The Best Gravel Biking Routes in the Arkansas Valley

Pedal endless gravel roads with majestic views of soaring mountain peaks!

Gravel Biking Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Severe

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After the highpoint, descend a bit to sweeping views of the Arkansas River Valley and the Sawatch mountains.
After the highpoint, descend a bit to sweeping views of the Arkansas River Valley and the Sawatch mountains. Photo: Scott Anderson

Description

The Arkansas Valley serves as a crossroads for several of Colorado’s largest non-interstate highways. But aside from the major highways that bisect the valley north and south and east and west, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many paved roads here. If you head out the door for a road ride, you’ll invariably find yourself leaving the pavement and venturing down a dirt road that only gets rougher and rougher as you go on.

So why fight it? Instead, grab a wider-tired drop bar bike and get ready to crush some gravel!

While a few key rides venture into the mountains to the west or lie on the valley floor, for the most part, the best gravel riding in the region is found in the Arkansas Hills on the eastern side of the valley. Generally speaking, as you head west into the massive Sawatch range, the roads get brutally rocky and technical—so technical that many are not passable on a gravel bike, and instead require a full-blown mountain bike.

Not so in the Arkansas Hills. Here, you’ll find endless miles of flowing gravel roads with stunning views in all directions! Some of the climbs are still quite long and steep, but with the wide variety of routes presented in this guidebook, you can easily find the perfect ride to match your desired route length and difficulty level.

Routes included

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