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Wow!!!
it's not everyday you stumble across a hidden, aspen lined piece of singletrack like the sheep creek trail. heard about it a few years ago and finally just drove down there and rode it. fast, buffed out,scenic,uncrowded only begin to describe this gem. tons of creek crossings with nice bridges and one flooded one that required a downed tree balancing act. the ride turned out to be fairly long, but we took lots of pics and detoured towards browns pass(not recomended!).we only saw 2 people today in 14 miles, over at kenosha you probally couldn't even get a parking spot. the general trail beta is below i found from a previous post. if you take that route you will ride over 6 long miles of county rd back to your car. we rode the singletrack out to 175. after about a 1/2 mile we took a left and took the twelvemile creek trail back to sheep creek trail. by doing this we did miss the 2nd section of sheep creek singletrack, but avoided 6+ miles of county rds. the twelvemile creek trail was a little sketch and hard to follow at one point, but still way more fun than road. it just needs to be ridden more and will be sweet.
i can't even imagine how scenic this ride will be in the fall when the aspens turn.
go check it out! (take a map your first time or you will probally get lost!)

here are some more pics from today...more to come if interested.


General Trail Beta(take a map)

Sheep Creek Trail: The 17-mile loop traverses moderate to difficult terrain and carries the rider from elevations of more than 9,600 feet to just under 11,000 feet and over Breakneck Pass - which some folks feel is aptly named.

Even getting there is a bit of an adventure, and as the aspens begin to turn, the pass offers quite a fine view, even out of car windows.

To reach the trail, drive south of Fairplay on Highway 285 to County Road 5 or Weston Pass Road on the right. Follow County Road 5 to the intersection of County Road 22 and continue to Forest Road 455.

Turn right onto Forest Road 455 and go about half a mile to the National Forest boundary gate. Turn up the road to the right that leads to the parking area, where you can unload your bike and begin the real fun.

On this excursion into the wild country, you can expect to cross meadows of handlebar-high grass, encounter both moderate riding and technical challenges, surprise a wide array of birds, foxes, elk and other critters, and be treated to amazing views of craggy mountain ranges.

Sheep Creek Trail (marked as 645) follows the blue diamond markers through aspen groves and over Twelvemile Creek on a wooden footbridge, (did I mention taking your camera?).

Stay on the trail when you cross Forest Road 171 and continue for another mile or so to test your skill, as 645 climbs steeply for another mile to Sheep Park and joins Forest Road 175.

You can make a hard right and follow Forest Road 175 to the top of Breakneck Pass for some spectacular views of the pine forest and mountain vistas, or for those not faint of heart who love a technical ride, continue on Forest Road 175 to Forest Road 176 (a jeep trail) over Brown's Pass (at about 11,400 feet) and down to the gate. Then retrace your ride back to Forest Road 175 and on to Breakneck Pass and the rest of the Sheep Creek Trail circuit.

From the top of Breakneck Pass, descend three miles on Forest Road 175 down to County Road 5 (also Weston Pass Road) and turn right. You'll relax for this six miles of the ride until you again begin to climb toward Forest Road 455.

At Forest Road 455, turn right. It's about a mile and a half to your car and the satisfaction of completing a beautiful and challenging ride of about 17 to 20 miles, depending on whether or not you want to make the detour to Brown's Pass.
 

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Twelvemile Lake trail had a healthy dose of mosquitos! Did cross some creeks but as many as you probably did in early summer. Also I couldn't figure out how to get to the Browns Pass (trail, not the ATB road) from Round Hill Road connector. I thought I was on the Browns Pass to Sheep Mt, but it abruptly ended...? Other than some ATBs on the dirt road section, I saw zero trail users.
 

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My book, Arkansas Valley Mountain Biking covers that area. You can still get it new at Cycles of Life in Leadville, The Trailhead in BV, or on Amazon (the brown cover is the latest edition). BUT, I haven't updated it or ridden in that area since 2010.

I used to have free maps and GPS downloads on my website, but that was taken down in 2014. If you look around, you may be able to find used copies of the book for a couple bucks.

The Trails Illustrated Maps #109 and #110 cover a good chunk of the Fairplay area.
 

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