In Vail, biking with kids can take on many different forms depending on riding ability and adventure level. Whether you opt for road or mountain, biking is a wonderful way to explore Vail and the mountains on two wheels vs. two feet. Here are our top suggestions for successful biking with kids.
Tip: If you have never been mountain biking on mountain single track trails, we strongly suggest that you start off EASY. Either stick to the paved bike paths in town, or the gravel roads on Vail Mountain. Once you are comfortable with gravel, then venture to our easier mountain bike trails and progress from there.
Road/Casual Biking – Miles of Paved Paths
Vail offers miles of paved trail/road riding options for casual, recreational family rides. The Gore Creek Trail offers 15+ miles of fun flats to rolling hills from East Vail to West Vail (and beyond to Avon and Edwards if you choose). The scenery along the river is stunning and there are many options to stop for snacks and picnic lunch. It’s always fun to get around and explore the Villages on a bike – simply riding around Lionshead over to Vail Village and stopping at the parks and river is a fun way to get around and see more than you might on two feet!
Wheels up! For those saddling up a mountain bike for the first time, the Gore Creek Trail runs through Vail Village and offers wide, unpaved paths to get a feel for your (chunkier) wheels. For those more comfortable on a mountain bike, pick up a trail map and haul your bike up one of the gondolas to explore a route best suited to your ability on Vail Mountain. When in doubt, start easy! Consider a bike tour to help you navigate the trails and find the most appropriate one for your level.
Recommendations for Vail Mountain biking trails based on ability level:
|1. Gitalong Road (a LONG 5-mile road)
2. Avanti Lane
3. Cubs Way
4. Lucy’s Loop
5. Golden Gate
|1. Side Kick
2. Radio Flyer
3. Big Mamba
4. Lion Down
|1. Grand Traverse
2. Hank’s Hideaway
3. Mane Lane
There are other spectacular trails around Vail and Eagle County for mountain biking. We suggest picking up a mountain bike guide or trail map from any bike shop or asking a local to point you in the right direction.
Kids Mountain Bike Camp
Vail Recreation District offers week-long Kids Mountain Bike Camps (ages 8-14) from June 28 – August 12. Kids will learn posture, shifting, and cadence to make climbs more efficient, plus balance, bike handling, and riding techniques to make coming down even more fun (and safe)! A low teacher-to-coach ratio allows for individual attention, games, and challenges. Then watch out – your child will return ready to school you on how to mountain bike!
Vail has dozens of bike rental locations throughout Vail Village, Lionshead, and West Vail. Most rent kids’ bikes in a variety of sizes, and can even provide tag-alongs and trailers to help you hit the road with the littlest kiddos. Be sure to ask the bike shop staff for their favorite recommendations!
Consider a guided bike tour to suit any age and ability levels. Whether you want to gain some altitude (or just ride it down) or stick to straighter paths, guided tours begin with a lesson on the basics including checking your gear, bike fundamentals, and understanding the terrain. Bike outfitters, like Venture Sports, offer iconic Vail Pass bike tours, where they shuttle you up to the top of Vail Pass and let you fly down a thrilling 3,000’ of elevation to the base of Vail.
Outlier Offroad Festival – September 24 – 26, 2020, The Vail Outlier Offroad Festival brings cycling, outdoor and camping brands to Vail for a fun-filled fall weekend of expo, demo, contests and clinics.