Garfield County bike trails: Red Hill, Carbondale | PostIndependent.com

Garfield County bike trails: Red Hill, Carbondale

Getting there: For access, park just north of the intersection of Colorado highways 82 and 133, about a mile north of Carbondale's roundabout.

Trail talk: This area offers a wide variety of singletrack ranging from casual meadow rides to technical climbs and descents. Within easy riding distance of Carbondale, Red Hill is popular with bikers, hikers and dog walkers. But the farther from the trailhead you go, the more solitude you'll find. The easiest riding is also farthest from the trailhead.

THREE GULCH

Distance : 1.1 miles

Difficulty: Difficult

The dirt: This trail offers a technical, fun and challenging grunt of a climb into the generally flowy Red Hill trail area. This is the easiest way up, though "the ramp" near the end challenges most riders.

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BLUE RIBBON

Distance : 1.3 miles

Difficulty: Difficult

The dirt: This is a popular way back down the hill. It's also a harder way up than Three Gulch, but after the junction with Three Gulch, riding up is easy until a steep climb to the top.

ELK TRAVERSE

Distance : 1.6 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate to difficult

The dirt: This trail is a fun and sometimes technical side-hill route that connects the Red Hill Loop with the farther-out (and less-traveled) Northside Loop and associated loops.

NORTHSIDE LOOP

Distance : 4.9 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

The dirt: The longest trail in Red Hill is a mostly easy ride through meadows, but it also includes some rocky sections in pinyon-juniper.

RED HILL LOOP

Distance : 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

The dirt: The "Lunch Loops" of Carbondale, this combo throws together Three Gulch, Blue Ribbon, Bogus, Faerie, Skeeter's Ridge, Roller Coaster and Blue Ribbon (again) for a 6-mile funfest.