Fraser/Winter Park Loop + County Rd 50 Out-N-Back

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Winter Park, CO
Date Published:
June 15, 2024
Gravel Ratio:
95% G / 5% P
Difficulty Rating:
Enjoyability Rating:
Download GPX File
No items found.

We originally posted a version of this ride way back in 2018.
Since then, it has only gotten better! We updated the route with some super fun and beautiful single track trails that have been built and a better option for getting from Fraser to Winter Park that keeps you off the old bike path that is right beside busy highway traffic.


Who says Steamboat has all the "champagne gravel"? Winter park has an amazing playground of incredible dirt roads with spectacular scenery, and when highway traffic is moving, it's only an hour and 20 min car drive from downtown Denver!

Car and vehicle traffic was generally very light on a Saturday morning in June, especially on Vasquez Rd, Leland Creek Rd and Elk Creek Rd.

Nearly all of the route (except for the small section between Fraser and Winter Park) is remote. You'll spend some of your time in dense forest with Aspens and pine trees. Other times you will have sweeping views of epic mountain peaks, and often you are biking alongside flowing water like the Crooked Creek, Elk Creek and Vasquez Creek.

The 1.5 mile stretch of beginner and gravel bike friendly single track trail called the Northwest Passage (at approximately mile 26.6) was truly a highlight. It is a super fun, winding, flowing, and easy singletrack with gorgeous snow-capped mountain views, a creek and flowers too!
It connects to the Givelo Trail, which is also a lovely option if you're enjoying the single track. It parallels the St. Louis Creek Road (which is dirt) so stay on it if you want, or pop over on to the road if you prefer!


There is a Young Life Camp at Crooked Creek Ranch (at approximately mile 13), so in mid-June, we saw several huge touring buses driving the County Road 50 which is a weird and huge vehicle to see up there. If you are lucky, you won't even see them, but at a minimum, you only share the road with the buses for a short segment.

Once you pass the unmaintained county road signs on County Rd 50 (starting around mile 14-15), you will likely begin to see ATVs and side-by-sides also using the road. Traffic was relatively light for us on a Saturday morning and those who passed us slowed down and were friendly.

There is tons of new construction around Fraser (especially since 2018) and one trail we had plotted on Strava no longer existed. We were able to navigate and ended up finding another new "town" trail that kept us off the paved road a little bit longer.

Do this ride if you want to experience incredible, remote gravel roads with tremendous views of snow-capped mountains, have fun with some beginner single track and do a decent amount of climbing.

Other Notes:

We actually started this ride from our dispersed campsite further along Vasquez Road, but the downloadable GPX file starts from a Trailhead parking lot about 1.2 miles up Vasquez Rd which has public (day) parking and a port-a-potty.

We did this in mid-June and road conditions were absolutely incredible with almost no washboards!! We imagine as the summer goes on and if it is warm and dry, the roads will get sandier, dustier, and as more cars travel the roads at speed, washboards will develop in places.

Always check weather and pack layers when heading out. Conditions can change quickly at 10,000 ft and even when no rain is "predicted" you can find yourself in isolated showers.

The large majority of the route is remote, so bring enough water and food to keep you going for all 34 miles. In the summer months, you are always close to running water so you can filter water easily if you have one. The Katadyn BeFree 1-liter water bottle filter is our favorite to throw in a back pocket for rides like this.

Although we did not send this route directly into either the towns of Fraser or Winter Park, you are just a stone's throw away. If you want to enjoy a post-ride beer or a pre-ride coffee, you have many options.
We love The Perk for coffee and breakfast burritos in Winter Park.
Vicious Cycle
is a nice Brewery option in Fraser.

Driving Directions

Route Contributor

Laura & Rose

Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.

Submit Your Favorite Gravel Route


Recent Routes

View All Routes

Companies We Support and Love

Advertise with Us