Rio Grande Road Running

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About

Summary

This relatively flat 42-mile trail runs from Aspen U.S. Post Office to Glenwood Springs adjacent to the mighty Roaring Fork River. The trail cuts through riverside aspen groves and open sage bush-dotted meadows that provide snow-capped Rocky Mountain views. You can expect to see waterfalls, fishermen and wildlife.

Written by

Leah Fielding

Distance

0.1 miles

As few miles as you want up to 84 miles.

Destination Distance From Downtown

5.5 miles

Difficulty

1 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 hours

30 minutes - all day

Seasonality

All Seasons

May require running snowhoes in the winter.

Dog Friendly

Yes

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

This relatively flat 42-mile trail runs from Aspen U.S. Post Office to Glenwood Springs adjacent to the mighty Roaring Fork River. The trail cuts through riverside aspen groves and open sage bush-dotted meadows that provide snow-capped Rocky Mountain views. You can expect to see waterfalls, fishermen and wildlife.

What Makes It Great

The fact that the Rio Grande provides the opportunity to run anywhere from one to 84 miles makes it an excellent choice for the mountain runner who likes to have options. It's possible to run on the Rio Grande year-round. If it's a mild winter, you can get away with running in your sneakers and some warm socks, but running snowshoes may make it easier if there's some fresh snow.

Built within the former rail corridor of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW) Aspen Branch, the Rio Grande Trail is partly paved and partly gravel and ranges from about three feet to six feet wide. In 1997, the derelict rail corridor and track were purchased using a combination of funding from local governments, Great Outdoors Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and Pitkin County Open Space and Trails. This purchase presented an opportunity to explore transportation alternatives to State highway 82 congestion and the challenge of creating recreation connectivity in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Who is Going to Love It

Beginner long-distance runners or those who prefer a slower, more gentle pace will love the flat grade of the trail. Running on the Rio Grande is also a great for those training for a marathon or an ultra, as it's possible to run all the way to Glenwood Springs and back.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From downtown Aspen, drive down the hill on Mill Street. Take a right onto Rio Grande and park in the parking structure. You can walk across the street to Puppy Smith street. At the four-way stop sign you’ll see signs for the Rio Grande. The trail begins right next to the U.S. Post Office.

Location

Rio Grande Road Running

Aspen, CO, 81611
39.194805, -106.81929

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