Happy Golden Trails
The Roaring Fork Valley’s IMBA Gold-Level Center Designation.
In January 2020, the International Mountain Bicycling Association designated Aspen Snowmass and the Roaring Fork Valley an IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center, the organization’s highest honor — and one that’s rarely bestowed. It’s the first gold-level ride center in Colorado and just the fifth in the country (and as long as we’re counting, the seventh in the world — both non-US gold centers are in New Zealand).
What Does This Designation Mean?
So what does the greater Aspen Snowmass area offer riders that IMBA found so worthy? Over 300 miles of singletrack trails, from the easy swoops of the 2-mile Discovery Trail in Snowmass Village to the proving grounds of the Government Trail, a local classic that links Aspen and Snowmass. Hundreds of miles of doubletrack roads or wide dirt trails, which give a backcountry feel as well as the opportunity to look up safely from time to time to enjoy the surroundings. And, an extensive network of paved multipurpose paths like the 42-mile Rio Grande Trail, which runs the length of the valley along the former railroad corridor—link the towns and most of the trails, so you can combine any number of rides without ever getting out of the saddle.
Reaching IMBA’s gold-level took many years and the collaboration of multiple local entities, but we’d be remiss not to mention the dedicated volunteers — most of them passionate riders themselves — that help build, maintain, and reclaim trails — going the extra mile for excellence.
It's Great Being Golden
The criteria for a Gold-Level Ride Center includes having a wide variety of trail types, plenty of mileage, the potential for lots of quality trail experiences as well as a strong sustainability ethic and a diverse range of lodging, restaurants, bars, bike shops, and things to do.