Home | Getting Started | Gift Center | Gear Store | Topo Maps | My Wildernet | Newsletter Signup

Mountain Biking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Government Trail

Average Time: 4 - 5 Hours one way
Beginning Elevation: 8,000 Feet (2493.8 Meters)
Difficulty: Difficult
Recommended Season: Summer to Winter

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Government Trail is closed for elk calving from May 15 - June 20. It's an enjoyable day hike or mountain bike ride through aspen groves. This is a hike where a car shuttle is handy. It is also known as Brush Creek Trail and is a popular cross country ski trail in the winter. From Aspen: The trail descends to Maroon Creek, crosses via a wooden bridge, turns left onto a jeep road for 30 yards, then leaves the road and begins a steep ascend with switchbacks until reaching Buttermilk Ski area. The trail alternates between aspen groves and ski runs (signs are present to guide across the runs). Beyond the ski area, the trail slowly ascends through rolling terrain, passing through aspen, lodgepole pine, and flowered meadows where wildlife can often be seen. The trail ends at the Snowmass Ski area. The trail is not a loop so a car shuttle is recommended.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:36:00.0

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I am an avid Mountain biker and have had the privilege of riding most single track in Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler, Southern Cal., Sedona and a few others. The govt. Trail in Aspen is the finest hit of single track nirvana in my opinion. A spectacular ride with canopied single track, lots of elevation changes, fast sections, very technical stream crossings and rock gardens... it simply has it all. Bring plenty of water and start off the top of the Burlingame Chair in Snowmass..... An incredible ride every time I hit it.
Recommended Clothing: light jacket
Suggested Accessories: you do not want to get stranded back there without gear.

Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is one of the most famous and outrageous rides in the Roaring Fork Valley! Most people ride it S'Mass to Aspen (more downhill) Gov't trail has everything - gladed single track, long sweeping turns, technical 'Rock Garden', and challenging stream crossings - not to mention spectacular views. The true expert will even successfully negotiate the super-tight switch backs at the end of the ride ! Best way to arrive is by bus to S'mass village then ride up paved Wood Road to the trailhead past all houses on the left. Takes 20 min and gives extra downhill - definately worth it. Only one big climb for rest of ride. Can then ride back into Aspen along road. Expect 2hrs trail time and you will be back again and again for an incredible experience. D Carlson-Smith ex Aspen-resident

Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The government ride is one of my alltime favorites. It has nice fast sections as well as some great technical sections with excellent switchbacks. Start in Snowmass (take the chairlift up) and go to Aspen!

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing
ICON Mountain Biking Stay on trail
ICON Snowshoeing

Related Activities
Brush Creek Road - Brush Creek Road leads travelers from Highway 82, west of Aspen, to Snowmass Ski Area. Its a good starting point for many recreation opportunities.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Aspen Ranger District, 806 W. Hallam , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3445


Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel

About Wildernet |  Email to a Friend  |  Disclaimer |  Privacy |  Contact Us  | Comments & Suggestions
Advertisers & Sponsors |  Owners & Operators |  Tourism Promotors
©1995-2019 Interactive Outdoors Inc. All rights reserved.