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blueBlack Grandstaff Trail

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3.4 mile 5.5 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 0' 0 m
Descent: -1,530' -466 m
High: 7,438' 2,267 m
Low: 5,908' 1,801 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)


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Trail shared by Mike Pritchard

Grand views, fun flow, big vertical, and optional air time, all just minutes away from downtown Glenwood Springs!

Mike Pritchard

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

A strong recommendation: Until you know this trail well, watch your speed—there are surprises to be found! Pre-ride, Re-ride, Free-ride! And, be ready to yield to uphill trail users. A short portion of the trail - Lower Grandstaff - is well signed as downhill direction only, no uphill traffic. This is intended to reduce conflict on the most crowded portion of the mountain, closest to the trailhead... and to get most riders to climb the road up to the top instead of climbing up the trail.


Grandstaff Trail is a worthy destination for everyone who appreciates big views, flowing dirt and rocky tread, bermed turns, optional air time, and yes, a bit of effort to reap a big reward. Climbing Red Mountain Jeanne Golay Trail (a gated 2WD road that quickly turns from pavement to dirt) is quickly becoming the preferred way to enjoy a descent on this trail.

While the trail is mostly open to two-way bike and foot traffic (except for "Lower" Grandstaff), and the open view corridors at most of the turns are meant to minimize conflict between uphill and downhill trail users, many local riders enjoy riding up Red Mountain Jeanne Golay Trail given its consistent grade and plenty of shady spots. Start from the Olsen Trail to add some fun flat mileage and avoid the small crowded trailhead parking.

Two historic upper trail segments have been improved with better turns, drainage, and plenty of optional rock jump features to roll or pop over. The remainder of the trail is professionally built, featuring a wide enough bench to allow for easy passing, and countless berms along with a handful of tight switchbacks. Grade reversals along the trail offer expert riders plenty of air time opportunities, and some of the berms even have optional high entry lines to help you keep your speed out of the turns.

Most of the trail is in thick oak brush terrain, with occasional massive views of downtown Glenwood Springs, the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, the Flattops and even Mount Sopris in the distance. Evidence of the Red Mt. Ski Area that graced the lower slopes of the mountain from 1938 to 1966 is seen with the few chairlift towers that remain. The trail goes under one of these bright orange steel tower structures, which makes for a great photo op along your ride.

In addition to the Red Mountain Jeanne Golay Trail (road), you'll find another older singletrack route on the mountain. Now called the Cross Trail, this fall line trail intersects Grandstaff with four-way intersections five or six times. Use caution at these intersections as the Cross Trail is popular with hikers and runners looking for a steeper and rockier experiences. While the Cross Trail is open to bikes, most riders will keep to the flow, speed and fun turns of Grandstaff.

Any ride is not complete without a stop at the highpoint and panoramic views a couple hundred yards east of the top of the trail. Nearby, a tall steel cross hints at the long and interesting life of William Grandstaff, who prospected for gold in the area and passed away on the mountain in 1901.


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Aug 31, 2018
Jonathan Coupal
Aug 30, 2018
Dustin Golden
Aug 25, 2018
Jonathan Tran
3.1mi — 0h 24m
Aug 24, 2018
Josh Mattson
The rain really has helped make this ride nice! 3.4mi
Jul 29, 2018
Reed Sellers
Jul 27, 2018
Eric Graham
Crazy cool trail, but I respect and concur what MTB project said...preride before freeride. There’s danger and fun at every turn. 3.4mi
Jun 16, 2018
Geoff Keller
2h 00m
Jun 10, 2018
Dan Casey
The description made me laugh. It's very true. I thought I had it, but the third to last berm has a double that drops off quick on the backside.… 3.4mi

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Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 48 votes


  5.0 from 48 votes
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in Colorado


286 Views Last Month
6,300 Since Sep 26, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Wow! what a trail. I am glad I was given the advice to "pre-ride" Yes, this trail is not for the timid. It has relatively straight forward sections with breath taking views, but there is a lot of exposure and a few VERY tight switchbacks. The lower portion of the trail, which as described was professionally built, has great flow and awesome berms. It definitely deserves its black diamond rating. It also entails a pretty long uphill grind on a dirt road to access it, but every minute of the descent was worth the effort of the ascent. May 13, 2018
Top two sections are loose and rocky, everything afterward is smooth. Turns are very tight. Great trail for making the jump from blue to black. Sep 2, 2018

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