3 Day Biking Itinerary
Bike Your Way Through Steamboat Springs
Experience our vast network of trails and roads as you bike your way through Steamboat on your next vacation. Biking options are available for both the advanced riders and beginners, for the downhill crowd, cross-country and gravel riders. Mix in our tasty dining scene, breweries, wide-open spaces, and other activities Steamboat has to offer, and you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable time.
LUNCH: Fuel up at Freshies
Freshies is a local favorite eatery that will fuel you up for your first bike ride. Freshies serves up breakfast and lunch made with fresh, local ingredients. Their extensive menu offers plenty of fare that is sure to please health nuts and comfort foodies alike. Whether you're looking for a massive homemade cinnamon roll or a delicious salad made with unique seasonal ingredients, Freshies has you covered.
ACTIVITY: Take in the Valley
It’s time to hop on your gravel or road bike to take in some sights of our beautiful valley and get your biking legs under you! We’ve listed out a couple options for you with different lengths and ability levels, so be sure to pick what’s right for you!
Emerald Mountain Circuit: This ride is about 26 miles long and is available from April through October. It’s mostly paved with about 6 miles on gravel that takes you through ranchlands with spectacular sights. From downtown Steamboat Springs, turn west on 13th Street and proceed on CR 33 (Twentymile Road). Take a left onto CR 43, where the dirt begins. Follow around the back of Emerald Mountain and eventually bear right onto CR 41. After steep descent to Hilton Gulch schoolhouse, turn left back onto pavement and continue down, merging with CR 35, then left on CR 14 (River Road), which leads back to town.
Catamount Out & Back: A 11 mile out and back perfect for those beginner riders looking to enjoy gravel and road riding. Available from April through October, this ride takes you through the countryside and ends at a scenic (but private) lake. 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.
DINNER: Taste Table 79
Table 79 Foodbar is crafting elevated comfort food that focuses on seasonality and local ingredients. It's the table with the best view of the action and a front-row seat to the kitchen. Experience casual, fine dining at its best. They have an early happy hour that can’t be beat and patio dining on those warm summer days.
ACTIVITY: Late Night Soak
You’ll want to soak those muscles after your first bike ride, and Old Town Hot Springs, located right in the heart of downtown Steamboat, is the perfect spot. They offer a late-night hot springs admission for you to relax in one of their four 98-103 degree spring-fed pools. Don’t forget to bring some water to stay hydrated!
LODGING: Stay at the Nordic Lodge
The Nordic Lodge is the ideal location for you to stay. It’s friendly family atmosphere, downtown location, and cozy look is all just steps away from all the best that Steamboat offers.
BREAKFAST: Johnny B Good’s Diner
Johnny B. Good's Diner is the real thing! Step back in time as you event a 50’s themed diner full of nostalgia. They have an extensive and classic breakfast menu, a full bar, and baked goods that are mouth-watering.
ACTIVITY: Mountain Biking on Buff Pass
[INSIDER’S TIP: Camp on the Pass]
Camp on Buff Pass like a local. After a day of riding, head to your campsite to relax and enjoy the views or wake up early to be the first ones on the trails!
Flash of Gold: This flowy route is a local’s favorite, providing a steady climb at a subtle grade with a seamless downhill filled with bank turns and specular views. Pro tip: Opt to bike Flash of Gold in late September, to truly understand its namesake.
Grouse Ridge: Grouse is an expert’s only black trail that is universally loved by experienced mountain bikers. This trail has cliffside edges, big rocky drops, wall rolls, and steep maneuvers through narrow passageways that will leave you desperately wanting more. Pro tip: Shuttle this route with a friend and leave one car at the top and button to experience the descent without having to pedal uphill.
Panorama: Taking it back a notch, this family friendly trail is 1.3 miles and perfect for beginners or little ones learning to crush it. It can be biked as a quick lap or an add on to other trails. Pro tip: Class up your ride and bring some cheese and crackers to the overlook halfway through the trail and watch the sunset.
Spring Creek to Spring Roll: This long awaited 5.2 mile downhill trail is a new addition that is incredibly popular. Ascend the classic Spring Creek 5.1 miles and connect left to the downhill only Spring Roll. Enjoy fast-paced freedom with options for jumps without the worry of hikers or runners on the descent
[INSIDER’S TIP: Pack a lunch|
Stop at Yampa Sandwich in the morning before your ride and order your mouth-watering sandwiches to-go to eat on the trail like a local. Remember to pack out all your trash!
ACTIVITY: Enjoy the Views
If you opted to camp on Buff Pass, head back to your campsite to make dinner, relax, and enjoy the views. Be sure to follow any fire restrictions in the area and pack up your trash! If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some wildlife you can observe from afar. We recommend bringing some games. Don’t have camping gear? Check our BAP located in downtown Steamboat for all your outdoor needs.
If you’re headed back to town, we still recommend taking in the views. Head to Emerald Mountain and Howelsen hill to see the longest operating ski hill in North America, rodeo grounds, and Yampa River. You’ll have a picture-perfect view of the ski resort too!
DINNER: Chow Down on Tacos
Salt & Lime is a local’s favorite for good reason. They focus on vibrant, fresh flavors and offer a progressive twist to classic Mexican dishes. Dine on their rooftop patio for a perfect view of the valley while you sip on some of the best margaritas in town.
BREAKFAST: Coffee Shop Treats & Eats
Visit Off the Beaten Path for a cozy bookstore and coffeehouse in one experience. They have a full espresso bar, soups, paninis, and a variety of pastries and breakfast sandwiches.
ACTIVITY: Experience the Steamboat Brew Trail
While Steamboat may be known for its abundant outdoor adventure and access to trails, we’ve got a different kind of trail to add to your Steamboat biking list: The Steamboat Brew Trail. The Steamboat Brew Trail will take you from downtown Steamboat to the West end of town. The Brew Trail is made up of four local breweries serving some of the finest beers around Colorado and one distillery offering up small-batch whiskey, vodka, gin, and moonshine
[INSIDER’S TIP: Bike Like a Local]
Steamboat locals are all about getting outside and being active. Don’t have a bike? Check out these local gear shops in town that will rent you a cruiser or an e-bike.
Gas up the car for a scenic drive up Buffalo Pass to access some of the best mountain bike trails Steamboat has to offer, thank to the 2A funding Buff Pass has received. Trails can be accessed from Dry Lake Campground off County Road 38 and can be connected to create big loops and even funnel you all the way down into town. Below are some of our favorite trails, but you can see all Buff Pass mountain bike trails here.
LUNCH: Specialty Pizza
Your second stop of the brew trail is a great place for lunch. Mountain Tap Brewery has one of the best patios in Steamboat with views of Emerald Mountain where you can hear the river flowing. They serve up delicious wood-fired pizza and other locally sourced food that pairs with their beers.
ACTIVITY: Brew Trail Continued
Traveling 2.7 miles, the trail follows the Yampa River and winds its way through town. Stop by the river at any point to see paddle boarders, kayakers and more enjoy the water!