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Government Trail

Difficult

Trail

6.6 mile 10.6 kilometer point to point
Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 422' 129 m
Descent: -1,711' -522 m
High: 9,375' 2,857 m
Low: 8,061' 2,457 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Mike Pritchard

This classic trail is a must for any serious rider. Enjoy during fall colors for best experience.

Mike Pritchard

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

The portion of this trail that is west of the Buttermilk ski area boundary is closed May 15 - June 20 for elk calving season.

Description

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.)

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Check-Ins

Sep 2, 2019
Margot Ellis
Aug 22, 2019
Eamon McLaughlin
Mar 19, 2019
Jason Levy
Sep 30, 2018
Arn Menconi
Sep 29, 2018
Arn Menconi
Sep 26, 2018
Jamie Sampey
Sep 3, 2018
Jonathan Coupal
Aug 25, 2018
Paul Richard

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 21 votes

#277

Overall
  4.6 from 21 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#92

in Colorado

#277

Overall
112 Views Last Month
15,256 Since Jul 23, 2013
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Photos

Power of Four Race - Morning on the sublime Government Trail
Jun 26, 2015 near Aspen, CO
Riding through a giant aspen forest... in Aspen!
Jul 23, 2016 near Aspen, CO
Comin' round the mountain when they come...
Apr 10, 2015 near Aspen, CO
Descending some of Power of 4's best trail!
Apr 10, 2015 near Aspen, CO
Power of Four Trail!
Apr 10, 2015 near Aspen, CO
beautiful singletrack through aspen groves
Aug 5, 2013 near Snowmas…, CO

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