Downhill Mountain Biking Colorado Vail – Colorado’s vast and varied landscape is cut in half by the Rockies, resulting in its famous 14ers and dramatic alpine descents that define the term white-knuckle.
Bisected by the Rocky Mountains, Colorado offers an incredible variety of riding. West of Fruta, you’ll find desert terrain with plenty of dry singletrack before the season. In the eastern plains, you’ll also find some of the best mountain bike trails in Colorado. But the heart of this landlocked state, especially near the Front Range and Central Rockies, offers its 8,000-plus miles of trails, with the famous mountain town of Crested Butte boasting 750 miles. It’s as vast and varied as if you were mountain biking in New Zealand.
Downhill Mountain Biking Colorado Vail
With scenic valleys and mountain backdrops, mountain biking in Colorado is the best you’ll find anywhere in America.
Two Elk National Recreation Trail
Skiing and hiking may come to mind when you think of things to do in Colorado, but mountain biking is a new outdoor sport thanks to the locals who helped create it. Crested Butte played a significant role in the early days of mountain biking, with the first riders from California and British Columbia.
In the 1970s, there was an enthusiastic cycling community that took it upon themselves to tinker with road bikes to find better alternatives to “forearm suspension” for mountain and outdoor rough terrain.
I may be biased as an Aspen local, but the Rockies and Western Slope offer some of the best mountain bike tours in the state. Resorts catering to off-season rehabbers are upping their game, creating miles of trails, world-class bike parks and incredible downhill access. Snowmass, Crested Butte, Breckenridge and Vail resorts are built to create thrilling trails for a variety of skill levels and goals.
Whether you’re looking to ride for fun or with kids, Breckenridge and Snowmass offer some of the best mountain biking in Colorado for beginners and are great places to take a guided mountain bike tour if you’re new to the sport. Snowmass Bike Park has a fast lift to get your adrenaline pumping. However, the ease of access, variety of skill levels and downhill routes that provide many bragging rights should not be overlooked.
Top Free Things To Do In Vail
To mix metaphors, you need to get your turn to get the best. We describe some of the best mountain bike trails in Colorado.
Take in the glory of Crested Butte on 700 miles of singletrack. A former coal mining town about 200 miles from Denver, Crested Butte sits at 8,850 feet and is considered the cradle of modern mountain biking.
History has it that the Crested Butte roads were not paved until the early 1980s. Local gearheads built heavy but durable bikes with great, fat tires to navigate the rutted roads due to extreme changes in the mountain climate. These early mountain bikes became the preferred mode of transportation and a new obsession was born.
Crested Butte has 700 miles of singletrack and is one of the birthplaces of modern mountain biking. Photo by TRAILSOURCE.COM licensed under CC 2.0
New Colorado Mountain Bike Trail System A ‘demonstration’ Of Land Possibilities
In 1976, Crested Butte Riders opened the first mountain bike store in America. Local obsession is not hidden in the mountains. In early 1976, some of these local horsemen decided to visit their neighbors in Aspen by riding the 40-mile-long, 12,075-foot Pearl Pass. The Pearl Pass Tour is now held every September. Crested Butte is home to the nation’s first mountain bike club, the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association, founded in 1983.
With 2,500 people, this bike-loving mountain town has 3,500 bikes and seven bike shops. Crested Butte is surrounded by plenty of singletrack and great cross-country trails to ride. Spend the day exploring its MTB trails or extend your adventure with a multi-day tour. Crested Butte offers incredible access to great open spaces and cross-country (XC) mountain bike trails. You’ll want to stay year-round, because the landscape has so many activities.
The beauty of the landscape here sets it apart from other mountain bike destinations. Wildflower-covered valleys before climbing into dense aspen groves and alpine descents with handlebars—all good things.
For beginners, the Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte Mountain Resort is worth checking out if you need a day to brush up on your skills. You can get used to the altitude, get to know the terrain and find plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes.
Downhill Mtb At Vail: One Of Colorado’s Most Famous Resorts
There are 25 kilometers of open mountain bike trails. Five of these trails are closed to all other trail users for mountain biking, climbing and descending. If you prefer a fast and flowing route, the Chronograph is one of the most popular routes on the mountain.
Considered one of the best bike rides Colorado has to offer, the 401 loop offers some of the best alpine mountain biking. It is over 14 kilometers high to give you pause.
Views of the Elk Range with towering aspen groves and clear alpine lakes make it a seasonal favorite. You’ll gain more than 2,200 feet of elevation as you climb, but every foot is worth it as you descend through fields of wildflowers. Although some say there are better trails in this area, we recommend it as a must-ride for everyone. At least once.
If you’re in Crested Butte, this trail is a local favorite and a great drive. If you want to shave about 1,500 meters of elevation gain and about eight miles on dirt roads, this road can be stopped. If you choose to skip the first section, fear not, the journey really begins when you descend about seven miles. The descending singletrack is consistent with many technical sections and rocks and gets progressively rougher as you descend. Once down the trail the fun really begins. Almost three of the seven kilometers are like the best mountain bike ride in the North East Kingdom, breathtaking and truly second to none.
New Bike Trails
Ok so not one track, but an awesome mix of four would be great. The trail takes Reno to Flag to Bear and mountain bikes to Deadman’s Gulch. The combo features three climbs at 3,326 feet, three rewarding descents, and nearly 30 handlebars on the final run. The ride features deep wooded terrain, open meadows that feel like mountain biking in France, and a few creeks in the serenity of Crested Butte.
Wildflower-covered canyons lead into dense aspen groves before climbing, and sheer handlebar-grabbing madness descends into alpine terrain—all good things.
With over 800 miles of trails, Breckenridge’s mountain bike trails have something for all abilities, from first-time riders to challenging trails. This quaint resort town offers wide berms, switchbacks and miles of singletrack. Like Breckenridge’s skiing options, even beginners will enjoy this outdoor playground.
If you’re up for it, you’ll find no shortage of challenging rides. In fact, you can put your brakes on a challenging but iconic 33-mile section of singletrack on the Colorado Trail.
Mountain Biking: Colorado’s Summer Sport
Breckenridge’s views are hard to beat—and with more than 800 miles of mountain bike trails, it’s a great place for beginners to learn and explore.
When it comes to being kid-friendly, charming and challenging – Breg brings the whole package. This is a biker town and we have the riders to prove it.
Mountain biking at Wellington Bike Park is a must-see. For kids outing, this is the place. This is a free entry area with a strider track, three running lanes and a skills area where you can work on your jumps. You can get all this without leaving the city.
Speaking of the city, Breckenridge is a gold-level cycling community by the League of American Bicyclists—a testament to the area’s services and commitment to supporting the bicycling community—fat or not.
A Guide To Summer Cycling In Summit
Beginning at 10,500 feet, the Peaks Trail is a Colorado classic and a favorite of locals and visitors alike. The peaks are a perfect combination of adrenaline rush and relaxing trip. This route can be a round trip, with many roots, ascents and descents.
The drive from Breckenridge to Frisco sets you up for a moderate climb until you reach the plateau. If you’re going this route by any means, rest before you do
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