Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about Vail mountain biking trails helpful.
There are a TON of amazing Vail mountain biking trails in the Vail Valley. From the iconic single track trails of Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek to the hidden gems of Minturn and Eagle Vail and the new mountain bike utopia of Eagle, Colorado. Bike riding is the perfect way to explore the new areas. It combines speed and a sense of adventure with the ability to go further and faster than you can just walking or hiking.
By riding a bike you can span entire mountains, from top to bottom and ridge line to ridge line and take in an array of breathtaking views along the way.
Enjoy mountain biking on Vail Mountain (where everyone skis in the winter) and on the valley floor. All areas offer amazing mountain biking with miles of fun, scenic trails that span the gamut from beginner to expert.
Mountain bikes trails on Vail Mountain are accessible via the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead and Gondola One in Vail Village. In order to ride the gondolas up the mountain you will need to purchase a day pass, or you can ride up the mountain, which is more work, but is free.
Vail Mountain bike trails are fun for families, first-timers, expert riders, and everyone in between. No matter your ability, it promises adventure, challenge, beautiful views and tons of fun! Just remember to always wear a bike helmet when mountain biking, as serious injuries can occur if your noodle’s not protected.
If you are not up for the challenge (and work) of riding up the mountain then a Bike Haul is just what you need. You and your bike take the Gondola up to the top of the mountain. It is a short ride of about 12 minutes and it offers SPECTACULAR views! When you get to the top, you can enjoy all the fun of a really long downward descent. You can ride the gondola as many times as you want in a day and at the top there are restaurants and other activities.
If you plan to bike multiple days, ask about the 7-day bike haul pass. If you are a local and plan to ride a lot, check out the season bike haul pass.
Vail Mountain is huge, and it is important to know where you are and where you’re going and make sure you are on a bike trail that is appropriate for your biking ability. If your a beginner going down a double black diamond trail you are not going to be having a whole lot of fun.
Use the map below to find the perfect trails for you and your family. Remember green is beginner, blue is intermediate and black is for experts and can be very difficult and technical.
If you are new to biking or just not comfortable going it alone, in a new place that you are not familiar with, you may want to look at a Guided Mountain Bike Tour. This is a great way to explore the mountain with an experienced guide. Your guide will show you how to navigate down Vail Mountain’s network of mountain bikes trails. Guides are also available in Beaver Creek as well.
Grand Traverse Vail Mountain’s signature single track trail. It is 4.9 miles of beautiful views, and incredible terrain and spans the top of the mountain. You will feel like you are a million miles away from anything.
Main Vail Road 4-mile dirt road that is wide, and follows the ridge line of Vail Mountain. Take in views of the famous back bowls on one side of the mountain and the majestic Gore range that rises up on the other, it is stunning.
Radio Flyer is a freeride biking trail that is offers downhill ascent only. It descends 1,058 ft., flows beautifully and is a ton of fun to ride
Fred’s Lunch This 2.5 mile intermediate trail is not quite as steep as other trails on Vail Mountain.
Along with the amazing mountain bike trails on Vail Mountain, there are awesome mountain bikes trails located on the valley floor in the White River National Forest. Here is a sample of some of the local favorites that are just a short bike ride from Vail Village or Lionshead. For more trails in the area, including Vail Pass, Glenwood, Eagle, Gypsum and Fulford check out the White River National Forest Mountain Bike Trails website.
Vail Pass Bike Path – An easy, paved trail from Vail to top of Vail Pass. If you just want to just go downhill and not up, you can hire a shuttle, this is a fun way to do this ride and it is perfect for all abilities and families.
Buffehr Creek – A difficult trail across I-70 from Vail Mountain, not for the faint of heart
Davos Hill Climb – Located in West Vail, Davos is a great workout and only moderately technical
North Trail Buffehr Creek to Red Sandstone – A popular section of the North Trail system that runs along the mountains to the north of Vail, with several trail heads and parallels the highway.
Red Sandstone Road – A 10-mile dirt road leading to Piney Lake, an amazing area that offers hiking, fishing, canoeing and a restaurant.
Son of Middle Creek – A more difficult section of the popular North Trail system.
Beaver Creek is Vail’s sister mountain and it’s just 12 miles down the road and encompasses Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead ski areas. This bike-friendly destination hosts miles of rolling single-track trails for all abilities and incredible views of the surrounding area and best of all, it’s never crowded. There are 23 trails with a variety of climbs and descents that wind through pine forests, aspen groves, high alpine meadows and wildflower fields.
Village Loop Perfect for beginners, this short 1.7 mile trail, is a loop that begins and ends in Beaver Creek Village
Village-to-Village Trail This European style trail connects all three areas with a lovely, relatively flat, wooded 3-mile scenic trail. Stop and have lunch (or a cocktail) in one of the villages.
Dally This wide, multi-use dirt road is one of the longest trails on the mountain. An intermediate run that clocks in at nearly 5 miles and tracks the boundary of the resort.
Allie’s Way A beginner/intermediate single track trail that winds through beautiful aspen forests and gently climbs (or descends) across the mountain.
Paulie’s Plunge A local’s favorite, this advanced trail is a fun, steep descent through a beautiful Aspen forest and crosses a pretty creek to drop you in Eagle Vail.
Beaver Creek Recreation Path 2-mile paved bike path that goes from Beaver Creek Village down to the town of Avon and connects to the Eagle Valley Trail.
See Also: MTB Project’s website for more Beaver Creek Bike Trails
While you are in the area you have to check out neighboring Eagle, Colorado which is something of a Mecca to mountain bikers. Eagle boasts an extensive, unique trail network that has earned the notice and nod from both Outside and Bike magazines. With more than a hundred miles of single track trails, Eagle is sure to please even the most cynical cyclist. The varied terrain includes high desert, aspen glades and dense pine forests.
In addition, due to the fact that Eagle, is situated in the “Banana Belt” and has much milder weather than its neighbors Vail and Beaver Creek, it enjoys almost 4 more months of riding every year. Trails are open from April 15-December 15 every year!
The Boneyard This local’s favorite trail takes you through exposed high desert scenery. A 3-mile, intermediate ride with a long steady climb to the top.
Riddle A fun single track trail that twists through open sage meadow and then travels to the edge of a small mesa above Brush Creek Valley. From there ride down to Eagle Ranch or connect with the Mayer Gulch Trail.
Mayer Gulch This beginner/intermediate trail should be ridden as a descent and is part of the Eagle Ranch Loop trail system.
Haymaker This trail was specifically created for the local high school race course and is directional. Ride counter clockwise.
LOV Connector A 3-mile intermediate, single track trail that features a very distinct up and down route and great views.
See Also: Eagle Outside for more Mountain Bike Trails in Eagle
Are you visiting the area and want to try some of these amazing trails but don’t have a bike? No problem, there are lots of shops that rent mountain bikes and helmets. Some shops like Venture Sport will even deliver your rental bike to your home or hotel room and pick it up once your finished.
Other shops offer tours like the Vail Pass Tour, where they will haul you, your family and your rental bikes to the top of Vail Pass and you can ride all the way down. Super fun and super convenient!
Bike rentals are a great way to try different bikes with the latest features and technology at a fraction of the cost of buying a bike. Cycling technology is always advancing, today’s bikes offer tons of suspension, superb climbing abilities, and new ergonomic comfort features for your whole body.
If you need to rent bikes while in the Vail valley check out these local bike rental stores
If your a local who loves mountain biking and want to help create and maintain the bikes trails in the area then consider joining a local mountain bike association. These groups coordinate volunteer trail work, maintain existing trails, build new trails and lots more. This is a great way to meet like-minded people while supporting a wonderful cause. Come and Adopt a Trail today!
What are your favorite Vail mountain biking trails? What is your best (or worst) memory of riding on one of these trails? Where is your favorite place to mountain bike and why? What is the most challenging aspect of mountain biking in the Vail valley? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and stories.