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Rio Grande Trail

Rio Grande Trail, Aspen to Glenwood Springs, Colorado map area

Rio Grande Trail

LENGTH:

42 miles

SURFACE:

paved / unpaved

COMMUNITIES:

Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, El Jebel, Basalt, Woody Creek, Aspen

HIGHLIGHTS:

rail-trail, Roaring Fork Valley & River, local parks, Aspen

NEARBY TRAILS:

Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail

Crystal River Trail

Brush Creek Trail

RELATED LINKS:

Aspen

Regional Trails

The Rio Grande Trail is a 42-mile long wide mostly paved trail that spans between Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Aspen in the western mountains of Colorado.

The trail uses an abandonded railroad right-of-way to head up the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley with is soaring red cliffs and lush valley floor. Much of the route is located near the Roaring Fork River and there are lovely groves of willows and abundant wildlife. The valley floor has numerous horse ranches and a few residential areas. There are steep hills on either side of the wide valley and the south end of the trail has glimpses of the high peaks that are located to the west and south of Aspen.

The north end of the trail starts in Glenwood Springs at Two Rivers Park. The city has its historic hotel and hot springs fed swimming pool as well as a quaint old west downtown and other attractions. Glenwood Springs is situated at the west end of the dramatic Glenwood Canyon along the Colorado River. Trail users can also head up through Glenwood Canyon on the recreation path that follows alongside Interstate 70. The Rio Grande Trail follows the Roaring Fork River through Glenwood Springs going past local parks, schools and residential neighborhoods then over alongside Highway 82.

The trail goes through the lovely city of Carbondale. Many trail users start in Carbondale and then head south. This section of the trail also connects to recreation trails that head into the communities of Basalt and El Jebel and includes a picturesque bridge over Highway 82. The trail goes right past Woody Creek, a rustic and historic little community located about 8 miles north of Aspen. In this area, the trail has some steeper climbs and unpaved sections. Many trail users choose to ride between Carbondale and Woody Creek to avoid the steeper unpaved section.

The last part of the trail has some interesting views of the Roaring Fork River and lovely views of the lofty peaks at the end of the valley near Snowmass Village. There are a few old railroad cars and couple of waterfalls in this section of the trail. The trail ends in Aspen, a beautiful and world famous ski town with marvelous restaurants and shops.

Conditions

The Rio Grande Trail is paved for most of the route. There are some unpaved sections between Woody Creek and Aspen which may not be suitable for all types of bicycles. These sections have a graded surface of packed gravel.

The trail is open for bike riding, walking and running. Most of the trail is located away from roadways. The trail has gentle grades for most of the route, but there are steeper sections south of Woody Creek.

Communities

The Rio Grande Trail goes past the following communities: Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, El Jebel, Basalt, Woody Creek and Aspen.

Points of Interest

The Rio Grande Trail goes past the following points of interest:

Two Rivers Park Roaring Fork Club Golf Course
Glenwood Hotel & Pool Highway 82 Bridge
Downtown Glenwood Springs Basalt Trail
Vogelaar Park Historic Woody Creek Tavern
Bolitho Elementary School William Jaffe Park
Veltus Park Stein Falls
Glenwood Springs High School Slaughterhouse Falls
Downtown Carbondale Stein Park
Carbondale Recreation and Community Center John Denver Sanctuary
Basalt High School Aspen Institute
Nearby Trails

The Rio Grande Trail allows for a connection to other recreational trails in the area.

Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail: starts at the northeast end of Glenwood Springs. Trail users will need to travel along local streets to get from the one trail to the other.

Crystal River Trail: heads south from Village Road and Highway 133 in Carbondale. The Crystal River Trail heads up the valley towards Redstone, but does go all the way.

Basalt Trail: there are a couple of locations where trail users can connect to the recreational trail system for the Town of Basalt. One location is near Emma Road with an underpass for croosing Highway 82. The other location is 0.7 miles south of the overpass bridge on thw south side of Basalt.

Brush Creek Trail: trail users will need to travel along Western Mobile Mountain to McClain Flats Road and use the Aspen Mass Trail to reach the Brush Creek Trail. The Brush Creek Trail heads of the valley to the Snowmass Ski area.

End Points

The north end of the Rio Grande Trail is located at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs. Two Rivers Park is located along Devereux Road to the south of Interstate 70.

The trail goes through downtown Carbondale, but many trail users park at the park and ride along Highway 133 at Village Road to start their trip along the Rio Grande Trail.

The south end of the trail is located along Neale Avenue to the north of E. Main Street in Aspen.


Resources

Following are links to official off-site resources to find out more details about the Rio Grande Trail, Colorado.

Northwest Colorado

Steamboat Springs

North Central Colorado

Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, Firestone, Frederick

Boulder County Colorado

Boulder, Longmont, Erie, Louisville, Lafayette, Gunbarrel, Niwot

Denver Metro Colorado

Denver, Broomfield, Thornton, Northglenn, Brighton, Commerce City, Aurora, Centennial, Parker, Highlands Ranch, Englewood, Lakewood, Littleton, Arvada, Golden

Central Colorado

Castle Rock, Monument, Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, CaƱon City

Mountains Central Colorado

Dillon, Breckenridge, Keystone, Silverthorne, Frisco, Copper Mountain, Vail, Eagle, Dotsero, Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Aspen, Leadville

West Colorado

Grand Junction, Paonia, Fruita, Montrose

Southwest Colorado

Durango, Telluride

Statewide Colorado

Trail systems that span throughout the state