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E-bike Regulations on the Colorado Trail

E-bike regulations and access are managed and determined by our Federal Land Management partners. For most of the Colorado Trail, that’s the United States Forest Service (USFS). You can also find this information on our website.

The USFS has determined that e-bikes (also known as electric bikes or e-bikes) are considered motorized vehicles, regardless of the e-bike classification (Class 1, 2, or 3).

E-bikes are allowed only on motorized sections of the CT, including motorized singletrack and roads, but are currently prohibited on all non-motorized sections of the CT. In the future, the Forest Service may consider allowing e-bike use on some non-motorized trails, but only as part of a travel management planning process, including environmental analysis and public involvement. This has not occurred on any portion of the CT as of this date.

CT segments of interest where e-bikes are currently allowed are primarily located on a lengthy section of motorized singletrack, closed roads, 2-tracks, and Forest Service roads from Monarch Pass to near Cochetopa Creek and include the following segments that provide a continuous route open to e-bikes totaling 64.2 CT miles (not including M0.0 to M2.4 bypass of Segment 16).

  • Segment CW05 – Monarch Pass TH (mile 11.1) to segment end at the junction with Segment 15. 5.0 miles of motorized access.
  • Segment 15 – junction with CW05 at Continental Divide (mile 8.6) to segment end. 5.9 miles of motorized access.
  • Segment 16 – all but the first 2.4 miles. Motorized trail 486 provides e-bike bypass in the area. 12.2 miles of motorized access, not including bypass).
  • Segment 17 – entire segment. 20.6 miles of motorized access.
  • Segment 18 – entire segment. 13.7 miles of motorized access.
  • Segment 19 – first 6.8 miles. 6.8 miles of motorized access.

Some additional portions of the CT open to e-bikes include:

  • Segment 1 – Denver Water allows class 1 and 2 e-bikes in Waterton Canyon, but only when used as part of an ADA accommodation and only on the first 2.6 miles of the CT, located on Denver Water property. The CT beyond that point is on Forest Service land and Forest Service rules currently prohibit e-bikes beyond that point. You can read more about e-bikes in Waterton Canyon by searching for “Waterton/Strontia: E-bike restrictions” on the Denver Water website.
  • Segment 21 – E-bikes are allowed on the final 5.4 miles, from the junction with the La Garita Stock Driveway, across Snow Mesa, and down to Spring Creek Pass.

E-bikes are prohibited on all other segments except for limited sections of roads open to motor vehicles and very short sections of singletrack open to motorcycles. The pink highlights on the map show approximate locations of all the allowable e-bike areas with the exception of that in Segment 1.

Note: While Copper Mountain allows e-bikes on their mountain bike trails, e-bikes are not permitted on the CT where it traverses through the ski area (Segment 8).

More details can be found through the USFS’s site here:

Thanks to our friends at Absolute Bikes for the photos on Segment 15!

E-bike Access Map

E-bike Access Map

E-Bike on Trail

E-Bike on Trail