Saddle Up - Biking in Aspen, Colorado

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Home > Colorado > Colorado Cities > Aspen > Summer Activities > Biking in Aspen    [ bookmark this page ]

Page Title: Saddle Up - Biking in Aspen, Colorado
Page Synopsis: Saddle Up - Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in Aspen, Colorado



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Saddle Up --- On a Mountain or Road Bike

Avid Cyclists Will Find Miles of Roads and Trails—and Aspen is Miles Ahead of other Resorts for Gear, Guided Tours, Rentals, Races and More 

Biking in Aspen is biking at its peak. This town is home to some of the toughest bikers around—and some of the toughest road and trail rides in the country. But while Aspen has more than its share of serious, skilled riders, it also offers many choices in terrain, services, and guided rides for intermediate and even novice cyclists—whether they choose to challenge their legs and lungs on smooth pavement or test their nerves on challenging singletrack.

Mountain Biking

·     The Rio Grande Trail. This easy bike path varies between pavement, gravel, and a bit of easy singletrack, meandering from Aspen along the Roaring Fork River to Woody Creek, then 20 miles further down the valley. Rest stops, fishing holes, great views, and perfect picnic areas make this trail a great choice for beginners and families.

·     Lincoln Creek Road. Beginning about 11 miles east of Aspen on Independence Pass, this bumpy, rolling dirt road is ideal for slightly experienced riders looking to test their off-road skills without venturing too far into the wilderness. Densely wooded with beautiful river views around every corner, the road ends up in a spectacular high alpine valley.

·     Smuggler-Hunter Creek Loop. Aspen’s classic intermediate-to-advanced ride, this trail begins with the steep, strenuous Smuggler Mountain Road—a 1.5-mile climb guaranteed to get your heart pumping. It then winds into the beautiful Hunter Creek Valley, passing over changing varieties of singletrack, through vast aspen groves, and even past the remains of a few deserted mining cabins.

·     The Government Trail. This difficult trail packs enough punch to please even the most accomplished mountain biker. It begins with a tough climb up Snowmass Ski Area, then traverses across ski runs and though dense evergreens to Buttermilk Ski Area. Here, the trail roller-coasters through aspen groves and thrilling singletrack, to end just outside of Aspen.

Road Biking

·     Castle Creek Road. The Castle Creek Valley is one of Aspen’s most beautiful areas, and the 13-mile road ride is one of the best ways to experience it. A moderate climb, the ride deposits those who complete it in glorious Ashcroft, a ghost town with the Toklat art gallery and the Pine Creek Cookhouse restaurant.

·     The Maroon Bells. This relatively demanding climb from Aspen requires athleticism, and determination. But the payoff—breathtaking vistas along the way and the spectacular Maroon Lake and Maroon Bells peaks at the end—make it well worth the effort.

·     Independence Pass. This ride challenges even the most intrepid and experienced road bikers with a punishing climb to the summit of this narrow, winding byway. The rewards are gorgeous views, an exciting ride back to town, and some serious bragging rights. The best time to try this ride is the early summer, before the pass opens to cars.

Get in on the Action

·     Guided Rides. You don’t have to be an expert to take on Aspen’s roads and trails. Blazing Adventures offers standard and customized guided rides, on- and off-road, for families, groups, and individuals, with rentals and delicious snacks (www.blazingadventures.com; 970.923.4544). Timberline Bicycle Tours features a diverse menu of guided adventure as well, for never-evers to beginners (www.timberlinebike.com; 970.925.3586). Sun Dog Athletics is also a popular Aspen outfitter, offering private one-on-ones, women’s clinics and group rides (www.sundogathletics.com; 970.925.1069). Aspen Alpine Guides offers basic trips, a well as overnight mountain bike adventures in Aspen’s Tenth Mountain Division Hut System (www.aspenalpine.com; 970.925.6618).

·     Gear Up. Aspen’s bike shops offer the best in cycles and accessories, as well as a full roster of rentals, whether you’re a novice or a Tour de France hopeful. The Hub of Aspen (970.925.7970), Aspen Velo (970.925.1495), and Ajax Bike & Sport (970.925.7662) offer top-of-the-line cycles, accessories, clothing, equipment, maps as well as expertise about local rides. 

 ·     Race with the Best.  Aspen Cycling Club has weekly
races from spring into fall. Rides alternate between mountain biking and road biking races. Competition is fierce, yet friendly, with Olympic medalists among the avid locals who participate. Visitors may participate in races for a $10 fee.  For information, call 970.925.7334, email aspencyclingclub@yahoo.com, or visit the website at www.aspencyclingclub.org. 





Home > Colorado > Colorado Cities > Aspen > Summer Activities > Biking in Aspen    [ bookmark this page ]

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