Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley (Home of Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, & Snowmass Village) Designated a Gold-Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association
Aspen Snowmass / Roaring Fork Gold Level Ride Center First Gold-Level IMBA Ride Center™ in Colorado, and Fifth in United States
Roaring Fork Valley, Colo., (January 29, 2020) – Today, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA), Aspen Snowmass, Basalt Chamber of Commerce, Carbondale Chamber & Tourism, Visit Glenwood Springs, and Snowmass Tourism, together with the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA) and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), announce the designation of the Roaring Fork Valley as an IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center™.
With more than 300 miles of high quality singletrack to explore, the Roaring Fork Valley provides an incredible breadth of experiences for both local and visiting riders seeking beauty and exhilaration. The IMBA Gold-Level evaluation criteria is comprised of key aspects that make for an amazing mountain bike destination and include: variety of trail types, overall trail mileage, quality of trail experiences, destination best practices, and local services. The Roaring Fork Valley’s system of trails scored high marks in each of these categories, contributing to the IMBA Gold-Level designation.
With the growth of mountain biking and its evolution into a broadly appealing sport, the communities of the Roaring Fork Valley have developed singletrack trails to satisfy user demands while increasing sustainability. The Roaring Fork Valley’s public and private land managers, including the White River National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management, Pitkin County’s Open Space & Trails, Snowmass Village’s Parks & Trails, Aspen’s Parks, Open Space & Trails, Glenwood Springs Parks, Trails & Open Space, and Aspen Skiing Company’s Snowmass Bike Park, have each studied, approved, and built additional mileage and made countless improvements to the Valley’s singletrack trail system in order to achieve this award-winning distinguishment. Each of these trail approvals was carefully considered in the context of their particular location.
“Ride Center designations are as much about the process as the award. IMBA’s Trail Solutions team partners with the community to guide and educate on creating and enhancing amazing places to ride mountain bikes. For the Aspen Snowmass / Roaring Fork Ride Center to grow from Bronze-Level to Gold-Level is a remarkable achievement, and a testament to the community’s dedication to mountain biking,” says Dave Wiens, IMBA Executive Director.
“Aspen and Snowmass have long been known as elite ski and snowboard destinations and now, with IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center status, they also have world-class mountain biking to match,” says Wiens. “I cut my teeth racing on the Government Trail 30 years ago and got a taste of some of the new offerings at the inaugural Aspen Fifty. I’m stoked to ride the Sky Mountain Park trails and keen to explore Hay Park and Arbaney-Kittle, backcountry Colorado classics that have defined mountain biking for so many riders.”
The Roaring Fork Valley offers incredibly convenient and connected access between the five communities. The Rio Grande Trail, for example, is a surfaced pathway that connects trail users from Glenwood Springs, through Carbondale, Basalt, all the way to Aspen, 42 miles away. As riders traverse the Rio Grande Trail, they can choose from over 300 miles of easily accessed scenic terrain, from mountainous slopes and peaks, down to the valley floor. Favorite rides near Aspen and Snowmass Village include classics like the Government and Sunnyside Trails, with newer trails at Sky Mountain Park offering a way to link the upper valley trails together into loops ranging from an hour or two, to all-day adventures. While Snowmass offers beauty and challenge in all directions, the Snowmass Bike Park’s gondola and chairlift deliver riders above 11,000’, and offer descents of over 3,000’ to arrive back at Snowmass Town Park. Exploring the middle of the valley in Basalt and Carbondale, riders can find red rock terrain and desert cactus at Red Hill, or endless aspen tree groves and massive views of the Elk Mountains range on the Hay Park Trail. Red Mountain, one of Glenwood Springs’ new favorite trail systems, includes the Grandstaff Trail where grand views of Mount Sopris meet fun flow, big vertical drops, and optional airtime.
In addition to the Gold-Level trails, the Roaring Fork Valley is home to more than 10 bikes shops that are recognized for quality service and product, and some of the best restaurants, bars, and post-ride hangouts in the state. After a post-ride drink, enjoy an evening at one of the Valley’s world class lodging options, or go for a soak in one of several natural hot springs in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. For a post ride meal, the options are endless with everything from burritos in Glenwood Springs, pizza in Carbondale, farm-to-fork freshness in Basalt, to sushi in Aspen. Close out the day with a sunset ride in Snowmass, followed by a live outdoor concert under the stars on Fanny Hill or on the lawn at the Aspen Music Festival.
About IMBA & RFMBA – The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) creates, enhances and protects great places to ride mountain bikes. It is focused on creating more trails close to home to grow the quantity and quality of mountain bike trail communities across the U.S., so everyone has access to close-to-home rides and iconic backcountry experiences. Since 1988, IMBA has been the worldwide leader in mountain bike advocacy and the only organization focused entirely on trails and access for all types of mountain bikers in all parts of the U.S. IMBA teaches and encourages low-impact riding, grassroots advocacy, sustainable trail design, innovative land management practices and cooperation among trail user groups. IMBA is a national network of local groups, individual riders and passionate volunteers working together for the benefit of the entire community.
The Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association formed with a mission to create and sustain the best possible mountain bike trails and experiences in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. Founded in 2008, while recognizing the previous 30 years of mountain biking in the area, RFMBA became an IMBA Chapter in 2013. Working with all of our regional public land managers & other community partners, RFMBA attracts Annual Members, Business Partners, & Grants to power the Advocacy work, Programs, Projects, and Volunteer Events that are core to our mission. Learn more about our Trail Agent & Seasonal Trail Crew programs at RFMBA.org.
Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA)
“ACRA is proud to celebrate locally serving and destination-worthy trails in the Roaring Fork Valley with the first IMBA Gold-Level designation in Colorado,” says Eliza Voss, Director of Marketing for ACRA. “The trail system in Aspen and the entire Roaring Fork Valley provides an incredible quality of life benefit to our community, as well as attracting biking enthusiasts from across the globe to enjoy our trails and mountain lifestyle during their visit.”
About Aspen, Colorado – Aspen, Colorado is an authentic, historic mountain town that is renowned for its year-round outdoor lifestyle, cosmopolitan cultural calendar, and bustling downtown ambiance. With an endless array of arts, culture, dining, and nightlife, Aspen is defined by an urbane feel that belies its small-town charm. An Aspen vacation is an experience that energizes the mind, body, spirit, whether soaking in mountain beauty and 300 days of annual sunshine, learning a new skill, feeding a fascination, or simply absorbing the mountain spirit. Located 18 miles east of Independence Pass on the Western Slope of the Continental Divide, Aspen is nestled in the heart of the White River National Forest at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River, Hunter Creek, Maroon Creek, and Castle Creek, and encircled by the peaks of the Elk Mountain Range in the central Rocky Mountains. Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is conveniently located only three miles from downtown Aspen. For visitor information, a complete calendar of events, or to book an Aspen vacation, visit www.aspenchamber.org, or call 1.888.290.1324 or 970.925.1940.
ACRA Media Contact: Maureen Poschman, [email protected]; 970.948.3176
About Aspen Snowmass – Aspen Snowmass, based in Aspen, Colo., operates the four mountains in the Aspen Snowmass area – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. In addition, Aspen Snowmass owns and operates the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen Snowmass, a collection of rental and retail shops titled Four Mountain Sports and a hospitality division that includes the five-star, five-diamond property, The Little Nell and three contemporary Limelight Hotels, one based in the core of Aspen, one at the base of Snowmass Mountain, and the other in Ketchum, Idaho. In its current form, Aspen Snowmass is a values-driven company that is grounded within the core values of: Live Passionately, Awaken the Spirit, Elevate Community and Honor Place. Aspen Snowmass is accessible by one of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) (3 miles from Aspen). For more information about Aspen Snowmass, visit www.aspensnowmass.com or call (800) 525-6200. Follow Aspen Snowmass @aspensnowmass on Twitter and Instagram or at www.facebook.com/aspensnowmass.
Aspen Snowmass Media Contact: Xanthe Demas, [email protected] 970.300.7021
Basalt Chamber of Commerce
“We are thrilled that Basalt’s scenic and challenging trails are included as part of the Roaring Fork Valley IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center,” says Kris Mattera, Executive Director, Basalt Chamber of Commerce. “Basalt is known for its two Gold Medal waters – the highest distinction for fly fishing. Now our community will be known as the home for outstanding, destination-worthy mountain bike trails, solidifying what the locals know – that the Roaring Fork Valley is a great place for outdoor recreation.”
About Basalt, Colorado – At the confluence of two Gold Medal rivers – the Roaring Fork and the Fryingpan Rivers, Basalt is known for its small-town charm and welcoming community Located in the mid-Roaring Fork Valley between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Basalt provides easy access to the mountains, rivers and trails. Basalt is a town of anglers and adventurers; entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts. Discover genuine mountain-town experiences and connect to the natural world in Basalt: where life flows.
“Not only is Carbondale home to some of the most iconic trails in the Roaring Fork Valley such as Prince Creek and Porcupine Trail, biking culture is the very pulse of life for our small mountain community. As a collective world-class mountain biking region alongside our neighboring biking destinations, we are excited to be recognized as Colorado’s only IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center,” says Andrea Stewart, Executive Director of Carbondale Tourism and Carbondale Chamber of Commerce.
About Carbondale, Colorado – The picturesque town of Carbondale is located 170 miles west of Denver, 12 miles from Glenwood Springs, and 30 miles from Aspen in the heart of Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains. There is plenty to do here in the winter months, and the Carbondale area offers a variety of comfortable lodging options, great casual and exquisite fine dining, creative arts and spectacular entertainment, and intriguing historical areas. Recently named one of Colorado’s “Best Active Towns,” Carbondale is Colorado’s Base Camp for recreation, dining, shopping, special events, history, and art enthusiasts. Carbondale was recently designated a Creative District by the Colorado Creative Industries (CCI). For more information about Carbondale, visit: www.carbondale.com, call: 970.963.1890 or email: [email protected].
Carbondale Tourism Media Contact: Sarah-Jane Johnson, RoadMap Consulting: [email protected]/ 310 854-2408.
Visit Glenwood Springs
“As the entrance to the Roaring Fork Valley, Glenwood Springs offers year-round trail access with stunning views of the valley in a laid-back atmosphere,” says Lisa Langer, Director of Tourism, Visit Glenwood Springs. “This new designation will elevate our area in the eyes of serious mountain biking enthusiasts, and it will encourage riders to experience all that the Roaring Fork Valley has to offer. Of course, after a day on the trails, we recommend restoring those weary muscles at one of our famous hot springs attractions.”
About Glenwood Springs, Colorado – Glenwood Springs, where year-round adventures meet world-class wellness. An easy scenic three-hour drive west of Denver, outdoor enthusiasts will discover breathtaking vistas and historic mountain-town charm. In this home of famed hot springs attractions (there’s a reason it’s called the Land of Water), soak, swim and dive into the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool or steam in natural vapor caves. Hike to Hanging Lake, a National Natural Landmark, raft or kayak on the Colorado River or enjoy a stunning mountain biking experience on the Red Mountain or South Canyon trail systems or a more laidback cycle ride along the Roaring Fork River via the Rio Grande Trail or adjacent the Colorado River on the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail. Plan your vacation at www.VisitGlenwood.com.
Glenwood Springs Media Contact: Lisa Langer, Director of Tourism, Visit Glenwood Springs, 970-230-9035 or [email protected].
“This award recognizes the long term vision, commitment, and hard work of our community, which are fueled by passion for mountain biking and a deep appreciation for the incredible terrain that surrounds us in the Roaring Fork Valley,” says Rose Abello, Tourism Director, Snowmass Tourism. “We like to think of Snowmass Village as the “heart of gold” – a central location within this Gold-Level Ride Center where riders of all ages and abilities have immediate access to terrain of all types, including lift-served gravity trails in the Snowmass Bike Park and the 24-mile Snowmass Loop, a cross-country bucket-list-worthy ride.”
About Snowmass Village, Colorado – A renowned winter playground and vibrant summer community just 9 miles from Aspen, Snowmass consistently ranks as one of the best ski areas in the world. Snowmass offers guests incredible views of mountain vistas, in addition to 2.8 million adjacent acres of wilderness, open for activities and exploration. Snowmass offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, 30+ restaurants, 95 percent slopeside lodging, shopping, unique special events and music – all year round. For more information and a complete calendar of events and activities, please visit: www.gosnowmass.com.
Snowmass Tourism Media Contact: Sara Stookey Sanchez, Public Relations Manager, Snowmass Tourism, 970-922-2285 or [email protected].