Bike the most scenic mountain bike trails in Colorado, here are the top five trails with all of the views
If you have yet to add these mountain bike trails to your bucket list you should, because they feature some of the steepest descents with the most beautiful views. Some of which include wildflowers, waterfalls and the continental divide.
1. Trail 401- Crested Butte, CO
Trail 401 brings you to the western slope of Colorado, where you will find fields of wildflowers and 14.1 miles of single-track. The loop starts with a five mile climb up Gothic Road, passing the scenic Emerald Lake. At the top of Schofield Pass, you’ll veer right onto the start of Trail 401, climbing about 1.3 miles through dense trees. This trail will remind your lungs that you’re about 11,000 feet above sea level. You’ll break through the trees at the top, and to your right, the fun flowy single-track of the 401 begins. You’ll have the best views of the Mountain Range, and to the east, you can catch a glimpse of the Maroon Bells. The best time to catch this trail would be mid-summer so that you can pedal through the fields of wildflowers. Don’t forget to rent all your gear needs through Handlebar Bike Shop, located in downtown Crested Butte.
2. Monarch Crest Trail- Salida, CO
The Monarch Crest Trail is a 36.1-mile trail located on Monarch Pass and is one of Colorado’s most classic rides. This trail requires a shuttle from one of the local bike shops in Salida, Colorado. Check out Absolute Bikes or High Valley Bike Shuttle for rates and times depending on snow arrival and departure. The trail is usually good to ride from July through September. If you choose to ride this trail in the Fall, make sure you bring a windbreaker and some extra warm gear because it can get cold above 11,000 feet. The trail starts with a 2,300-foot climb that’s above the tree line and is not super technical. You’ll definitely be earning your views by riding this trail as it peaks at about 11,900 feet above sea level. The descent is one of the best parts of this trail because you get about 6,000 feet of flowy smooth single-track, with options for more technical routes. This trail will showcase the top of the Continental Divide and offer some of the most beautiful views.
3. Doctors Park- Crested Butte, CO
Doctors Park Trail is a 23.0-mile loop located about 20-25 miles outside of Crested Butte in Spring Creek. The peddle on Spring Creek Road offers beautiful views of high alpine trees and Spring Creek. You can shuttle this ride or peddle in about eight miles, until you see a double-track crossing through Spring Creek, heading up the gully. This ride features a brutal climb with spectacular views towards the top of the ridge and into an open valley. Make sure you bring some small snacks for quick brake at the top to take in the beautiful views and congratulate yourself for making it up that climb. The descent of this ride features a flowy open trail into the trees, becoming more technical with some steep drops towards the end of the trail. This trail dumps you out at the North campground, where you can be picked up or load your bike back up to enjoy some beers back in the town of Crested Butte, Colorado.
4. Ribbon Trail- Grand Junction, CO
The Ribbon Trail is a 3.0-mile point to point single-track trail located in Grand Junction, Colorado. This trail is one you want to check your brakes for, as it has a 1,500 feet. descent down sandy washes. You’ll absolutely want to embark on this trail with someone who knows where they are going, as it is easy to get lost or slip off a cliff. You can shuttle this ride from the lower parking lot by yourself or with a friend. Get ready for steep downhill and long and fast sections on flat slabs of rock. These slabs feature fantastic open views of western Colorado and beautiful wildflowers in the summertime. This route is one of the coolest trails in Grand Junction but also one of the hardest, so keep that in mind when planning which trail you want to rip for the views.
Need a Mountain Bike?
5. Wasatch Trail- Telluride, CO
The Wasatch Trail never fails to deliver endless views and steep descents. This trail is a 15.8-mile single-track loop located in Telluride, Colorado. This trail isn’t for the faint-hearted being that it brings you to above 13,000 feet. You’ll want to bring 2-3 liters of water and 5-6 energy bars, spare tubes and a camera for all of the incredible views and breaks you take throughout this ride. This ride starts from town and heads towards Bridal Veil Falls. The climb is a brutal 4.5 miles of uphill until you find yourself standing above a power plant with beautiful vista views. If you choose to continue on this ride, be prepared to cross creeks and pass many waterfalls. Keep in mind the signage is limited, so you’ll want to plan this ride in advance or with an expert. On your one of many breaks, make sure you take in all of the high alpine views and wildflowers in bloom.
Check out these mountain bike trails for yourself!