Most Aspen-area trails close to mountain bikes this week

In some cases, all uses are prohibited to benefit wildlife

Staff report
The Bureau of Land Management places signs on Dec. 1 closing trails on the upper Prince Creek network.
Aspen Times archive

Numerous trails in the Roaring Fork Valley region will close to wheeled vehicles on Wednesday or have already been restricted.

The Bureau of Land Management, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and town of Snowmass Village will close several popular singletrack trails starting Dec. 1. The White River National Forest has already switched to winter travel rules that restrict all wheeled vehicles, including bicycles, to routes that are plowed.

“These winter regulations are an important part of keeping the White River National Forest a premiere location for winter recreation by helping maintain conditions for activities like snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing,” Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said in a news release Monday.

In many cases, closures are in effect to preserve grooming by snowmobile clubs and cross-country ski groups. In other cases, routes and terrain are closed to all winter travel to protect designated wilderness, critical winter wildlife habitat or both.

The Forest Service’s Winter Motor Vehicle Use Map identifies routes and areas designated for over the snow travel. The map can be downloaded at

On other public lands, the winter closure goes into effect Wednesday. In some cases, trails are closed to all uses. In other cases, it is closed to bicycles only.

Sky Mountain Park, North Rim Trail and Seven Star will close to all users from Dec. 1 through May 15.

The Rio Grande Trail between Rock Bottom Ranch and Catherine Store is closed to all uses from Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. until April 30 at 5 p.m.

Glassier Open Space and Trail is closed to all uses Dec. 1 through April 30.

Most of the trail network on the Crown, including the Vasten Trail and Buckhorn Trail, will be closed to bicycles Dec. 1 through April 15. The exception is the lower elevation Prince Creek Trail network, South Porcupine Ditch and below.

The Elk Traverse and north trail network on Red Hill will be closed to all users Dec. 1 through April 15. The Sutey Ranch access closed Sept. 30.

The Lorax Trail is closed to bicycles Dec. 1 through April 15.

The Coal Camp trail network in South Canyon is closed to all users Dec. 1 through April 15.

The New Castle trail network on BLM lands north of town is closed to bicycles Dec. 1 through April 15.

Some trails remain open to bicycles into the winter, but land managers and advocacy groups urge riders to use common sense and stay off wet and muddy routes. Trails should be ridden when they are dry or frozen.

The open trails include the lower New Castle Trails, Grandstaff Trail accessed by Red Mountain Road in Glenwood Springs, the front side of Red Hill, Prince Creek Trails on and below South Porcupine Ditch and the Aspen Fat Bike Loop.