Guidebook

10 of the Best Mountain Bike Trails in Colorado

Rounding up 10 of the very best trails in one of the best regions for mountain biking on planet Earth.

Description

If you analyze mountain bike destinations not just on a local level (or a state level, or a national level), but if you actually compare areas of the world on a global scale, you'll quickly realize that only a handful of regions truly have what it takes to rank as one of the world's best mountain bike destinations.

If I had to assemble a list of the top five regions globally that provide premiere mountain bike trail access, Colorado would no doubt be near the top of the list. My other choices for a top 5 list? British Columbia, New Zealand's South Island, Switzerland (or the Alps more generally, if a region that big still counts), and Scotland. When it comes to the Colorado Rockies, any claims made about the state, or any comparison leveled between destinations… Colorado can compete.

Colorado boasts some of the best mountain bike trail access on planet earth. Thousands of miles of singletrack trails run through the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the low deserts, the foothills, the verdant valleys, and the suburban parks of the Front Range megalopolis. The average quality of the singletrack is staggeringly high, with dozens of epic rides that will make you think, "this might just be the best mountain bike trail I've ever ridden in my entire life!"

While Colorado does offer deserts and foothills and valleys, it's best-known for its high altitude singletrack strung across some of the tallest peaks on the continent. Pedaling through high alpine tundra, meadows filled with wildflowers, or even ripping down the slopes of a 14,000-foot mountain peak, is all par for the course in Colorado and somehow even becomes commonplace.

If you were to take one of Colorado's mediocre high-alpine rides, one that gets a consistent review of "eh, it's ok, but have you heard about THIS TRAIL!" and transplant it into any other mountain bike destination in the world, it would likely be one of the best trails in that destination. So when the bar for singletrack quality in Colorado is set so incredibly high, it takes some serious chops to qualify as a top trail.

With that high bar in mind, I present to you 10 of the very best trails in the state of Colorado. There's plenty of room for debate on this list, and again, there are hundreds of world-class mountain bike rides in Colorado. But if you're looking for a hitlist to get you started, a best-of-the-best list to guide you as you explore this epic state, begin your quest with the incredible mountain bike trails found in this guidebook!

Monarch Crest
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monarch Crest

Salida
58.6 km
1,043 m
2,222 m
This epic trail provides high alpine ridge top riding at treeline with views for hundreds of miles in all directions, finishing with a ripping descent down the mountain.
Difficult
Private
Colorado Trail: Kennebec Pass to Durango
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Kennebec Pass to Durango

Durango
43.0 km
1,450 m
2,144 m
Kennebec Pass to Durango is a ripping enduro-style descent starting high above tree line and dropping down gnarly singletrack all the way to town.
Severe
Private
Little Scraggy Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Little Scraggy Loop

Buffalo Creek
38.6 km
815 m
815 m
New school flow combines with Buffalo Creek's classic granite rocks and beautiful views to create the popular Little Scraggy Loop.
Difficult
Private
The 804 Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

The 804 Loop

Crested Butte
47.2 km
1,589 m
1,589 m
A beautiful high-alpine trail connected into a mega loop.
Severe
Private
Lunch Loops
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Lunch Loops

Grand Junction
19.9 km
523 m
523 m
While easily accessible from the town of Grand Junction, the Lunch Loops provide rocky, technical singletrack to challenge even the best of mountain bikers.
Severe
Private
Doctor Park
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Doctor Park

Crested Butte
33.3 km
938 m
938 m
Not only is it considered the best backcountry singletrack descent in Crested Butte, but Doctor Park ranks as one of the best singletrack descents in the nation!
Severe
Private
Zippety Do Da
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Zippety Do Da

Fruita
10.9 km
277 m
278 m
Zippety Do Da provides the fast downhill bombs, swoop and flow, and visually-stunning ridgeline singletrack that put Fruita on the map.
Difficult
Private
Phil's World
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Phil's World

44.8 km
708 m
708 m
A 25-mile winding, swooping beginner-friendly (but joy-inducing for all levels) chunk of high-desert terrain that will pin your grin from ear to ear.
Moderate
Private
Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge

Salida
50.3 km
1,670 m
1,917 m
This beautiful section of the Colorado Trail offers high-quality bike-legal singletrack the entire way, making for an ambitious day ride or an excellent portion of a bikepacking route.
Difficult
Private
Continental Divide Trail: Rabbit Ears Pass to Steamboat Springs
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Continental Divide Trail: Rabbit Ears Pass to Steamboat Springs

49.4 km
957 m
1,832 m
A gorgeous pedal through the alpine on top of Rabbit Ears Pass along the Continental Divide Trail leads to a never-ending descent all the way back into the town of Steamboat Springs.
Difficult
Private