The front ranger's

early season ride guide

It’s that time of year. The time when the wheels are spinning in your head for where to get them spinning on the ground. The snow is melting and you’re in desperate need of a tan. We all know the feeling: bike season is upon us. 

We hand selected our favorite early season trails in and around Denver to help you on your quest for dry dirt.

So dust off your helmet and clip into your pedals, it’s time to hit the trails.


South Table Mountain & Dakota Ridge Trail (Golden, CO)

25 mins from Denver

South Table Mountain and Dakota Ridge are two of our staff favorites for early season rides. If you’re looking to put things in cruise control, South Table Mountain is the place for you. With a short initial climb, and endless rolling singletrack, it’s the best spot to get the legs warmed up for the season. 

If you’re looking to turn things up to eleven, then head over to Dakota Ridge for some technical chunk. Kicking things off here sets the tone for a strong season. 

Floyd Hill (Evergreen, CO)

30 mins from Denver

If you live in the area, you’ve probably heard of Floyd Hill before. It’s directional, bike-only, line “The Sluice,” is one of the most featured in the Front Range. The south facing mountain makes it a great option for an early season ride. And an even better option for a reminder on how to ride steep, technical terrain. 

Valmont Bike Park (Boulder, CO)

35 mins from Denver

This pump track does exactly as advertised: gets you pumped up for bike season. It’s also often dry even in the dead of winter, making it a great spot to hit some laps and get your jumps dialed in for the season. 


Oil Well Flats (Cañon City, CO)

2 hours from Denver

Just a couple of hours south of Denver, this trail system offers fantastic early season riding. 

With over 12 miles of impeccable singletrack, you can loop around the scenic landscape for a full day of riding. 

Arkansas Hills (Salida, CO)

2.5 hours from Denver

We like to call this place a “mini-Fruita” with the vast 704 miles of trail this system offers. With everything from beginner to advanced riding, there is something for everyone. If you are up to the challenge, you can do the full 23 mile Cottonwood Tour to get a feel for the varied terrain. When it’s all said and done, you can ride right into downtown Salida to grab a bite to eat. 


Fruita, CO

4 hours from Denver

Fruita contains some of the most varied and scenic trails in the state. 18 Road is a great spot to grab some friends, a truck, and shuttle laps on fantastic desert riding. For a more scenic tour, check out the Kokopelli loops. You can weave this trail system together for 18.7 miles of some of the most scenic riding in the state. Segments of these trails will take you to cliff edges hovering 300 feet above the Colorado river. When the day is done and the treads are worn, stop by Hot Tomato Pizza for some NY style ‘za.

Moab, UT

5 hours from Denver

One of the mountain bike capitals of the country. Chances are if you’re reading this you’ve been to Moab or at least dreamed of it. Some of our early-season staff favorites are Klondike Bluffs, Captain Ahab, and Porcupine Rim. 

Santa Fe, NM

6 hours from Denver

A little southwest flair is always a good way to kick off bike season. The Galisteo trail system has 44 miles of trail. The majority of the trail is geared towards beginner and intermediate riders, which makes it the perfect spot to get some mileage in for the early season. 

Kick off the season with New Bike Day for the travels to dry dirt.