Golden Opportunity for Mountain Biking and Soaking

After mountain biking, soak sore muscles at Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Golden Opportunity for Mountain Biking and Soaking

The Roaring Fork Valley is a newly minted IMBA Gold-Level mountain biking hub. After crushing it on the trails, soothe sore, tired muscles at Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) recently designated the Roaring Fork Valley, which spans from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, as a new Gold-Level Ride Center. Translation—not only does Glenwood Springs have outstanding geothermal attractions like Iron Mountain Hot Springs, the area’s regional mountain biking trails are recognized as among the best in the U.S.

Mountain Biking Recognition a Big Win for Region and State

The new designation is a pinnacle achievement and a first for Colorado. The recognition brings the total number of Gold-Level Ride Centers in the U.S. to five. The others are in Boise, Idaho; Duluth, Minnesota; Oakridge, Oregon and Park City, Utah.

Gold level recognizes the more than 300 miles of single track and dozens of miles of additional mountain biking-friendly paths from Aspen to Glenwood Springs as one high-quality, all-encompassing destination location.

According to the Roaring Fork Mountain Biking Association, the IMBA evaluation criteria included key aspects that make for an amazing mountain bike destination such as trail types, overall trail mileage, quality of trail experiences, destination best practices and local services. From easy paved trails to challenging backcountry rides and skill-building bike parks, the area’s mountain biking terrain scored big in all categories to receive recognition at the highest level.

Top trails include the Rio Grande Trail, a 42-mile paved path that connects towns throughout the Roaring Fork Valley from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. Other noteworthy rides in Glenwood Springs are Grandstaff, Boy Scout, the Wulsohn trails and Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail. Some Carbondale favorites are Lorax, Red Hill Loop and the Porcupine-Rock Bottom Loop. Hay Park is a satisfying scenic ride in El Jebel while Sky Mountain Park Loop is 18 miles of alpine beauty in Snowmass.

A Hot Springs Soak for Post Ride Restoration

Relaxing under Iron Mountain Hot Springs waterfallAs anyone who has spent a day cycling off-road knows, mountain biking is a full-body workout. Large muscle groups and even arms, hands and neck all feel the effects of a good ride. Soaking in the geothermal pools at Iron Mountain Hot Springs is an ideal post-ride reward. The heat and mineral-rich water work together to soothe muscles and can enhance physical recovery by reducing muscle tension, promoting relaxation and easing muscle stiffness and fatigue. Plus, it just plain feels good after a day of mountain biking.

Choose from 16 soaking pools that range in temperature from 98° to 108°F (37 – 42°C) or, for a light massage, try the jetted spa attached to the freshwater family pool. For added relaxation, toast to a day well spent in the Colorado outdoors with a cold beer, some wine or a pre-mixed cocktail, all in water-friendly containers available at the Sopris Café that can be enjoyed while soaking.

The Roaring Fork Valley’s newly designated IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center is a golden opportunity to ride the best Colorado has to offer from smooth dirt trails to rocky single tracks. To top off a great ride, don’t miss the chance to finish strong with a long, soothing soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

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Karin Gamba

Karin Gamba has been writing professionally for the travel and tourism markets for nearly two decades. She has promoted a wide array of travel products that include destination towns, vacation resorts, golf courses, ski areas, spas, hotels, restaurants and countless visitor attractions. Karin especially loves writing about her hometown of Glenwood Springs.