Pain In The Aspen

Welcome to the 2022 Redux Edition!

September 17th, 2022 6:30am  (Saturday!)

Hosted by Mark Johnson.

This is intended to be NON-COMMERCIAL, Recreational-Use Activities that are held on parts of USFS lands in compliance with USFS Special Use Rules and Regulations.

This is a fun ride/meetup amongst acquaintances that is no way a planned “event” on the Town of Snowmass Village trails.

Please make sure to read all rules for this.  This is fully unsupported and you will need to be self-sufficient in order to complete this.  The rules are located HERE.

Course Detail

A place where the beer flows like wine where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. A little place called Aspen. This is a 95% dirt loop that showcases the best and most challenging trails aspen has to offer. Using the GPX file is by far the best way to navigate this course.

Start downtown at Basalt Bike and Ski on 112 S. Mill St. -> Ride east on Hopkins across Original st. and the pedestrian bridge -> Left on King St. -> Right on Smuggler Mtn. Road -> Climb BTS Trail -> Traverse Lollipop trail Northbound -> Descend Iowa Shaft trail -> Climb Hunter Creek trail Eastbound -> Climb Hummingbird & Hummingbird extension -> Climb Van Horn Overlook -> Climb FS130 -> Climb Hobbit Trail -> Traverse Secret Trail Westbound -> Descend Sunnyside Trail -> Cross McClain Flats Road -> Ride Rio Grande path Northbound -> Left to Climb Stein Trail to Forge Rd. -> Left on Harmony Rd to Owl Creek Trail underpass -> Owl Creek Trail to Butter-line Northbound -> Climb Airline Trail -> Climb Cozyline to Skyline ridge -> Traverse Skyline Westbound -> Descend Deadline -> Descend Highline to Roundabout -> Ride past the rec center to Horse ranch Dr. -> Climb North Rim Trail -> Ride South Rim Trail Westbound -> Cross divide rd. to rim connector -> Climb Nature Trail -> Climb Campground connector -> Traverse Cross Mtn Trail Eastbound -> Traverse Government trail Eastbound -> Descend the Tiehack road to the pedestrian bridge -> Highlands Bike path to Thunderbowl lane -> Climb Highlands Service road -> Descend Congo Trail -> Cross maroon Creek road and Climb Midnight Mine Road -> Descend Scotties Trail -> Ride through downtown back to Aspen Public House

~66 miles, ~15k ft climbing, ~15k ft descending


Parking in residential parking zones is free on Saturdays.

Pain In The Aspen has many obvious bail out options, as well as many obvious options to skip short sections of single-track to save minutes, don’t cheat yourself out of the whole course!

While there will be no aid station there are several points to resupply on water and snacks along the course. The most obvious is the Snowmass Rec center or the Gas Station at the divide road roundabout just below the South Rim trail.

AM Civil Twilight 6:22am Sunrise 6:50am, Sunset 7:12pm PM Civil Twilight 7:38pm

Total Daylight 12:14 w/twilight 13:08

The final two climbs & descents up Highlands, down Congo, up Midnight Mine, and down Scotties are the most physically strenuous of the whole ride and Scotties trail is genuinely difficult for most riders. Please err on the side of caution at the end of a long day. Many riders crash here! Don’t attempt to start climbing midnight mine road without lights before 5:30pm at the latest!

While PIA is only 66 miles long, the real difficulty of this course is the amount of climbing. Bring your little ring. A good reference is a rider capable of riding a sub 9 hour Leadville 100 could expect to do this course in 10.5 hours at race pace if they encounter no other problems.

Register here. -Registration is open!

Route: Strava Link.


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