Central, sunny and lower-elevation, Palmer Park is an all-season go-to. Anything on top of the mesa usually remains dry, such as the easy Yucca Trail and Mesa Trail. As is true anywhere, snow or mud can linger on shady, north-facing slopes. The same can be true at Palmer in the forested canyon slots. But the well-signed trail system offers something accessible for every level of rider. Beginners can enjoy the Grandview Trail, while Templeton Trail’s southern exposure is a winter-spring standout for advanced riders.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space
Ah Red Rock, with your low-lying scrub brush and wide open vistas! If there’s winter warmth to be drawn from solar rays, this is a great place to catch it. And thanks to recent trail development by Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, Red Rock boasts some of the finest trails around. Lower singletrack, such as the beginner Lower Hogback Trail and the more technical, intermediate hogback of Lower Codell Trail stay generally dry. The same is true for ascenders/descenders such as Roundup and Greenlee trails. And newer additions, including Garbage Chute and Santa COS, can be epic any time of year, despite some potential for lingering patches of snow in forested stretches. Just beware the cement-like mud if you’re connecting over the ridge with Section 16 before everything is thoroughly dry. It can be brutal, um, so we hear.
Ute Valley Park
Yet another lower-elevation, suburban oasis, Ute Valley offers consistent conditions and miles of grin-inducing riding. There’s something for everyone in Ute, from rolling north- and east-side meadows to sandstone slabs and drops. The can’t-miss Ute Valley Loop skirts much of the park’s perimeter, connecting mostly intermediate trails including the Pine Ridge Trail and Rock Hopper or Yucca Path. For a challenging additional 2 miles, add the North and South East Valley Loop.