Aspen has no shortage of world-class mountain biking trails, but, in most cases, there’s a caveat: You have to climb anywhere from 800 feet to more than 2,000 feet to access them. The thrill of the ride—and the views that come with it—make the effort well worth it, but it’s also important to set your expectations and be prepared, especially if you’re unaccustomed to riding at higher elevations.
Whether you’re going for glory on the Power of Four course or simply enjoying a ride up the beaten path, charging up anything on the your first day at altitude is not recommended. Be sure to bring extra hydration and food for fuel, as you’ll be burning more calories than you would at lower elevations.
Here, seven of the biggest and best mountain bike trails in Aspen, broken down by elevation gain.
1. Power of Four course—8,389 feet
Reserved only for the ultra fit (or the ultra masochistic), the Power of Four route is a beast of ride that climbs and descends all four Aspen Snowmass resorts, and includes portions of the Snowmass Bike Park trails and all of Government Trail . This isn’t one to start out with, but it’s certainly one to reach toward for some serious bragging rights.