NPR, Wild Rose trails officially open |

NPR, Wild Rose trails officially open

Matt Stensland

— Steamboat Springs City Council member Scott Myller, without hesitation, made a very bold statement Friday from Emerald Mountain overlooking the city.

“The best city park in the country,” Myller said during the dedication of the new No Pedaling Required (NPR) and Wild Rose trails.

The NPR trail cost about $140,000 to build. It is a downhill-only trail specific to mountain biking and begins on Blackmere Drive before the Quarry overlook. It features smooth banked turns and jumps that cyclists can just roll over if they do not want to get air.

“I love that trail,” said Gunnar Gilbertson, who rode the trail with other members of the Steamboat Springs Middle School Everything Outdoor Steamboat club. “It’s so smooth and so much easier to ride. I felt like I was a professional coming down here.”

The number of cyclists who use the trail will be counted. The goal is that the trail will alleviate some of the downhill traffic on trails where cyclists can go both uphill and downhill.

“Hopefully, this is the first of many directional trails to come,” Myller said.

The Wild Rose trail was built at a cost of $36,000. The Bureau of Land Management chipped in an additional few thousand dollars.

The 1.44-mile trail provides an easier route to the Beall and Ridge trails on the backside of Emerald Mountain. Riders and hikers can now stay on single-track the entire time while climbing Emerald and avoid the upper sections of Stairway to Heaven. The bottom of the trail is accessed from No Mo Bluez.

Both trails were built by Routt County Riders using lodging tax dollars. A trails committee has an estimated $5.1 million to spend, with the money generated from a 1 percent tax on lodging throughout the next decade.

Committee member Pete Wither told the crowd gathered on Emerald Mountain on Friday about trail projects slated for construction in 2016 in the Buffalo Pass area. They include a total of 27.7 miles of new trail, including the 4.5-mile Grouse Ridge, 1.9-mile BTR, 9.5 Soda Mountain, 3.1 mile Soda Creek and Dry Lake loops and a 6.5-mile alternative to the Buffalo Pass road. Another trail will be constructed along the existing Spring Creek Trail for downhill-only traffic.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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