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Family-Friendly Biking in Vail

In Vail, biking with kids can take on many different forms depending on riding ability and adventure level. Whether you opt for paved or dirt roads or singletrack trails on the 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.

Locals’ Tip: If you have never been mountain biking on singletrack 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

The Vail Valley offers miles of paved trail/road-riding options for casual, recreational family rides.  The Gore Creek Trail offers 15-plus miles of fun flats to rolling hills through aspen groves 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.

Please be aware of our bike-dismount zones located in Vail Village.

Vail Mountain Biking

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 with little elevation gain to get a feel for your (chunkier) wheels. For those more comfortable on a mountain bike, purchase a bike-haul ticket, pick up a trail map and haul your bike up Gondola One in Vail Village or the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead Village to explore a route best suited to your ability on Vail Mountain. When in doubt, start with an easy village trail. 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:

Easy                                          Intermediate                           Advanced 

1. Gitalong Road                    1.Side Kick                              1.Grand Traverse

2. Avanti Lane                         2.Radio Flyer                          2.Hank’s Hideaway

3. Cubs Way                            3.Big Mamba                         3.Mane Lane

4. Lucy’s Loop                         4.Lion Down

5. Golden Gate

There are other spectacular trails around Vail, Eagle County and the surrounding White River National Forest 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.

Mountain Biking with Family in Vail

Kids Mountain Bike Camp

Vail Recreation District offers weeklong Kids Mountain Bike Camps (ages 8-14) from June–August. 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 little mountain biker will return ready to school you on how to ride.

Vail Bike Rentals

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 bike-shop staff for their favorite recommendations.

Bike Guides

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 and trail conditions. 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 feet of elevation to the base of Vail.

Where to rent a bike in Vail.

Find the best mountain-bike singletrack around.