Spring Guide: Biking Around The Vail Valley

Edwards, Vail, and Beaver Creek serve up some of the best biking in the world, from challenging mountain terrain to inspiring road biking. If you’re planning a biking trip to Vail anytime soon, we have everything you need to know to make your plans. Here’s our Biking Guide to Vail Valley. 

Road Biking

Vail has plenty of easy and intermediate road rides during the summer. The Vail Recreation Path is a paved trail that follows Gore Creek through the valley, winding from Easy Vail through the village to Dowd Junction and continuing through to Avon and Edwards. The 58-mile paved path is a signature trail in the valley and shouldn’t be missed. 

Another popular road biking trail is the Vail Pass path. The 8.7-mile long trail stretches from East Vail to the top of Vail Pass – an elevation gain of 1,831 feet. Some riders love the steep climb while others prefer the easy shuttle ride to the top and the easy cruise down. Either way, the views are spectacular, and the air is fresh. 

Advanced cyclists will love the inclines and difficulties of area routes, like U.S. Highway 24 to Leadville and U.S. Highway 6 near Wolcott. Both jumping off points are only minutes from Vail. 

Mountain Biking at Vail

Vail has miles and miles of scenic trails for every type of bike rider ranging from adventurous family rides to expert trails. There are great biking and multi-use trails accessible from the Vail Village, Lionshead and Golden Peak base areas. Golden Peak has a few multi-use trails, but the best riding is between Vail Village and Lionshead. Riders love the awesome selection of intermediate and advanced trails that range from shorter runs like Son of Simba, South 6 and Onza Alley to longer trails such as Lion Down, Grand Traverse and Getalong Road. 

The mountain has some sweet freeride biking trails, too. (Freeride trails are for downhill access only.) The 3.75-mile Big Mamba offers an elevation gain of 1,279 feet and is rated intermediate. The popular Radio Flyer trail is 1.75-miles long and has a gain of more than 1,000 feet. Experts love the black-diamond Magic Forest trail that’s 1.2 miles long along with the heart-wrenching Old 9 Line trail that’s one of the mountain’s highly touted double blacks. 

Bike Haul

It’s easy to get your bike to the top of the mountain with Vail and Beaver Creek's bike haul. During the summer months, the same gondolas that serve skiers in the wintertime are used to take bikers to the top of the mountain to avoid the excruciating peddling needed to get there. The bike haul service is perfect for anyone who wants an enjoyable ride down. It’s a wonderful option for families, older riders, romantic couples and singles. Ticket packages are available during the summer months. (More on that below.)

Bike Pass

Purchasing a bike pass is the best way to access all of Vail’s biking trails during the summer:

  • The Freeride Local Pass provides unlimited riding at Vail along with two days at Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Northstar, Kirkwood, Stevens Pass, Okemo and Mt. Sunapee. Passholders also receive five Bike With a Friend tickets that are 30% off the window rate. Bike With a Friend vouchers are a great way to share your pass with friends or family so they can ride at a reduced rate. It’s one of the cheapest ways to get a friend or loved one on the mountain. Freeride Local season passholders also receive savings on lodging, dining and bike lessons. Passholders also get a winter discount for skiing as well as a discount for renewing the biking pass annually. 

  • The Freeride Full Season Pass offers unlimited riding at participating Vail Resorts and five Bike With a Friend tickets. Guests can enjoy 15% off summer lodging, 15% off dining at participating locations, 10% off bike lessons, a winter discount and a pass renewal discount. Passholders also receive discounted single-day lift ticket prices at Whistler Mountain Bike Park in British Columbia for the entire season. 

Bike Rentals

For those who don’t own a bike or don’t want to lug their bike all the way to the mountains, there are excellent rentals available at Vail Sports locations in Vail Village and Lionshead. Vail Sports rents quality mountain and road bikes that can handle the area terrain. Riders can also rent helmets and choose from a variety of related gear. The outfitter has five area locations: Arrabelle, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Club, Vail 21 and Vail Village.

If you can’t find what you need at Vail Sports, try one of these area bike shops:

Biking at Avon and Edwards

The nearby towns of Avon and Edwards present some excellent biking trails for riders of all abilities. There are paved recreational paths along the Eagle River and around Nottingham Park that are open to bikers, joggers and walkers. 

The lengthy Eagle Valley Trail is a paved trail that follows the majestic Eagle River as it winds through several local towns. The trail is a popular route for bicyclists and pedestrians. It is currently about 22 miles long, but plans are underway to eventually expand the trail to more than 60 miles. The trail follows the river through the town of Edwards, a popular destination for dining and nightlife. The crackling river provides a one-of-a-kind backdrop for relaxing in town after a big day on the trails. 

Biking Do’s and Don’ts

As mentioned earlier, it’s important for cyclists to share the road or path with motorized vehicles, pedestrians and horseback riders. Some trails allow pets while others are more exclusive, so it’s best to do your research before heading out for a hike with your pooch. Here are seven important tips for hitting the area trails:

  • Stay on the trail. Many areas have delicate wildlife and terrain. 

  • Respect trail signs and stay off closed trails. 

  • Bikers always yield to joggers and walkers.

  • Always yield to uphill travelers.

  • Pick up after your pets.

  • No smoking or alcohol allowed on the trails.

  • Bike with a friend or in a group, especially in more remote locations.

Stay with Us

The Inn at Riverwalk is a convenient destination for bikers looking to conquer the area trails. The hotel is right along the Eagle River in the beautiful mountain town of Edwards. Guests have immediate access to the Eagle Valley Trail as well as everything there is to do in town. There are great affordable dining options in the immediate area and the hotel itself has two on-site dining options. 

Guest rooms are cozy and well appointed and offered at a very reasonable rate compared to similar hotels in Avon or Vail Village. Discerning travelers who love a good deal overwhelmingly choose the Inn at Riverwalk based on its amenities, past guest reviews and well-known reputation around town. Lots of businesses and locals recommend the boutique hotel to their visitors. 

The Inn at Riverwalk is perfect for first timers who want to get an easy intro to mountain biking or road biking. The hotel has a unique Gear Garage that has bikes for guests to rent for a leisurely ride along the river. Guests can sign out a bike for a day of fun along the Eagle Valley Trail and simply return it for free when they’re done. After an entertaining jaunt, guests can slip into the relaxing on-site hot tub while the kids frolic in the heated pool. 

Guests can also enjoy coffee and tea 24/7 as a favorite amenity. Kids love to make their own and parents love the healthy options. It’s an excellent way to wrap up a memorable biking vacation and have a tasty little something for the trip home.