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7/25/24

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Biking

Biking in Glenwood Springs

Cycling enthusiasts have a network of options for biking in Glenwood Springs. Whether you prefer paved or off-road riding, engage pedal power on trails from mild to wild!

Glenwood Springs is a growing haven for cycling of all types. The hot springs and adventure town, known for such attractions as Iron Mountain Hot Springs and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, is on the fast track as a Colorado destination for mountain biking, as well as road biking.

Biking by the Numbers

  • 300. Number of miles of high-quality mountain biking trails in the Roaring Fork Valley.
  • 42. Number of miles of paved surface on the Rio Grande Trail between Glenwood Springs and Aspen.
  • 16. Number of miles of paved surface on the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path which follows the Colorado River and connects to four rest areas in Glenwood Canyon, including Hanging Lake.
  • 5. Top-rated mountain biking trails in Glenwood Springs according to Trailforks.comGrandstaffLightning BugAlder ParkTramway Trail and East Colorow.
  • 3. Besides the Rio Grande Trail and Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path, these three trails rank among the most popular routes for road biking: Four Mile RoadSpring Valley LoopHardwick Bridge Loop.
  • 1. The Roaring Fork Valley, including Glenwood Springs, was named a Gold Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Biking Association. The exceptional diversity and accessibility of area trails ensure recreational opportunities for everyone from beginners to elite riders. Check out this map compiled by Roaring Fork Mountain Biking Association (RFMB) for a comprehensive visual and a list of all dirt trails available in the valley.

Family-Friendly Trails

Part of what makes biking in Glenwood Springs so appealing is its accessibility to people of all ages and abilities. You don’t have to be gonzo to have a good time. It’s possible to go for a leisurely ride without even breaking a sweat! Paved, multi-use trails are ideal for such outings.

  • Rio Grande Trail. This 44-mile long trail follows the Roaring Fork River from Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs all the way to Aspen, connecting the valley’s towns in between. A rails-to-trails project, it features a gentle grade with places to stop, rest, picnic and enjoy the views. The river is fishing grounds for birds of prey including bald and golden eagles, hawks and vultures. Keep an eye out for these magnificent creatures as you pedal. If you are interested in riding the entire length of the Rio Grande, consider cycling downhill, starting in Aspen and finishing in Glenwood Springs.
  • Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path. A delight to ride, the entire 18-mile long path follows the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon with access to four scenic rest areas—No Name, Grizzly Creek, Hanging Lake and Bair Ranch—each with interpretive signage, public restrooms and picnic tables. Bikers are welcome to ride to the Hanging Lake trailhead and lock up their bikes but will need to purchase a permit in advance to hike the trail.
  • Atkinson Canal Trail. For a quick ride, enjoy this short 3-mile section of trail along the west side of the Roaring Fork River. Except for the access points on either end, the grade is flat and ideal for families with young riders. Scenic highlights include the Old Cardiff Bridge, as well places for picnicking and sandy spots to enjoy wading and splashing in the river.

Challenging Mountain Biking Terrain

Glenwood Springs also has its fair share of rugged, mountain biking trails. Unlike some overcrowded biking destinations, Glenwood Springs’ trails offer plenty of room to spread out. If you take a tumble, the whole world won’t be watching!

  • Boy Scout Trail & Forest Hollow. This ride is a mountain biking classic. Considered one of the more difficult in the area due to steep sections of singletrack and tight hairpin turns.
  • Grandstaff Trail. Quickly becoming a destination ride. Power up the Jeanne Golay Trail on Red Mountain and enjoy spectacular panoramic views at the summit. Connect with Grandstaff for a rollicking and speedy downhill decent.
  • Wulfsohn Trails. This trail network located in West Glenwood Springs is a mountain biking terrain sampler of sorts, offering a little something for riders of all levels. It’s a great place to practice and build technical skills.
  • South Canyon Trails. Consisting of three completed trails—Tramway, Lightning Bug and Coal Camp—with more on the way, the diverse terrain includes 8.3 miles of riding nirvana.

Where to Go Road Biking

The appeal of road biking is the freedom that comes from a ride that goes the distance. Skinny tire enthusiasts can easily cover 100 miles in a day. Glenwood’s paved paths are ideal for road biking enthusiasts. The Rio Grande Trail and Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path offer a combined 60 miles of smooth surface. For a more traditional blacktop ride, pedal up Four Mile Road to Sunlight Mountain Resort or ride the back roads from the Westbank subdivision in Glenwood Springs to Carbondale. Another steep, yet satisfying ride is the climb up County Road 114 to Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Campus.

Fast & Easy: E-bikes and Shuttles

Cycling isn’t just for weekend warriors or the super-fit though. The sport is ever-evolving, enabling more people of all ages and abilities to experience the joy of a carefree ride surrounded by the scenic beauty of Glenwood Springs. Visitors can rent e-bikes for touring paved trails or sign up for e-biking tours on backcountry trails at Sunlight Mountain Resort. Use the electric assist for a built-in power boost to glide along at a faster clip or fly up hills without breaking a sweat.

In addition to renting bikes, some cycling outfitters offer one-directional shuttles for rides in Glenwood Canyon. For a reasonable fee, they can rack your bike, drop you off at one of the canyon’s rest areas and leave you to ride back to town at your own pace. A great option for anyone on a tight schedule, shuttles allow you to enjoy riding the full-length of Glenwood Canyon but cut your cycling time in half.

When you want to ride your bicycle—for a slow cruise or a fast-paced decent—there’s no better place in Colorado than Glenwood Springs to go for a ride.

Fat Biking on Snow Covered Trails

No longer a three-season sport, fat biking allows you to ride all year-long, even in the most extreme conditions. Extra-wide tires combined with low tire pressure are the trick that enables bikes to float over surfaces in which they’d normally sink such as snow or sand. Riders can find their winter biking groove at Sunlight Mountain Resort. The resort’s Babbish Gulch features 29 kilometers of trails that range from easy greens to black diamond grinds.

Bike Rentals: Canyon Bikes

Since 1990, Canyon Bikes has specialized in bike rentals and bike shuttles in and around the Glenwood Springs area. They provide a premier and original licensed shuttle service to the Bair Ranch Rest Area, in the Glenwood Canyon, 14 miles east of town. Enjoy new equipment, exceptional service, and a convenient location!

Summer Attractions & Events

Whether you’re marveling at the caverns’ geological wonders, soaring through the sky on one of the park’s gravity-defying rides, or immersing yourself in the festive atmosphere of a summer event, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park promises an unforgettable experience that blends the thrills of adventure with the wonder of the natural world.

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