- Aspen Valley should be called "motorcycle heaven" with long-stretches of roads that take riders up mountains and through wildflower meadows and aspen groves.
- Independence Pass, on Highway 82, reaches heights over 12,000 ft, with hair-pin turns and sheer drop-offs. A ride to remember!
- McClure Pass, on Highway 133, offers steep grades and wide open road.
- Lincoln Creek Road takes you off the pavement and into the backcountry.
- Local outfitters can get you road-ready for a day trip or a multi-day tour.
For those inclined to hit the road on a motorcycle, Aspen Valley might be your hallowed ground. With roads that rise and fall over mountain passes and that follow rushing water in creeks and rivers, not to mention the perfect sunny days of summer and crisp temperatures of fall, one would be hard-pressed to find more beautiful and varied terrain. Just hop on a cruiser, fasten your brain bucket, and take in the scenery. From June through early October, you are likely to find safe riding conditions (though at higher altitudes snow may fall whenever it pleases). Visit www.cotrip.org for up-to-date information on road conditions.
Where to Go
Independence Pass: Notoriously breathtaking views and curves can be found on this mountain pass. Not for the faint of heart but certainly for those who love the thrill of adventure, a trip over Independence Pass will be memorable. The pass traverses the Sawatch Range on Highway 82 from Twin Lakes to Aspen. This road is subject to seasonal closure. Be sure to check conditions before you set out.
McClure Pass: While this traverse does not reach the great heights that Independence Pass does, it provides steep grades and scenic views. (Since when is 9000 feet considered low altitude, anyway?) Considered to be the entryway to the Elk Mountains, McClure Pass is located on the stretch of Highway 133 between Carbondale and Paonia with the highest point near the turn-off for the historic town of Marble.
Lincoln Creek Road: This unpaved road, found on the Independence Pass stretch of Highway 82 (west side), travels along Lincoln Creek, past Lincoln Gulch campground, Grizzly Reservoir and Portal campground, all the way to the ghost town of Ruby. The road is open for only a short time (June - September). You might encounter mud early in the season. As you ride, be sure to keep in mind that you share the road with OHVs and mountain bikes.
Rentals & Guides
Explore your rental options in and around the town of Aspen. Outfitters should be able to cover your needs, whether you just need a bike or you are interested in a full package deal, guide included. Whether it's a day trip or a week excursion, you can get yourself outfitted for the road. Keep in mind: You will be required to have a valid motorcycle license to rent a bike. Some outfitters may have age and experience requirements.