As one of the world’s best places for mountain biking, Colorado holds a special place in the hearts of riders across the globe. In the springtime, after the thaw and in between late-season snowfalls, Colorado mountain bikers eagerly hang up their skis and break out the bikes for “Mud Season” riding. While “Mud Season” may sound dirty and dreary, it can still be a great time for bikers to enjoy their favorite activity without the crowds, as long as they’re okay with a little slush and slop.
Now that spring is in full swing, if you’re ready to get on your bike but your favorites trails are still snow-covered, we’ve compiled a list of local favorites for spring biking at lower elevations that offer amazing trails for riders of all abilities.
Just please be mindful of local municipality public health guidance on exercise outdoors!
Here are our top five destinations for mountain biking in Mud Season:
1. Marshall Mesa – Boulder, Colorado
The Marshall Mesa trailhead is just outside of Boulder, and is the starting point for several bike trails that ride alongside the Flatirons– Boulders iconic sandstone formations. Bikers that head to Marshall mesa will find rolling hills, rocky uphill trails, and thrilling downhill rides through grassy ridges.
2. Phil’s World Mountain Bike Trail– Cortez, Colorado
Whether you are a beginner or expert rider, Phil’s World will have you grinning from ear to ear. Located just outside of Durango in the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado, Phil’s World is one of the first places to dry up in the spring and last places to get snowy in the fall. All of the trails are rolling, so there aren’t any true climbs or descents, but riders of all ages and skill levels will have a great time. It’s worth noting, however, that you’ll want to check trail conditions if you’re heading to Phil’s World after a rainstorm, as the clay dirt can quickly turn sloppy.
3. Lunch Loops – Grand Junction, Colorado
If you’re a more technical rider, you’ll love Lunch Loops. Located right outside of downtown Grand Junction, the trail system is, quite literally, known as the “lunch ride” for many locals. Lunch Loops offers trails for all levels of riders, but the more advanced riders will particularly enjoy the expert-level trails here.
4. 18 Road Trail System – Fruita, Colorado
Fruita has increasingly become an alternative to Moab, particularly for those traveling from Colorado’s Front Range. Known as one of the mountain biking meccas of the west, the 18 Road Trail System offers both rolling and technical trails, and is a great place to ride short laps all day long and work on your skills. The trails here are for riders of all ages and abilities, ranging from full of locals out for an evening spin, to toddlers on their first bike ride ever, and visitors from all over the US discovering this incredible desert riding.
5. Hartman Rocks – Gunnison, Colorado
Just down the road from Crested Butte is the lesser-known town of Gunnison, Colorado, which is home to amazing trails that are ride-able before any alpine riding is snow-free. Hartman’s Rocks Trail System is the perfect place to break out the wheels for your first ride of the year.
Don’t let a little mud stop you from enjoying one of Colorado’s best springtime activities! Take on any one of these great riding options for your first ride of the year, and you’ll be sure to kick off bike season with a bang.