About two hours west of Denver (126 miles to be exact), rests the town of Eagle, Colorado. If you’re like Roxy and me, then you’ve likely heard of, driven past, or even stopped in Eagle for a quick tank of gas on your way further west. We have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more about this town at the west end of the Eagle River Vally in the future. With a modest population of around 6,500, this beautiful small town has us wanting to come back for more.
In Colorado, we are fortunate to have an endless amount of outdoor recreation at the tip of our Subaru’s tires. Eagle takes that mentality and goes above and beyond. It has the outdoor lifestyle ingrained in the fabric of their community.
Eagle has integrated single track sidewalks for mountain bike commuters. They weave alongside sidewalks and allow riders to hop on and off the pavement as they choose. They have a bike rack on every corner, and bike stands for working on your bike on every other corner. There’s really no reason to drive because the town is so bike friendly. Eagle is home to Colorado’s longest pump track, and a giant BMX course that’s free to the public. There’s also a local pool and ice rink with showers for stinky riders (like us). The town is in the beginning stages of building a brand new whitewater park on the Eagle River, a stones throw from breweries and coffee shops. Eagle also has a little known secret… If you start at city hall you can bike to their incredible 100+ miles of world-class single track mountain bike trail system without having to pack your car and drive to a trailhead.
We started our day at Red Canyon Cafe. This cafe serves up tasty breakfast sandwiches and a great cup of coffee. Eagle has a surprising amount of highly rated coffee shops for a small town. Need to get some work done? Or do you prefer a quick post-lunch cold brew before you hit another round of trails? Yeti’s Grind is the perfect stop for a stellar cup of cold brew. Roxy snagged an iced coconut late and it was delicious. If you’re in need of lunch, why settle for smushed PB&Js when you can hop off the trail right next to the Dusty Boot. This family-friendly American restaurant and bar donates $1 from every burger sold to help support Eagle County Biking Trails. Just finished a long day of crushing single track? Don’t feel like chewing? Bonfire Brewing is a must. We stopped in here to catch up on some work and try a few of the newest tap selections. Bonus! They’re completely dog-friendly and will give you a free brew for 5,000 feet of climbing.
Play (Our Favorite)
Bike stuff… All of it. No joke, this is the most expansive trail system you can find this close to the front range. Need to be pointed in the right direction? Visit Eagle’s Website and get the lowdown on all of the trails. If you’d rather speak to a knowledgable human about the trails, or if your bike needs a little love before heading out, we highly recommend stopping in the best bike shop in town, Mountain Pedaler Bike Shop, to see Charlie Brown. Charlie is somewhat of a local legend in Eagle. His killer bike shop has received multiple awards, and he has a trail (and a beer!) named after him. As soon as you step foot in his shop, Charlie will great you with a smile and do everything he can to help you. I took a bit of a tumble on my bike the night before we stopped in Eagle. Charlie helped me get back on the trail as quick as he could.When we stopped by, we had the pleasure of riding the Haymaker trail. A short but oh-so-sweet section of single track less than a mile from town. This trail was professionally built to host the Colorado High School Cycling League State Championships. It’s the kind of trail that you can run laps on and ride it a little differently each time. It starts and finishes at the local rec-center, where you can find the longest pump track in the state. It’s a blast. You’ll also find a very well-maintained, large, FREE BMX course. Let’s face it, Colorado is amazing in the summer time but unless you’re spending your afternoons at high elevation, it can get hot. Lucky for you right next to the trailhead is a pool and showers to help you cool off. One last note… The trails are open six months out of the year (and some year-roud), which isn’t true for many of Eagle’s mountain neighbors.
Biking not your thing? The community of Eagle has also pledged a 0.5 percent tax increase to help fund a new 4.3 acre Whitewater park on the Eagle River. Anglers will find plenty of epic year-round fishing in the Eagle River, Brush Creek, and Sylvan Lake.
Eagle has several big name hotels with very reasonable rates. When we checked, a room at the Eagle River Lodge was $79.00, and a room at the Best Western Plus Eagle Lodge & Suits was $106.00. For the campers among us, there’s beautiful, free, BLM dispersed camping right up the hill off of Bellyache Road. It’s a great spot where you can bike to and from the trials. There’s also a state park campground right next to Sylvan Lake just outside of town. At Sylvan Lake, you’ll find cabins, yurts, and non-electric campsites. All of which can be reserved on Reserve America. Consider the “Fisherman’s Paradise” Loop for a spot right on the water.
Next time you’re looking to skip the crowds in the front range and can’t justify driving 6 hours for a short weekend mountain bike trip, stop in Eagle. You won’t regret it.
If you like the gear we’re reppin’, or what we’re wearing, check out some of the sponsors that make this tour possible: La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.