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.

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


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


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.

Join us in the valley wide campaign to “Connect, Protect, and Respect”

  • Every month will feature different themes that will apply to trail etiquette
  • Participate and win prizes by following this campaign on www.riograndetrail.com
  • Join us during events and get certified to connect, protect and respect
  • Lead by example
  • Participate on social media and tell us how you connect, protect, respect by tagging us on social media on Instagram @riograndetrail or on Facebook by tagging @RFTA

March has us feeling a little bit like spring, trail season is just around the corner. Be aware while on the trails by following these tips:

  • Do you really love listening to music while out on the trail? If so, try using only one earbud, ideally in your right ear, so you can communicate and listen to what is going on around you…like the cyclist trying to pass on the left.
  • You love music but hate earbuds…so you got a cool new Bluetooth speaker and you want everyone to know…so you have it playing full blast. Try again…other people are using the trail too and might not want to headbang to Metallica while bird watching.  Be respectful of others experience.
  • Stay to the right! Pass on the left.  Just like on I-70…slow moving vehicles stay right.
  • While travelling in a group, please travel no more than 2 abreast to allow others to pass safely.
  • Give wildlife plenty of room. These are WILD animals and don’t want a selfie.
  • Please do not feed animals, even if they look hungry. Feeding animals cause them to associate humans with food and may get them into trouble and sometimes leads to their death.
  • Some closed trails might be free of snow and mud, but that doesn’t mean the closure is lifted. Seasonally closed trails are for the benefit of wildlife and giving them space during a tough part of the year.  If a trail is posted as closed, it is indeed closed.

Ready to put your skills to the test?

This is your chance to score some prizes by taking the Connect. Protect and Respect quiz (you must score 9/10) Click Here for English

Esta es tu oportunidad de ganar algunos premios, tomala la prueba para Conectar, protejer y respetar (debes puntuar 9/10) Click aqui para Espanol

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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