ElevationAscent: 422' 129 m
Descent: -1,711' -522 m
High: 9,375' 2,857 m
Low: 8,061' 2,457 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)
Current trail conditions
Popular rides nearby
2019 Power of Four Mountain Bike Race
28.7 mi 46.2 km • Loop • 4,312 ft Ascent 1314.35 m Ascent
Singletrack Snowmass Village, CO( 1 )
Sky Mountain Park Loop
18.4 mi 29.7 km • Loop • 1,948 ft Ascent 593.75 m Ascent
Singletrack Aspen, CO( 11 )
Aspen Fat Bike Loop
6.1 mi 9.8 km • Point to Point • 430 ft Ascent 131.04 m Ascent
Singletrack Aspen, CO( 1 )
Lincoln Creek Road to Ruby Ghost Town
22.1 mi 35.6 km • Out and Back • 1,934 ft Ascent 589.43 m Ascent
Singletrack Aspen, CO( 8 )
401 Trail Loop
14.1 mi 22.7 km • Loop • 2,249 ft Ascent 685.53 m Ascent
Singletrack Crested Butte, CO( 282 )
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“This classic trail is a must for any serious rider. Enjoy during fall colors for best experience.”— Mike Pritchard
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.)
Local Club: Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association
Land Manager: USFS - White River National Forest Office