Category Archives: Trail Information

grandstaff trails

Come Celebrate the New Grandstaff Trail – Thursday, October 5th @ 12pm

Come on down to Glenwood Springs this Thursday October 5th to celebrate the completion of the newest Trail in town, the Grandstaff Trail. We’ll kick things off with a ribbon cutting. We’ll have a shuttle at the trailhead but feel free to hike or bike as well. If you plan on riding your bike, please park at the Glenwood Springs Rec Center and ride your bike over on the Olsen Trail. You can also download a map of the trail system which includes the location of the ribbon cutting ceremony.

In 2014 the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA) and Two Rivers Trails began planning for the future of local soft surface trail systems. The Glenwood Springs Area Concept Trails Plan was issued early in 2015, identifying opportunities and challenges to improve and expand the existing trail experiences. With local commission and City Council support, RFMBA embarked on creating the Red Mountain Trail Improvement Plan during 2015, including a series of public feedback meetings and surveys. Following approval of this plan, funding commitments were secured during 2016 to implement the project. Many people who learned about this project during the planning process became aware of the high return on investment that modern soft surface trails can bring, both for the health and wellness of local residents, and the economic benefits associated with increased visitation.

Thanks to the City of Glenwood Springs, Garfield County’s Healthy Communities Coalition, Alpine Bank, the Catena Foundation, and RFMBA’s supporters and members, project work finally started in early June of 2017. Progressive Trail Design, well known for successful trail projects in Aspen, Snowmass, Denver, and beyond, utilized a small crew to refresh two existing segments of trail while carving and sculpting the new rolling tread and turns now known as the Grandstaff Trail. With work starting at the top of Red Mountain, trail users have been enjoying the improvements and new trail as each segment was completed and opened to use by mountain bike riders, runners, and hikers. The completed Grandstaff Trail is a worthy destination for everyone who appreciates big views, flowing dirt and rocky tread, modern bermed turns, optional air time, and yes, a bit of effort to get a big reward.

Special thanks go to the good folks at Rof.net and Thirsty Corp. for their in-kind donations.  They provided a full water tank, pump, hose, and labor to get a bunch of the new berms watered and packed down in the midst of a dry August!

Most of the trail is in thick oak brush terrain, with occasional massive views of downtown Glenwood Springs, the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, the Flattops and even Mount Sopris in the distance. Evidence of the Red Mt. Ski Area that graced the lower slopes of the mountain from 1938 to 1966 are evident with the chairlift towers that remain. The new trail actually goes under one of these bright orange steel tower structures, making for a unique photo opp. With intersection signage planned for Fall 2017, and new trailhead maps and kiosks planned for early 2018, Glenwood Springs will be fully ready to invite mountain bikers and trail lovers from near and far to enjoy this one of kind trail experience. Users new to the area can find the best mapping using the Grandstaff Trail on MTBproject.com.




 

Any visit to Red Mountain and this new trail is not complete without a visit to the highpoint and panoramic views a couple hundred yards east of the top of the trail. Nearby, a tall steel cross hints at the long and interesting life of William Grandstaff. Formerly known as Negro Bill of Moab, William Grandstaff fled red rock country after being falsely accused of cattle rustling. He lived out his days operating a saloon where South Canyon meets the Colorado River, serving miners in the area. He eventually sold the saloon and settled atop Red Mountain before passing in 1901.


Prince Creek Trail Building Session Saturday, October 7, 8:30am – 4pm

Help finish the new lower Monte Carlo extension access trail for the Prince Creek mountain bike trail system.

Volunteers have been working on this new trail since July and we are almost finished with this great community asset. We still have about 3/4 mile of the downhill section to carve out before we can open it up for riding.

Show up at 8:30 at the end of the pavement at Prince Creek Road. Bring water and snacks. Meal and microbrews will be provided after the session at 4:00 pm.

Tom Blake

Who was Tom Blake?

We all know Tom Blake the trail. . . traversing from Owl Creek road to Snowmass Village with singletrack that is buttery smooth, and gently pitched, with perfect corners, and bursting columbines. In the fall the trail becomes a golden path to enlightenment as the aspens make their seasonal transformation.

But who was Tom Blake the person?  A simple Google search had it’s challenges. First, there is another famous Tom Blake. He was an early and iconic surfer and writer who created the California surf style that was brought to the mainstream by The Beach Boys. Nope, not that Tom Blake!

Then there is the trail we all know and love. There are lots of Google results providing trail information, but nothing on the man who was also starting to seem like a myth and a legend. After a few weeks of searching and asking around, an unfortunate event led us to our answer. About a month ago, Tom’s wife, Mary Beth Blake, sadly passed. An article about her passing in the Snowmass Sun shed some light on who Tom was.

“As a schoolgirl, she met her best friend and the love of her life, Tom Blake. The high school sweethearts grew up within 8 miles of each other and after Mary Beth earned her nursing degree from Saint Mary’s College of Indiana and began her nursing career in Chicago, they were married in 1965.

Together, they moved to Snowmass in 1969 after having skied often in Colorado, including attending the grand opening at Snowmass in 1967. They brought to Snowmass Tom’s gregarious nature and Mary Beth’s public-minded spirit, which helped to shape the town as it is today.

With Mary Beth at his side, Tom became general manager of the Snowmass Resort Association at its inception, which he ran for eight years, and their combined efforts helped kick start the resort business into high gear.

Always with Mary Beth’s support, Tom went on to serve as a Pitkin County Commissioner (1980-88) and Snowmass Town Council Member (1990-94). After Tom passed away in 1994, Mary Beth kept alive their community spirit, helping to carve out the popular Snowmass hiking and biking trail bearing Tom’s name in recognition of his advocacy for trail systems.”

So there you have it. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Blake family, and our deepest gratitude go out to Tom and Mary Beth for leaving Snowmass, and the world, a better place.

New Prince Creek Trails Need You!

Great news!  Trail building has begun on the new trails below Monte Carlo.  Thanks to the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board,  we are now building a single track trail up and down along the new corridor.  Now its time for the Roaring Fork mountain bike community who love the Prince Creek trail system to come on out and dig some dirt!

Throughout the summer, every Tuesday evening RFOV will host trail building sessions.  Meet up anytime after 4 pm at the end of the Prince Creek Road pavement to join in the fun.  Don’t forget to bring a friend.  You can also sign up HERE to get on board.

After the dig, stick around for free dinner and great refreshments.

NOTE: These trail build evenings qualify you for the free bike drawing

Ute City Cycles is once again offering up an amazing gift to a lucky volunteer this year! This year’s prize is a CIMA RT-5, valued at $4,000! The bike will be in your size, and if you really need a road bike instead… they’ll help you out with a fast bike of equal value. The more you volunteer on RFOV & RFMBA trail maintenance and build sessions, the more chances you have to win the bike in September. Be sure to sign the waiver for each volunteer event you attend!

Congrats again to Mike Fowler our 2015 winner and Grant Henley our 2016 winner!

Introducing Grandstaff Trail overlooking Glenwood Springs

The Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA), with funding assistance from the City of Glenwood Springs, Alpine Bank, Garfield County’s LiveWell Program, Two Rivers Trails, Catena Foundation, and of course all of our supporting members and sponsors is spearheading the construction of 2.4 miles of new dirt trail that will make the trek a little less of a challenge than using the existing fall-line trails.

Continue reading Introducing Grandstaff Trail overlooking Glenwood Springs