To get away from it all on two wheels, there’s nothing quite like mountain biking. Take an easy pedal on a jeep road or an exhilarating descent on singletrack. A few of the trails you may want to try are the Basalt Mountain Road, Beaver Creek Trail, Cattle Creek Trail, or the Dexter Park Trail.

To be safe, make sure you have the right bike, gear, food, water, and clothing. A map is advisable. And if you’re unfamiliar with bike etiquette and the rules of the trail, please review them before you head out.

Trail conditions can be found on the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA) website.

White River National Forest – Alerts & Notices
Includes forest updates & information on closures due to COVID-19.

Mountain Biking

  • Basalt Mountain Road Bike Trail thumbnail

    Basalt Mountain Road Bike Trail

    Green Biking

    For the Middle Loop, or Mill Creek, pedal the Basalt Mountain Road double-track about four miles. It’s a grind, but not too technical. Take in views of the Elk Range, including Mt. Sopris, Capitol Peak, and Snowmass. Just past the gate, look for the Mill Creek Trail marker in the trees on the left. The next five miles of singletrack are mostly wooded with several creek crossings and a narrow bridge at one section. When you get to the bottom, take a left and head up Cattle Creek Rd. back to the parking lot.

    Difficulty: Easy to intermediate

    From Basalt to the trailhead: From Basalt take Hwy. 82 west and exit at El Jebel. Turn right at the Shell station and head up through El Jebel and Missouri Heights for about six miles past Spring Park Reservoir. Here the road forks. Take the right fork onto Forest Rd. #509 for approximately two miles, to the intersection of Cattle Creek and Basalt Mountain Roads. Turn right on Forest Rd. #524 and go six miles to the top of Basalt Mountain. The trail starts by a locked gate and the bulletin board is 300 feet past the cattle guard on the top.

    More here from Aspen Trail Finder. Also check the Forest Service information.

  • Cattle Creek Trail #1909 thumbnail

    Cattle Creek Trail #1909

    Blue Biking

    Travel through aspens and meadows; spruce and fir. A compass and map are recommended due to the multiple trails created by grazing cattle. There are restrictions to protect elk herds who have their calves in this area each spring, so please don’t use the trail before June 21 and leave your dog at home.

    Difficulty: Intermediate

    From Basalt to the trailhead: Take Highway 82 to El Jebel. Go right and through El Jebel, and travel about five miles on County Road 13 to Basalt Mountain Road. Turn right here, proceed two miles and take the left fork, which immediately goes downhill. At the bottom of the hill is cow camp, go right and follow this road about 2.5 miles to an old wooden locked gate. The trail starts approximately 50 feet south of this gate.

    More here from Aspen Trail Finder. Also check Forest Service information.

  • Dexter Park Trail thumbnail

    Dexter Park Trail

    Black Biking

    A singletrack climb or descent with views of Coal Basin and the Elk Mountains.The trail starts out through a pine forest, then opens up into large meadows on the top.

    Difficulty: Difficult

    From Basalt to the trailhead: Take Highway 82 from Basalt to Carbondale. Then County Road #108 for 7.4 miles. Turn left onto a dirt road that immediately goes downhill. The road goes downhill for 2.5 miles to a stream crossing, then uphill for about a mile to a pass. In a half mile, take the right fork onto County Road #306.

    From the Thompson Creek Road #306, there is minimal to no sign of a trail. From the end of the road, head back downhill a couple hundred yards or so. You may see some cut logs and a slight hint of trail. Leave the road and walk downhill through the grass until you get to the creek. On the other side of the creek, you'll see a very obvious trail, with no sign, heading up the other side.

    More here from Aspen Trail Finder. Also check Forest Service information.

Road Biking

If you like paved surfaces for your two-wheeled adventures, start pedaling from Basalt. From here, ascend scenic Fryingpan Road, or ride the gentle 42-mile Rio Grande Trail, a former railroad line that’s now closed to motor vehicles.

  • Fryingpan Road thumbnail

    Fryingpan Road

    Blue Biking

    A15-mile uphill ride that follows the river all the way to Ruedi Reservoir. See bighorn sheep, red rock canyon walls, and ranchland meadows. Please note, this is a two-lane road that cyclists share with cars.

    Difficulty: Moderate

    From Basalt to the trailhead: From downtown Basalt, head east on Midland Avenue until it turns into Fryingpan Road.

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    Glenwood Canyon

    Green Biking

    The paved Glenwood Canyon Bike & Pedestrian Path follows the winding course of the Colorado River for 16 miles.There are restrooms and picnic sites. Bighorn sheep can be spotted on the canyon walls. The path is closed in winter, and sometimes there are seasonal spring closures due to high water at run-off.

    Difficulty: Easy

    From Basalt to the trailhead: Take Highway 82 to Glenwood Springs. The trail starts just east of the Yampah Spa Hot Springs Vapor Caves.

    More here from Aspen Trail Finder. 

  • Old Snowmass thumbnail

    Old Snowmass

    Blue Biking

    These are two beautiful rides in Old Snowmass, just minutes from Basalt. Both rides are a gentle uphill on roads that don’t have high vehicle traffic. They start from the Park-and-Ride parking lot by the Old Snowmass Conoco. Then, take Capital Creek Road and pedal about two miles to a “T” junction; a right takes you to St. Benedict’s Monastery and left takes you to the Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Locally referred to as Deaf Camp). Riding to the monastery is a 6.5-mile climb with 850 feet of elevation gain. Deaf Camp is a 4.5-mile ride with 725 feet of elevation gain.

    Difficulty: Intermediate

    From Basalt to the trailhead: From Basalt either drive upvalley four miles to Old Snowmass, take a right at the Conoco gas station and park at the RFTA bus station. Or, ride to Old Snowmass on the Rio Grande Trail 4.5 miles from Basalt.

    More here from Aspen Trail Finder.

  • Rio Grande Trail thumbnail

    Rio Grande Trail

    Green Biking

    This rails-to-trails project connects Glenwood Springs to Aspen, Colorado, with a gentle grade and one 42-mile continuum in the Roaring Fork River Valley. Basalt is roughly in the middle of the trail. It’s mostly paved and free from vehicular traffic, except at intersections. Part of the Rio Grande Trail is closed in winter to provide important wildlife habitat.

    Difficulty: Easy

    From Basalt to the Trailhead: From downtown Basalt, go south/west on Midland Ave. Take a left onto Emma Rd. and then the first exit at the roundabout. Head straight through the stoplight intersection, and then right onto Fiou Ln. Then, a left onto Southside Dr. toward Basalt High School. From the parking lot, if you are facing the school, left goes south to Aspen, and right heads to Glenwood Springs.

    Read more here.

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