Several trails on Emerald Mountain cleared to ride |

Several trails on Emerald Mountain cleared to ride

Cathy Wiedemer

Cathy Wiedemer, Glenn Wiedemer and Dan Chovan pedal up Emerald Mountain on Saturday afternoon. They said they've been able to log plenty of road biking miles so far this spring but were excited to get in their first taste of Routt County dirt on their mountain bikes. Most of the lower trails on Emerald were declared open.
Joel Reichenberger

— It's probably safe to assume the tires are pumped up and the chains oiled. Heck, water already may be in the bottles.

Warm spring weather has meant an early start to cycling season, and on Saturday, Routt County Riders Trails Director Gretchen Sehler threw down the green flag on another massive section of local singletrack.

Emerald Mountain is open.

At least some of Emerald Mountain is open, anyway. The lower trails on the front side and several trails on the back side are cleared to ride, Sehler said.

"Everything, basically, is open from the quarry down," said Sehler, who spent her Saturday canvassing the downtown Steamboat Springs landmark.

On the town side of the mountain, that means Blair Witch, Bluffs Loop, Ricky's Ridge, Larry's and MGM are open, to go along with Ridge Trail and Rotary Trail, both of which are on the back side and were among the first trails in the area to dry out.

One section at the bottom of Lupine is closed, but otherwise Lupine is open, as well, Sehler said.

"We've never opened them this early," she said. "I'm really excited about how people have been responsible and have respected the closings and been responsible on trail usage. We didn't see much evidence of damage."

Those openings join a number of already available Routt County trails. Many of the trails in the Mad Creek area have been dry enough to ride and hike. The Hot Springs trail is open, as is Mad Creek and Lower Bear.

Steamboat Springs Running Series Director Cara Marrs said that she's already made several trips to trails across the county and that there's plenty to keep hikers, runners and bikers entertained.

"Mad Creek trail is bone dry," she said after a Saturday hike. "We did that loop turning right at the bridge on Mad Creek, and that's usually a mud fest, but it was all dry. … You can go all the way up Spring Creek, too. It may not really be ready for bikes, but on foot, it was great. There were only a couple of patches and some mud, but not much at all."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email