It’s no secret that cycling is one of the trendiest ways to get around Denver. With nearly 200 miles of on-street bike lanes and more than 80 miles of off-street and multi-use trails within city limits, the options to explore via two wheels seem endless.
Whether you’re looking to commute, discover the breathtaking Rocky Mountains or test your level of fitness, there’s a nearby bike trail for just about anyone. From city views to foothill wonders, here are the best ways to explore Denver by bike, plus a comprehensive map in case you get lost.
Enjoy Denver’s vibrant city murals
The Cherry Creek Trail begins at Cherry Creek Dam and Reservoir and wanders 12.7 miles throughout Denver’s urban cityscape to Confluence Park. Along the way, you’ll find some of the most eye-catching murals the city has to offer. There’s also an abundance of exit ramps, making this one of the more convenient bikeways to use for commuting throughout the city. Once you arrive at Confluence Park, check out the REI Flagship store or head over to Platte Street and grab a bite to eat. In the mood for a beer? Denver Beer Company is less than half a mile away.
RELATED: E-bikes Etiquette 101: Don’t be a jerk, do respect the rules of the road and plan ahead
Explore Red Rocks on a mountain bike
One of the perks of being in Denver is its proximity to an abundance of outdoor parks and trails. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre offers a variety of hiking and biking trails. Rated difficult for its technicality and max grade of 26%, Dakota Ridge/Red Rocks Loop from Zorro is an 8.2-mile trail that features 360-degree views of the foothills. Parking is available at 1103 CR-93, Golden. Note: Rattlesnakes are common in this area and the terrain can be difficult after it rains. Go here to check trail conditions.
RELATED: Colorado’s newest mountain bike park is “awesome”
Ride dirt and gravel to see bighorn sheep in Waterton Canyon
Waterton Canyon in Littleton is home to the Strontia Springs Dam and is open to the public for recreational use. The area offers diverse wildlife species such as bighorn sheep, mule deer, rattlesnakes, lizards, black bears and mountain lions. The bighorn sheep are often the most-spotted, especially early in the morning. The trail is made up of dirt and gravel, therefore more rugged tires are recommended. Parking is located across the street from the trail entrance. Platte Canyon Road, Littleton.
Take a ride to Golden
Although the Coors Factory is currently not offering tours, it’s still a unique experience to ride by on your way to historic Golden. You can take the Clear Creek trail, just west of Adams County, all the way to Grant Terry Trail in Golden, stopping downtown along the way. Once you arrive to this old Western-style town, souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes and bike shops await. The Clear Creek Trail is a 20.1-mile point-to-point trail with many access points to choose from.
Ride through Colorado’s ski country
In the summer, the once snow-covered Rocky Mountain trails transform into a colorful and adventurous bike haven. However, cycling at altitude is no easy feat. From the start in Breckenridge, expect to begin your trek at 9,600 feet above sea level. But with altitude comes an advantage. The Summit County Paved Recreational Pathways System winds through three iconic ski resorts: Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain. For those looking for a challenge, continue over Vail Pass to the town of Vail, the only Colorado mountain pass with a bike path that extends the entire distance of the pass. For more bike trails, a map and information on cycling in Breckenridge, go here.
RELATED: How to get into Rocky Mountain National Park without a reservation
Test your fitness on an iconic Strava segment
Colorado is home to some of the top professional athletes in the country, setting the bar high for competitive cyclists in the area. But you don’t have to be a professional cyclist to attempt one of the many coveted Strava segments here in town. At the base of Lookout Mountain are the two famous pillars where the climb begins. Once you reach the top, a 4.57 mile ascent, enjoy views of Golden and, of course, bragging rights. Parking is free at Beverly Heights Park. 911 10th St., Golden
RELATED: The Palisade Plunge, a new mountain biking trail in Mesa County, expected to open in July
Take an e-bike around town
E-biking has become widely available in Denver — and for a good reason. E-bikes are a great way to experience the city and all it has to offer. You can rent an e-bike from a local bike shop or test out one of Uber’s JUMP bikes that are often stationed along sidewalks and neighborhoods. For more of an outdoor adventure, Colorado state parks also permit the use of e-bikes on roadways and some trails. Go here to learn more about where e-bikes are permitted in Colorado’s state parks.
Explore Boulder’s countryside on a gravel bike
In recent years, gravel biking has become a popular pastime across the Front Range. Not too far from Denver, Boulder’s scenic countryside offers some of the best gravel routes east of the Rockies. Pass by a sunflower-painted silo on Cowboy Loop, a mostly-flat route that takes you through rolling farmland with views of the Flatirons off in the distance. Or adventure up Boulder Canyon for a challenge. For beginners, try Lefthand Reservoir to Haystack Mountain. Parking is free at the Lefthand Trailhead parking lot. 3300 Neva Road, Boulder. Go here for a detailed map of gravel routes in Boulder.
Sign-up for a classic bike race or tour
Many of Colorado’s bike races and tours are sought out by cyclists around the world, and for good reason. Consider the Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Climb in July for 28 miles of riding to the summit of one of Colorado’s fourteeners, or sign up for the Copper Triangle, an alpine cycling classic. You might also consider the Tour of the Moon, made famous in Coors International Bike Classic of the 1980s. This ride takes cyclists a metric-century (62 miles) through Grand Junction, encompassing the Colorado National Monument.
Note: now that in-person events are back, it’s best to register early before events are sold out.
SAFEGUARD YOUR GEAR
Bike theft is a reality, so don’t make it easy for yours to be stolen. Never leave your bike unattended, out in the open or on the back of your car without the proper security, such as a high-quality lock. For more information on preventing bike theft, go to cyclingnews.com or ask your local bike shop.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.
- 9 ways to beat the heat this summer around Denver
- Colorado’s newest mountain bike park is “awesome”
- Staff favorites: A bike ride from Georgetown to Guanella Pass that is tough but rewarding
- Keystone Bike Park returns along with the resort’s summer operations
- E-bike etiquette 101: Don’t be a jerk, do respect the rules of the road and plan ahead
Source: Read Full Article