(credit: CBS)(credit: CBS)
Even if summer is starting to wind to a close, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of days left to enjoy a ride on your mountain bike. From steep terrain for the most experienced of bikers to more flat land for those just starting out, there are lots of great places to visit near Denver for any pedaling fan. Grab your bike and your helmet, bring a water bottle and some sunscreen and set out for a day of fun on any of these beautiful local trails.
Buffalo Creek Recreation Area
28718 Redskin Creek Rd.
Bailey, CO 80421
www.fs.usda.gov

Located about an hour west of Denver, this spot features beautifully sculpted rails with lots of great landscapes that are perfect for any cyclist. There are lots of areas you’ll find that have been ravaged by local fires, providing fascinating and eerie scenery to pedal through. There are a few trails here with difficulties for all levels, including easier trails like the Little Scraggy East or the more difficult trails like the Blackjack, which is a longer-trail with lots of hills and descents. Be sure to visit the Buffalo Creek website so you can download a map or two to guide you on your next bike ride.

White Ranch Open Space
25303 Belcher Hill Road
Golden, CO 80403
(303) 271-5925
www.jeffco.us

This network of trails in Golden includes many singletrack and doubletrack areas with lots of sun exposure for some pretty dry conditions. It’s fairly difficult terrain here, with some sandy rock areas and lots of mountainy spots to test your endurance. Of course, as is the case with nearly any trail in Colorado, the scenery is fantastic, so it’s certainly a place you’ll want to add to your list of biking locations. Those that prefer downhill only can even load their bike onto the shuttle, take that to the top and then ride down. Of course the reward for all that uphill pedaling is usually the easier downhill route at the end.

Related: Top Mountain Biking Trails In The Denver Area

Dakota Ridge at Red Rocks Trail Loop
Golden, CO 80401
www.jeffco.us

There’s no debating the stunning scenic beauty of the Red Rocks area in Morrison, and the neighborhood itself has become a world-renowned location. However the Dakota Ridge Trail is always a mountain biker hotspot, with a six and a half mile loop with some amazing views. It’s a fairly difficult ride, with some really technical rocks, rough terrain and a steep climb. The reward for all of your pedaling, however, is an amazing view of one of the most scenic spots within an hours drive of the Mile High City.

Bergen Peak
Evergreen, CO 80439
(303) 271-5925
www.jeffco.us

If you’re looking for a steep ascent with some stunning views to take in while you stop to catch your breath, then Bergen Peak in Evergreen may be the place to go. The trail is a moderate overall experience, with a steep climb and a fast singletrack all the way down. It’s listed as a more difficult ride, but if you have some strong endurance, you should be able to enjoy this one, as many people claim that it’s more downhill than it is uphill. Of course, the towering evergreen trees and beautiful landscape helps to make this such a great place to ride.

Related: Top Bike Trails In Denver

Cherry Creek State Park
4201 S. Parker Road
Aurora, CO 80014
(303) 690-1166
www.cpw.state.co.us

Beginners need a place to start and Cherry Creek State Park is one of the best. It’s a fairly level ride that is a bit under four miles on the Starvation Trail Loop near the Cherry Creek Reservoir. It’s another singletrack ride that is great for even the most beginner of mountain biker, and it’s usually clear enough to enjoy year-round, especially since Colorado has so many days of warm sunshine every year. Stick to the reservoir shoreline or ride through all the area’s terrain for an easy ride to build your endurance and skills. Then, once you’re more confident, you take take on a more difficult challenge.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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