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A few of our favorite bike rides…

The rides listed below will give you a pretty good idea of what’s available in and around Steamboat Springs. Scroll down the page – we’ve listed mountain bike rides, road rides, and rides great for cross bikes…

Mountain Bike:

Mad Creek - Hot Springs

A classic ride. Easy to access from town. Easy singletrack mixed with moderate climbs. From Ski Haus, ride to town, turn right at 3rd St, left on Oak, right on 6th St., right on Missouri Ave., left on Country Road 36. Spin out Strawberry Park Road and start the climb up to the Hot Springs. There are a few steep sections up.

Find the singletrack at the end of the Hot Springs, kick in your skills with this off camber trail. It slopes awkwardly down towards Mad Creek. The single track ends at a dirt road, turn left and ride to County Road 129 and spin the pavement home.

Lots of riders like to hit Red Dirt Trail to continue their ride. Where the singletrack hits the dirt road, continue right instead of making the left to 129.

Emerald Mountain – Howelsen Hill

World class mountain biking in our own backyard. Howelsen Hill and Emerald are incredibly popular year ’round. Summer there is hiking and biking. Winter there is plenty of Nordic, Alpine skiing, ski jumping, and snowboarding.

The trails have lots of steep ups but lots of fun downhills, too. At the top of Emerald is one of the best views of the Yampa Valley and the town of Steamboat Springs.

From Ski Haus, cross highway 40, catch the bike path and spin your way downtown. Left at Howelsen Hill and start your engines!

Another way to access this area is through the Fairview neighborhood west of town. Mile Run is an easy, sustained climb to the top. Numerous loops exist on Emerald creating an intoxicating array of trail combinations to ride.

Mount Werner – Steamboat Ski Area

When you are looking for a lift to gain some elevation, look no further than the Steamboat Ski Area. Tons of trails and lots of options for every skill level. (Fee to ride the gondola)

From Ski Haus, turn right on Pine Grove Road, left on Mount Werner Road, left on Mount Werner Circle, left into Gondola Square.

Watch out for tons of construction in Ski Times Square.

Once you are riding the mountain check out ZigZag, Duster/Sunshine, Moonlight/Valley View, Creekside.

The total elevation gain from the base area to the top of Mount Werner is 3,500′. Ride from the bottom to the top for an epic challenge.

Rabbit Ears Pass to Buffalo Pass

This is a wonderful ride along the top of the Continental Divide. This ride is best with a shuttle but for the strong minded and strong willed it is not necessary.

Ride from Ski Haus on Highway 40 to Dumont Lake on Rabbit Ears Pass. Take trail #1102 North to Fishhook Lake, Lost Lake, Lake Elmo, and Round Lake. Plan to pedal all the way across or use any of these lakes as your destination for an out and back ride.

There are some great options on this ride. Ride further to Long Lake, hit the Mountain View Trail to the top of Mount Werner and ride back to town via the ski area. Or ride to Fish Creek Falls Trail for a challenging descent (watch for hikers, this trail is heavily hiked and should not be used as your ‘downhill trail.’ Or continue across to Buffalo Pass and descend for a mighty loop.

Spring Creek

Easy access to an in-town trail doesn’t get much easier than this. From Ski Haus ride downtown, right on 3rd, right on Fish Creek Falls Road, left on Amythest, and look for Spring Creek Trail right after the church. Right on Spring Creek.

Lots of walkers, joggers, and moms with strollers use the lower section of this trail. Be cautious and courteous both directions.

Springs Creeek offers some great climbs going up. Follow this trail all the way to Buffalo Pass Road and either turn around and take Spring Creek back or ride down Buff Pass Road.

This trail is heavily used due to its easy access. Please use caution. While riding up keep an ear and eye open to descending traffic. If you are descending be cautious and a responsible rider.

Coulton Creek

North Routt County has some quality rides and Coulton Creek is one of them. From Ski Haus, take Lincoln Avenue through town and turn left on Rout County Rd 129 north to Seedhouse Road just past the town of Clark. Look for trail #1188 and turn left to park.

The initial climb is stiff but from there the trail rocks and rolls. Lots of forest service road crossing and potential extra mileage by including Scotts Run and Diamond Park. These are great trails and worth the effort to ride them.

Stop at the Clark General Store on the way home for some rewarding ice cream. Everyone deserves a dip or two…

Road Rides:

Rabbit Ears Pass

The biggest and longest sustained uphill in the valley. Rabbit Ears Pass is also the fastest and longest sustained downhill in the valley. What goes up deserves to come down.

From Ski Haus, turn left on Highway 40. Watch for rushing traffic as you skip past the Mount Werner Road exit. Motorists are pushing 50 mph at the exit and won’t give you the time of day. Watch your back.

Pass Mount Werner Road and the next obstacle is the Walton Creek intersection. Watch the lights, pedestrians, and those who are not watching you.

Now you are on your way. Pass hotel row, find your cadence, warm up and psych up for a good climb. If you have the time ride all the way across the top of the pass, too. Pretty good shoulder all the way. Great scenery.

On the descent home, be aware of the man-made road cuts. Surprise winds can toss you around if you aren’t braced for ’em.

Twenty Mile Road

Here is a classic Yampa Valley road ride. Broad open meadows, climbs, fun descents, big speed, and plenty of views.

From Ski Haus, catch River Road by taking Highway 40 to the Mount Werner exit. Turn right, cross the Yampa River, turn right on River Road and spin to town. Turn right on the 5th Street Bridge, left on Yampa, jog left on the bike path around the library and community center and turn left on Twenty Mile Road.

You can treat this ride as an out and back depending on your time, create some long loops using some county roads and hooking back up to Highway 40 (or out to Milner) for a fast clip home.

Yellowjacket Pass

A big spin followed by a deceivingly climb. Yellow jacket is small pass (County Road 14) that splits between Thorpe Mountain and Blacktail Mountain. This is a great ride with fantastic fall colors. Scrub oak, aspen, open meadows, and big sky.

From Ski Haus, spin out Highway 40 to Colorado 131. Right on 131 to County Road 14. Left on 14 and the pass is not far away. Great shoulder on 131 to 14. No shoulder on 14. Ride with caution and the eyes in the back of your head open.

The inital climb is short and steep. Once you top out don’t be fooled. The real summit is yet to come. Once you’re over the pass you have a fun downhill down to Stagecoach State Park. Treat this ride as an out and back or continue on and reconnect with CO 131. (To finish the loop, turn right on 131 to Oak Creek and Oak Creek Canyon. Spin 131 back to 40 and Steamboat Springs.

County Road 129 (Elk River Road)

This has been a local favorite forever and a day. But as our local population grows and more drivers NASCAR their way to work and home, carefully choose the time and day you ride this road. No shoulders for the majority of the ride to the town of Clark.

From Ski Haus, ride through town using either River Road, Yampa or Oak Streets, continue all the way through town to the intersection of Highway 40 and County Road 129. Turn right and you’re off. Do be cautious on this road as it can experience high volume of cars and trucks during weekday mornings, evenings and holidays.

Don’t be discouraged. This is a beautiful ride that parallels the Elk River, opens up with some wide vistas of Sand Mountain and Hahns Peak. Stretch this ride past the town of Clark to Steamboat Lake and beyond. Make sure to stop at the Clark General Store for a treat before you head home.

Lake Catamount

The ride out to Catamount is a relatively flat spin and fast. This is a great lunchtime ride with your buddies.

From Ski Haus, either take Highway 40 to 131 or jump onto River Road from the Mount Werner exit and take a left at River Road.

On 131 ride to County Road 18 and turn left. Fast pace the pave to crest of the hill for a spectacular view of Lake Catmount and Mount Baldy. Continue around the lake to the bridge that crosses the Yampa River. Take a small break and spin for home. The lunchhour is ticking away…

If you choose River Road, turn left on Country Road 22 to 131 and continue from there.

For the return trip home, turn right on County Road 20 (short but dirt) off of 131 to the Highway 40 and the base of Rabbit Ears Pass. Turn left on 40 and with any luck you’ll catch a tailwind and amp it up to 40mph or so for the flat flyer home.

Cross Bike Ride (Cyclocross) The mix of fast pave and dirt.

Pleasant Valley

The beauty of cross is the mix of pave and dirt. Keep the pace high on pavement, keep on pounding once it turns to gravel or dirt… Go where you want to ride, not just where the pavement leads you.

Pleasant Valley is a hidden gem of a ride. Make this a great loop by combining Lake Catamount and Yellowjacket Pass.

From Ski Haus, take Highway 40 to CO 131. Turn left on County Road 18 to Catamount. Stay on 18 and through Pleasant Valley. Keep going as the pavement turns to dirt and you pick up the Yampa River. Ride past the Sarvis Creek Wildlife Area and climb up to the Stagecoach Reservoir Dam. For an added twist, ride across the dam, and pick up the trail that goes around the lake and hook up at the far end near the bridge. Ride County Road 14 over Yellowjacket Pass back to 131 and your on your way home. If you don’t want to ride the trail around the lake, stay on 18 to 14. Right on 14 over Yellowjacket Pass and back home.

This is a great ride!

Hilton Gulch

This is a great ride that essentially circumnavigates Emerald Mountain and is a great mix of dirt roads and pavement.

From Ski Haus, turn left on Highway 40, right on Mount Werner Road exit, cross the bridge over the Yampa River and then left on River Road (County Road 14). Ride 14 and take the sweeper right turn, this may feel like the same road but now you are riding CR 35. Follow the sweepeing right bend onto CR41 and climb up to the little red school house up Hilton Gulch and take the right. Look for another right onto CR 45 (Cow Creek) and ride this rough and tumble road to CR 33 (Twenty Mile Road). Right on Twenty Mile and press for home.

Specialized Camber Mountain Bike
early season bike riding Steamboat Springs Colorado
mountain biking steamboat