Singletrack Mountain Biking in Steamboat Springs Region

WELCOME! If you arrived at this page directly, you may want to read the introductory page: Roger's Favorite Singletrack Mountain Bike Rides

 Please realize that I am an older, strong, intermediate mountain biker with a passion for singletracks and am suggesting these trails to others such as myself. Please do not rely totally on my descriptions -- get maps and trail guides locally.

Suggestions for minimizing trail damage:
-do not let your tires slide when climbing, descending, or turning.
-ride over water bars, not around them.
-avoid riding on wet trails.
-carry your bike over or around deep mud.
-ride under control so that you do not run off the edge of the trail.

Check out the Routt County Riders website list of trails.

The Gondola takes you to Thunderhead giving you a good choice of trails. One of the better choices is a ride accross the mountain from Thunderhead to Rendezvous Saddle to the Sunshine Trail. For the return trip, follow the lower section of the Storm Peak Challenge Trail down the mountain via Zig-Zag back to Thunderhead. To add miles and fun, jump on Creekside Loop off Zig-Zag for some great singletrack that parallels Burgess Creek.

A more epic option is to ride the 26 mile Divide Trail using a shuttle. Start at the Dumont Lake Campground on Rabbit Ears Pass and ride the Continental Divide, then turn off and descend the trails into the Steamboat Ski Area.

I used "The Mountain Bikers Guide to Colorado" by Linda Gong and Gregg Bromka for the next two rides.

Variation of Mad Creek Loop, ride #17...

After you reach the gate with the sign, head downhill on singletrack, and then onto doubletrack until you hit the bridge. Cross the bridge and climb on doubletrack to the top of the ridge (don't take the singletrack on your left will be taking it on the way back down toward the end of this ride.) Ride down the doubletrack until a swimming pond is seen on the left. Look carefully for a singletrack coming in sharply from the left. A sign will read "Hot Springs Trail". This is a delightful three mile singletrack built by the Routt County Bike Riders Club that climbs along a stream up to the Hot Springs. Notice that the local riders have been taking very good care of this trail. No chatter marks occur before turns; the trail is not torn up on steep sections; the trail has not been widened near obstacles. Please slow down gradually before turns so that you do not create chatter marks; please keep your weight back and use your front brake more to avoid sliding on steep descents; please ride or walk your bike over obstacles so that you do not widen this narrow singletrack. Once you reach the hot springs, you may purchase cold water and drinks, on a hot day; or soak in the hot springs on a cold day. Head back down the singletrack, climb UP the doubletrack to the top of the ridge (NOTE: This is an exposed south-facing slope that should be avoided in the heat of the afternoon on a hot day in the summer!) On the way down, watch for a singletrack taking off on the right. It will bring you back to the doubletrack above the bridge. Now continue on the loop as described in the book. This variation will add an additional ten miles to the ride, and another 2000 feet of altitude gain.

Variation of Rabbit Ear's Pass to Fish Creek Falls, ride #15, PLUS Wyoming Trail, ride #16...

Not wanting to set up a shuttle, and wanting to combine the best of both these rides, we started at the wooden gate on Basecamp Road near Dumont Lake Campground near Rabbit Ears Pass, and rode past Fishhook Lake, Lost Lake, Lake Elmo, Round Lake, and Long Lake on Basecamp Trail as described in ride #15, and then turned onto FS 310 (dirt road), following signs for Fish Creek Reservoir. From the reservoir climb for several long miles to the top of Buffalo Pass and turn into the Trailhead Parking Area. Now follow the instructions for Ride #16 for the Wyoming Trail, which brings you back down to the Basecamp Trail junction where you turned onto Fish Creek Trail. Blow straight through the intersection toward Round Lake and back to the trailhead. The mileage from and to the wooden gate is about 30 miles. Plan to spend 5-6 hours riding beside beautiful lakes and wildflower-filled meadows. Warning: The Basecamp Trail is fairly rocky and slow, but pleasantly challenging.

I used "Steamboat Singletracks, The Mountain Biking Guide to Steamboat Springs, Colorado" by Tom Barnhart for the following ride.

Ride 19: Muddy Slide...

This was a long and strenuous ride, but included some wonderful singletrack descents. Be prepared for lots of roots, rocks, and ruts -- as well as LOTS of climbing! It also provides good views and passes through a variety of ecosystems. I recommend it highly to experienced mountain bikers! Basically, this ride involves climbing on wide singletracks to the top of an active slide, then descending through some pretty wild country on some pretty wild singletracks through forests and wildflower-filled meadows and aspen groves to a dirt road, then laboriously pedaling up the dirt road to the trailhead. I advise riding this in early July when the wildflowers are blooming, or in the fall when the aspens have turned. CAUTION: The deerflies and mosquitoes get pretty thick in June and early July. A nice campground (with water) is located about 1/2 mile from the trailhead.


if you do a ride and enjoy it, please let the land manager know that you did enjoy it and that the existence of singletrack trails is important to you! A small donation for trail maintenance and development might also be helpful!


Minimizing Trail Conflicts On Singletrack Trails

Minimizing Trail Impact On Singletrack Trails

Hints For Beginning Singletrackers

Back to Roger's Favorite Singletrack Mountain Bike Rides

Good Mountain Bikers Do It Without Sliding!

Roger McGehee