Having previously hosted the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in both 2013 and 2015, Steamboat Springs offers an unlimited amount of loops and rides for road bikers. Whether you're looking to test your lungs with a spin up Rabbit Ears Pass on US40, or looking for a scenic stroll along County Road 14 out to Lake Catamount, Steamboat has something for everyone.
Road Biking Routes
Steamboat, also known as Bike Town USA, offers a variety of road bike rides for all levels, whether you're looking for a scenic loop or planning to ride your first century.
Elk River Road
36, 49, 62, or 73.5 Miles | Elevation Gain: Varies | Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
From downtown Steamboat Springs head west on Hwy. 40 and turn right onto CR 129 (Elk River Road). Turn around at the small town of Clark for a 36-mile round trip. For some adventure, turn onto CR 64 (Seedhouse Road) just past Clark and head out to the end of the pavement at Hinman Park for a just under 50-mile round trip. For a longer ride, after Clark continue north on CR 129 over Willow Creek Pass, past Hahn’s Peak Village and Steamboat Lake and climb up to Columbine for the turnaround, making it a 63-mile round trip. And if that doesn’t suit your fancy, make an out and back on Seedhouse Road before riding up to Columbine for a total of 73.5 miles in some of Colorado’s most beautiful countryside.
Please note: Avoid during peak hours due to high traffic volume. Shoulder width varies significantly along Elk River Road and is narrow in areas. Consider starting the ride in Clark to avoid the heavy traffic areas and most narrow shoulders. The Seedhouse Road section has narrow shoulders and some rough pavement but is not heavily trafficked.
Coal Mine Loop
45.6 Miles | Elevation Gain: 3380 feet | Difficulty: Strenuous
From downtown Steamboat Springs, turn west on 13th Street and proceed on CR 33 (Twentymile Road). A total of 4 climbs leads to the intersection of CR 27. Retrace the route for a 40-mile out and back. For a longer loop variation (46 miles) turn left on CR 27 and continue until just north of Oak Creek. Turn left on Hwy. 131 and ride through Oak Creek Canyon then left on CR 14 (River Road), back into Steamboat Springs.
42 Miles | Elevation Gain: 2095 feet | Difficulty: Moderate
From parking areas at Howelsen Ice Arena or Rodeo Grounds just across 5th Street from downtown Steamboat Springs, head south on CR 14 (River Road). At the junction of CR 35, veer left across railroad tracks staying on CR 14 (now called Hudspeth Lane) and continue to intersection with Hwy. 131. Head right onto 131 then left back onto CR 14, heading to Stagecoach. Ride over Yellow Jacket Pass past Stagecoach Reservoir, continuing past CR 16 and staying on CR 14. Turn right at intersection with Hwy. 131 and head into Oak Creek. From Oak Creek stay on Hwy. 131 back toward town. Turn left onto CR 14 (Hudspeth Lane) and ride back in on River Road.
Catamount Out & Back
10.9 Miles | Difficulty: Easy
From Steamboat Springs, head south on CR 14 (River Road). At the junction of CR 35, veer left across railroad tracks staying on CR 14 (now called Hudspeth Lane) and continue to intersection with Hwy. 131. Head left onto 131 to CR 18 and ride around Lake Catamount until the pavement ends. This is your turnaround.
River Road Loops
24 Miles | Difficulty: Easy
From parking areas at Howelsen Ice Arena or Rodeo Grounds just across 5th Street from downtown Steamboat Springs, head south on CR 14 (River Road). For the shortest route, head left on CR 22 (Bartholomew Lane) then left on Hwy. 131 to head back to town. For a longer route, continue on CR 14 (called Hudspeth Lane after intersection with CR 35) then left on Hwy. 131 to head back to town. For even more, at CR 35 turn right onto dirt road and follow to Hwy. 131, turn left and ride back to town.
Rabbit Ears Pass
28 Miles | Elevation Gain: 2790 feet | Difficulty: Strenuous
From downtown Steamboat Springs, head east on Hwy. 40 up Rabbit Ears Pass to the West Summit. This is your turnaround unless you still want more.
Please note: Road construction on US Highway 40 will limit access to this route summer of 2018.
111.8 Miles | Elevation Gain: 6055 feet | Difficulty: Strenuous
Take CR 129 to FS Rd 550, then north 4 mi. to NFSR 500, then east 2 mi. to NFSR 402, then south 1 mi. to trailhead #1203. Take Farwell Mountain Trail # 1203 (single track, no ATVs) southeast about 5 miles to NFSR 409, then follow the road about 3 mi. to Wyoming Trail #1101. Take Trail #1101 north about 13 miles to Manzanares Trail #1204, follow the trail west about 5 mi. back to trailhead 1203. This trail offers hilly, rocky sections and steep grades that are challenging.
There are lots of things to remember to ensure that you have a fun and safe road bike ride during your stay in Steamboat Springs. Always remember to wear a helmet, be visible, and ride friendly. Never assume motorists see you and always use correct handle signals to show your movements. For more information on bike safety, please visit the link below.
Colorado Cycling Safety Rules and Regulations
Colorado has specific laws concerning biking on public roads. For a summary of laws and statutes, please visit the link below.