By Tess Weaver Strokes By Tess Weaver Strokes | May 3, 2022 | Lifestyle
This summer, pair hiking, biking or paddling with noshing at one of these delectable dining hot spots after an afternoon full of adventure in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Biking at Coal Basin Ranch in Redstone
Tour Coal Basin Ranch
In Redstone, a 221-acre mine site was converted into a family-friendly trail system called Coal Basin Ranch that includes cross-country single-track trails and flow trails designed for mountain bike skills progression, as well as pump tracks and a Strider track near a pond with a beach. In downtown Redstone, Propaganda Pie serves coveted Detroit-style deep-dish pizza, salads, subs, wings, baked pasta and more. Try the Meatless Mussolini pie with fresh mozzarella.
Bike Rio Grande Trail
The 42-mile paved and gravel Rio Grande Trail follows the former rail corridor of the Rio Grande Western Railroad, gradually descending from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. Start in Aspen alongside the Roaring Fork River and ride 20 miles through a high desert landscape to historic downtown Basalt. At the confluence of two rivers, “Old Town” Basalt includes restaurants, Victorian buildings, local businesses, art galleries and more. Choose a lunch spot on Midland Avenue like the Brick Pony (@brickponypub), a Western pub in a historic brick building, or Heather’s Savory Pies & Tapas Bar, famous for its homemade pot pies and live music.
Paddle Beaver Lake
Marble’s Beaver Lake has evolved into a stand-up paddleboard hot spot. SUP Marble offers rentals seven days a week with hourly, half-day and full-day rentals, as well as SUP yoga classes on the water. Marble’s Slow Groovin’ BBQ might be the Crystal River Valley’s most popular stop. The beloved outpost offers award-winning barbecue, including house dry rubs and homemade sauces, “hillbilly nachos,” smoked chicken wings and more.
Traverse Sky Mountain Park
Sky Mountain Park encompasses 2,400 acres of open space between Aspen and Snowmass Village and includes around 30 miles of single-track trails built for mountain biking. Park at the Rodeo Lot, climb Cozyline or Viewline trails and descend Airline trail for a roller-coaster fun descent free of roots and rocks. A paved bike path takes riders from Sky Mountain Park to Buttermilk ski area, the home of Home Team BBQ, which serves Lowcountry fare like smoked meats, classic sides like rosemary tots and a popular frozen drink called the Gamechanger.
Hike to Cathedral Lake
Two of Aspen’s most popular hikes, American Lake and Cathedral Lake, begin from trailheads in the Castle Creek Valley, lead to spectacular alpine lakes and require about 6 miles and 2,000 vertical feet of hiking through aspen groves, wildflower-dotted meadows and spruce forest. Near the end of the pavement on Castle Creek Road, Pine Creek Cookhouse offers field-to-stream alpine cuisine featuring wild game, fresh fish and locally sourced ingredients from an impressive log cabin with stunning views of the Elk Mountains.
Explore Snowmass Bike Park
With 25 miles of chairlift-accessed mountain bike trails— from beginner‑friendly, flowing singletrack to adrenaline-inducing descents—the Snowmass Bike Park extends almost 3,000 vertical feet from the top of the Snowmass ski area to Base Village. Aurum Snowmass offers postride snacks like crispy curried cauliflower and Korean fried chicken, in addition to dining room entrees like steaks and homemade pasta.
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF TRINA ORTEGA