Aspen Mountain Biking Overview
Aspen, CO, mountain biking is a wildly popular activity, and for good reason. The beautiful mountain views, the crisp, clean air, and the fantastic, thoughtful trail designs that abound in this region make it a great summer destination for all levels of mountain biker. So get an Aspen mountain biking map, your helmet, and clip in for some scenic, glorious mountain trails!
Why Mountain Biking in Aspen is Great
From great trip planning resources to an awesome community, here’s what we love about mountain biking in Aspen Snowmass:
It can be frustrating, especially for those new to mountain biking, to head off to a bike destination and find there’s no good trail data to help us pick a suitable route. It’s just the opposite with Aspen. The town’s tourism industry means there is plenty of detailed information online about all of the region’s trails, so you don’t have to spend half your vacation doing research.
One of the best things about Aspen mountain biking is the community. There is a rich network of passionate mountain bikers, bike shops, and trail designers who have put their heads together to make this town a true mountain biking destination, and it shows.
Tons of Variety
Sometimes it can feel like mountain biking has a high barrier to entry, with a world of gritty black diamond trails and nothing for the newer folks or those who just want to take it easy. That’s not the case in Aspen. The trails in and around this town are intended to be inclusive and accessible, and you’ll find parks and systems with trail ratings across the board. Everybody’s welcome here!
Where to Go Mountain Biking Aspen, CO
If you’re looking for mountain biking trails, Aspen is bursting at the seams. Here are our favorite easy routes in this area.
For a beginner, Easy Rider is one of the best when it comes to Aspen Snowmass downhill mountain biking. Easy Rider travels 2.7 miles through forest and meadow to the bottom of Elk Camp, where you can take a gondola back up and enjoy the ride a second or third time. This trail is perfect for a family with younger riders or people who are new to the sport. Elk Camp is located in Snowmass downhill bike park, about thirty minutes’ drive west of Aspen.
Sky Mountain Park
With just over 5 miles of trail in Aspen’s newest system, Sky Mountain Park offers a perfect choice for beginner mountain bikers. With three entrances to the park, things don’t get too crowded despite the accessibility of the park. There are plenty of features like jumps and berms throughout Sky Mountain where newbies and intermediates can practice new skills. There’s very little shade here, so wear your sunscreen.
Plenty of beginner loops in Sky Mountain Park can be accessed from the Buttermilk Ski Area entry point, about 15 minutes northwest of Aspen.
Rim Trail Loop
Just outside of Snowmass Ski Resort, the Rim Trail loop is a fun 11-mile ride that includes 7 miles of great singletrack. The views of Elk Mountain Range are stunning. Park at the Rodeo Parking lot in Snowmass Village, and start with a climb on the bike path. The scenery and ease of access make this one of the best Aspen mountain bike trails for intermediate riders.
If you’re looking for downhill mountain bike trails, the Snowmass bike park is full of them, and perhaps the finest example of these is the Valhalla Trail, designed by Gravity Logic. The trail descends 1400 feet through aspen groves on a free ride course and then you can ride up the Elk Camp Gondola to do it all over again. The trail is a great option for intermediate and advanced mountain bikers and provides plenty of opportunity to work on trick skills and features like jumps and table tops.
When to Go Mountain Biking Near Aspen
Aspen is an amazing hub for adventure, but it can also be pricier compared to other Colorado destinations so it pays to plan ahead. The prime months for visiting Aspen are from December to March and prices are higher during this time. It’s also not necessarily the best time for biking. Aspen tends to be more popular in the winter months because of the incredible ski/snowboard resorts in Aspen and the surrounding towns.
Opting for a summer trip means you can visit the Aspen bike shops with less crowds, spend a little less money, and enjoy mild, sunny weather. Summer temperatures don’t really go above 80 degrees during the day, and evenings remain cool.
Many mountain biking trails in Aspen are closed until the mud has dried up enough to protect trail integrity. That usually happens about mid-May, but sometimes there is snow dump in June. Also, some sections of trail are closed for elk calving until late June, so July through early October are typically the best months to go mountain biking around Aspen.
Getting to Aspen
Aspen has its own tiny airport and while flying directly into town is often the most convenient choice, it’s also very expensive because the airport is so small. The flight from DIA to Aspen takes less than one hour and there are usually 4 flights per day.
Most travelers arrive to Aspen via Denver International Airport, rent a car, and drive a little under 4 hours to the resort town. If you’re driving to Aspen in the winter from DIA, you need to rent a 4WD or AWD vehicle to handle the snow safely. There are also numerous shuttle options to Aspen from DIA and Denver’s Grand Central Station.
Other arrival airports include Eagle County Airport near Vail, which is about 65 miles and an hour drive to Aspen (depending on traffic), and Grand Junction Regional Airport, a little over two hour’s drive from Aspen.
Aspen Bike Rentals, Tours & Lessons
If you’re looking for a guide or rental for your Aspen mountain bike rides, TripOutside has you covered. If you need mountain bike rentals, Aspen CO has abundant options. We’ve collected all the best outfitters so you can ensure the quality and safety of your bike trip. If you just want to rent a cruiser bike for a few hours, or if you want to go on a multi-day mountain bike-packing trip, we have the best Aspen bike rental companies right here.
Aspen Mountain Bike FAQs
Can you mountain bike from Aspen to Crested Butte?
There is a trail that you can take if you want to mountain bike from Crested Butte to Aspen (or the reverse). It’s called the Pearl Pass Road and it’s a very difficult, advanced mountain biking trail with lots of scree and sharp rocks. It passes through Gunnison and White River National Forests and it’s a popular high-alpine destination for expert mountain bikers.
When does the mountain biking open in Aspen?
Different trails have different seasons, but most mountain biking in Aspen is open by mid-May or early June.
What is the best area for Aspen downhill mountain biking?
The Aspen Snowmass downhill bike park is one of the best places for downhill mountain biking in the Aspen area. There are tons of great trails for all levels. Check out our best downhill mountain bike parks article for more information!