back up or let you take on fuel if you choose.  You will round the bend and see the lakeshore trail moving on down to the Dillon Reservoir’s shores.  This is an incredible section of trail that lets you open up a bit and let her rip.  The bushes right before the lake are your cue to slow down as they destroy your visibility.  Slow down and proceed with caution; you don’t want to meet another trail user here with nowhere to move.  From here, coexisting with the other trail users is going to be your first priority as the trail narrows and becomes really tight.

Even though the trail visibility drops here, and the trail narrows in areas as the turns sharpen, the views of the reservoir open to allow your interests to be taken in a different direction.  This three-quarters of a mile section will challenge your handlebar length, cornering, and balance while glimpsing parts of the water’s edge along the way.

There are a few places to get out onto the beach when you find them.  The trail works its way from the lakeshore after passing an island that may or may not be accessible due to the volume of water in the reservoir.  The climbing sections and tech sections are fun both in and out of the trees.  For the few short technical descents, use your judgment and your brakes to pick the best lines.

There is a section where erosion is going to cause a re-route of the trail in the future.  You will have enough time to determine how you want to handle this section when you see it.  You could dismount and walk as the exposure is risky if you are not an experienced rider.

Eventually, you will reach a trail junction leading you back up to Crown Point road.  This trail marker is a good resting point if you need one, and it is just a few hundred feet shy of the Frisco Peninsula Point.  The Point marks a directional change of the trail and brings with it a terrain change.  Turning the bend on the much rockier Frisco side of the Peninsula, you will be riding toward the Frisco Marina and the Peak One Campground.

This mile-long section from the trail junction to the campground starts off along the beach as it makes its way around the Point.  It then turns into the trees where rocky tech sections will be the norm for the rest of the way to the campground.  You will climb to an overlook just before getting out of the trees.  This is a great place to take pictures of the lake and marina or rest for a bit.

Climbing up from the viewpoint will bring you out of the trees for the most part and give you great views.  As you make your way back down to the lakeshore before the campground, you will find some fun technical riding.  Once you reach the lakeshore, you will have a few hundred yards before you reach the parking area of the Peak One Campground.

Peninsula Road Parking

Turn right once you reach the pavement and head over to the parking area to continue the trail.  The Peak One Campground parking area offers an exit route up Peninsula Road back to the parking lot where you started if you need it.  Otherwise, more of the Lakeshore Perimeter Trail flows at the far end of the parking lot to the right.  The first dirt section you engage in is about 6 feet wide and is a connector path to the campground where the rest of the trail continues.

Turn right on the campground circle and pass a campsite to your right.  The other side of that campsite marks the continuation of the Lakeshore Perimeter Trail.  This trail flows well, and even though it’s narrow in spots, you will not have many technical areas or climbs until you reach the Peak One Disc Golf Course.

The lake and beach access up to the Disc Golf Course are some of the best on the trail.  The smoothness and ease of the path make this an ideal place to ease into Summit County Mountain Biking while taking in the views.  Watch out of other trail users as this place is quite busy during camping season with visitors.

Once you reach the Peak One Disc Golf Course, the trail becomes more technical with some tight turns and more climbing back up from the lakeshore.  Eventually, you will flatten out and then ride through a Disc Golf Fairway.  After that descent and a short climb, you will reach the only rotten log feature on the trail.

Further, Down the trail, you will see residential housing and a spot where the trail splits off to the left.  If you veer left, you will have a short, punchy climb to the Perimeter Connect Trail.  This trail is a dirt road that leads you to the Dillion Reservoir Rec Path, which will take you back to the parking lot.  If you continue straight, you will add another half mile to your ride and will ride through a residential area before reaching the Dillon Reservoir Rec Path.

The Dillon Reservoir Rec Path

The distance from the residential area to the parking lot is a little over three-quarters of a mile, and it takes you near the Frisco Adventure Park.  Once you pass the parking for the ball field, you will start climbing the hill up to the Dickey Day Use Parking Area.  The hill is quite steep and has a few switchbacks.  It doesn’t matter which bike I am riding; this hill always slows me down, but the finish is at the top.

Conclusion

The Frisco Peninsula has a lot of great trail options without a lot of distance.  If you visit the area from lower elevations, I recommend the Lakeshore Perimeter trail to acclimate you to our altitude.  This trail is also one of the first trails to open in the spring.  The views and distance also make this an excellent first-day trail if you get here early enough.  Due to the proximity of town, this trail sees a lot of use with hikers, runners, dog walkers and mountain bikers with varying abilities.  Please keep your speed down in the areas of low visibility and pull off the trail when encountering other trail users unless they pull off first.  Pay special attention to families with kids.  Courtesy is what makes this trail so great.

If you would like to extend your distance, the Frisco Adventure Park has signed intermediate and beginner flow tracks and even a dual slalom course.  They have a cross country track as well if you want something longer.  I generally stick with the flow tracks if I want a little more distance and repeat them.  However, a lot is happening with the Frisco Adventure Park trails, and they are free for the public, which means that you need to check them out.