Mountain Biking Rendezvous
Visit Winter Park, Colorado
Ride Rendezvous: Fraser Valley mountain biking at its finest
By: Tyler Macleod
Winter Park, Colo. is home to some of the best mountain biking found anywhere in the world. With over 600 miles of cross-country trails in Grand County, ranging from mellow, family-oriented rides to technical, adrenaline-inducing singletrack, it’s no wonder why Winter Park asserts its title of “Mountain Bike Capital USA ™” so prominently. Top it off with incredible views, perfect summertime weather and some of the friendliest people you could ever meet, and it’s nothing short of a mountain biker’s paradise – from the first-timer to the seasoned pro.
And while many visitors are drawn to the downhill scene of Winter Park Resort and Granby Ranch, locals know that there are plenty of gems, both hidden and in the open, outside of the resort boundaries.
One of the most popular, as well as one of the most accessible, is the network of trails found at Rendezvous. Miles upon miles of trails weave throughout the Rendezvous community, tying both the towns of Fraser and Winter Park while also linking into various other trails systems in both the Grand County network and the Arapahoe National Forest. The result is a web of endless possibilities sure to appease mountain bikers of all ages and ability levels.
Are you just jumping into the world of mountain biking? Head toward the Ditch Trail, which offers a very gentle ascent along a flat, wide and smooth trail. There are minimal obstacles by way of rocks or roots, and the trail intersects the South Fork Loop, which is one of the main veins for linking to other trails in the Rendezvous network.
But maybe you’re looking for something a bit more thrilling and technical. Take a run on the Whoops Trail, which features some steep climbs and descents through rockier, tighter terrain. Like the Ditch Trail, this one also links into the South Fork Loop while intersecting local favorite, Serendipity, as well.
While Serendipity tends to be a bit more on the “easy” end of things, it makes for a great early morning ride. With the rising sun peaking in and out of the trees that line this mellower, wide singletrack, it proves to be a great option for a larger group of riders or even families looking to trek from Rendezvous and eventually into the heart of downtown Winter Park.
If you’re someone who likes to pick up a lot of speed – and perhaps a bit of air – be sure to enjoy some time on Crosstrails. Primarily used to connect a number of trails in the network (hence the name), this trail is full of smooth berms and rollers that are just begging to be ridden at high speeds. From Crosstrails, you can link back up to the South Fork Loop, Serendipity, Whoops Trail and a number of others, making for endless route possibilities.
But actual trails aside, perhaps what makes the Rendezvous network so popular is the ease of access. From the heart of the Rendezvous community, bikers can hop right onto the Meadow trail and either head north to link up with Crosstrails or south to make their way right into the town of Winter Park. If already in Winter Park, riders can head up via the Meadow Connector or Yankee Doodle (which, be warned, is a fairly steep and technical climb through a series of tight switchbacks).
From Fraser, many locals who call the Meadowridge area home opt to enter through what’s known as “Red Gate,” located where Mulligan Street meets Rainbow Drive. The trail crosses through private property along the Ridge Trail, but is open for public access through, you guessed it, an actual red-colored gate.
No matter where you start or what trails you choose to ride, the Rendezvous system of trails is guaranteed to be an exhilarating time in the heart of Mountain Bike Capital USA. With large trees providing ample shade, an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers and endless options for linking trails together, you’ll find it hard to head anywhere else while out on your bike.
For more info and a printable trail map, be sure to check out Rendezvous Trail Map. Click Here
Visit Rendezvous’s Sales Center:
77795 US Highway 40
Winter Park, CO 80482
An East Coast transplant, Tyler grew up just north of Baltimore, Md., where he studied Journalism and New Media at nearby Towson University. He moved to Grand County in the fall of 2011, and aside from a brief stint in Bozeman, Mont., has called the Fraser Valley home ever since. Currently, he is a freelance writer and photographer who spends the majority of his free time snowboarding, cycling, and hanging out at the local skatepark.