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ASPEN BIKING INFORMATION AND TRAILS
Explore Aspen and the surrounding areas on two wheels. Cruise through the West End or race down a singletrack through aspen groves. You’ll find beautiful views and dramatic panoramas regardless of your skill and experience. We've highlighted some of our favorite rides below, both on trails and roads.
Four Favorite Mountain Bike Rides
Aspen has transformed from a destination with mountain biking to a mountain biking destination thanks to efforts of our community of bikers who build and maintain professional trail networks. Plus, the Aspen Skiing Company developed the Snowmass Bike Park, offering lift-served downhill mountain biking for beginners to experts. Here are our four favorite mountain biking trails in Aspen and Snowmass.
1. SKY MOUNTAIN PARK (intermediate, 18.6 miles) - highly recommended!
This close-to-town network of trails includes Airline, Cozyline, Deadline (directional), Ditchline, Highline, and Skyline Ridge trails. The Sky Mountain Park loop was established in 2016, and riders love its accessibility, trail quality, flow sections, and views.
2. SNOWMASS CROSS-COUNTRY TRAILS (intermediate to difficult, trails from 4.2 miles to 10.5 miles)
Snowmass's cross-country trails are excellent and often overlooked by the downhill crowd heading to the lift-served terrain. The Rim Trail, Seven Star and Government Trail (connecting Snowmass to Buttermilk) offer great singletrack, fast flow sections, and jaw-dropping views.
3. SNOWMASS BIKE PARK (beginner to expert)
Downhill mountain bikers liken the thrill and flow sensation to skiing on a powder day, so it's no wonder that the Snowmass Bike Park has become an attraction unto itself. Offering 2,897 vertical feet of lift-served downhill mountain biking, Snowmass Bike Park was built to cater to riders of varying abilities. Trails are manicured and well-marked to show beginner, intermediate, and expert designations.
4. SMUGGLER-HUNTER CREEK LOOP (intermediate to difficult, 9.6 miles)
Accessible directly from town, this loop is a locals' favorite. Riders grind the 1.2-mile Smuggler Mountain Road to access a large network of trails that drop down into the stunning Hunter Creek Valley. There are numerous routes that take bikers to the valley floor, including the singletrack Iowa Shaft, Lollipop and Tootsie Roll trails.
Four Iconic Road Bike Rides
Aspen's road biking has drawn world-class cyclists to the area for decades. For bikers of all abilities, our classic road rides offer excellent paved surfaces, stunning scenery, and low traffic. Here are some of our favorite on-pavement rides around the Roaring Fork Valley.
1. RIO GRANDE TRAIL (easy, 43.5 miles possible) - highly recommended
Spanning the entire Roaring Fork Valley, the Rio Grande Trail starts near Clark's Market in Aspen and continues all the way to Glenwood Springs with both paved and dirt sections.
Locals’ Tip: Ride the gentle downhill grade to Woody Creek Tavern, a funky watering hole (20 miles roundtrip). If you sample one too many of their famous margaritas, call a taxi to take you back up to Aspen.
2. MAROON CREEK ROAD (difficult, 11.5 miles one way from town)
With restricted car traffic, smooth pavement and jaw-dropping views, the ride to the Maroon Bells is one not to miss. If you're not up for the climb, sign up with one of our trusted outfitters to ride downhill from the Maroon Bells back to town.
3. CASTLE CREEK ROAD TO ASHCROFT/PINE CREEK COOKHOUSE (difficult,13.2 miles one way from town)
This iconic Aspen ride winds up Castle Creek Road. Riders enjoy the route's low traffic, smooth pavement, and stunning scenery, which includes wildflower meadows and Ashcroft's ghost town. The real payoff is a gourmet lunch at Pine Creek Cookhouse just past Ashcroft.
4. INDEPENDENCE PASS (difficult, 19.8 miles one way from town)
One of Aspen's most challenging rides, the summit of Independence Pass spans the continental divide at 12,095 feet. This is a ride to check off your bucket list, but it's no easy feat. With 4,000-plus feet of elevation gain, narrow stretches of road without a shoulder and lots of car traffic, we recommend this ride for experienced bikers only.
E-Biking in Aspen
E-bikes can be a great way for friends with different riding abilities to ride together, as they can help level the playing field. Stronger riders won't be held back when riding with an experienced rider on a hilly route with significant elevation gain like Castle Creek Road to Ashcroft or Maroon Creek Road to the Maroon Bells.
Aspen has no shortage of sights that are best accessed by bike, and our guests can cover much more ground on pedal assisted excursions. We recommend riding down the Rio Grande Trail to the Woody Creek Tavern. It's an easy ride down, but the gentle grade becomes arduous on the way back (especially after a few of the Tavern's famous margaritas). An e-bike turns a tough return trip into a fun cruise past some beautiful sights along the Roaring Fork River. Likewise, our guests can ride from Aspen to the Maroon Bells, Ashcroft Ghost Town, and even all the way to Snowmass along a dedicated bike path.
E-Bike Rules for the Roaring Fork Valley:
- E-bikes are allowed on the Rio Grande, Owl Creek, Brush Creek, Crystal, Aspen Mass, Basalt Old Snowmass, Emma, Lazy Glen, and East of Aspen trails.
- E-bikes are prohibited on single-track trails.
- E-bike riders must comply with a 20-mile-per-hour speed limit.
- Local e-bike outfitters will have the most up-to-date information on regulations, so check with our trusted partners when you rent your equipment!
Aspen Biking Basics: Resources, Rentals, Bikes Shares, & Buses
DOWNLOAD AN ASPEN BIKING APP
Find your way to Aspen's best biking with your phone. We recommend Strava Running & Cycling, where you track your runs and rides as well as view locals' favorite trails, and MTB Project. It offers guide-book quality descriptions and stats of area mountain biking trails.
ASPEN'S WE-CYCLE BIKE SHARE PROGRAM
Aspen's bike share program, WE-cycle, is a great short-term option if you need a bike to get from point-A to point-B. There are WE-cycle kiosks at key points around town where you can check out a bike, ride it around town, and return it to a WE-cycle kiosk near your final destination.
BIKES ON ASPEN BUSES
The local bus system is a great way to transport your bike around Aspen Snowmass. Operated by the Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA), all local buses have front-load bike racks with some holding two bikes and others holding four.
Contact RFTA for bike-loading stops and other details: (970) 925-8484.
RENTING A BIKE
If you don't bring your own bike to Aspen, no problem! All Frias Properties guests receive discounts at local bike rental shops. Ask the Concierge for recommendations. Some of our favorite localoutfitters are listed below.