9 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Colorado

Colorado is one of the popular western and southwestern Mountain States in America. Denver is the most populous and the capital city of Colorado. It is the home of the biggest swimming pool with natural hot springs. The world’s deepest hot springs and the world’s biggest flat-top mountain are found here. Over the decades, Colorado mountain biking’s popularity has been on the rise.

Colorado has a vast range of trails that mountain bikers absolutely love and enjoy riding. From the western hill to the Front Range, you will get breathtaking mountain biking trails that will stun you with their intoxicating nature and expansive sceneries. From Fire road to singletrack, you will be spoilt for choices. Each season some tracks are worth exploring here in Colorado. 

Mountain biking in Colorado is famous for its recreational purpose where people get to meet and socialize and because of its wide range of medical and health benefits. Keeping fit has helped many avoid health complications such as obesity, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.

If you are new in Colorado and wondering about some of the best mountain biking trails, then you are in the right place. This piece will give you insights into some of the fantastic and exciting trails to explore.

Let’s get to it.

1. The Colorado Trail, Silverton or Waterton Canyon to Durango 

The Colorado Trail, Silverton or Waterton Canyon to Durango 
©Uncover Colorado

This trail begins from Denver to Durango, and more specifically to Trailhead in Durango from the Waterton Trailhead loop in Littleton. The Waterton Canyon multi-purpose trail is popular with bikers and mountain hikers. The total stretch is approximately 500 miles of perplexing alpine terrain from the beginning to the end. To complete the entire Colorado trail and endure the length, you need to be physically fit.

Mountain biking in this trail requires commitment and the determination to accomplish the fetes; if you opt to explore this trail, push through to make it to the end. For those seeking a slice of the most iconic trail in Colorado, the Durango and Silverton track has a spectacular single track with classic mountain sceneries with no wilderness bypasses. 

This trail is ideal for working out as it contains a series of serious vertical slopes as it summits various mountain passes. One of the most remarkable points of the trail is situated at Litterton’s Waterton Canyon. 

This trail is mostly parked on weekends and during holidays. Those wishing to explore this trail must be willing to comply with the safety precautions put in place. For instance, being careful and attentive not to hurt other bikers and wearing a helmet at all times.

2. Doctor Park, Crested Butte

Doctor Park, Crested Butte
©14erskiers

Located in Gunnison County in Colorado, Doctor Park is one of the fun and most thrilling downhill rides. This trail can be explored as a shuttle, loop, or out and back if you are determined. Upon reaching the top, you will enjoy the stunning sceneries of the surrounding mountain before undertaking one awesome descent. The trail begins as rocky and rough before smoothing out to offer you an ear-to-ear grin lasting up to 5 miles.

The Doctor Park mountain biking trail is an impressive 14.2 miles ride with less traffic along the tracks. It provides some long-distance views that start with a 2,500 vertical fire road ascend that turns to a doubletrack middle ring to the trail’s high point at 10,877 feet.

Most riders familiar with the Doctor Park in the Crested Butte area consider it one of their favorite mountain biking rides. From the start, this trail will have roots, knar, and a lot of corners in store for you, so be cautious of anything that may come your way. At the finish, the track suddenly tips upwards, and you need to go down the hill. This is the most challenging part of the ride, but after navigating successfully to the bottom, you will cool off by enjoying a swim at Taylor River.

This mountain biking ride can be completed as a loop, beginning and ending at the North Bank Campground; ideally, you may opt to shuttle it. If you decide to ride from the campground, be prepared for an 8 mile along the Spring Creek dirt road.

3. Monarch Crest, Salida

Monarch Crest, Salida
©Bike Rumor

This mountain biking trailhead is a Monarch pass, off-highway 50, approximately 19 miles from Poncha Springs. Shuttle services are available from Poncha Springs to the starting point. Thus you may opt to shuttle with two vehicles, leaving one at 50/Hwy 285 intersection and the other one at Monarch Pass.

The Monarch Crest is a combination of three trails merged into one popular ride: The 14 mile Monarch Crest Trail, which goes through the Continental Divide Trail, then turns left onto the 4.5 mile Silver Creek proceeds into a portion of the 10 miles Rainbow Trail. The finishing 5 miles are paved downhill back to Poncha Springs.

You’ll come across everything from doubletrack, singletrack, smooth and paved, fire road, loose and rocky, great views, and breathtaking fun. This trail has been consistently categorized as one of the topmost mountain biking trails in the United States. The Monarch Crest trail offers incredible singletrack on high altitude and lengthy downhill slopes thousands of feet as you head back to Salida.

The spectacular view in this trail is due to the high elevation. This gives you a superb feeling of relaxation away from the busy city lifestyle. Mostly, you can view six distinct mountain ranges as you ride: the Mosquito Range and Pikes Peak to the east, the Uncompahgre Plateau on your west, the Sawatch Range towards the north, the San Juan Mountains towards the southwest thus and the Sangre de Cristos towards the southwest.

4. Buffalo Creek, Pine

Buffalo Creek, Pine
©coloradosunandsnow Youtube

The Buffalo mountain biking trail is one of the best in Colorado. There are various ways to describe the ride to Buffalo Creek. The region is bordered to the south, east, and west by the Colorado Trail, and there are several interconnected 2-5 mile tracks to make up the entire system. Wide-open views and scenic outcroppings with smooth trails via unique burn areas and ponderosa pines create a wild yet conducive environment for working out and recreation.

During summer, the Buffalo creek trail can be warm; spring and Fall are fantastic. The tracks are sandy and thus tend to dry quickly offers you an array of trail options. This route can be taken in either direction. When you take the counter-clockwise route, the ride to be less challenging as it is less uphill. Although there are creeks in the area, they are reasonably intermittent. The small crushed granite in this trail is easy to follow. It is hard to get lost in the trail, thanks to the signage at the intersections.

Most of the Buffalo Creek trails have the same feel. Although it is an intermediate area, beginners can bike a vast length of the trail. The long steady climbs make the trail a bit challenging, but the trail is generally non-technical and smooth. This trail is suitable for the whole family as you can enjoy exciting rides, especially on weekends.

5. Lunch Loop, Grand Junction

Lunch Loop, Grand Junction
©MTB Project

Situated near Grand Junction in Colorado, the Lunch Loop Mountain biking trail feature attractive wildflowers and is categorized as moderate. The trail is an incredible 10.3-kilometer ride. It provides various activity options from recreational to workouts and is more suitable between April and October. Although dogs are allowed in this trail, they must be kept on leashes at all times.

The ultimate mountain biking destination is the Lunch Loops trail system in Grand Junction. It is the most preferred singletrack by the locals and is ideal for families who want to accommodate various mountain biking skill levels.

The mountain biking park is a part of the Lunch Loop/Tabeguache Trail System between Little Park Road and the Monument Road in Grand Junction. Although the bike park provides easy trails, the entire trail system primarily consists of trails categorized as more difficult and very difficult. It also offers two trails: Pucker-Up and Free Lunch, designated for downhill slope biking only; this is a one-way trail, and hiking is prohibited in this area.

Adjacent to the Bangs Canyon and the Colorado National Monument allows the Lunch Loops Trail System to offer amazing sceneries on the challenging terrain. The trails are accessible to hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers.

6. Horse Gulch Mountain Biking Trail, Durango

Horse Gulch Mountain Biking Trail, Durango
©Singletracks

Situated near Durango in Colorado, the Horse Gulch mountain biking trail is moderately trafficked and offers beautiful sceneries. It is rated moderate and primarily used for walking, hiking, and mountain biking. It is mostly used between April and October. It is positioned on the Telegraph system with its trail flow. It is a narrow and steep challenge between South Rim Trail on the south and Sidewinder to the north.

The exciting Horse Gulch trail has a lengthy section of gentle valley punctuated with gravel hills and short steep bedrock. The southern end section gets interesting as the trail proceeds towards the inclines of shale-y substances and the Mancos shale.

When exploring this trail, carry enough water as it is normally hot and arid in the summer. It will be wise to hydrate as you work out. Both pros and beginners can use this trail, but it depends on the route that one takes. Some of the trails featured in the Horse Gulch mountain biking trail include Telegraph, Sugar, Raider Ridge, Snake Charmer, and Power Line, among many others.

7. Government Trail, Aspen

Government Trail, Aspen
©Aspen Recreation Center

Situated near Aspen in Colorado, the Government trail mountain biking trail is lightly trafficked and features attractive wildflowers. It stretches up to 30.6 kilometers, and it is categorized as moderate. The trail provides a number of activity opportunities, and it is suitable for use between July and May. Dogs can access this trail.

It is the most popular trail in Aspen. It is made of gravel and dirt with a trailhead elevation of up to 8,400 feet; thus, the temperatures are conducive for working out. During the fall and summer season, you will enjoy much better the 19.7-mile ride. It can take approximately 2 to 4 hours to complete the trail. It is a moderate track, thus suitable for a wide range of mountain bike riders. Running and hiking are common too on this trail.

8. Divide Trail Mountain Biking Trail, Steamboat Springs

Divide Trail Mountain Biking Trail, Steamboat Springs
©Adventure Cycling Association

Situated near Steamboat Springs in Colorado, the Divide Trail is one of Colorado’s best and most popular mountain biking trails. It provides attractive singletrack biking trails with many features from alpine forests to ranch land to feast your ears, eyes, and senses on.

This popular trail is divided geographically into five regions. These trails’ diverse nature offers the mountain bikers spiritual and a wild experience that cannot be experienced in the busy city lifestyle. The trail provides something different each day, whether it is the riding conditions, points of interest, scenery, or new friends along the way. It is a route that is enjoyed due to its diversity. 

A wide range of road conditions is available in this trail. Surfaces range from good gravel, pavement, singletrack, old railroad beds, or four-wheel-drive-roads. There is a perfect chance to view wildlife such as deer, bear, pronghorn, wild horses, eagles, pronghorn antelope, sandhill cranes, osprey, and other animals and birds. The route is rich in history with deserted mines, ghost towns, Old Spanish land grants, and wagon routes.

The temperature at this trail is known to be cool to warm during the day and chilly at night. You may opt to get up early and ride to avoid thundershowers in the afternoon. Riders are advised to be careful and attentive while biking to prevent accidents.

9. Phil’s World Mountain Biking Trail

Phil’s World Mountain Biking Trail
©Roots Rated

Situated near Cortez in Colorado, the Phil’s World mountain biking trail is an exciting flow trails network. Access to the 27 miles trail situated in Southwest Colorado is free of charge. You will get to enjoy the 2,000 feet vertical rides on a singletrack trail. However, the terrain is considerably flat on the cool canyons and through the mesa tops.

All levels of mountain bike riders will enjoy this trail ranging from amateurs to advanced riders. The trail is only limited to clockwise rides as biking is prevalent in this area. This trail is much fun to explore as you always interact with new people. The adventurous ride also refreshes your mind from the stressful city life.

Just like in any other mountain biking trail in Colorado, those wishing to explore Phil’s world should be ready and willing to comply with safety rules and regulations put in place. This is vital in ensuring the safety of all those exploring the trail; wearing a helmet while biking is mandatory.

Bottom Line

Mountain biking has become popular in Colorado to the wide range of health benefits. The above are some interesting and beautiful mountain biking trails that you should explore for a breathtaking experience.

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