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Tire pressure optimized: check. Shoes, gloves, mini first-aid kit, and energy gels: yup. Spare tube, tire levers, multitool, and CO2 cartridge: definitely. Now that you’re prepared to hit the trail, we rounded up these new-for-2022 singletrack offerings from around the Centennial State. Here’s where you can find them.
As the name implies, yesterday’s trash becomes feature-rich fun along four singletrack trails at the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center’s new Junk Yard Bike Park. Drop down a dirt mound built against an old rafting bus; ride over and around cast-off telephone poles; and rocket off a ramp constructed over a classic Chevy Caprice Wagon. Then hit the pump track—a looped sequence of rollers and berms where riders try to maximize their momentum and ride with minimal pedaling—and small skills area before rewarding yourself with some suds and a barbecue chicken sandwich from Browns Canyon Brewing Company, the on-site microbrewery and food truck.
Beginner terrain is best when it’s fun, flowy, and low-consequence (read: no big drops, high exposure, or off-camber sections). That’s exactly what the 6.3 miles of recently completed Shangri-La Trail at the Purgatory Bike Park offers (another 0.7-mile stretch is expected to be ready later this summer). Those new to what’s often a lung-busting, endurance sport can skip Shangri-La’s grueling ascent with an eight-minute ride up Lift 4 and focus instead on nailing their technique over 965 feet of downhill at a relatively gentle three to seven percent grade.
Full-day lift pass: $45; Afternoon half-day pass: $35; Single ride: $19
In 2020, the Roaring Fork Valley, including the Snowmass Bike Park, earned the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Gold Level distinction—its highest honor—thanks to things like its variety of trail types, overall trail mileage, and quality of trail experiences. This year, the Snowmass Bike Park adds to its two-wheeled offerings with a narrow, mid-mountain trail that weaves 0.5 miles through pine trees and over wooden bridges, providing ample opportunity to hone brake-handling competency—hence its “Squeezy” moniker. It’s the latest addition to the Meadows Skills Loop’s skills progression zone, joining the beginner E-Z-P-Z and intermediate Lemon. Put ’em together: easy peasy, lemon, squeezy.
One-day lift ticket: $54; three-day ticket: $134
The Quarry Ridge Trail—which runs along an exposed ridgeline and through dense shrubs and pine trees in Lory State Park—will gain another mile come August. Designed for intermediate riders, the full two-mile loop features short, punchy climbs and rocky technical sections interspersed with tight turns and natural slickrock.
Daily vehicle state park pass: $9
With more than eight miles of new and updated trail added over the past two years—and several more miles planned over the next three—the Frisco Peninsula is one of Colorado’s up-and-coming mountain biking destinations. The intermediate level, 2.1-mile Queen of the West Trail will be ready to showcase views of nearby Swan Mountain to the east and Lake Dillon to the south in late August.
The new Royal Cascade Trail might connect Tunnel Drive and the South Cañon Trails to the 22 miles of singletrack in the upper Royal Gorge Park, but with spectacular views of the Dakota Hogbacks formation, the Arkansas River Valley, and into the mouth of the Royal Gorge, it’s more than just a utility section to get from point A to point B. This trail is not for newbies, however. “Landlocked” (meaning riders must add another 1.5 miles to both access and exit the new stretch of trail) and gaining/losing 1,800 feet of elevation over its full 3.6 miles—depending on if you’re going up or down—the Royal Cascade Trail does offer advanced riders plenty of excuses to relax their white-knuckled grip to enjoy those vistas. Note: The trail is closed from June 1 to July 31 for bighorn sheep lambing.
Come fall, adventurers living in or traveling along the I-70 corridor will have a new out-and-back trail to tackle about a dozen miles west of Glenwood Springs. Phase 1 of the Burning Mountain Trail will snake five miles and 1,500 feet up the north side of Burning Mountain to a high point on the ridgeline and offers intermediate pedalers views out to the Flat Tops and down into New Castle. Next year, trail managers hope to complete Phase 2, which will include another four miles of advanced singletrack down the mountain’s south face.
The new 1.5-mile long Hi-Line Loop, which completes the Del Norte Trails Master Plan, provides views toward Del Norte Peak in the San Juans and down onto the lumbering figures roaming a local bison ranch. The flowy connector trail merges with an additional eight miles of natural surface singletrack across the 200-acre mountain park covering what locals refer to as “D Mountain.”
Boasting more than 40 miles of trails with countless berms, bridges, ramps, and jumps, Winter Park’s acclaimed Trestle Bike Park has earned the right to host this year’s USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships (July 18 to 24). Watch the pros attack the natural features on the new blue-black, mile-long Field Trip Trail at the championships—and then give it a go yourself.
Adult park ticket: $84; Children 12 and under: $64; Military, active or retired: $64