Where to E-Bike in the Roaring Fork Valley
With miles and miles of paved bike paths and spur roads, the Roaring Fork Valley offers rides to suit any e-bike ambitions. Whether you're seeking a long day out or a short cruise, here are seven of our favorite e-bike friendly rides.
1. Rio Grande Trail
The Rio Grande Trail is a popular multi-use trail that runs from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. Covering a total of 43 mostly paved miles, it follows the Roaring Fork River through the meadows and forests of the Valley, offering stunning mountain views along the way. There are a variety of trailheads to start from and end at, along with a few breweries, coffee shops, and restaurants along the way. For more route details, visit RFTA or MTB Project.
2. Maroon Creek Road
With its limited access to vehicles and finish at the picturesque Maroon Bells, Maroon Creek Road is a popular summer road ride. Whether your destination is Maroon Lake, or you plan to lock your bike at the top and head out for a hike the Maroon Bells Wilderness, this beautiful 11.5 mile climb (starting in Aspen) deserves a spot on anyone's must-ride list.
3. Smuggler Mountain Road
Smuggler Mountain Road is a popular gravel road that climbs above the town of Aspen. The steep switchback road sees a lot of dog walkers, hikers, and mountain bikers and tops out at a viewing platform with an expansive vantage of Aspen and the surrounding mountains.
4. Castle Creek Road
Castle Creek Road is a scenic, quiet spur road that climbs steadily 12 miles up the Castle Creek Valley. The road is paved and offers great views of the surrounding peaks. There are also several hiking trails and picnic areas along the way in addition to the ghost town of Ashcroft.
5. Lincoln Creek Road
When Independence Pass opens for the season, riding up Lincoln Creek Road to the ghost town of Ruby is a great way to get off the pavement. Most suitable for an e-bike with suspension, this 4WD road climbs 11 miles to a high point of 11,400 feet where you can either turn around or lock up the bike and head for a hike to Petroleum Lakes or 13,988 foot Grizzly Peak.
6. Crystal Valley Trail
The Crystal Valley Trail offers a mellow out and back up the Crystal River Valley outside of Carbondale. Running 6.5 paved miles one way, it's the perfect after work cruise and a good spot to take the kids.
7. Glenwood Canyon Trail
Driving through Glenwood Canyon is exciting enough, but the canyon gets even more impressive when you can take it at the speed of an e-bike. The Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path is a paved, multi-use path suspended above the Colorado River. Covering a total of 16.3 miles east from Glenwood Springs, it's great for access to river side picnics and venturing out onto one of the canyon's hiking trails.
Remember to always follow local regulations and etiquette when e-biking in Aspen. Yield to hikers and other trail users, and stay on designated trails. Always wear a helmet and bring plenty of water and snacks. With these tips in mind, you'll have a great time exploring the Roaring Fork Valley on your e-bike!