13 BEGINNER MOUNTAIN BIKING TRAILS THAT WON’T KILL YOU

REI has rotated out its snow gear, and you know what that means—it’s mountain biking season. If you’re a hiker, but want to experience something a little more adventurous this summer and are intimidated as hell by any bike with more than three gears—never fear. If this is your first time on a mountain bike or you haven’t quite conquered pedaling uphill, these beginner level difficulty trails are for you.

1. Foothills – Pineridge Loop, Fort Collins

Foothills – Pineridge Loop via mtbproject.

Where: See map.
Distance: 7 mile-loop 

Highlights: Don’t spend time huffing and puffing on this leisurely bike ride. In the foothills of Fort Collins, this beginner trail travels through prairie, trees, and over a small bridge next to the Dixon Reservoir.

2. Gold Run Road, Breckenridge

Breckenridge Biking via mtbproject.

Where: See map.
Distance: 3.6 miles one-way

Highlights: If you’re looking for a quick ride through the forest, Gold Run Road is the fun, light-hearted trail for you. Near French Gulch in Breck, this short graveled path journeys through aspen groves that look gorgeous particularly in the fall. It’s so easy, babies could do it.

3. Waterton Canyon Trail, Littleton

Waterton Canyon via AllTrails.

Where: See map.
Distance: 12.4 miles out and back

Highlights: If you don’t want to travel far from Denver or exert yourself physically, biking a section of the Waterton Canyon Trail offers a flat path surrounded by beautiful rock formations and the flowing South Platte River. Sometimes, you’ll even see glimpses of wildlife such as bighorn sheep, mule deer and even wild turkeys in their natural rocky habitat.

4. Shadow Pine Loop, Conifer

Shadow Pines Loop via AllTrails.

Where: See map.
Distance: 3.4 mile-loop

Highlights: Stay out of the boiling sun with an almost completely shaded bike path. This moderately trafficked loop through the peaceful woods in Flying J Ranch Park near Conifer is an easy dirt trail with virtually no obstacles.

5. Green Mountain Loop, Lakewood

Green Mountain Loop via mtbproject.

Where: See map.
Distance: 8-mile loop

Highlights: This popular location on the Front Range is a great spot for biking. Scenic views of the Denver skyline are at turnoffs along this wide route and this relatively easy trail makes for a great daytrip not far from the Mile High City.

6. North Table Mountain – South Loop, Golden

North Table Mountain – South Loop via mtbproject.

Where: See map.
Distance: 9.9 mile-loop

Highlights: If you don’t want a scary trek, but still want to cycle up and down a mountain for some sense of accomplishment, this loop trail near Golden is an exciting ride. This easy-to-follow path includes a few switchbacks and steep climbs to witness mesa top views and then journeys downhill for an adrenaline-pumping section.

7. Verde, Aspen-Snowmass

Verde Bike Trail via mtbproject.

Where: See map.
Distance: 3.8 miles one-way

Highlights: If you’re in the Aspen-Snowmass area, take a nice ride through the famous aspen groves on the Verde mountain biking trail. If this is your first time downhill mountain biking, you’ll love the twisting route that’s adventurous but not too scary.

8. Boreas Pass Road, Breckenridge

Boreas Pass Road via mtbproject.

Where: See map.
Distance: 17.4 miles out and back

Highlights: Follow a railroad route between Breckenridge and Como, Colorado on this pass that will take you across the Continental Divide. This bike trail is easy for beginners and will offer stunning mountain views and unique sights of a historic water tank and the remnants of old mines. Get all the high-altitude scenery without the difficult ascent on Boreas Pass. We promise you won’t get bored.

9. Marshall Mesa – Doudy Draw Loops, Boulder

Marshall Mesa – Doudy Draw Loop Bike Trail via mtbproject.

Where: See map.
Distance: 10.3-mile loops

Highlights: If you want a great bike ride not far from Denver, the Marshall Mesa area in Boulder is perfect for beginners with its gravel trail that’s best for cruising. Score beautiful views of the Flatirons and plains, fun loops through the woods, and an easy climb with rocks. It doesn’t get mellower than this.

10. Bakerville Loveland Valley Trail, Silver Plume

Bakerville Loveland Valley Trail via singletracks.

Where: See map.
Distance: 10 miles out and back

Highlights: Climb steadily from Bakerville, Colorado to the Loveland Valley Ski Area near the scenic Georgetown Loop Railroad and Continental Divide Trail. This scenic mountain ride offers a lot of downhill fun and will give you a biker’s sense of adventure. The views don’t get much better than this.

11. Rollins Pass, Rollinsville

Rollins Pass via mtbproject.

Where: See map.
Distance: 35.7 miles one-way

Highlights: You might not have ever journeyed to Rollinsville, Colorado, but you should bike a section of this trail. Rollins Pass used to have an old railroad route from Rollinsville to Winter Park and is still suitable for cars and bikes. The completion of the Moffat Tunnel made this railroad obsolete, but luckily you can still appreciate the same gorgeous views of the Continental Divide.

12. Thunder Pass Trail, Walden

Thunder Pass via singletracks.

Where: See map.
Distance: 12 miles out and back

Highlights: Journey to boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park on this easy bike trail that promises jaw-dropping mountain views. At more than 10,000 feet, Thunder Pass doesn’t offer a lot of coverage since it’s above timberline, but you will love the landscape and have photos your friends will definitely be jealous of.

13. Chainsaw, Fraser

Chainsaw Bike Trail via mtbproject.

Where: See map.
Distance: 18 mile-loops

Highlights: Appreciate a faster ride through meadow and forest that is used in Winter Park racecourses. Chainsaw has moderate grades and multiple detours on similar trails if you want to mix it up a bit. This fun figure-eight shaped trek through the woods is great for beginners. Appreciate a faster ride through meadow and forest that is used in Winter Park racecourses. Chainsaw has moderate grades and multiple detours on similar trails if you want to mix it up a bit. This fun trek through the woods is great for beginners.