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ASPEN BIKING INFORMATION AND TRAILS
Explore Aspen and the surrounding areas on two wheels! Whether you're cruising through the West End, racing on singletrack through aspen groves, or muscling up Maroon Creek Road, biking in Aspen offers a different view of our dramatic natural surroundings. Read on for recommendations of the top rides in the area.
FOUR FAVORITE ASPEN MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDES
In the last decade, Aspen has transformed from a destination with mountain biking to a mountain biking destination thanks to efforts by the local community to build and maintain professional trail networks. In addition, the Aspen Skiing Company has developed the Snowmass Bike Park on the ski area, offering lift-served downhill mountain biking for beginners to experts. Here are our four favorite mountain biking trails in Aspen Snowmass.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 a numerous routes that take bikers to the valley floor, including the singletrack Iowa Shaft, Lollipop and Tootsie Roll trails.
If you're interested in mountain biking in Aspen, book your Frias Properties vacation rental and contact our concierge to request our comprehensive Aspen Biking Guide.
FOUR ICONIC ASPEN ROAD BIKING RIDES
Aspen's road biking has drawn world-class cyclists to the area for decades, and they come for the high-altitude training in part (a feature that makes most area hill climbs even more challenging). For all bikers, 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.
- 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 some paved and some dirt sections. Visitors and locals love to ride the gentle downhill grade to Woody Creek Tavern, a favorite haunt of the late Hunter S. Thompson (20 miles roundtrip). If you sample one too many of their famous margaritas, call a taxi to take you back up to Aspen!
- MAROON CREEK ROAD (difficult, 11.5 miles one way from town)
With restricted car traffic, smooth pavement and jaw-dropping views at the top, the ride to the Maroon Bells is a 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! Ask the concierge for details.
- 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, and riders enjoy the route's low traffic, smooth pavement and stunning scenery which includes wildflower meadows and Ashcroft ghost town. The real payoff is a gourmet lunch at Pine Creek Cookhouse at the top.
- 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 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.
If you're interested in road biking in Aspen, book your Frias Properties vacation rental and contact our concierge to request our comprehensive Aspen Biking Guide.
ASPEN BIKING BASICS: RESOURCES, RENTING, SHARING & BUSSING
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, offering 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 rent a bike, ride it around town, then 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, the first thing you'll need is a rental. All Frias Properties guests receive discounts at local bike rental shops, so ask the Front Desk for recommendations! Some of our local favorites are listed below!