July 6, 2014
Wow, what a trail. Did this on a whim on the way back from Gunnison to Denver and what a great decision it was.
There isn't a lot of info on this trail out there and I found a few different (and semi-confusing) route descriptions but the one I chose seemed to be a great way to do it. Not sure why anyone would do Breakneck Pass unless you just want to put some extra dirt road miles on your bike.
I started at the end of 455 and rode up the dirt road to the trailhead for Sheep Creek. I probably could've drove my Jeep up there but the road was pretty rutted out and coming back down was fun and fast for the extra 1/2 mile climb.
So, once you get to the trailhead for Sheep Creek, it's a mile or so of slight downhill singletrack through aspen groves over to Cave Creek Crossing. Then a few ups and downs over semi-rocky singletrack until you hit the first tricky creek crossing for Twelve Mile creek. It's just under 3 miles in from the start. Just after that, you'll see the fork for the Twelve MIle trail. Hang a left.
Now you are on the Twelve Mile trail heading up. It's about 3 miles of rocky, gradual climbing. Not super steep or techy at all, but steady and bumpy enough to make your butt hurt after it. You'll cross over a few creeks, go through a few perhaps older campgrounds, some meadows (where the trail gets a little hard to see) and finally to FSR 173. There's a gate there, that's the road you want.
173 is a fun up and down rocky and rolling 4WD road. You'll be on that for a mile until you get to FSR 175. Just after you take a right on 175, maybe a 1/10 of a mile you'll see a cairned exit to the right just before the road goes uphill. This is where you hop back onto Sheep Creek trail.
Wow, what a descent. One of the best I've ever been on. It's 3 miles of tight, twisting singletrack through forest, along the creek and through some awesome sage brush. Fantastic. Could've been a little more technical just to keep it more interesting but regardless, so sweet.
You'll eventually get to the aforementioned fork for Twelve Mile/Sheep Creek. Head back the way you came, now it's back up the singletrack from earlier. Again, not steep but enough to make your legs really weary at the end.
Total distance was just over 14 miles. Took me 1:55.
I rode it on a Saturday and saw a few hikers and maybe 3 bikers. No traffic at all. I think if you were to ride this on a weekday, it would be totally dead. Nice thing about that is when you are coming down on the descent, you don't to worry about running into anyone so you can open it up and let it rip.