About the Rio Grande Trail

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.

Golden Rules of Trail Etiquette

The Rio Grande Trail is clear for Glenwood Springs to Snowmass Dr in Carbondale. If you are practicing social distancing outdoors please be mindful of other trail users and keep a safe distance of 6ft while on the trail. Additionally, wildlife closures are still in effect, please be respectful of trail closures and wildlife. Stay healthy!

RESPECT CLOSURES AND WILDLFE Spring time is critical for wildlife, maintain your distance and respect trail closures.

SOCIAL DISTANCING – Practice social distancing with other trail users by keeping 6ft of space (recommended by Pitkin County Health)

Horses. Everyone yields to horses. Stop, step off the trail and talk to the rider. They will tell you when it is safe to pass.

Cyclists. Ride at a safe speed, single file. Do not exceed 20 mph. Slow and announce yourself before passing.
Ring your bell and inform pedestrians, “on your left.”

Pedestrians. Be alert. Keep headphones turned down so you can hear others.

Dog walkers. Leash your pet and maintain control. You must carry a waste bag and put poop in a proper receptacle.

Everyone. Keep to the right of the trail except to pass. If you must stop, step off the trail. Do not block the trail.

Share and be aware. Safety is for everyone.



Please note:
Class I and Class II E-Bikes are allowed on the Rio Grande Trail between Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs and the Pitkin County line at Emma Road in Basalt. Only Class 1 E-Bikes are allowed from Emma Road to Aspen.

ALSO: E-Bikes are NOT allowed to be loaded on the RFTA bus bike racks. They are too heavy and bulky for the racks.

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.

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

Connect Protect Respect banner

We ❤ our local trails.

During the Recreational Trails Plan Update for the Rio Grande Trail, RFTA engaged our regional stakeholders and it was unanimous that a valley-wide/regional Trail Etiquette Campaign was needed.  Valley wide trails have proven to be more and more popular, gaining trail users every day.  Many of them connect our communities with endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, we would like to remind everybody of the ways that we can protect and respect our local trails.


Stay right and stop off the trail.

  • If you need to take that important call, please get you and your equipment off the trail to allow others safe passage.
    • Slower moving trail users stay to the right. Just like I-70…travel on the right, pass on the left.
    • You ran into your old neighbor and want to catch up…great! Please pull over and get off the trail.
    • Keep the volume of your headphones/speakers at a level so you can hear others alerting you and passing safely.

RFTA Recreational Trails Plan 2019 Update

Rio Grande Trail Master Plan

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) has completed a final draft version of the Recreational Trail Plan 2018 Update, for management of the 42-mile long Rio Grande Trail. The final draft version of the Recreational Trails Plan (RTP) 2018 Update was available for public comment from Dec. 3, 2018 thru Jan. 1, 2019. It is anticipated that the First Reading and Public Hearing will be held at the RFTA Board meeting on January 10, 2019. The Second Reading and Public Hearing will be held at the February 14, 2019 RFTA Board meeting. The RFTA Board meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. at Carbondale Town Hall (Room 1) 511 Colorado Avenue, Carbondale.

Trail Information

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

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