4 Can't-Miss Mountain Biking Trails in Vail

Looking for a thrilling mountain biking ride? You won't want to miss these four best trails for mountain biking near Vail during your next visit.

Posted July 21, 2023

Friends Mountain Biking in Vail, CO

If you're seeking a thrilling ride, there's no shortage of mountain biking trails in Vail. If you're seeking a thrill, the downhill flow of Radio Flyer Trail is the trail for you. On the other hand, Vail Mountain's signature Grand Traverse Trail offers a more classic experience. No matter what you seek, plenty of adventure awaits visitors of Vail.  

Mountain bikers of all experience levels will find an invigorating trail to explore on their next visit to Vail. With dedicated biker only trails, and Vail's Bike Haul to take you and your bike up high in elevation, riders will enjoy access to one of the most exciting networks of mountain biking trails in Colorado. 

If you're visiting without a bike, bike rentals are available in 4 and 8-hour increments, depending on the length of your ride. We offer plenty of bike rentals available for both children and adults, suitable for your mountain biking Vail adventure. Bikers utilizing their own mountain bikes must have fully functional front and back hand brakes to ride on the trails of Vail Mountain. In addition, we recommend all riders wear a properly-fitted helmet for safety.  

Ride Downhill on the Radio Flyer Mountain Trail 

Spanning about 2.0 miles, the Radio Flyer Mountain Trail is amongst the most well-known downhill flow trails for mountain biking in Vail. This picturesque trail is perfect for children and adults with an intermediate difficulty level. The path on this track is mostly smooth and packed down and descends nearly 900 feet in elevation.  

Check the Vail mountain biking map, and see the Radio Flyer Mountain Trail connects to several other trails, should you wish to continue for a longer ride. From the Radio Flyer Mountain Trail, bikers can head down to the base area continuing on the Hank's Hideaway trail. Hank's Hideaway trail is a great option for bikers exploring the lower half of Vail Mountain. 

Easy, Smooth Pitch Ride on the Golden Gate Trail 

If you're new to mountain biking Vail or simply want an easier ride, check out the Golden Gate Trail. This easy, smooth pitch trail was recently added to Vail Resort in 2020 and quickly became a fan-favorite. This single-track trail spans about 2.3 miles and descends about 1,000 feet. Throughout the trail, you'll find many twisted sections that keep things fun and exciting yet not too difficult.  

To get to the Golden Gate Trail, you'll need to ride the upper half of the Side Kick trail or take the work road "Gitalong Road" to access the top of the Golden Gate. From here, riders can take the gondola ride back up to ride the path another time or try a different trail for their next mountain biking Vail experience. If you're traveling to Vail Mountain with kids, the Golden Gate Trail is an excellent option, recommended for kids ages eight and above with general biking skills. 

Headed to Vail Mountain in the fall? Golden Gate Trail offers scenic views in autumn as the trees of the nearby aspen trees change colors. You won't want to miss a chance to take in the breathtaking fall foliage during your ride. 

Back Bowls Experience on the Grand Traverse Mountain Trail 

The Grand Traverse Mountain Trail is ideal for those looking for a challenge when mountain biking near Vail. This lengthy trail is over 5 miles. Throughout your ride, you'll pass through scenic pine forests and take in breathtaking views of Mount of the Holy Cross. This moderately difficult ride will offer a great workout, perfect for a summer back bowls experience. Due to the steady elevation gain throughout most of the trail, this is recommended for more advanced riders acclimated to the elevation. 

The starting point of the Grand Traverse Mountain Trail is by the Simonton Observation Deck and ends at chair #21. At the Observation Deck, visitors can catch scenic views of the mountains during any season. Bistro Fourteen is also located nearby if you've worked up an appetite from your thrilling Vail mountain biking ride.  

The Grand Traverse Mountain Trail can be extended with Lucy's Loop, taking Gondola One up to the peak. From there, take try taking Lucy's Loop to Eagle's Nest. From Eagle's Nest, bikers can bike the Grand Traverse Mountain Trail uphill for a steady, uphill climb.  

See the Wildflowers on the Mid-Vail Escape Mountain Trail 

Located on the eastern portion of Vail Mountain, the Mid-Vail Escape Mountain Trail is another can't-miss spot for intermediate to advanced mountain biking in Vail. This two-way trail begins at the Mid-Vail peak, climbing up and connecting to the Grand Traverse Mountain Trail.  Be forewarned this is a challenging trail to ride uphill, expect that the elevation and steady climb will make this a difficult ride at altitude. Riders are rewarded with stunning views of the Gore Mountain Range throughout the trail and see many of the region's popular wildflowers (typically in bloom around August/September). 

The Mid-Vail Escape Mountain Trail spans about 2.2 miles. If riding the Mid-Vail Escape Mountain Trail downhill, be prepared for a fast and steep ride down, heading down about 1,000 feet. 

Plan Your Vail Mountain Biking Adventure 

What are you waiting for? Your next Vail mountain biking adventure awaits. From the lengthy and challenging ride of the Grand Traverse Mountain Trail to the easy, scenic path of the Golden Gate Trail, there's something for every Vail visitor to explore. First-timers, families, and expert riders never get tired of exploring Vail's endless mountain biking trails. 

Planning your Vail Resort visit? Learn more about Vail's Bike Haul tickets, available at both Vail Resort and Beaver Creek Resort. Visitors can also try the Bike Haul + Lunch package to make the most of your day, offering a voucher for a delicious lunch at Spruce Saddle following your ride. Both daily, weekly, and seasonal Bike Haul passes are available, depending on the length of your stay. 

Have questions about mountain biking near Vail? Explore the Vail Resorts help desk to view answers to frequently asked questions.