Riding a bike in the Rocky Mountains is exhilarating. There are relatively level rides (Lake Estes Trail), but many road rides will challenge lung and leg power with steep ascents and exciting downhill runs (Trail Ridge Road and Fall River Road). Mountain biking explores trails off the beaten path (Pierson Park and Crosier Mountain).
Family Fun Bike Rides
If you are looking for a relatively flat bicycle ride that the whole family will enjoy, try these paved trails:
- Peddle, walk or rollerblade the Lake Estes Trail, a four-mile loop with stunning views of Longs Peak and the Front Range. If you’re lucky, you may see a bald eagle or osprey overhead.
- On the south side of Lake Estes, the bike path branches to the south under Colorado Hwy 36 and takes you through Stanley Park, past the dog park and the ball fields.
- West of downtown near Performance Park, cyclists can ride along the scenic Fall River for about one and a half miles, passing by many riverside lodging properties.
- During the summer, Estes Park Marina rents single-geared bikes and a surrey-type pedal cart. Child carriers are available.
Cycling in in Rocky Mountain National Park offers stunning scenery, serious elevation gain, winding mountain roads, and heavy traffic.
- A nice starter loop is up US Hwy 34 to the Fall River Park entrance. The ride will take you through Horseshoe Park and then climb gently to Deer Ridge Junction. Turn left for a rapid descent into Estes Park.
- If you are a seasoned rider, ride up Trail Ridge Road to either Rock Cut or Alpine Visitor Center. This ride gains 5,000ft in elevation with 12 miles above tree line.
- Break out the mountain bike for the ride up Old Fall River Road, a nine-mile, one-way (uphill!) dirt road to the Alpine Visitor Center. From there, ride Trail Ridge Road back to Estes Park.
Keep in mind that bikes are not allowed on trails in Rocky Mountain National Park—only the roads.
Mountain biking in the Estes area is less crowded because the majority of the trails are off the beaten track.
- Pierson Park southeast of Estes Park offers both singletrack and doubletrack riding.
- The Crosier Mountain trail is a moderate to difficult trail that features challenging technical climbs and descents.
- Pole Hill Road offers a network of 4×4 roads with steep climbs and exhilarating downhills.
There is no better way to see the Rocky Mountains than from the seat of a bike. Not only do you get a great workout, but you see the most beautiful scenery in the world. For details on trailhead locations and bike rentals, visit Estes Park Mountain Shop.Tags: What to Do