Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aspen: A Cycling Paradise

Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley are a Cycling and Mountain biker’s paradise. Beautiful scenery abounds whether you are in the wilderness on a challenging mountain bike ride or a leisurely road bike on a paved bike path. There are many rides for each discipline ranging from easy to very difficult. Two of the more popular road bike rides easily accessible from town are the Ashcroft and Maroon Bells loops, both of which are in the “difficult” category. The Ashcroft loop takes you 11 miles up Castle Creek road to a historic ghost town, for a total of 22 miles of cycling. The Maroon Bells loop is approximately 10 miles from highway 82 and ends up at the base of the stunning Maroon Bells. The total distance of this ride is approximately 20 miles. Traffic is limited on this access road during the summer to make this ride even more enjoyable. Two of the more popular mountain bike rides around Aspen are the Government Trail and The Sunnyside trail, both of which are challenging at times from a technical and aerobic standpoint (for me at least!). The Government trail connects Buttermilk and Snowmass. Throughout the ride there are plenty of phenomenal views, wild flowers, and cool sections through Aspen forests. It is important to note that this trail crosses private property at certain points, and portions of it are closed early on for elk migration. The Sunny Side trail is usually accessed by biking up to the four corners region starting from the Hunter Creek valley. My favorite part of this ride is the sun as it peaks through the leaves of the beautiful aspen forest. Towards the end of the ride there are some gorgeous wild flowers and great views of the valley. The Sunny Side trail will take you back to Cemetery Lane right near town. These are of course just a few of the many rides around Aspen. The possibilities are really endless, especially if you are willing to drive out of town a ways. Go to for more rides.