The “Copper Triangle” (also known as the “Leadville Loop”) can be ridden as soon as the roads are clear from the winter snow, but ideal conditions do not arrive until June, even then be prepared for colder temperatures at the top of the passes. An ideal time is mid-late September when the Aspens are at the peak of their fall color creating brilliant aura of gold in the mountains.
The Copper Triangle course is a spectacular 78-mile loop cresting three Colorado Mountain passes – Fremont Pass (elevation 11,318’), Tennessee Pass (elevation 10,424’) and Vail Pass (elevation 10,666’). Most consider the start of the ride to be Copper Mountain Ski Area but you can really start anywhere along the course you choose. The course passes three ski areas in total and is has historic mining outposts and camp Hale as attractions along the way. Camp Hale is the training ground for the famous 10th Mountain Division that fought so bravely in World War II, of which many of the men came back to start the ski areas we know and love today.
The total elevation gain for the course is 5,981 ft so be ready to climb, this gain is spread out over a 78 mile loop, this ride is not for the weak.
The ride can be done on your own at any time, or there is a supported ride the first weekend of August to raise money for the Davis Phinney Foundation. The Davis Phinney Foundation’s mission to help people living with Parkinson’s live well today is truly a worthy cause.