New biking trail in Snowmass is ‘the descent that keeps on giving’

The straightaways are few and far between on the new Seven Star Trail. It boasts 35 in-slope turns along its 4 miles.
Ted O’Brien/Pitkin County Open Space and Trails |

A ride that gets high marks from many local mountain bikers just got better.

The Seven Star Trail was completed this week and is officially open today, according to Ted O’Brien, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails manager. Many riders couldn’t wait and poached it before it officially opened, he said.

Seven Star makes a great extension of the Rim Trail on a ridge overlooking Snowmass Village. Seven Star extends to a valley downhill or easterly from where North Rim Trails ascends/descends to the Rodeo Lot and Snowmass Village Town Park.

Seven Star is kind of a hybrid of trails, similar to the Hummingbird and Deadline. It has more twists and turns than Hummingbird but not the features and big, banked curves of Deadline.

“A four-mile descent is rare. It’s the descent that keeps on giving.” — Mike Pritchard, Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association

“We tried to take some undulation out of it,” O’Brien said, noting it is a two-way trail. Some riders will climb Seven Star and there will be trail runners and hikers, so the trail was designed to naturally check some of the speed of cyclists who are descending.

The 3.89-mile trail has 35 in-slope turns and two bridges. It runs between the North Rim Trail and Snowmass Village Town Park and the Rodeo Lot.

“It matches the Rim Trail nicely,” O’Brien said.

Mike Pritchard, executive director of the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, said most riders will likely ride the Rim Loop to take advantage of the Seven Star descent.

“A 4-mile descent is rare,” he said. “It’s the descent that keeps on giving.”

It also provides the opportunity to do a shorter loop, climbing North Rim and descending Seven Star, or vice versa, for a ride when time is tight, Pritchard said.

As Pritchard and O’Brien both noted, the views from the new trail are stunning. It provides a different vantage point to check out Garrett Peak, Snowmass Mountain, Capitol Peak and Mount Daly.

The trail technically is part of Sky Mountain Park though it is on the opposite side of Brush Creek Road. It will be closed Dec. 1 until May 16 for the benefit of wildlife. That matches the closures of North Rim Trail and Sky Mountain Park. Dogs are not allowed at any time on the new trail, O’Brien said.

O’Brien said open space officials strongly discourage riders from crossing Brush Creek Road where Seven Star meets the valley floor. The trail was extended down to the Rodeo Lot.

Pitkin County teamed with the town of Snowmass Village and the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association to build the trail. Tony Boone Trails LLC was hired as the contractor. The firm also built Airline Trail and a portion of the Cozyline Trail in Sky Mountain Park as well as the Tom Blake Trail in the Snowmass Village network.

The trail cost about $87,000 to construct. Two trail bridges cost about $4,000 each.


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