What does this designation mean? In a nutshell, the Roaring Fork Valley offers a complete biking package — trails for every level and type of rider, along with the full suite of destination amenities. More specifically, criteria for the gold-level designation include having a wide variety of trail types, plenty of mileage, and the potential for lots of quality trail experiences. The area’s strong sustainability ethic and its diverse range of lodging, restaurants and bars, bike shops, and things to do besides biking were also factors.
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.