Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Rio Grande Trail - Pitkin County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: Named for the railroad that used to run this route, the Rio Grande Trail has a very constant grade and is now paved all the way from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. The trail is 40+ miles long, and passes through Eagle and Garfield County. In the Garfield county portion just west of the Eagle county line there is a section that is closed each winter and spring for protection of wildlife and a Great Blue Heron rookery. The trail parallels the Roaring Fork River and includes wetland and riparian habitat for long portions but also goes through open space areas that are meadows and fields. It is easy access and easy walking or biking. This trail has almost all the habitats found in the Roaring Fork Valley and you may see almost all the birds that occur here.

Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Spruce-Fir Forest, Urban/Suburban, Mountain Meadow, Sagebrush
Directions: You can access the trail at any number of places. Pick up a map at the Aspen Visitor Center or at many other locations around town. Herron Park is the first access point and can be reached by taking Main Street east to Original Street and then an immediate left onto Neal Street. Go over the No Problem bridge and Herron Park will be on the left. Parking is available here. The second access is just behind ACES, but this lot is often full. Parking is also available in a nearby garage. The third access is from Stein Park. To get there, go west on CO 82 (Main Street) to the Cemetery Lane traffic light. Turn right and proceed to the Roaring Fork River and cross the bridge. There is ample parking here. Proceed down river on foot or by bike. You may also access the trial at many additional points downvalley such as Woody Creek (but make sure you park in designated places, as they have been known to tow cars), Lower River Road, and in Basalt, which is the border between Pitkin and Eagle Counties. From Aspen the trail parallels the McLain Flats Road, which connects with Upper River Road and then becomes Lower River Road and continues all the way to Basalt and on to Glenwood Springs.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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