Recreation Trails Plan

RFTA is updating the 2005 Recreational Trails Plan, or Rio Grande Trail Plan. Please see the Project Information links below for more details.

Project Information

2005 Recreational Trails Plan (RTP)
Pitkin County Open Space Trails Upper Rio Grande Management Plan
RFTA Rio Grande Railroad Corridor/Rio Grande Trail History
RTP Update Public Information Boards
RTP Update Schedule
Rio Grande Trail Map (revised Aug. 2018)
All survey responses will be compiled after 60 days and shared here

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority manages the greatest portion of the Rio Grande Trail which runs from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, Colorado. The Rio Grande has 42 miles of continuous multi-use trail and is completely protected from vehicular traffic except at intersections. The Rio Grande Trail is a rails to trails project which is built in the Aspen Branch of the historic Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Train operations in the corridor ceased in phases, between the 1960s and the mid 1990s. In 1997 the right of way corridor was purchased with a combination of funding by local governments, Great Outdoors Colorado, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, and the Colorado Department of Transportation. This presented an opportunity to explore both transportation and recreation solutions to Highway 82 congestion and trail connectivity challenges in the Roaring Fork Valley. In 2001, RFTA was formed and thus a dedicated funding source for transit and trails was created. RFTA now manages and maintains the trail corridor, in conjunction with Pitkin County Open Space and the City of Aspen, in their respective jurisdictions.

Trail Etiquette

  • Cyclists must use an audible signal when overtaking other trail users
  • Carry In Carry Out: please pack out all your trash
  • No motorized vehicles or equipment of any kind permitted on the trail, regardless of power source
  • Pet wastes must be disposed of properly
  • Respect private property – stay on the trail at all times
  • All dogs must be on leash at all times
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians yield to equestrians
  • Camping, fires and hunting are prohibited
  • The making of excessive or obnoxious noises in prohibited
Miles of Continuous Use Trail


Trail Closures

The Rio Grande Trail, between Rock Bottom Ranch and Catherine Bridge, closes seasonally from 5pm on November 30th until 5pm April 30th. A signed detour route will be in place between Hooks Lane Trailhead parking lot and the Catherine Bridge Trailhead parking lot during the period of the closure. The closure applies to all users of the trail and corridor, including anglers and hunters.

Trail Rules & Regulations

RFTA has restrictions to all trails built and maintained on the 34 mile rail corridor running between Glenwood Springs and Woody Creek.

Special Events Application

Download our Special Events Application for proposed events on the Rio Grande Trail. For more information call 970-384-4975.

Trail Rules for Other Power Driven Mobility Devices

RFTA has a document listing the Rio Grande Corridor Rules on the
Use of Other Power Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMD).

E-Bike Update:
Please note:  Class I and Class II E-Bikes are allowed on the Rio Grande Trail between Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs and Emma Road in Basalt.


E-Bike Update:
Please note:  Class I and Class II E-Bikes are allowed on the Rio Grande Trail between Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs and Emma Road in Basalt.

Pristine Riders

Pristine Rider’s Greeting for Other Riders
‘One Piece of Trash Each Ride’

The mindset of a Pristine Rider is that picking up a piece of trash is not an obligation.

Instead, it is an opportunity to give thanks for the chance to be in the Roaring Fork Valley – one of the most beautiful places in the universe.

Pristine Riders are encouraged to share the message of, “One piece of trash each ride,” by extending an index finger in greeting to passing riders.

Pristine Riders use common sense in picking up trash. Do not pick any trash that might be hazardous! Do not stop to pick up trash in blind corners or corners with limited sight lines. Do not stop to pick up trash unless it is possible to get completely out of the travel lane of the road or path when doing so.

For more info please visit the Pristine Riders Facebook Page

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