Photos courtesy visitgrandcounty.com
Mountain Bike Capital, seriously! Where can you find easy access to over 600 miles of mountain biking trails just 90 minutes from Denver? From nice and mellow to pure madness, the trails in Grand County offer riders of all abilities an array of exciting options all summer long. With lift-serviced trails, screaming downhillers, rolling cruisers, and long cross-country trails to spend all day on, you’ll be stoked to get the bike off the car or garage and get dirty.
The Headwaters Trails Alliance team has been working hard to build, designate, mark and promote the trail system throughout the county. Maps provide an excellent resource for bikers unfamiliar with Grand County. Here are eleven local favorite trails and networks that you’ve gotta ride this season.
1. Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park Resort
“Extensive” doesn’t even begin to describe Winter Park Resort’s Trestle Bike Park. With trails of all abilities spanning three of the mountain’s “Seven Territories” — including the highly technical pro-line trail called Banana Peel — Trestle Bike Park has earned its reputation as one of North America’s leading mountain bike destinations.
2. Stillwater Area Trails
The Stillwater area in Grand Lake has incredible backcountry trails including the Gilsonite and Wolverine mountian bike trails. Take a ride 2,000 vertical feet to the top of the tree line before enjoying some of the best views around.
3. Little Vasquez Road
This double-track road passes through forest and gradually descends down into the town of Winter Park, and it’s a great access point for several additional trails.
4. Bike Granby Ranch
In summer, Granby Ranch transforms into a fat-tire heaven with lift-served downhill and cross-country trails as well as expert-level, gravity-fed trails. Private lessons are available so you can master the hill.
5. The Fraser River Trail
Mellow and meandering, the Fraser River is a splendid stream to follow on a bike. The Fraser River Trail runs from Winter Park to Fraser along the watercourse. Bring binoculars and look for yellow warblers among the willows.
6. Broken Thumb Trail
For those riders looking to take their intermediate skills to the next level, the Broken Thumb Trail (descending from Rollins Pass east of Winter Park) is a great starting point.
7. Guided Mountain Bike Rides at Devils Thumb Ranch
If you are new to the sport, get your feet wet at the scenic Devils Thumb Ranch with a guided mountain bike tour for two or more.
8. Snow Mountain Ranch Trail Network
YMCA of the Rockies offers a mountain biking trial network for all ages and abilities at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby. Rentals are also available.
9. St. Louis Creek Area
This area west of Fraser is ideal for mountain bikers looking to mix their favorite sport with a little camping. From the St. Louis Creek campground you can connect with a variety of blue-rated “more difficult” trails such as the Creekside Loop.
10. Strawberry Creek West Trail to Doe Creek Trail
Hook up with this trail north of Tabernash, and you can ride it all the way to the Doe Creek Trail which drops down to the shores of Grand Lake. It’s one of the top-ranked long rides in Grand County.
11. Tipperary Creek Race Course
Rated as one of the top 5 courses in the world by Velonews, Tipperary Creek Race Course is not to be missed. This iconic ride attracts pros and novices alike, and you won’t be at a loss for terrain in the area.
For more trail ideas, check out this map of the Winter Park area, often called Mountain Bike Capital, USA, or consult the complete Grand County Trail Map.