×
User
Today
 
  |   Rate it:

Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 535 mi (861 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +23,055/24 ft
Total: 288 riders
 

Mountain Biking Colorado Trail

*****   Add a review
#1184 of 1,322 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#12086 in the world

Amazing singletrack, killer views, and lung busting elevation - what more could you ask for? Portions of the Colorado Trail are off limits to bikes so you'll need to detour around each of the 6 designated wilderness areas. Many day trip routes are available and connecting trails abound.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
Multiple trailheads around the state, click one of the individual segment listings above to get directions to a particular staring point. From Denver, start off S. Platte Canyon Rd.
System trails (27)
Featured in
Have you ridden this trail? Help improve this information.
I rode it!   Add to another list


Colorado Trail Trail map

Add to or improve this map // Place this map on your website

Local Info

Club Sponsor

-

Local Bike Shop

Trail checkins

Jason Kunshier (on Sep 25, 2019)
What's this?

Upcoming Events

None.
Add one

Trail conditions

Dry (on Aug 2, 2019)
login to update

Camping & Lodging

Coming soon!

Colorado Trail videos

Add a video
Biking The Colorado Trail
 
 
 
 
 

Rider questions

Q: Heading to CT for my first time this weekend. Any suggestions on where's the best to start at?
A: If you're just planning to ride a section (as in, day-trippable), I say start with the section that goes through Buffalo Creek: http://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/colorado-trail-green-mountain.html This section is super convenient to Denver too which might be helpful. Another easily-accessible section starts at Kenosha pass at US 285: http://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/colorado-trail-kenosha-to-breckenridge.html If you're closer to the Durango end, the Molas Pass section starting at US 550 is killer with plenty of riding above treeline: http://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/colorado-trail-molas-pass-to-bolam-pass-rd.html

Q: Can someone point me to fast/flowy sections of the trail? So far I've done part of Buffalo Creek (the non-CO sections were more to my taste), Kenosha to Breck (too technical until Middle or North Fork Swan River then awesome into town!), and Monarch Crest (epic!!)?
A: The terminus section in Durango is definitely fast and flowy, though it's steeper than the other sections you mentioned. There are a couple ways you can loop this part: start at the Dry Fork trailhead and ride up Hoffheins to the CO trail and back down the Dry Fork trail. Or, start at the end of the CO trail off road 204 and ride up the road to the intersection with Log Chutes 2 for a bombing descent!

Add a review

Rating
 
Difficulty
 
Review

Reviews

  • mongwolf
    ****

    Rode out and back, starting from the South Platte THD. It is certainly a rigorous climb the first mile and really the first 5 miles. A very good workout. After you cross the dirt road (Raleigh Peak Road) at about 6 miles heading west, the ride mellows out a lot the rest of the way to the Little Scraggy THD. The return ride (west to east), is a cruiser with just a couple of shorts climbs worth noting ... and A LOT of nice downhill. Definitely some good payback for all your work riding east to west. If you are only going to ride this segment one way, it would definitely be west to east. Also, the trail west of Hwy 126 is really not worth riding imo. Much of it is basically a dirt road with lots of sand. I would just start from Hwy 126. All in all, this is a nice ride and worth the drive and time.

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • Greg Heil
    ****

    The first section is punchy but then once it levels out, the singletrack is flowy and sweet! Turn around once you hit the lakes, because somewhere beyond that is Wilderness. Unfortunately, there's not a sign telling you where the Wilderness boundary is, so best to turn around at the lakes.

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • Greg Heil
    **

    While the singletrack's actually in pretty great shape, this trail just isn't worth the effort. It's essentially a hike-a-bike almost all the way up, and while part of the descent is ripping and fun, a long portion of it is so steep, the trail is so narrow, and it's so exposed that I found I really had to ride the brakes to stay in control... so much so that I could smell my brake pads burning!

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • Greg Heil
    *****

    The portion of the Colorado Trail between Camp Hale and Copper Mountain is an absolutely fantastic section of the Colorado Trail! The singletrack is ripping, the climbs are tough, and the high alpine riding is unparalleled! My favorite part is getting to traverse between Searle Pass and Kokomo Pass, spending a significant amount of time way above treeline. Highly recommended!

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • Greg Heil
    *****

    The portion of the Colorado Trail between Camp Hale and Copper Mountain is an absolutely fantastic section of the Colorado Trail! The singletrack is ripping, the climbs are tough, and the high alpine riding is unparalleled! My favorite part is getting to traverse between Searle Pass and Kokomo Pass, spending a significant amount of time way above treeline. Highly recommended!

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • kuala_tahan
    *****

    Rode from the top of Monarch Pass and down Fooses. Relatively quick shuttle ride, 15-20 min or so probably. Monarch's a good warmup, and the Fooses downhill is pretty amazing. Steep, loose, rutted drop-in up top (with epic views), and it stays fairly steep for a while on tight, rooty singletrack. Gets picky for a while, then opens up through the forest, extremely fast, great dirt, occasionally very rocky and semi-technical, but mostly just fast and fun.

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • Jeff Barber

    Thanks Johnnymac. Fred has done the same thing to other highly-rated trails as well--not sure why. Anyway, don't worry--ratings only count once per person.

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • Sponas
    *****

    Traveled all the way from Norway and did the whole trail last summer with two good friends. Best long distance trail I have ridden, so many good sections, and beautiful scenery! Can not recommend this trail enough!

    Check out our video from the trip here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeXnLbwwbiU

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • FinishSTRONG7
    *****

    Epic alpine singletrack with amazing views literally starting right off US 550! This is a popular ride for bikepackers/shuttles, but excellent out and back or loop ride options exist as well. The first 8 miles (starting from Molas Pass) are prime trail with a few small technical sections. You can turn around at this point and still claim a great ride. After that roughly 8 mile mark the trail gets more rocky with some steep sections and really narrow lines. At about this time the altitude really starts to get to you too! (You are over 11,000 feet practically the whole time!) But overall the trail is very doable for the conditioned rider. After about 10 miles, a junction with the Engineer Mountain Trail is reached. Turn left to complete a loop by going down Engineer, turning left onto Pass Creek Trail just shy of 4 miles down (which ends at US 550/Coal Bank Pass), and then riding US 550 back up to Molas Pass. Bear right to continue on the Colorado Trail toward Rolling Mountain Pass at 12,500', and then down and back up to Bolam Pass. It takes quite the physical effort to make it up to Rolling Mountain Pass at this point, but the views make it all worthwhile! (The pass is another great turnaround point.)

    This is one trail prone to harsh weather due to the altitude, so an early start is highly recommended. It is barren tundra for the majority of the ride, so not the place to be during a thunderstorm! Be prepared to get muddy after any significant rain due to the many drainages where the trail runs on the side of slopes. This trail does also have a short riding window, I'd say mid-July through September. Be prepared to share the trail with a lot of hikers as well. Overall this is a must do!

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • Mabryd
    ****

    Always a nice ride in the summer but a couple of inches (3-4) of snow make it a different ride . Great fat bike ride and the trail doesn't get that much use except for animals from late October-May. Add the loop around Mt. Elbert forebay reservoir for a nice extra that most folks never ride.

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • Jmurphy8776
    ****

    A weekday with the aspens turning - hate to see what the parking looks like on a weekend. Anyway, decided to skip the weekly Buff Creek ride and continue to Kenosha since I'd never been there. It is an amazing ride. I only went 9k out and back to get a feel for the elevation and hills etc. Might try to get one more in before the weather changes.

    Reply | Thank | Edit
  • jgmtb
    *****

    Rode a section of the trail from Camp Hale to Tennessee pass with my wife. The camp is a bit spooky, but a cool vibe. On the way out mostly uphill, great moderate to difficult terrain with some short ramps, and absolutely specular views. We turned back at the Continental Divide
    On the way back we passed some small groups riding the whole trail and some hikers, but people were super friendly. Probably the greatest single-day mountain biking experience in my life.

    Reply | Thank | Edit