With so much to explore across the Centennial State, it can be hard to know where to start. Should you go for a downhill bike ride? A leisurely hike? Experience a classic Colorado 14er? The endless options for adventure can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve done the leg work for you (well, most of it, you’ll still need to hike or bike!). From Grand County to Telluride, we’ve compiled a checklist of our favorite trails, ranging from family-friendly outings to the classic challengers, so whether you’re on a bike or on foot, we’ve got the perfect trail for you, and a tip or two to help you along the way.
Your Guide to Hiking & Biking in colorado
Two people mountain biking through flowers and rocks
Someone hiking through the trees
Flower closeup
Vail Mountain’s Most Well-Known Downhill Trail
Vail Valley
Radio Flyer
Vail Mountain’s Most Well-Known Downhill Trail

Radio Flyer is a fun flowy singletrack! Close to three miles in total, you can access this intermediate freeride trail by taking the Eagle Bahn Gondola up out of Lionshead Village. Once you load your bike and start the ride up the mountain, parts of Radio Flyer are visible out the right side of the gondola, where you’re likely to see and hear riders of all ages ripping down the trail. A local’s favorite, this downhill only trail is sure to put a smile on your face and elicit a few whoops and hollers as you fly down its well-built berms and bumps, taking it as fast or as slow as you’d like.

Tip Radio Flyer won’t take you all the way back to Lionshead, so to continue the fun back to the base on intermediate freeride trails, choose Big Mamba to Hanks Hideaway and finally Son of Simba to lead you back to the village.

Beaver Creek Resort Bike Tour
village to village
Beaver Creek Resort Bike Tour

Village to Village is a leisurely way to experience the area, perfect for riders of all ages and abilities. Close to 15 miles in total, this enjoyable trail can be shortened by taking the village bus (which allows bikes) up to the base area, or you can choose to experience the whole ride by cruising up the paved bike path. Connecting Beaver Creek Village and Arrowhead Village, this trail intersects with many of the mountain’s other trails, allowing you to create your own adventure, ranging from a green, mellow day to “challenge-by-choice” on some of the area’s more difficult black trails.

Tip Village to Village is a great way to experience Beaver Creek Resort’s biking trails without purchasing a lift ticket, and the village bus, should you choose to take it, is free as well!
berry picker
An Iconic Vail Mountain Adventure

Hiking Berry Picker is a heart-pounding, highly sought-after adventure. The signature four-mile-long trail starts in Lionshead Village and promptly ascends straight up the mountain. Meander through aspen groves and wildflowers as you endure a 2,200+ foot climb that many say is not for the faint of heart but is undoubtedly worth it upon completion. At the summit, relax at the Eagle’s Nest mountain-top restaurant or take in the views of Mount of the Holy Cross. If you’re looking for even more alpine adventures, you can hike Berry Picker up and down the mountain, but many opt for taking the Eagle Bahn Gondola down so they can sit back and enjoy the stunning mountain views.

Tip To take the Eagle Bahn Gondola up the mountain, you’ll need to purchase a summer lift ticket, but if you choose to take the Eagle Bahn Gondola down the mountain, the gondola ride is free!

Holy Cross Wilderness Hike
east lake creek trail
Holy Cross Wilderness Hike

East Lake Creek in Edwards is a beginner-friendly trail you won’t want to miss. Part of a much longer hike that leads you all the way to Upper Camp Lake, the first portion of the East Lake Creek Trail is perfect for families and those looking for an adventure without the elevation gain. This four-mile out and back hike takes you through thick aspen groves and rolling hills without exceeding 800 feet in elevation gain. You’ll know it is time to turn around when you reach the bridge that intersects with East Lake Creek. Be sure to pack snacks and enjoy the solitude of Holy Cross Wilderness before turning around and hiking the two miles back to the trailhead.

Tip If you get to the bridge and want to keep going, the trail continues for another 10 miles. Just be sure to turn around before you get tired, so you have the energy to hike back out!

Fun, Family-Friendly Trail at High Elevation
summit county
Lily Pad Lake Trail
Fun, Family-Friendly Trail at High Elevation
Lily Pad Lake Trail, located in Silverthorne, is a three-mile out and back trail that offers a mellow hike with only 396 feet of elevation gain. Perfect for families, this trail is easy to follow and well signed, so even the youngest kids can take the lead as you wind through lodgepole pine and aspen trees. Along the way, you’ll pass beaver ponds and enjoy views of Lake Dillon and the surrounding mountains before arriving at the picturesque Lily Pad Lake, named aptly after the hundreds of beautiful lily pads that decorate the water’s surface.

Tip Plan this hike in mid to late June to see the lilies in full bloom!

A Popular Colorado 14er
Quandary Peak
A Popular Colorado 14er

Considered an introductory 14er, Quandary Peak is extremely popular thanks to its accessible terrain and lack of technical rock scrambling. However, don’t let the term introductory fool you — this hike still ascends 3,326 vertical feet over three-plus miles to the top, making it a six and a half-mile out and back hike. As you make your way up to the summit, keep an eye out for mountain goats and other wildlife that inhabit the highest peak of the Tenmile Range, along with other flora and fauna that preserve in the high alpine environment. At the top, celebrate your successful 14er and soak in the incredible views of the Gore and Sawatch Mountain Ranges.

Tip To park at the Quandary Peak Trailhead you’ll need to make a reservation at Otherwise, there is a free shuttle service operated by Summit Express out of Breckenridge.

Boreas Pass
Continental Divide Historic Dirt Road Ride

Boreas Pass, located in Breckenridge, is an easy 12.5-mile out and back gravel ride. Unlike most bike trails in Summit County, the ride up and down the Continental Divide takes place on a dirt road — Boreas Pass Road. Providing unmatched scenery and a glimpse into the area’s rich mining roots, the road is a historic railroad route that gradually climbs up over 1,000 feet until it reaches the pass, making it popular and accessible for cyclists of all abilities. In addition to Boreas Pass, this road is also a great connection point for other bike trails in the area and continues beyond the pass, allowing you to add on additional mileage and memories if you choose to.

Tip Boreas Pass Road is shared by bikers, walkers, and auto travelers, so if you don’t feel like biking, you can take a leisurely scenic drive to the pass.

Keystone Bike Park Favorite
Mosquito Coast
Keystone Bike Park Favorite

Mosquito Coast is an intermediate downhill bike trail you’ll want to check out! Fast, flowy, and fun, this one-and-a-half-mile blue trail offers machine-built berms and natural technical features like roots, rocks, and logs. Take Summit Express or River Run Gondola up to the summit and head right towards Suz’s Cruise to access this “challenge-by-choice” trail. From here, the green beginner trail drops you into Mosquito Coast, where features can be avoided or achieved, depending on your style and riding ability. Once you’ve experienced all that Mosquito Coast offers, load back up on the lift and choose your next adventure from Keystone’s 34 singletrack trails.

Tip Known for welcoming riders of all ability levels, Keystone Bike Park offers a bike-to skills zone where you can warm up your bike and body without getting on the lift.

Trestle Bike Park Freeride
grand county
long trail
Trestle Bike Park Freeride

Long Trail, a two-mile-long, lift-served intermediate blue trail, is a downhill biker’s dream. With over 40 miles of trails to explore at Trestle Bike Park, the Long Trail features the park’s best. The upper three sections are machine-cut and designated as a freeride trail, featuring flowy singletrack, massive hand-built berms, and countless small features to jump off, rollover, or bypass altogether. Lower Long Trail, the fourth and final section, is a technical trail that uses natural mountain terrain, including existing roots and rocks, to enhance the rider experience. To spend a day experiencing all that North America’s fastest-growing bike park has to offer, you’ll need a day ticket or a season pass, but it is well worth it!

Tip Winter Park Resort transforms into Trestle Bike Park in the summer and offers both downhill and cross-country style trails for riders of all interests and abilities.

Granby Ranch Lift-Serviced Trail
bee line
Granby Ranch Lift-Serviced Trail

Granby Ranch, a family-focused mountain located in Granby, provides the best of both worlds with a mix of cross-country bike trails and downhill trails serviced by the Quick Draw Express lift. Bee Line is notably the easiest of green downhill trails at this acclaimed resort, featuring a smooth machine-built surface that flows effortlessly down the entire length of the mountain. The perfect progression trail for beginners or a warm-up lap, this one-mile-long trail will elicit some whoops and hollers as you descend easily and excitingly down to the base area for another lap or libations.

Tip All bikers using Granby Ranch trails need to purchase a day ticket or have a season pass, even if you’re not using the lift-served bike trails.

columbine lake trail
High-Alpine Lake Hike

This seven-mile out and back hike is worth every ounce of energy expended on the way up its 1,046 feet of vertical trail. In the beginning, the trail is a forgiving level path that eventually turns to rock as you ascend higher and navigate the various trail forks. Along the way, you’ll pass meadows, meandering creeks, and plenty of mountain views as you traverse west of the Indian Peaks Wilderness boundary. Brimming with wildlife, the trail’s wet bogs and meadows attract animals searching for Colorado’s luscious vegetation. Once you arrive at the idyllic alpine lake, you’ll see views of Mount Neva as you soak up the sun and cool off in the glacial waters. Pack a snack and your fishing pole to get the whole experience of this popular Grand County hike near Tabernash!

Tip Located in the Arapaho National Recreation Area, hikers will pay $5 per car to park near the trailhead.

Indian Peaks Wilderness Lake Loop
monarch lake loop
Indian Peaks Wilderness Lake Loop

Monarch Lake Loop is an enjoyable four-mile loop with just under 300 feet of elevation gain, this trail is perfect for hikers of all ages and abilities. Situated on the west side of the Continental Divide, Monarch Lake is one of the most popular year-round destinations in the Indian Peaks Wilderness due to its accessibility and allowance of hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and non-motorized watersports. While completing the entire loop around the alpine lake, you’ll encounter thick groves of aspen and pine trees and marshy areas where, if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a moose. Enjoy a sandy beach along the trail to cool off, eat a snack, or fish for trout before making the leisurely trek back to your car.

Tip Located in the Arapaho National Recreation Area, hikers will pay $5 per car to park near the trailhead, which fills up quickly!

Bike Park Downhill Tour
crested butte
Bike Park Downhill Tour
Awakening is a great trail to warm up on or lap for beginners. Offering over 30 miles of lift-served singletrack, Crested Butte Bike Park has something for everyone off the Red Lady Express Lift. Awakening to Lower Awakening, make up just about 1-mile of downhill fun featuring large man-made berms and fast straightaways so you can play with speed while still comfortably tackling this steep mountain. An exceptionally wide downhill trail, Awakening, and Lower Awakening parallel intermediate multi-use trails and the disc golf course, giving riders a grand tour of all that the mountain offers in the summer. Once you’re back in the base area, hop on the lift to lap it again, or explore the next level up on Frequency and Luge!

Tip It is easy to identify the beginner to intermediate trails at the Mountain Bike Park. As you dismount the lift, almost all of the advanced and expert trails will be on your right and the beginner to intermediate trails are off to your left.

Crested Butte’s Most Famed Trail
401 trail
Crested Butte’s Most Famed Trail
The mecca of high alpine mountain biking, this 14-mile trail will leave you coming back for more. While some start the adventure in town, many begin the 401 Trail at the Judd Falls trailhead and begin the trek to Schofield Pass. The 2,398 feet of climbing throughout is well worth it for stunning views of the Elk Mountains and quintessential Colorado wildflowers. You’ll start on a smooth single track and work your way through technical sections amid aspen groves and eventually a bit of road riding to get back to your car and starting point. Overall, the 401 Trail is best for intermediate riders due to its length, steep climbs, and tight sections. Work up to this adventure by exploring the progression trails at Crested Butte Mountain Bike Park and the surrounding trail networks!
Tip Savor the ride and take it slow! With so much to see, many cyclists make an entire day out of it by packing a lunch and taking in the unbelievable views along the way.
judd falls trail
Easy, Stunning Hike through Wildflowers
Judd Falls Trail is a two-mile out and back trail perfect for hikers of all ages and abilities. Climbing just over 200 feet, this accessible trail is located about six miles north of Mount Crested Butte in the small town of Gothic. The trailhead begins at the Copper Creek Trail parking lot, where you immediately become immersed in aspen trees and wildflowers, not to mention sweeping views of Gothic Mountain. Once you reach the popular waterfall destination, take in the views above the slot canyon from the comfort of a bench on the small overlook. The Judd Falls Trail is a part of the greater Copper Creek Trail system, allowing hikers to continue past Judd Falls to Copper Lake and East Maroon Pass if you’re dreaming of more mountainscapes.

Tip Located in Gunnison National Forest, this trail is accessible by two parking lots; the first and most common starting point is the Copper Creek Trail parking lot; however, a mile up the road, there is a 4X4 accessible parking lot that makes the hike even shorter.

A Trek to the Summit
mount crested butte
A Trek to the Summit
Hiking to the steep summit of Mount Crested Butte is an adventure! A “challenge-by-choice” trail, the route to 12,162 feet is varied. Hikers can choose the ultimate alpine outing by starting in the base area and hiking four and a half miles and 2,672 feet up, or you can purchase a lift ticket for the Silver Queen Lift and begin your ascent from 11,430 feet at the top of the lift. The less intense, while still strenuous route includes 1,248 feet of climbing over one mile of wooden stairs and rock scrambling. No matter the path you choose, the views from the summit of this awe-inspiring, jagged mountain are stunning and well worth the sweat equity. Take in the beauty from high above and rest up before deciding on your route down.
Tip The Silver Queen Lift requires a paid lift ticket to ride up the mountain but not down. If you decide that you do not want to hike down you can take the lift down for free.
Melissa plantz photos ©
sneffels highline
Mount Sneffels Wilderness Challenge
Sneffels Highline is a challenging and rewarding adventure. This scenic loop starts and ends at the Jud Wiebe Trail located in the heart of downtown Telluride. Rated as a hard trail due to its length, but more so its elevation gain, Sneffels Highline climbs over 3,380 feet in elevation as you traverse your way through gorgeous wildflower meadows and experience sweeping views of the San Miguel Mountain Range. Despite its difficulty, its spectacular views and convenient location make it an incredibly popular trail. Pack your hiking bag for a full-day adventure and take in all that this high-alpine hike has to offer the next time you’re in Telluride.

Tip If you’re looking for a lower mileage adventure, hike Sneffels Highline from the trailhead to the saddle separating Pack and Mill Basins, which is only an eight-mile round trip hike.

Colorado’s Tallest Free-Falling Waterfall
bridal veil road
Colorado’s Tallest Free-Falling Waterfall
Starting off on a 4×4 road, this hike is just under two miles to the top of the Bridal Veil Falls, making it close to a four-mile round trip hike that rises 1,650 feet in elevation as you navigate the road and switchbacks. A moderately easy trail for hikers of all ages and abilities, Bridal Veil Falls, is a very popular attraction due to its accessibility, awe-inspiring views, and significance. At the end of the hike, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the 365-foot waterfall from the top of the falls, just underneath a historic power plant built in 1907 which still supplies renewable energy for Telluride and the surrounding areas.
Tip Multiple trails lead to Bridal Veil Falls, with vantage points from above and below the falls. Bridal Veil Road is the newest trail that brings you to the bottom of the falls. Be sure to select the trail that is right for you, as many of the trails are significantly more challenging than the four-mile 4X4 trail above.
Telluride Bike Park’s Cross-Country Trail
prospect traIL
Telluride Bike Park’s Cross-Country Trail
Starting at 10,540 feet in elevation at the San Sophia Gondola Station, Prospect traverses across Telluride Ski Resort, under Lifts 4 and 5, and eventually climbs up to Lift 10 before descending to Heritage Plaza in Mountain Village. Once you’re finished with this singletrack adventure, you’ll have conquered 10 miles of trail, 800 feet of climbing, and over 1,000 feet of fun, flowing downhill. While this is one of Telluride’s most talked about trails, it is not for everyone. Rated as a difficult black trail, Prospect requires stamina and commitment, but its challenge is well worth it with beautiful views of the resort and surrounding peaks, not to mention bragging rights upon completion.
Tip Even though this trail, which opens July 1, is classified as cross country, a Telluride Bike Park season pass or day ticket is required to enjoy this tempting trail.
jurassic to valley floor
Scenic Tour from the Village to Town
Starting in Mountain Village and ending in Telluride, this leisurely seven-mile ride should be completed as follows for a fun adventure: start on Country Club Drive and drop into Jurassic Trail, which flows through beautiful aspen trees and eventually feeds out onto Adams Ranch Road. From here, you’ll ride downhill on Meadows Trail, a single track that brings you to the bottom of Lawson Hill. Spin your legs on a few hundred-yard stretch of the bike-friendly Highway 145 to connect with the River Trail. Meander along four miles of the Valley Floor’s River Trail to finish in historic Telluride and celebrate your short and sweet bike adventure. To make this a complete loop back to Mountain Village, hop on the free scenic gondola with your bike and enjoy the 13-minute ride back to the heart of the Village Center.

Tip Stop by Telluride Brewing, located conveniently in Lawson Hill, for a mid-bike local brew!