Aspen is a cyclist’s dream. Think it coincidence that America’s premier cycling race, the USA Pro Challenge, is kicking off in Aspen for the second straight year? Or that Lance Armstrong owns a house in town? Here are the 5 best bike rides in Aspen, with a ride for every style of cyclist.


Road Bike Ride

Maroon Bells

Distance: 10 miles one way

Difficulty: Moderate


With the road closed to most private vehicles from 9 to 5 on summer days, this classic route is cycling nirvana. Climb along Maroon Creek Road from Hwy 82 at the roundabout just west of town. Don’t want to ride alone? Join the Limelight’s General Manager, Richard Stettner, for scheduled rides to the Bells on select Fridays. Want a difficult route instead? Try Independence Pass.


Mountain Bike Ride

Government Trail

Distance: 12 miles one way

Difficulty: Advanced


This beast delivers a cardio workout and jaw-dropping scenery traversing Snowmass Mountain. Expect a steep start and finish with aspen groves and ski runs in between. Access the trail’s east end behind the Aspen Rec Center or its western end off of Divide Road in Snowmass. Go west to east for less climbing. A shuttle is recommended. The section of trail east of Elk Camp Gondola is closed from May 15 to June 20 for elk calving. For an intermediate alternative, try the Tom Blake Trail.


Downhill Bike Ride

Valhalla Trail

Distance: 2.75 miles one way

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced


Drop 1,400 feet on this epic free ride course designed by Gravity Logic. Then load the Elk Camp Gondola and repeat again and again. Wind through aspen groves and hit features such as bridges, jumps, berms, table tops and a wall ride. Get amped on this video. For a downhill beginner-friendly alternative, hit Easy Rider.


Cruise Bike Ride

Rio Grande to Woody Creek

Distance: 7 miles one way

Difficulty: Easy


Put on sundresses and flip-flops and ride with the locals down the gentle Rio Grande Trail to the locally-sourced WC3 (Woody Creek Community Center and Café) or the legendary Woody Creek Tavern, former hangout of Hunter S. Thompson. Don’t want to ride back to Aspen? Catch a bus—yep, they have bike racks.


Group Bike Ride

Moonlight Cruiser Rides

Distance: varies

Difficulty: Easy


Join locals and new friends for Happy Hour and head out at 9:00 p.m. for a cruise around downtown Aspen and the historic West End. Limelight guests can use the complimentary fleet of cruisers and fatbikes on a first-come, first-served basis. Get a list of Moonlight Cruiser Rides dates here.


What’s your favorite bike ride in Aspen? Tell us about it or tag your photo with #llshine. If you need another ride recommendation, talk with a member of Team Limelight for customized, local knowledge.


About Laurel Miller

Laurel is a Basalt-based food and travel writer, cheese consultant and the editor of Edible Aspen magazine. When not sitting in front of her computer in her pj's, Laurel can be found enjoying the outdoors, or backpacking around the world eating street food and acquiring new and exciting tropical diseases.