On the trail: Baker’s Tank on Boreas Pass
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – Summit County is not a place I’ve spent a heck of a lot of time. It’s just part of the terrain between the Roaring Fork Valley and Denver and the faster I drive through it, the quicker I arrive at my real destination.
But, last weekend, Summit County was my destination – Breckenridge to be exact. It was one of those get-out-of-Dodge road trips to see some place new.
I found the town itself unremarkable – not as quaint as Crested Butte, Telluride or even nearby Frisco, and not as pretty as Aspen (my humble opinion), but we ventured out on a multi-use trail system southeast of town that gets a thumbs-up.
We headed a short way up Boreas Pass Road and parked at the Baker’s Tank trailhead. A lot of bikers and walkers simply head up the road from here, judging from what I could see. The road is apparently an old railroad grade and the historic water tank was used to serve steam engines. Never saw the tank, though.
Rather than walk the road, we set off on a single-track trail that wound upward through a forest of, I was relieved to see, live trees instead of the rust-colored, dead ones so prevalent in the area. If the beetle kill over there is a sign of what’s coming to our neck of the woods, prepare for a serious and unfortunate change in the scenery.
The trail system, on the western slopes of Bald Mountain, offered some appealing mountain biking opportunities, was open to dogs (off leash) and hikers, and is apparently a popular backcountry ski area in the wintertime. And yet, it felt quite uncrowded on a Sunday as we climbed through the trees. After some 90 minutes of hiking, we began passing the remnants of mining activity and finally broke out of the thick forest onto open slopes where the Tenmile Range and ski slopes of Breckenridge were visible across the valley.
It appears the trail would have taken us at least to the high point on the ridge north of the Bald Mountain summit, had we had more time.
Instead, it became yet another of those we-should-come-back-and-ski/climb-this sort of destined-to-be-broken promises. Just add it to the list of unfinished hikes.
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