Balance, confidence, fresh air, and joy are just a few reasons why it’s great to see more and more kids on bikes. While many Gunnison Valley kids are raised taught to walk and ride Striders at the same time, it may not be so easy for kids living outside the area to get a handle on mountain biking in the valley. So parents, this one’s for you. If you’re coming with your family to enjoy the fantastic riding in the Valley then check out our five favorite trails for riding with kids regardless of age.
Rad comes in all shapes and sizes, and the Kids Trail at Hartman Rocks delivers rad. Starting right from the base area parking lot, this trail is perfect for Strider riders all the way up to the kids just learning about gears and hand brakes. There’s easy access back to your car, the bathrooms, or more difficult trails if your needs arise.
Evan’s Loop is also in Hartman Rocks, almost smack-dab in the middle. This short, 2.7 mile loop is all flow and can be ridden either direction. While we have seen kids on Striders out here, it’s usually reserved for riders old enough to handle a pedal bike. There’s almost zero technical riding and the downhill portion has enough gravity to keep things fun without little riders picking up too much speed. While there is signage for Evan’s Loop, this trail really is made up of three trails, Sea of Sage, Broken Shovel, and Lost Dog.
Evolution Bike Park
At first glance the words “bike park” probably don’t conjure up thoughts of kid friendly trails, but that isn’t the case at Evolution. With a good smattering of easy green trails, some fantastic cross-country style blues, and the lifts on hand to make everything easy, this is a great place to step up to slightly harder styles of riding without the pain of climbing. Hire a guide to find the best progression or start at the Base Area Skills Zone, move up to the Red Lady Skills Zone, and then start ripping trails. Check out Evolution Bike Park’s page for a great overview of trail progression and maps.
Lower Cement Trail
Roadside cross-country, but it hardly feels like it. The Cement Creek Trail parallels Cement Creek Rd. in the lower section and offers several jump-off or jump-on points to make your ride as long or as short as you want. While this trail is beginner friendly, it does feature rocks and roots that other rides, like Kids Trail and Evan’s Loop, don’t have. It’s Strider possible for sure, but probably more fun on a pedal bike. Start off riding from Walrod Trailhead to the bottom if you’re unsure of your shredder’s skill level, and then add on the upper section from Walrod to the winter trailhead for a little bit of a bump in difficulty.
Dirt Jumps/ Pump Track
Located right behind the Crested Butte Community School, this community built bike park is a perfect way to spend some time on an afternoon when parents want to take a break from riding, but the kids don’t. Features range from an easy pump track to small and medium jump lines. There’s almost always other kids there and it’s a great place to make friends and connect your kids with other riding buddies.