MTB Project
MTB Project has launched a new site: Trail Run Project, and we're giving away loads of running gear. Check it out!

Government Trail

Consensus:    (details)
 5.0 from 4 votes
black  Difficult from 2 votes
Rank: #3 in the Aspen and Snowmass area
#12 in CO, #41 Overall
Views: 2,784. Last 30 days: 45
Trail near Snowmass Village,  area, 
“This classic trail is a must for any serious rider. Enjoy during fall colors for best experience.”
Mike Pritchard on Jul 23, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
6.610.6 milesKilometers 422’129 m Ascent 9,375’2,857 m High 6% Avg Grade (4°)
Singletrack Type -1,711’-522 m Descent 8,061’2,457 m Low 20% Max Grade (11°)
The portion of this trail that is west of the Buttermilk ski area boundary is closed May 15 - June 20 for elk calving season.
This trail provides an awesome singletrack experience from the eastern flanks of Snowmass Ski Area to the Tiehack side of Buttermilk Ski Area near Aspen. Note that this trail is the well known favorite classic that's much more often ridden in comparison to most of its western continuation, the West Government Trail. The trail is typically ridden from Snowmass to Buttermilk/Aspen, but it can be ridden in the other direction (more climbing, but still a fun ride), which is often known as Reverse Government. Deep aspen groves, lush meadows, scenic overlooks and technical, rocky sections of trail demand your full attention and effort throughout the ride.

Accessing the Government Trail's western typical starting point can be done from the top of the Powerline trail, from the Parking area towards the west on the Elk Camp Work Rd., or from the top of Sequel trail or top of Anaerobic Nightmare trail. Further towards the East, the trail crosses over the Buttermilk Mountain Work Rd. Take the time to fully charge yourself for the Government as the technical rocky sections and multiple stream crossings demand your full attention and effort. While the trail is most often descending west to east, it's often flat or rolling, with at least one notable climb mid-way through.

The trail offers a full range of trail character and challenges. Most notable is the rock garden just before entering the slopes of Buttermilk ski area. A bit further on, after you descend down through the open ski slope meadows and aspen groves, you'll come to The Root. Skilled, fearless riders will take the shorter inside line and a good 4' roll off a series of root ledges. The more cautious can circumvent the tree around its perimeter and continue down the steep switchbacks below. The Government Trail will finally spit you out onto the paved Tiehack road where you can continue on other paths and trails to Aspen, or you can find your way to nearby parking lots at base of Tiehack or the main base area parking Buttermilk Mountain Ski Area.

(Some signage exists at the eastern end that has the trail continue from Tiehack Rd. very steeply down to the Maroon Creek, and back up to the Aspen Recreation Center, but this is seldom ridden in recent years, and is considered more of a hiking trail. This trail was the access down to the Maroon Creek trail before the Tiehack Bridge was constructed.)
View in 3D
5.0 (4)
A tour of Snowmass ski area singletrack that continues to Aspen via the class...
near Snowmass Village, CO
5.0 (2)
A classic ride with big mountain views, the turn around is near a ghost town ...
near Aspen, CO
5.0 (2)
A truly epic backcountry tour connecting Aspen to Basalt via dirt roads and s...
near Aspen, CO

Your To-Do List: Not on it   Add it! | Your Full List »
Your Check-Ins:
Add a New Check-In | View All »
Your Opinion:
Difficulty: -none- Change to: greengreenBlueblueblueBlackblackdoubleblack
Share This Page
Improve This Page
Add Photo or Map Symbol
Edit Description or GPS track

PHOTOS of Government Trail
 3.8 from 4 votes
beautiful singletrack through aspen groves (Snowmass Village, CO)
 3.0 from 5 votes
To root or not to root, that is the question. The infamous root drop. (Aspen, CO)
 2.5 from 4 votes
The meadow just after the Anaerobic Nightmare trail connection (Snowmass Village, CO)
 2.5 from 4 votes
A glimpse of the sweet, twisty singletrack in the aspens of Buttermilk (Aspen, CO)
Embed trails and maps on YOUR site!
Directory | FREE Stickers | FAQ | Mobile Site | Advertise
© 2015 Adventure Projects, Inc | Terms | Privacy
Mountain Project
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Trail Run Project
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
MTB Project
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Powder Project
Backcountry, Sidecountry
and Secret Stashes
Hiking Project
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!