The mountain biking at Beaver Creek has several things going for it that set it apart: the trails are never crowded; the terrain is rolling and expansive, with single track for all levels of ability; the aspen groves that are scattered throughout the resort will blow your mind; the views are superlative.

I should know. I’ve been a mountain biker for more than half my life, and I’ve pedaled my way on trails throughout the western United States. Given the choice, my preferred high country Colorado riding destination is the area in and around Beaver Creek. Here are a few highlights.

1. Village to Village Trail, 14.6 miles

This beginner trail follows the Beaver Creek bike path from either of the lower parking lots to the resort’s base (or hop on the free bus, which takes bikes). From the base, climb the dirt roads on Cinch to Allie’s Way, where you turn right. This singletrack winds through the aspens at a grade that won’t make it impossible to breath. After crossing Beaver Creek and coming out at Beaver Lake Trail, turn left and look for the signs for the Village-to-Village trail. Expect friendly single track that traverses all the way to the easternmost border of the resort (the edge of the Arrowhead ski area) and then get ready for a long and rolling descent back to the base.

2. Beano’s Hill Climb, 3.1 miles

Climb almost 1,500 feet in a little over three miles on this tough ascent that starts from the Red Tail Camp area. Beano’s, the trail, is well marked and switchbacks under the Larkspur chairlift. Ride this on a sunny day and it can be a sufferfest, mainly because the trail climbs in the open. It’s worth it though. Arrive at the top of the Strawberry Park Chair and enjoy not only the view, but also the satisfaction of a hard-earned “summit.”

3. Eagle, Colorado

While you’re in Beaver Creek, you should venture a few miles east to the town of Eagle, where an extensive effort to transform that town’s trail network into a mountain biking utopia has earned accolades from Outside and Bike magazines. The riding here is smooth and fast, and popular trails include Riddle Abram’s Ridge, Meyer Gulch, and more. For more information check out Mountain Bike Eagle.

Obviously, there are many, many more trails out there. These just scratch the surface and showcase the diversity of the terrain. The best way to find out about trails is to ask a local, and the folks at Beaver Creek Sports are incredibly knowledgeable. And friendly. They’ll help you plan your route on the map and give you a few high altitude tips (most important: sunscreen and hydration are essential! The sun’s bright up here at 8,000-plus feet, and your body will be craving water).

They’ll also rent you a bike if you haven’t got one. If you’re new to mountain biking or haven’t ridden in years, you might be stunned at the advances in bike technology. Today’s singletrack steeds come with ample suspension, superb climbing abilities, and geometry that won’t make your shoulders cramp, make your bum go numb or wreck your legs. Be forewarned: you will like these new bikes that you will want to immediately upgrade or buy a brand new one. Budget accordingly.

And have fun. Riding a bike is a wonderful, unique way to explore the mountains. It combines speed and adventure with the ability to go further in a set amount of time than you can on foot. Which is why I lube up my chain and hit the trails as soon as ski season ends.

Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker writes about travel, family, and sports from her home in Boulder, Colorado. Her reported stories and personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Skiing, Mountain, Inspirato, and others. When she’s not traveling or scribbling, she’s usually playing with her two young sons or trail running. Follow her on Twitter at @racheljowalker.