Pitkin County bike trails: Snowmass Trails | PostIndependent.com

Pitkin County bike trails: Snowmass Trails

Getting there: There are a number of ways to access the Snowmass Trail system, including the gondola. For the loop, start at the Snowmass Recreation Center and ride on the Brush Creek Bike Path until you cross Brush Creek Road. There you will hit the Ditch Trail.

Trail talk: Snowmass is full of rides with beautiful scenery, including aspen trees, wildflowers and meadows.

SNOWMASS TRAILS TO ASPEN SHUTTLE RIDE

Distance: 17.6 miles

Difficulty: Difficult

The dirt: Start at the small, dirt parking lot on Owl Creek Road, then ride the Owl Creek Bike Path for about 50 yards to Tom Blake Trail. Don't be confused by the brief paved interruption on Tom Blake Trail (the uphill on Faraway Road), which eventually leads to Hidden Lane (also paved). Make a right and descend Wood Road. Make a left and a short singletrack leads you to Fanny Hill Ski Slope.

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This is one way to ride from Snowmass ski area to the base at Buttermilk. Connect along Sleigh Ride, The Ditch, Connector and West Government. You can make a complete loop by riding the Owl Creek Trail paved bike path or venturing through Sky Mountain Park singletrack. Riders will enjoy miles of single track through Aspen groves and forest. Technical rocky areas and roots offer a challenge for even the experienced.

THE SNOWMASS LOOP

Distance: 24.1 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

The dirt: Snowmass has one of the best singletrack riding systems in Colorado and it continues to expand. Riders experience rolling jump lines on Deadline Trail, forests and flowers on Tom Blake Trail, rocks and grassy meadows on Cross Mountain Trail and epic mountain views on the fast, smooth descent of Rim Trail. Ride the loop clockwise, and try to make it to Rim Trail, the most beautiful portion. Make sure to grab a bike trail map before you head out to explore; there's a lot to see.

RIM TRAIL LOOP

Distance:10.5 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

The dirt: Park at the Rodeo Lot in Snowmass Village. Ride up Brush Creek Pike Path to just below the ski area. Cross Brush Creek Road before the final turn to the ski area and ride Divide Road to the Rim Trail trailhead.

This singletrack loop includes lots of climbing on a bike path to 7 miles of singletrack. There's about 1,800 feet of elevation change, so it's a challenging ride. You'll start off with a quick climb. Check out the incredible 360 degree views at the top before descending on some fun and fast singletrack. From here, it's pure descent to the parking lot.