Colorado is a must-visit destination for mountain bikers seeking an adventurous way to explore the stunning landscape. The state has a wide range of mountain biking trails that cater to all skill levels, with breathtaking scenery and terrain that will test even the most skilled bikers.
Mountain biking trails in Colorado offer something for everyone, from beginner-friendly routes to challenging ones for experts. They wind through beautiful scenery, including the rolling terrain, the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and high-alpine ridges.
This article will look at some of Colorado’s best mountain biking trails worth adding to your bucket list. Get ready to plan your next mountain biking adventure!
1. Monarch Crest Trail
Monarch Crest is a singletrack trail offering riders stunning views. It runs from Salida to Gunnison, passing through some of Colorado’s most stunning scenery. The trail has been described as “the best riding in Colorado” because it crosses the continental divide twice and has views of mountains and valleys.
You can ride this route on your own or with a guide service. However, it’s physically demanding, so you should be well prepared with plenty of water and snacks. The trail starts flat and smooth but quickly becomes more challenging with rocks and roots to navigate. Overall, it’s one of the best trails in Colorado if you’re seeking a true adventure in the mountains.
2. The Colorado Trail
Running 486 miles from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango in the southwest corner of the state, the Colorado Trail is a long-distance trail that attracts both hikers and mountain bikers due to its challenging alpine terrain.
The trail boasts numerous impressive sections, but the stretch between Buena Vista and Silverton stands out as one of the best. This segment presents hikers with the daunting Sargeants Mesa segment and an extended journey through high alpine terrain, culminating in the trail’s highest point.
To complete this portion of the trail, hikers must possess physical fitness and unwavering commitment.
Consider exploring the Silverton to Durango trail section for a less arduous yet equally stunning experience. This singletrack trail offers awe-inspiring mountain vistas with no detours, making it an ideal option for those seeking a more manageable hike.
3. Colorado Railroad Grade Trail
The Colorado Railroad Grade Trail is a 22-mile trail from Georgetown to Silver Plume. It passes through trestles, tunnels and bridges as it travels through the Rocky Mountains National Park’s North Park area.
The trail follows along the old Union Pacific Railroad grade before heading east into North Park. Here, you’ll find some great views of the Continental Divide and amazing rock formations like Devil’s Thumb Rock (a meteorite impact crater).
The railroad grade path reaches its highest point at 6,600 feet above sea level on Bear Lake Pass before descending into South Park. You’ll find many more hiking and mtb trails here, including:
- Bear Lake Pass Trail – This trail leads directly into Bear Lake Pass, which provides access to several other trails.
- White River Canyon Trail – This multi-use path runs along an old highway connecting several townships.
4. Lunch Loop Trail
Lunch Loop is a renowned mountain bike trail in Grand Junction, Colorado, that draws mountain biking enthusiasts from far and wide. The trail is especially favored for its exhilarating descent, sure to thrill even the most seasoned dirt bikers.
As a singletrack trail, it delivers a fully immersive and heart-pumping ride, providing a challenge for bikers seeking an adrenaline-filled experience.
Riders of all proficiency levels can enjoy the Lunch Loop trail network, which features an array of technical terrain, including narrow corners and rocky paths. Restrooms and water stations are also conveniently available on the trail, making it an ideal location for those looking to spend a day riding.
Due to its central location and exciting landscape, Lunch Loop is a “must-ride” trail for any mountain biker exploring Grand Junction.
5. The Doctor Park Trail
If you’re seeking breathtaking views of Crested Butte, Colorado, the Doctor Park Trail is an absolute must-ride. This 14.2-mile trail boasts an incredibly scenic route, showcasing the stunning mountain vistas surrounding it.
The trail begins with a demanding 2,500-foot fire road ascent before transitioning to a double track, ultimately leading to the highest point of 10,877 feet. The steep and technical descent with a mix of roots and sharp turns makes for an incredibly thrilling ride experienced riders will relish.
As a well-deserved reward for completing the trail’s arduous ride, you can refresh yourself with a swim in Taylor River at the trail’s end. The Doctor Park Trail is a must-add to any mountain biker’s bucket list with its stunning scenery and challenging terrain.
6. The Indian Lake Loop
The Indian Lake Loop in the Buffalo Creek area of Colorado is an ideal trail for beginners seeking a picturesque ride. With well-maintained paths and an easy-to-follow route, it provides an excellent opportunity for riders to learn how to navigate their mountain bikes safely.
Beginning at the Buffalo Creek Picnic Area, off Highway 82 in Rifle Colorado, the trail traverses serene meadows, following a tranquil creek that enhances the ride’s calming ambiance. The trail is simple and perfect for those seeking to gain confidence and acquire new riding skills.
As the ride concludes, you can take in the stunning views of the surrounding peaks at the scenic Indian Lake reservoir. The loop’s accessibility and beautiful scenery make it a popular choice for families, beginner mountain bikers, and anyone looking to experience Colorado’s natural beauty on two wheels.
7. Aspen Mountain Biking Trails
Aspen, Colorado, is known for its incredible mountain biking scene, catering to riders of all levels. From thrilling downhill runs to serene single tracks, the area has something for everyone. Trails like Maroon Bells, Castle Creek, and Snowmass wind through the stunning natural scenery of the Elk Mountains.
These trails provide the perfect combination of technical terrain and natural beauty, making for an unforgettable mountain biking experience. The town also has a range of bike rental shops and expert guides who can help you find the perfect trail and provide any necessary gear or equipment.
With its stunning natural scenery, challenging terrain, and ample biking options, Aspen is the perfect destination for a thrilling, scenic, and unforgettable mountain biking experience.
8. Keystone Bike Park Trails
Keystone Bike Park, situated just an hour’s drive from Denver, offers an unforgettable mountain biking experience for riders of all levels. Boasting over 2,000 feet of descent, Keystone Bike Park is one of Colorado’s most extensive lift-served mountain bike destinations, providing access to a wide range of trails.
The park offers a variety of trails ranging from fast and flowy downhills to technical rock gardens, designed to cater to every rider’s skill level and preferences. Keystone Bike Park’s signature “Holy Diver” trail is an expert-level trail featured in numerous mountain bike films and competitions.
Besides the stunning trails, Keystone Bike Park offers lift-served access to its biking trails, allowing riders to enjoy more runs and minimize climbing time. Additionally, the park offers a range of bike rental options, from downhill bikes to cross-country bikes. So, you can still enjoy the park’s trails without worrying about bringing your equipment.
9. Hall Ranch Mountain Biking TrailsTop of Form
Hall Ranch Mountain Biking Trails, located in Frisco, Colorado, is a top-tier destination for an unforgettable mountain biking experience. The trail system features over 100 miles of singletrack that weave through various terrains and ecosystems, making it a must-ride for avid bikers.
Conveniently located just an hour from Denver, Hall Ranch has become increasingly popular in recent years, attracting riders of all skill levels. The trails feature some challenging hills, but instructional guides are available along the trails from May through October for those seeking additional help.
To add to the convenience, ski lifts are available to transport riders back up to the top after each run, ensuring maximum time spent enjoying the trails. Overall, the Hall Ranch Mountain Biking Trails offer an extensive network of trails and a range of ecosystems to explore. It’s an incredible destination for any mountain biker seeking a thrilling and unforgettable ride.
Colorado is a true mountain biking paradise, boasting stunning natural scenery and diverse terrain suitable for riders of all levels. There’s something for every avid mountain biker, whether you’re a beginner seeking a leisurely ride or an experienced rider looking for a thrilling challenge.
In addition to the multiple trails available, the Colorado Mountain Biking Association (COMBA) is a valuable resource for those seeking to support and promote the sport. COMBA works to improve and maintain trails, advocate for mountain biking rights and safety, and organize community events and rides.
So, grab your bike and explore these amazing MTB trails to experience the beauty and excitement of mountain biking in the Centennial State.