In our 2012 post featuring ten Best of Denver bike rides, we showcased a number of locations chosen with mountain biking in mind.
Now, the National Forest Foundation, a nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Searvice, has upped the ante.
The organization recently posted about eight mountain bike rides not to miss when visiting Colorado's national forests, based on recommendations from Forest Service personnel.
Among the rides selected are two in Grand Mesa National Forest, where I just spent Labor Day weekend — and I can testify from personal experience that they are absolutely spectacular.
See all eight photo-illustrated selections below, accompanied by excerpts from NFF text. The bold subject lines link to pages specific to each trail. To see the original post, click here.
Located near Snowmass, Colorado this is a local favorite that takes riders up through beautiful Aspen Groves, drops them over roots and other technical features and leaves them wanting more! Government Trail provides an intermediate to expert singletrack experience from the eastern flanks of Snowmass Ski Area to the Tiehack side of Buttermilk Ski Area.
Looking for something a little more mellow? Try Boreas Pass as a great place to warm up for beginners with wide track that is also open to motorized use. At just under eight miles, it doesn’t contain anything too technical and has a gentle ascent with great views of the Tenmile Range.
Take a ride through dense forest and open grassy flats, hug narrow benches clinging to the rim and snake through shimmering Aspen glades! The spectacular Mesa Top Trail atop of the world’s largest flat-top mountain is currently a three mile non-motorized single track that will soon connect with the popular Flowing Park Trail. Still in progress, the connectors will provide several looped trail options ranging from 6 to 28 miles.
At the rim of the Grand Mesa on Indian Point, you can experience one of the Grand Mesa’s most spectacular views. On a clear day, Kannah Creek Basin, the La Sal Mountains, the Uncompahgre Plateau, and the Grand Valley can all be seen. A trail for intermediates and experts, the Indian Point trail meanders through oak brush/sage, snowberry/serviceberry and aspen/fir forests on the way to Indian Point.
Explore the area’s rich railroad and mining history via mountain bike along the Galloping Goose Trail. Centered around Colorado’s history, this is a classic bike ride is an 8.4 mile adventure through time, following the historic Rio Grande Southern (RGS) Railway that was built in 1891 and served mining communities in the region. Stop and browse the restored train trestle, water tank, coal chute facility, railroad ties and other historic features. Ride over two trail bridges, through a highway underpass, and along segments of the historic RGS railway.
Located in the Poudre Canyon in Larimer County on the Roosevelt National Forest and adopted New Belgium Brewery with support from the Diamond Peak Bike Patrol, this trail is very popular with hikers and bikers alike.
The trail travels north from the Poudre Canyon following an old road along Gordon Creek. Along the way it passes foundations of old homesteads from the early 1900s. At the two mile mark, the trail forks. The main trail continues north and winds through a narrow canyon with many stream crossings before heading uphill out of the drainage into a meadow. The left side of the fork is a loop, which eventually reconnects to the main trail. Depending on your chosen route, the trail is four to six miles round trip.
The 1.8 mile WTB trail has something for everyone — essentially three different trails depending on which portion of the trail you ride. The western portion of the trail that connects to FS 892 is steep, rough, rugged and for the rider looking for a technically and physically challenging ride. The eastern portion of the trail, beginning from D4, connects into Akima’s Way, which can take you to town or to multiple other trail options. The eastern portion of the trail is flowy, featuring banked turns and multiple options to ride on natural and constructed features (wooden ladders, skinnies, boulder rides). This portion of the trail also has ride-a-rounds that allow more novice riders or groups with riders of different abilities to bypass these features.
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Ride on top of a mesa on the Rio Grande National Forest! This trail is about five miles and partly above tree line providing fantastic views of the Weminuche and La Garita Wilderness Areas. In this remote part of the state, you may just have the trail to yourself!