In mountainous Colorado, there is no shortage of grand adventure and exhilarating scenery. From hiking to biking and shopping to lodging, there is something for everyone to enjoy. No matter your location, a well-known fact about the Centennial State is that outdoor play ranks at the top of any explorer's list.
Outdoor adventure means something different to everyone. Some prefer earthing, while others enjoy running on flat terrain or hiking a rocky trail. At the same time, many others enjoy feeling the crisp breeze on their face while riding through one of these top biking paths and trails in Colorado. Whether you are a local or a visitor, let's dig into just a snippet of the countless locations to get your bike out.
Divide Trail—Steamboat Springs
Running from the northern edge of Montana to the grips of the New Mexico-Mexico border, the Continental Divide Trail shoots directly through Steamboat Springs, Colorado, located in the northwestern half of the state. This single-lane bike path offers flat ranch views and dense green forest outlooks. The Divide Trail is roughly 26 miles long and sits at an estimated elevation range of 2,400-2,500 feet. In preparation for this singletrack, bring multiple layers and plenty of hydration and snacks.
Doctor Park—Crested Butte
If you are not careful on this route, you will most certainly need a doctor. Located near Crested Butte, just shy of the state's center, Doctor Park offers a roughly 14 miles long trail with some light road traffic off to the side of the track.
Be sure to keep your eyes up and remain alert while on this path, though. The high-level technicality of the ride increases after each turn. When complete, the Taylor River awaits you for a nice cool-off at the bottom of the trail.
Lunch Loop—Grand Junction
Situated in Grand Junction, Colorado, Lunch Loop is a network of trails conveniently positioned for more than just the bike. This area gets steamy in the summertime, so the park has restrooms and several pull-off stations to refill your water bottles and stay hydrated. Because of the accessible location, you need to check your surroundings as runners make their presence known on the trails.
There are about 32 trails awaiting exploration at the Lunch Loop network. Each one has roughly 149 miles of open trail and every skill level, from family-friendly to professional mountain biking. For those with piqued curiosity, a sliver of top-rated routes and their difficulty ratings in this network include:
- Ribbon Trail (difficult)
- Holy Cross (difficult)
- Free Lunch (very difficult)
- Pucker Up (very difficult)
For a breathtaking fall experience ride, the Government Trail is a must for the regular rider. Located near Aspen, this almost-20-miles-long trail is the most popular bike route in the area. The estimated elevation of nearly 8,400 feet allows for cooler temps—an excellent place for those layers.
Gravel and dirt make up this singletrack path and can bring you a two to four-hour escapade depending on your skill level and desired outcomes. Runners, hikers, and dogs also like to enjoy all that Government Trail offers.
Much like Lunch Loop, Horse Gulch is a network of trails. In Durango, Colorado, the southwestern portion of the state, there are nearly 45 miles of track to ride. All 20 routes vary in their range of difficulty, from beginner to expert. The summertime sees hot and dry temperatures in this area, so it is safest to come prepared with plenty of hydration and supplies.
A few most talked about trails and their difficulty rating:
- Snake Charmer (difficult)
- Anasazi Descent (difficult)
- Meadow Loop (easy/intermediate)
- Animas River Trail (easy)
Loveland Pass—Clear Creek
Perhaps this route calls for a solo ride or a mission with your closest cycling buddies. Loveland Pass is a more technical climb with roughly 31 miles of pathway and an elevation range of nearly 3,163 feet. Though this route carries an intermediate skill rating, the steep climb makes it the perfect trek for just the right rider.
You will start this journey on beautiful Lake Dillion Marina. Then make your way through Keystone, Colorado, peak at Loveland Pass, and then journey back down to where it all started at Lake Dillion. Loveland Pass features an 11,990-foot summit sign on the Continental Divide, so be sure to stop and capture the moment with a photo as this destination is a must-see on the list of top biking paths and trails in Colorado.
Phil's World – Cortez
Sweetly positioned in the southwest corner of Colorado, Phil's World offers year-round directional trails that travel clockwise only. Nearly 27 miles of fee-free access in BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land make Phil's World suitable for all skill levels.
Phil's World offers a variety of singletrack trails that remain primarily flat throughout the experience. For an introductory ride with Phil's World, consider taking the Trust Loop trail. And if you have more experience in your helmet, Hippie House delivers smaller drops in rock and tight shoulders.
Tips Before You Ride
Before you gear up with your cycling kicks and helmet, there are a few tips and tricks we'd like you to know. First and foremost, plan out your day or trip. Take the time to consider which trail best suits you and your desires for the day's journey and carefully review the designated course map. Secondly, consider which of your friends would enjoy this route with you—but know that it is okay to go at it alone. Last but not least, stay hydrated and prepare accordingly for a long day. Chances are, if you utilize your favorite water bottle or create a personalized water bottle with Colorado stickers, your motivation to maintain hydration will remain a high priority.
There are many things to consider when selecting the best course of action for your next biking venture. The main goal is to have fun, whether you choose to go at it alone or with your biking buddies. If you have not been on two wheels in a while, consider having your bike tuned up. Something simple yet effective will help mitigate any trail drama along the way. Of course, we have our fingers crossed and we’re sending you good vibes only in hopes that your next big adventure is free and clear of troubles.