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  1. #1
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    Colorado vacation plans for biker and non-biker

    Hey y'all,

    My wife and I are headed out to Denver for a week in mid-August and we're looking for some insider knowledge to help us come up with an itinerary. We've already decided on Boulder for a few days, then thinking Breckenridge or somewhere similar for another few days before flying back to home in Maryland. We're definitely looking to do lots of hiking and biking, but I'm a stronger and more experienced biker than she is, so I'm trying to learn more about what area(s) might have a good mixture of intermediate-level and beginner-level trails/paths.

    I ride local singletrack regularly and would be up for a few good moderate-paced 3-4+ hour rides. She rides the local paved bike paths, but has never ridden off-road, and a 2 hour casual ride on relatively flat and smooth trail would be "epic" to her. She's a thrill-seeker, and wants to try mountain biking, but I'm being realistic. Also, I should mention that she'd be looking to hit up a spa and do some major relaxing while I might hit some trails by myself.

    So will Breckenridge offer some good XC riding and also some good, beginner-friendly trails or bike paths? Or should we look to Vail or Aspen? Or Crested Butte? Do these areas have decent bike shops with rentals available? Can I also rent helmet, camelbak, etc. or should I bring all my gear with me?

    Thank you so much for your help.

  2. #2
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    I would say Winter Park for the mountain town. The Fraser Valley has some great intermediate and beginner single track that I personally love riding. If you want to get big climbs in you can go over to the resort, and then link those to the Fraser Valley. Great little town and definitely have breakfast at Carvers. I don't have much experience with Breck. Vail is an awesome town and fun to hang out in. But as far as riding right from the hotel, I'm pretty sure its all up or down. There is a bike path that goes over Vail pass and then continues on into Avon to the west, but I would say WP is your best bet.

  3. #3
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    Check your PM

  4. #4
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    I would definitely schedule a day at the Royal Gorge, and put in a half day rafting trip there. It's pretty awesome and the Arkansas river would be flowing nice by then. It's a beautiful place to visit. They also have a new zipline course that's fun to that they package with the rafting.

    It's 2.5 hours from Denver....but you could visit Garden of the Gods in the Springs on the way down.

    Just a suggestion!

    X

  5. #5
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    There's a classic loop that's recommended for short term visitors to Colorado.

    You start off in Denver, head to Golden (you can swing by Coors brewery for a short or long tour); continue on to I-70 and head west toward Winter Park. You can hit the lifts if you want to enjoy the downhill or ride the plentiful trails in the area (or, you could have your wife drop you off in Boulder, you catch a bus to Nederland, then pedal to Winter Park over the Continental Divide, then have her meet up with you in WP).

    From there, you can spend some time in Frasier Valley, hit up Hot Sulfur Springs for some soaking action. Then you drive on through Granby to Rocky Mountain National Park, which takes you to Estes (and you can stay at the Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for The Shining). From there, drive on to Denver via Lyons and Boulder, stopping in either if you'd like.

    _MK
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    "No man goes before his time -- unless the boss leaves early."
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  6. #6
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    Not terribly familiar with Winter Park in the summer, but I do know that Breckenridge will have some moderate biking that she would likely enjoy, as well as paved bike path. I took a newbie girlfriend on a ride there and she didn't break up with me, so it couldn't have been that bad! The elevation will be the toughest part. I am sure there are decent bike rentals available, but not sure about other stuff.

    Boulder has some fairly easy biking (and fantastic hiking) but of course will be hotter than Breck. But Boulder is a great place to visit in the summer.

  7. #7
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    Breck!

    Breck for sure. It's easy to get to, loads of rides you can access from town (I work in Breck and live in Dillon and can ride trails/dirt roads almost the whole way home once it's dry enough) and a good mix of path, technical/long rides and mellow yet still fun rides. You can connect many of Breck's trails and paths to make very long rides (CO trail runs through here) to other towns in the area. For town-specific trails: BreckenridgeTrails.org

  8. #8
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    It's a drive, but Aspen/Snowmass (mostly Snowmass) is a true gem within Colorado. Plus it would fit the biker / non-biker metric.

    Have fun, good luck on your trip.

    Porch
    "If we were Vikings, Rocky Mountain aspen stands would be our Vahalla and its singletrack our bounty" - Mtn Flyer Mag #14

  9. #9
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    You guys all have awesome advice and comments, I love it - thanks so much. I'm getting pretty pumped up for this trip!

  10. #10
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    Smile Keystone's the place to ride

    Hey MTBR -
    New to the forum, and yes I work for Vail Resorts but your question about where to ride was too easy to answer to pass up. Keystone Resort is an incredible place to mountain bike with bike haul and plenty of spas for your wife to enjoy nearby. Plus it is the closest resort to Boulder at about an hour an 15 minutes away. I would definitely consider checking it out.
    There is more information about bike riding options at buzz.snow.com if you click on Keystone.
    Hope it works for you!

  11. #11
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    Basically if you pick almost any of the suggestions above you will not be disappointed. While Keystone and Winter Park are great to visit, Breck really has more of a town and the amenities that come with.

    Here is a link to a map of trails in Breck.

    http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/Mo...ocumentid=1202

    The website is pretty informative as well...

    http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/index.aspx?page=1

    There is also a Brewfest in Keystone in August that is usually pretty good. Keystone is 15 min from Breck and there are buses that connect most of the day. Ride the lifts in the morning and sample the beers in the afternoon.

    http://www.keystonefestivals.com/ind...bluegrassbeer/
    Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  12. #12
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    I know you said Mid-August... but did you decide on where you're heading yet?

  13. #13
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    Boulder for a few nights, then Breckenridge for a few nights. Thinking of hitting up Hall Ranch while in Boulder, and someone else mentioned Betasso but the mileage there seemed kinda short. While in Breck it seems I can just ride out my front door and wing it, kinda - will hope to get a map or recommendations when I rent a bike there. Maybe I'll do a downhill run or three

    I'm not trying to go epic because who knows what the altitude will do to me as an east-coaster, but I'm thinking a good 15+ mile ride at least, depending on the hills. I did 15 hilly mid-atlantic singletrack miles the other day with a good moderate (no stopping) pace as an after-work ride, and a solid weekend ride would double that mileage.

  14. #14
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    GO to COlorado Springs and take a run up The Incline!!

  15. #15
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    Breckenridge was perfect! Tons of trails, including options for a low-lander like myself not used to the altitude. Singletrack climbs were tough, jeep trails easier. Thanks all for the rec's.




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