Pennsylvania Gulch Trail

Trail Meter: 
Good

Pennsylvania Gulch 4WD road (95J) begins where the South section of Switzerland Trail begins-In the townsite of Sunset as it intersects Fourmile Road (also called Wall Street). After passing by the North section of the Switzerland Trail on Fourmile Road, bear left pass the "Sunset" sign and follow west. When the road splits, veer right on the old unmarked road (95J?). This is Penn Gulch. The South Section of Switz Trail is to the left.

Head west up the steep eroded 4WD road. Here you will reach hike-a-bike nirvana...no not really, its steep, eroded, and unrelenting. I clearly went the wrong way.In this direction (not recommended), the trail climbs steeply with loose rocks and sloping banks and then really tilts upward with even larger and often looser rocks for about a mile before it levels off. Clean this climb and you are officially a stud. (I did ride it in the pouring rain so maybe dry and motivation would change the effort) Its not particularly technical but rather, steep and loose with rock shelves and sloping banks. Finally on level ground? It is here that you will see an old closed Forest Service road to the right. Stay straight.This heads to Glacier Lake but eventually rejoins Penn Gulch further west anyway. Continue straight along the road with copious amounts of "no trespassing" signs by whomever the land owner is...they appear very serious! The road condition improves dramatically.

Eventually, this dumps you out on highway 72 (Peak to Peak) just south of the CU research station and the Sourdough Tr. From there a short ride north on the pavement of PP Hwy will take you to Gold Hill road where you can ride about 4.5 miles east to the intersection with the Switzerland Trail (North Section). Ride the 4 miles of trail back to Sunset for a lollipop loop.

Because of the hike-a-bike section on Penn Gulch I recommend riding this loop in reverse of what is described here. This will change the ride time and experience considerably as the hike-a-bike will become a harrowing straight line white knuckled descent back to Sunset.

 

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Pennsylvania Gulch Google Earth KMZ1.22 KB
Pennsylvania Gulch GPX7.07 KB
Pennsylvania Gulch Trail Click on image to enlarge

T: 9 A: 9 C: 4

Learn more about BMA Rating
3
Learn More About Trail Difficulty Ratings
1.65 mi.
1190 ft.
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