Fat Biking – 4 Seasons of Fun!
Article & Photos by URGGuide Field Editor Ryan Michelle Scavo
Have you seen the fat tire bikes cruising in, around and above the San Luis Valley? With miles upon miles of multi-use trail, single and double track, and forest roads to explore, maybe it’s time to see what the craze is all about!
Fat biking is essentially mountain biking. But, unlike traditional mountain bikes, fat bikes are equipped with fat tires that can be 4 or more inches wide. These bikes are perfect snow travel and rocky or gravel trails; and while they come in several shapes and sizes, they all have one thing in common: getting riders out year-round.
The San Luis Valley and surrounding mountains feature great fat biking trails. Fat bikes can take on a variety of terrain from dirt paths and rocky trails to snow-covered forest road. They can also be equipped for a ride lasting a couple hours to an overnight adventure in the high country.
Whether you ride solo or with the whole family, bring your own bike or pick up a rental bike from Kristi Mountain Sports (Alamosa and Del Norte locations), and hit
Short Ride: Big Meadows
In winter, the snow-covered roads around Big Meadows Reservoir are great for fat biking! There is limited traffic (skiers, snowmobiles) and the ride to the lake is a gradual climb that beginner riders will find enjoyable.
Long Ride: Bonanza Mines Off-Highway Tour
This tour is often used by off-highway vehicles (OHV), but sections of the trail are perfect for fat bike touring in any season. Visitors can pick up a copy of the tour map at the Saguache or Monte Vista USFS Office.
Technical Ride: Stone Quarry & Limekiln
These trails systems are fun and diverse enough that a variety of experience levels are sure to enjoy them! Beginner and intermediate riders may want to explore Limekiln’s 24 miles of motorized single track and 29 miles of open roads while more advanced riders take on 7+ miles of purpose-built slick rock and singletrack trail at Stone Quarry.
Overnight Ride: Lime Creek Yurt & Fisher Mountain Hut (US Forest Road 528 & 527)
Are you ready for an overnight fat biking adventure? Then it’s time to load up your packs, a sled, and bikes for a high country overnight trip. Lime Creek Yurt and Fisher Mountain Hut are privately-owned yurt/hut accommodations on the Rio Grande National Forest and managed by Creede Mountain Huts. The ride in features a 5 mile climb via US Forest Road (with less than 1000 feet of elevation gain) and the downhill ride out is worth all the work it takes to get to the top! The best part: the hut/yurt are both accessible year-round, so get your snow tires ready!