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There is nothing quite like peddling through crisp autumn air, the occasional faint crunch of leaves beneath your tires serving as music to your ears. Colorado is not wanting for places to explore the terrain by bicycle as summer subsides – in fact, your biggest problem will be narrowing down where to bring your new 3-speed or cruiser bicycle. Here, in no particular order, are some of the best bike rides in Colorado for the autumn season.
Fraser River Trail
Distance: 11.5 miles
This scenic trail is only partially paved, so new cyclists should exercise special caution. Running between Winter Park Resort and the town of Fraser, the ride features spectacular mountain views. You may even be lucky enough to spot a moose or other wildlife in the distance, as they prepare to buckle down for snow. A shuttle service is available between the two termination points if you only want to ride one way.
West Elk Loop
Distance: 205 miles
Up for a real challenge? This mountain trail takes about 8 hours to complete in full, but you can also choose a portion of the ride to journey if you’re not up for an all-day excursion. As fall descends upon the mountains, the West Elk Loop takes you through scenic passages lined with trees and towns like Gunnison that are gearing up for winter sports.
Distance: 6 miles
Kebler Pass, near Crested Butte, is home to the largest Aspen forest in Colorado. Thanks to their interconnected root system, these majestic trees change color at the same time. As you ride down the trail, you’re met with leaves in cheeky orange and rich red. The Horse Ranch Park loop is especially good for catching up-close views of the changing trees. Bring your camera and stop to catch your leaf peeping on film.
Cherry Creek Bike Path
Distance: 40 miles
If you don’t want to go too far out of Denver on your bike trip, you’re in luck. Urban trails are also a good place to get in a ride during fall. The Chery Creek Bike Path has been named one of the top trails in the entire nation by USA Today, and you can conveniently hop on it in Downtown Denver. The trail follows the serene river and a tree-lined path all the way to its namesake, the Cherry Creek State Park.
Autumn is a special time in Colorado. As you begin to think about dusting off your snowboard, there is still time to get out and use the cycling trails one last time. Dress in layers at higher altitudes, as you never know when a cold front will decide to show up this time of year. If you’re in the market for the best bike for Colorado trail riding, sixthreezero is here to help.
Check out these bikes for a breezy autumn ride:
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