Loveland Pass from Georgetown Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Loveland Pass from Georgetown


Most of this wonderful climb is along a bike path - the Col de la Loze of Colorado.

Page Contributor(s): Christopher Jacobs, Byers, CO, USA; Todd Short, Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Eric Kuehl, Chicago, IL, USA.

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Climb Summary

Cycling Loveland Pass from Georgetown - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, train bridge over two-lane roadway in mountainous terrain, two cyclists wearing PJAMM Cycling jerseys standing with bikes in front of White River National Forest sign, sign for Loveland Pass, Continental Divide

Cycling Loveland Pass from Georgetown (from the south).

Ride 16 miles gaining 3,645’ to elevation 11,990’ at 4% average grade.

This is a fantastic bike climb in part because, like Vail Pass East and Vail Pass West, the majority of it is along a bike path.  This climb reminds us of the dedicated bike path on France’s most difficult bike climb, Col de la Loze, Meribel.

Climb summary by PJAMM’s Todd Short of Scottsdale, Arizona:

Cycling Loveland Pass from Georgetown - PJAMM cycling logo in corner, sign above road for Georgetown, view of PJAMM Cycling's white SAG van

Climb begins in historic Georgetown, Colorado.

Loveland Pass North begins at the intersection of Loop Drive and Spring Street in Georgetown.  Only 45 minutes from Denver, Georgetown was established in 1859 during the Pikes Peak gold rush.  The town has a population of 1,034, is at elevation 8,530’, and has several blocks of restored and well maintained vintage century-plus mining-era buildings, and is overall quite charming (see video of town).  For those from out of the area, there is some lodging in Georgetown itself and Idaho Springs is only 12 miles east on Interstate 70.  

One of the great sites along this climb is the Georgetown Loop Railroad:

“Located just off I-70 and only 45 miles west of Denver, the Georgetown Loop Railroad and Mining Park is one of Colorado’s most authentic living museums and historically immersive experiences. Bring your family and friends for a narrow gauge train ride, book a real silver mine tour, or learn how to pan for gold. Discover the rugged romance of the Colorado Rockies in the 1880’s. Climb aboard and travel back in time…” (More).

Cycling Loveland Pass from Georgetown - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, Georgetown Loop Railroad Station, creek running along the station

We pass the Georgetown Loop Railroad Station at mile two.

Conveniently there is a public parking lot at the Georgetown Loop Railroad Station approximately two miles up from the Spring Street start. We simply backtracked to the start after gearing up.

Cycling Loveland Pass from Georgetown - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, train next to bike path, thick forested hillsides, train on train bridge over roadway

The train track, and occasionally the train in motion, is visible for much of the lower portion of the climb. 

Commencing the ride from Spring Street you will ascend the first quarter mile, and a switchback brings you back through the parking lot where the bike path starts at the northeast corner corner (see map above).

Once you begin the bike path a hard left turn brings you parallel with I-70. The path is a bit worn in this section with a series of asphalt patches. Follow along the path for one mile, there is a right hand turn underneath I-70 onto Water Street in Silver Plume. Follow Water Street along I-70 for just under one mile, then bend left back underneath I-70 as the road becomes Silver Valley Road.

Cycling Loveland Pass from Georgetown - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, cyclists climbing on bike path and two-lane roadway, cyclist riding across bridge and under train bridge

The first 12 of the 16 miles of this climb are along a bike path -- no cars.  👍

The first 12 miles are at 3.5% gaining 2,485’ with several rollers with brief descents along the way.

Silver Valley Road ends at the next interchange for I-70. Look for the wooden sign indicating the trailhead entrance slightly to the left of the interchange (do not turn right or left).

At this point the scenery takes an uptick through the forest on a winding asphalt trail. The trail continues for approximately four miles before delivering us to Highway 6 (be cautious of the loose gravel transition).

Cycling Loveland Pass from Georgetown - view from distance of roadway along mountainside, pine trees, cyclist climbing along roadway, PJAMM cycling jersey, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

The last four miles are at 5.7% gaining 1,152’ to the summit.

Follow along Highway 6 frontage road until you reach the Loveland Basin -- Arapaho National Forest.  At this point a large left switchback begins the steepest portion of the climb to the completion of the route. The road on this portion is in excellent condition and provides great scenic views during your grand ascent to the summit at 11,992 feet, as well as a fast and enjoyable descent back to the Loveland Basin.

Cycling Loveland Pass from Georgetown - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, two cyclists wearing PJAMM cycling jerseys standing with bikes in front of sign for Loveland Pass, Continental Divide, Elevation 11,990 feet, cars parked along roadside as cyclist finishes climb at summit

Finish at the summit.

Second only to the descent down to Loveland Basin is the returning descent down the winding forest trail as you work your way back to the railroad station.  PJAMM gives this one two thumbs up!!

Cycling Loveland Pass from Georgetown - cyclists Eric Kuehl and Todd Short standing in front of Loveland Pass Continental Divide sign, wearing PJAMM Cycling jerseys

Thank you Eric Kuehl of Chicago, IL (left), and Todd Short of Scottsdale, AZ (right).