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Colorado's Eagle Valley Trail will one day span 63 miles across Eagle County, from Glenwood Canyon in the west to Vail Pass in the east. Nearly 22 miles of the trail are currently completed, stretching from Dotsero, through Gypsum, to Eagle. Although the trail parallels US 6, there are pleasant views to be had of the Eagle River and the surrounding rugged terrain.
Beginning on the trail's west end on the outskirts of Dotsero, the paved pathway soon enters the Duck Pond Open Space, which offers boating and fishing access to the Eagle River, a picnic area, and restrooms.
About 4 miles farther east, travelers will enter Gypsum and begin to see residential neighborhoods. Once in town, the trail forms a loop with the upper leg continuing to follow US 6 and the lower leg paralleling Cooley Mesa Road. The loop offers access to local schools, businesses, the library, and the recreation center. On the way out of town, the trail borders Eagle County Regional Airport and then once again follows US 6 eastward. Here, the trail also parallels active railroad tracks in a configuration known as rail-with-trail.
As the trail approaches the community of Eagle, it traverses the Brush Creek Confluence Open Space; its creek is a popular fishing spot. Traveling through town, trail goers will find numerous restaurants and shops lining the route. From downtown, the trail continues about another 7 miles northeast, nestled between US 6 and I-70. The trail ends just before reaching Wolcott.
Due to its value to the region, the developing Eagle Valley Trail was part of Governor Hickenlooper's Colorado the Beautiful initiative. Future plans call for the trail to connect to the Vail Pass Recpath and the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail.
On the west end of the trail, parking is available in the Duck Pond Open Space (located just outside of Dotsero), as well as a handful of unmarked pull-off points along US 6.
On the eastern half of the trail, parking is available in the Brush Creek Confluence Open Space in Eagle, as well as at the intersection of Bearden Road and US 6/Aspen Meadows Road.
Although not mentioned in the trail description there is another section of the Eagle Valley Trail from the west end of Edwards towards the east to the intersection of the Gore Valley Trail east of the small town of Eagle-Vail. Additionally, they are actively working on the trail to the east of Eagle with about 6 miles completed. Will ride that section before long and report on progress.
Started this section of the trail in Edwards. Parked in the free underground parking garage at the Riverwalk shopping area. Easy trail access from the garage. (Major construction on the Edwards Access Road and Hwy 6 intersection.) Starting at the garage avoided having to ride through construction zone. Rode east to the Gore Valley Trail (0.0 mile marker is at the intersection of Gore Creek and Eagle River) and then another 5 miles to the Lionshead parking garage in Vail. This was a steady gradual uphill climb to Vail. Nothing bad but is uphill.
The trail is good condition and with some cracking. It is a wide path for the most part and well marked, better than the section in Eagle and Gypsum. For a Wednesday morning there was a lot of traffic (bikers, runners, boarders, walkers, etc.) on much of the trail. Easy enough to get around but do need to watch going around blind corners.
The trail follows closely along the Eagle River, past condos, golf courses, riparian areas, etc. There are some sections alongside Hwy 6 and the portion through Eagle-Vail is on the main road with wide shoulders. Portion of the Gore Valley Trail is also along the Frontage Road but not a lot of traffic.
Overall I enjoyed this trail and would do it again.
Future adventure will be to ride from Lionshead parking garage east to the top of Vail Pass. Will be lots of uphill on that trail.
Make sure you have access to a trail map before starting this one. There is some signage but very little and not enough to figure out the trail route.
Started on the West end of trail at Duck Pond (near Dotsero) and rode into Eagle to where the trail seemed to just end, no signage indicating which direction to go. Had gone far enough to call it quits at that point.
First part of trail followed along the river with a good trail surface. Got misplaced in Gypsum and had to back track some. No signage in town at all. From Gypsum to Eagle trail condition was ok with some cross trail cracking and short section of construction at end of airport runway.
Not a flat trail but no steep grades either. Didn’t realize the elevation gain from Dotsero end to Eagle until the return trip.
Worthy of a check when in the area.
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