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Steamboat Magazine

On the Trail This Spring

04/30/2024 09:27AM ● By Steamboat Magazine Staff
Steamboat Springs, CO - As anticipation heightens for warm weather activities, mountain biking enthusiasts will be itching to get back outside on the trails. But it’s mud season in Steamboat Springs for a reason; deep snowpack means dirt trails will be bogged down with mud – and they won’t dry out anytime soon. But sustained riding on extremely muddy conditions creates rivets that can permanently damage the trail. What’s a biker to do? Here are trail etiquette tips and tricks from Routt County Riders to respect our paths and keep them available for everyone to enjoy through the summer.

  1. Be aware of seasonal closures, as spring is the birthing period for a myriad of Routt County’s wildlife. Most Buff Pass trails out of Dry Lake parking area are closed from the middle of May to mid-June for elk calving. Visit the U.S. Forest Service at to check specific trail status.

  2. If the trail seems too muddy, simply turn around and return another time. Coming across prolonged stretches of deep mud is a sign that the trail is just not ready to be ridden yet.

  3. Go on foot to avoid “braiding” the trail. If you’re in a particularly muddy spot but turning around isn’t an option, hike the trail instead. Cycling through mud causes riders to skirt along the edges of the path, which will extend and “braid” the trail width.

  4. Take advantage of gravel biking. Yampa Valley has a plethora of miles-long county roads for riders to get in their cycling fix. After all, gravel dries much quicker than dirt does. Riders should mind the rural surroundings and yield to farm equipment and ranch animals.

  5. Stay informed. Routt County Rider’s facebook group “Routt County Trails Conditions and Community” lets local community members post information about recent trails they’ve visited, offering real-time crowd sourced data for Steamboat’s surrounding trails. To join, visit

  6. As always, no trash. People - or animals - shouldn’t have to pick up your mess.

For more information and to keep up to date with the local riding community, visit