Guidebook

Mountain Bike the Breathtaking Colorado Trail

The entirety of the Colorado Trail with mountain biking-specific Wilderness detours, running in the Denver to Durango direction.

Description

The Colorado Trail (COT) is widely regarded as one of the very best long distance mountain bike trails in the world. Running for 535 miles between Denver and Durango, the trail crosses high alpine mountain passes and drops into beautiful valleys as it traverses the most beautiful portions of the state of Colorado. The COT forms one-third of the Triple Crown of Bikepacking, along with the Arizona Trail and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

Colorado Trail: Denver to Buffalo Creek
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Denver to Buffalo Creek

63.0 km2,362 m1,509 m
The beginning of the iconic Colorado Trail runs for miles before being interrupted by a Wilderness area.
Difficult
Private
Colorado Trail: Lost Creek Wilderness Bypass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Lost Creek Wilderness Bypass

Buffalo Creek
112.7 km2,281 m1,839 m
A gravel road portion of the route along the edge of the expansive South Park Valley.
Easy
Private
Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Lost Creek Wilderness Out-and-Back
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Lost Creek Wilderness Out-and-Back

23.1 km656 m656 m
A scenic Colorado Trail segment that's worthy of its own out-and-back ride.
Difficult
Private
Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge

51.2 km1,649 m1,895 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
Colorado Trail: Miner's Creek Segment
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Miner's Creek Segment

23.0 km955 m1,107 m
This brutal segment of the Colorado Trail is best enjoyed on a long-travel enduro bike.
Extreme
Private
Colorado Trail: Ten Mile Range Bypass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Ten Mile Range Bypass

19.6 km294 m141 m
Many Colorado Trail bikepackers opt to bypass around the ultra-steep Ten Mile Range using this route.
Easy
Private
Colorado Trail: Searle Pass and Kokomo Pass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Searle Pass and Kokomo Pass

28.5 km942 m1,049 m
One of the best sections of high alpine singletrack in the state of Colorado!
Difficult
Private
Colorado Trail: Camp Hale to Tennessee Pass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Camp Hale to Tennessee Pass

Leadville
11.0 km414 m85 m
A delightful stretch of smooth, serpentine singletrack.
Moderate
Private
Colorado Trail: Tennessee Pass to Holy Cross Wilderness Out-and-Back

Colorado Trail: Tennessee Pass to Holy Cross Wilderness Out-and-Back

Leadville
20.7 km493 m493 m
A buff, flowy out-and-back on the Colorado Trail.
Moderate
Private
Colorado Trail: Holy Cross and Mount Massive Wilderness Bypass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Holy Cross and Mount Massive Wilderness Bypass

Leadville
33.9 km344 m470 m
A lengthy road bypass around the Holy Cross and Mount Massive Wilderness areas.
Easy
Private
Colorado Trail: Mount Massive Wilderness to Twin Lakes
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Mount Massive Wilderness to Twin Lakes

Leadville
20.1 km422 m681 m
A remote stretch of the Colorado Trail along the flanks of Mount Elbert.
Moderate
Private
Colorado Trail: Twin Lakes to Clear Creek Reservoir
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Twin Lakes to Clear Creek Reservoir

Leadville
14.2 km443 m533 m
Pedal through a grove of towering aspen trees that turn a beautiful gold in the fall.
Moderate
Private
Colorado Trail: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Bypass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Bypass

Buena Vista
40.0 km443 m434 m
Combination of paved and dirt roads to bypass around the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.
Easy
Private
Colorado Trail: Highway 50 to Cottonwood Pass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Highway 50 to Cottonwood Pass

Salida
59.0 km2,079 m1,923 m
A long segment of the Colorado Trail running along the west side of the Arkansas Valley that provides flowy singletrack punctuated by steep climbs and descents.
Difficult
Private
Fooses Creek Descent
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Fooses Creek Descent

Salida
13.8 km43 m974 m
The shortest Monarch Crest descent is also one of the rowdiest!
Severe
Private
Monarch Crest
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monarch Crest

Salida
57.1 km1,062 m2,231 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.
Severe
Private
Colorado Trail: Sargents Mesa
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Sargents Mesa

Salida
56.1 km1,841 m2,193 m
Widely regarded as the worst section of the Colorado Trail.
Severe
Private
Colorado Trail: Cochetopa Hills
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Cochetopa Hills

Gunnison
20.0 km390 m510 m
An obscure section of the Colorado Trail running along a combination of dirt roads and rugged singletrack.
Difficult
Private
Colorado Trail: La Garita Bypass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: La Garita Bypass

Gunnison
89.6 km1,708 m1,232 m
A road bypass around the La Garita Wilderness.
Easy
Private
Colorado Trail Segment 22: Spring Creek Pass Trailhead to Carson Saddle
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail Segment 22: Spring Creek Pass Trailhead to Carson Saddle

27.5 km1,165 m723 m
The highest segment of the Colorado Trail, topping out at 13,271 feet, is breathtakingly beautiful!
Severe
Private
Colorado Trail Segment 23: Carson Saddle to Stony Pass Trailhead
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail Segment 23: Carson Saddle to Stony Pass Trailhead

25.0 km1,033 m1,029 m
One of the most remote, highest-elevation, and drop-dead-gorgeous sections of the Colorado Trail.
Difficult
Private
Colorado Trail: Weminuche Wilderness Bypass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Weminuche Wilderness Bypass

28.5 km628 m1,080 m
Bike-specific bypass around the Weminuche Wilderness.
Easy
Private
Colorado Trail: Molas Pass to Engineer Mountain
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Molas Pass to Engineer Mountain

Durango
32.5 km1,132 m1,058 m
The inaugural segment of the famous Silverton to Durango stretch of the Colorado Trail.
Severe
Private
Colorado Trail Segment 26: Blackhawk Pass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail Segment 26: Blackhawk Pass

Durango
17.9 km549 m774 m
A stunningly beautiful section of the Colorado Trail running through the rugged San Juan Mountains.
Severe
Private
Colorado Trail: Segment 27
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Segment 27

Durango
33.2 km1,286 m904 m
A sky-scraping stretch of trail, with incredible views from Indian Trail Ridge.
Difficult
Private
Colorado Trail: Kennebec Pass to Durango
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Kennebec Pass to Durango

Durango
43.5 km1,476 m2,171 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