ASPEN: Biking Trails

 Aspen PICKs, Places  Comments Off on ASPEN: Biking Trails
Dec 092010
 

Top PickSmuggler

Smuggler is one of the most popular roads in the summer months, with easy access to several backcountry trails. Beautiful views of Ajax Mountain.  Tread is doubletrack.

Little Annie Road

A great ride to the Aspen Mountain sun deck, and the most convenient and least strenuous way to reach the Richmond Ridge or the top of Aspen Mountain. Enjoy spectacular views up Castle Valley and the surrounding high peaks. Tread is doubletrack.

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Rio Grande Trail

It’s the most accessible trail in the area….and it’s paved.  Bicyclists can finally pedal the Rio Grande Trail all the way from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, and it’s just as much a favorite for those looking to take a brisk walk.  Beware…it’s a lot harder riding towards Aspen, but the ride back down valley will seem like a breeze!

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Sunnyside

Do this ride! One of the best rides in the Aspen area, with lots of variety, several technical sections, loads of uphill climbing, and amazing singletrack through a spectacular aspen forest.  Tread: 6.8 miles on singletrack; 7 miles on doubletrack; 2 miles on paved roads.

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Hunter Creek

A great ride with a lot of variety and access to miles of biking trails. There is a great singletrack section and a fun, fast downhill back to town. Tread: 2.6 miles on singletrack; 3.0 miles on doubletrack; 2 miles on paved roads.

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Rim Trail

One of the best singletrack rides in the Aspen area; fairly smooth tread with tight, twisting singletrack along a high ridgeline. Spectacular views up and down the Roaring Fork Valley. Tread: 3.7 miles on singletrack, 1.5 miles on paved road, and 1.2 miles on gravel roads.

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Taylor Pass (to Crested Butte)

A great alpine bike tour that takes you up, over, and through some of Colorado’s most spectacular alpine scenery. Spectacular views out to the Collegiate Peaks Range, alpine flowers in the summer months, and spectacular colors from the changing aspen in early fall. Tread: Rough four-wheel road, singletrack, and double-track with a short section of paved road.

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Basalt Mountain Lower Loop

A great intro to riding on and around Basalt Mountain. The singletrack riding is superb and ranks as some of the best in the Roaring Fork Valley. The hill climb up to the start of the singletrack is moderate with no technical difficulties. A favorite midvalley ride with superb singletrack and moderate hill climbs. Tread: 4.4 miles on dirt roads and 4.4 miles on singletrack.

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Light Hill Road

A steep, lung-busting hill climb with incredible views to Snowmass Ski Area, Capitol Peak, and Mount Sopris, with a fun singletrack section near the end of the ride. Tread: 3.9 miles on paved roads, 2.6 miles on doubletrack, and 1.1 miles on singletrack.

Midnight Mine

Great uphill workout. Another way to reach Richmond Hill and the sun deck. Tread is rough doubletrack.

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Pearl Pass

The original, big-daddy, high-alpine ride in the Aspen area, with spectacular views of the Sawatch Range to the north and the San Juan Mountains a hundred miles to the south. Tread: An extremely rough four-wheel-drive road.

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ASPEN: Walking Trails

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Dec 092010
 

Top PickRio Grande Trail

It’s the most accessible trail in the area.  Although bicyclists can finally pedal the Rio Grande Trail all the way between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, it’s just as much a favorite for those looking to take a brisk walk.  It’s one of the few trails that is paved and flat, so it’s definitely appropriate for every age and shape!  Rollerblading’s great too.

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Maroon Bells

A well-known treasure, Maroon Bells is really breathtaking and worth a visit.  Walk around as much or as little as you like. It’s a drive to get there, but then just park and take a walk up to/around the small lake.  You won’t regret hanging out up here.

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John Denver Sanctuary

If you want a quiet, contemplative place to stroll around, this is it.  Some of John Denver’s more famous verses are carved into the large granite stones, and the backdrop of Ajax mountain is breathtaking.  Located in the heart of town, it’s quick, easy and nearby.  Take a walk and get a “Rocky Mountain High!”

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ASPEN: Parks

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Dec 092010
 

Top PickWagner Park

This is the more recognizable park since it’s smack dab in the middle of town.  Famous for the rugby matches in summer, it’s also a favorite to throw a frisbee, play fetch with your dog, read a book, or enjoy some of the art fairs or the food and wine classic when they’re in town.

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John Denver Sanctuary

If you want a quiet, contemplative spot, this is your place.  Some of his more famous verses are carved into the large granite stones, and the backdrop of Ajax mountain can be breathtaking.  A true favorite worth a visit on a leisurely afternoon.

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Koch Park

This park is best known for the volleyball tournament over Labor Day.  Other than that, it’s a low-key park near A1 lift on the west side of town.  Nice and chill.

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Rio Grande Park

This is where locals go to hang out with friends and just chillax.  Or, for the younger gang, play basketball and skateboard (its got a skateboard park).

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ASPEN: Hiking Trails

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Dec 072010
 

Top PickHunter Creek

This is one of the prettiest hiking trails in Aspen — located behind the Hunter Creek Condos.  You pass over streams and rapids, all the while enjoying a breath-taking view of Ajax.  Not a hard trek for tourists; easy for locals.

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Smuggler Mountain

If you want a quick, vigorous workout, hike up Smuggler!  It gets fairly busy during peak summer season in Aspen — but it’s still worth it.  Definitely a tourist and local favorite.

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Cathedral Lake

Short and strenuous, this 2.8 mile hike up to Cathedral Lake will get your blood pumping.  It’s located outside of Ashcroft.

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Hanging Lake (Glenwood Canyon)

Not in Aspen and actually, it’s quite a drive down valley, but Hanging Lake needs a mention here because it’s a hidden slice of Heaven.  When you reach the lake and see the waterfalls, you realize what the Rockies are all about.

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