Philip Benningfield
Great Divide
Boreas Pass
In Colorado many of the high passes along the Great Divide Route are old rail lines that made it possible to transport raw metals for massive profit. One of my favorites is Boreas Pass, an 11,482 foot pass with renovated rail buildings and distant views of the Ten Mile, Kenosha and Mosquito Ranges.

The riding, although high, windy and occasionally cold, is pleasant as the road is a mellow grade and leads to some exceptional singletrack along the Gold Dust Trail. Another bonus to this fine riding is the small mountain enclave of Como. A somewhat dilapidated rail town with one of the best stopovers at the Como Depot, a fine bed and breakfast with cold beer on tap and clean white sheets.

For a good, long day-ride, start in Breckenridge and climb Boreas Pass through applauding aspen groves and take the Gold Dust Trail descent to Como. Then return and descend Baker’s Tank Trail to Breckenridge. For the thru-rider continue south and experience the wide-open expanses of South Park with Salida amenities as a reward.


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Philip Benningfield

Gear List







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Philip Benningfield
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? Have your traveled by bike in the past? My motivation comes from some instinctual need to see what lies over the next mountain pass, to see a pristine meadow flushed with wildflowers or filled with stoic elk, or follow a never-ending ranch fence line in as obscure a place as possible.
  • What is your goal for the route? What do you hope to get out of this journey? Any undertaking along the GDR is tempered with as little expectations as possible. I find no need to try and experience the trip beforehand as the actual ride far surpasses any expectation. The goal each and every time is to get away from the busy world and witness, with as minimal a kit as I can survive with, the peace found out in the middle of nowhere!


  • Tattered warm Pearlizumi gloves
  • Sleeping Bag Feathered Friends Hummingbird 20-degree sleeping bag
  • Marmot 650-fill down coat
  • Jagged Edge skullcap

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