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Bike Paths in Vail CO

Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about Bike Paths in Vail, CO helpful.

Colorado has adopted an ambitious, state-wide recreation path initiative to create a non-motorized, multi-use recreation path to connect Denver International Airport to the border of Utah and be accessible to all residents and visitors.

The Eagle Valley Regional Trail is the 63-mile, Vail Valley section of this state-wide recreation path and is a paved, arterial trail, that spans the county from Vail Pass at the east end to Glenwood Canyon at the west end. Eventually, it will also include a major spur trail traveling from Dowd Junction to the town of Red Cliff, through Minturn, CO.

Currently, although a majority of the paved path is completed, the trail still relies on some shared use of roads by bicycles, pedestrians and motor vehicles.

ECO Trails oversees this amazing, multi-use trail system and partners with the towns of Gypsum, Eagle, Avon, Vail, Red Cliff and Minturn.

Most recreation trails are open year-round but some sections like Glenwood Canyon are closed in the winter or if high river water causes flooding of the trail.


See Also: Best Mountain Biking Gear


The Vail Valley section of the Colorado Trails System is divided into three, main sections which include:

Vail Pass Trail travels from Vail Pass to East Vail (from the top of Vail Pass, to the East, this bike path connects to the recreation path in Summit County where you can travel onto Breckenridge and Frisco, CO

Vail’s Gore Valley Trail spans from East Vail to West Vail and goes through each of Vail’s quaint villages.

Eagle Valley Trail connects Eagle Vail, Avon, Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum and Glenwood Springs to the west.


View the Eagle Valley Regional Trail Map from Vail Pass to Dotsero, CO


Types of Recreation Uses

The multi-use bike path supports many types of recreation activities including:

  • Walkers, joggers and runners
  • Leashed dog walking
  • Road & mountain bikes
  • One wheelers
  • Skateboards
  • Strollers
  • Roller blades
  • Segways
  • Electric Bikes (e-bikes) Class 1 & 2 only

Class I and II electric e-bikes can be ridden on all local, hard-surface bike paths because they are unable to go faster than 20 mph while Class III bikes are built to go faster than 20mph and can only be used on roadways NOT bike paths. Read more about Town of Vail e-bike regulations.


Bike Paths in the Vail Valley


Vail Pass Bike Path

This is an EPIC bike path, the almost 9-mile trail of Vail Pass is the only Colorado mountain pass with a bike path that spans the entire distance of the pass on both sides, making an extraordinary bike ride. It summits at 10,662 feet and begins at the Gore Creek campground in East Vail and connects to the Summit County recreation pat at the top of the pass.

From Vail, the ride to the Summit county is 26 miles and becomes difficult toward the top of the pass with 3 relatively steep, short switchbacks.

The Vail Pass Trail can either be an easy or more challenging adventure. If you ride the entire route it will be challenging, if you want it to be easier, book a Vail Pass shuttle with a local bike shop (see below) they can rent bikes or transport your bike to the top of Vail Pass and you can enjoy the exciting ride downhill without all the exertion of riding up the hill.

Access the Vail Pass Trail from the Gore Creek Campground, located at the east end of Vail. Park just beyond at the road closure gate.


Gore Valley Trail – Vail Bike Path

This is a beautiful 12-mile, paved path that starts in East Vail and runs along Gore Creek, meanders through high alpine fields, aspen groves and through Vail’s iconic, world-class villages. It connects to the Vail Pass Bike Path and heads on to Summit County to the East and connects to the Eagle Valley Trail at the west end of Vail which then heads on to the towns of Avon, Edwards, Eagle, and Gypsum to the west. The Vail Recreational Bike Path is ideal for those looking for a moderate to easy road ride.

It is a scenic, functional path that goes to downtown Vail as well as core village areas, and makes for a convenient and easy way to get around town.

The route is a combination of attached bike lanes, detached trails and residential streets. It winds through open space, parks and recreation facilities.


North Recreation Path

The North Recreation Path is a separate trail that hugs the North Frontage Road from the main Vail Roundabout to the West Vail commercial area. This 2 ¾-mile route is a combination of widened concrete sidewalks and separated asphalt bike path. This path connects the residential areas to the west with the main ski base areas of Lionshead and Vail Village.


Bald Mountain Recreation Path

This short, half-mile section of path connects the Gore Valley Trail to the Vail Mountain School and the residential areas of Bald Mountain neighborhood. It will eventually lead to the East Vail interchange.


Eagle Valley Regional Trail – Eagle-Vail to Dotsero

The Eagle Valley Regional Trail travels the length of the Eagle River Valley from Dotsero to the Town of Minturn and connects nine communities along the way.

This non-motorized recreational path, is a spectacular amenity for both residents and guests, serving all ages.

This popular multi-use path is an ideal way to travel between Vail, Avon and Edwards and is perfect for commuting to work in different towns, exercising, or to just have fun and enjoy the spectacular views.

Owned and maintained by ECO Trails, the path can be biked in sections, in either direction, and there are many, convenient access points along the way. Although the majority of the trail is a dedicated, hard surface path it does rely on attached bike lanes in some areas that may include sidewalks and road shoulders.

In most instances the Eagle Valley Regional Trail offers a smooth, hard surface recreation trail that is handicap accessible, and ideal for kids, strollers and leashed dogs.


Glenwood Canyon Bike Path

The Glenwood Canyon Bike Path picks up where the Eagle Valley Bike Path ends, about 1-mile from the entrance of Glenwood Canyon to the west. It boasts convenient access to Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado River, making these stunning natural wonders easy for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy.

The smooth, paved bike path spans the entire length of Glenwood Canyon and connects all four rest areas; Bair Ranch, Hanging Lake, Grizzly Creek and No Name, and allows for wildlife viewing, fishing from the riverbanks, biking, hiking, picnicking, and train watching. Each rest area features parking areas, restrooms, interpretive displays, picnic grounds, water fountains, trash receptacles and access to hiking trails and the Colorado River.

Thanks to an amazing engineering feat, the interstate highway that runs through Glenwood Canyon becomes an unobtrusive part of the landscape. So it is easy to enjoy the huge, red rock, sheer canyon walls that majestically rise up from the valley floor without being distracted by the highway

The Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path runs between the Colorado River and I-70. It begins in Glenwood Springs and ends in Dotsero and connects to the Eagle Valley Regional Trail. The path is relatively flat and ideal for all ages and abilities. It can be traveled in either direction and started at multiple points for longer or shorter excursions.

From Glenwood Springs the bike path continues on, by connecting to the Rio Grande Trail, which heads south and east to Aspen.

IMPORTANT The Glenwood Canyon Bike Path is closed during the winter and sometimes into the spring if the water level in the Colorado River is high.

Access to the bike path is available at:

  • Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs, CO.
  • No Name, Grizzly Creek, Bair Ranch and Hanging Lake rest areas in Glenwood Canyon.
  • Glenwood Canyon Resort in No Name, CO (1308 County Road 129)
  • The Shoshone Power Plant interchange in Glenwood Canyon.
  • There is also Access in Dotsero, CO on the Frontage road (heading west) to the roads end.

If you are interested in biking the canyon in just one direction, not both, contact one of the local Glenwood Springs bike shops for bike rentals and/or a shuttle that provides drop-off service.


Looking to rent a bike to take on one of the many local bike paths? Check out these local Bike Rental shops in the area.


Pedego Electric Bike Rentals in both Vail and Beaver Creek, CO

Pedego is the #1 brand of electric bikes in America (according to Navigant Research), and electric bikes means less hard work pedaling and more fun sightseeing!


Vail Sports Bike Rentals in Vail, CO

Offering professionally-maintained, full-suspension mountain bikes allow you to comfortably navigate down Vail Mountain’s world-class trails. Rental services include convenient mountainside locations (LionsHead Village & Vail Village), professional staff, and a free helmet with every rental. Also, rents Road Bikes, Comfort Bikes, Trail Bikes, Freeride Bikes, Trailers and Kid’s Bike


Christy Sports Bike Rentals in Vail and Beaver Creek, CO

Christy Sports is a full service bike shop located in West Vail, Colorado. Bicycle experts that can assist with all of your biking needs. Services include bicycle rentals, bikes for sale, tunes, and demos.


Wheel Base Bike Rentals in Lionshead, CO

Family-owned & operated since 1992!. Owners Jay and Sari Lucas provide the highest quality bike equipment, tunes, and tours at the best prices.


Kind Bikes Bike Rentals in Edwards, CO

The Kind Cyclist opened its doors in 1992. They are located between e|town and the Bookworm in the Riverwalk shopping center in Edwards, CO.


Venture Sport Bike Rentals in Avon, CO

Venture Sports is locally owned and operated and has been since 1991. They are locally owned and operated – and have AMAZING customer service.


Glenwood Adventure Company Bike Rentals in Glenwood Springs, CO

Bike rentals available for all ages, abilities, and sizes. Why bike uphill when you can take advantage of their free shuttles?


Canyon Bikes Bike Rentals in Glenwood Springs

Offering traditional mountain bike rentals and electric bike rentals as well as shuttle service to Bair Ranch, enjoy a 14-mile bike ride in the downhill direction.


See Also: 10 Safest Bike Helmets


Comments Bike on Bike Path

We hope you found this article about Bike Paths in Vail, CO helpful. What is your favorite section of the Eagle River Regional Trail and why? What is your favorite way to enjoy these recreation trails? By bike, walking, skateboarding or another way? Do you enjoy walking your dog on these paths? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and stories about your experiences on the Vail, CO bike paths.


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4 Comments

  • Dane

    Great article about bike paths in Vail, Colorado, and perfectly timed for me. I am moving from Fort Collins, CO to the Vail Valley this fall.  Fort Collins is an amazing biking community and I love to bike to work whenever I can, and it is one of my favorite forms of recreation.  Of course, know that Vail is world famous for its skiing but I didn’t know that much about its biking culture.  I am so happy to hear that you can bike from Summit County all the way to Glenwood Springs and that people there really embrace biking there just like they do here. Thanks for sharing. 

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Dane, thank you so much for your kind words about the post Bike Paths of Vail, CO and I am glad you found it helpful.  Ok, the Vail Valley is not quite as enlightened as Fort Collins which really is an amazing biking community but it is very important to us and we do keep continually increasing our bike paths and bike infrastructure and biking in the summer seems almost as popular as skiing in the winter (at least to the locals). Since you are moving to the Vail valley, you may also want to check out the article “Vail Mountain Biking Trails” which describes some of the best local mountain bike trails as well as local biking associations and resources.  Thanks for reading and welcome to the neighborhood!

  • Anne

    Great article about Bike Paths of Vail.  We live in Denver and for years I have wanted to do the Vail Pass Bike Path during the autumn when the leaves change.  I am going to do it this season but I just want to confirm that you don’t need to be an experienced bike rider to do it.  It would be my husband, me and our 17- year old daughter, we are all comfortable riding bikes but we are not incredible downhill mountain bikers, just your regular bike commuters and occasional recreationists.  We would be fine doing this?

    • ThinkVail

      Hello and thank you for reading and commenting on this post about Bike Paths in Vail, CO.  Yes, you would be fine enjoying the stunning autumn views from the back of a bike on Vail Pass but here are some things I would keep in mind. 
      I would reserve a Vail Pass shuttle with one of the local bike rental shops in the area (you don’t need to rent bikes if you already have your own) because then you don’t need to do all the hard work of pedaling UP the pass you can just enjoy the fun of riding DOWN the pass.  Also, take your time and always stay to the right so other faster bikers can pass you safely.  If you are bringing your own bike, get a tune and get it looked over so you know your bike is ready for this rigorous ride.  Lastly, make sure all three of you have a really good helmet,you always want to be prepared.  Check out this post “The Safest Bike Helmets for Adults” and find the perfect one for you and your family.  have fun and enjoy the breathtaking, autumn scenery!

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