Spring Comes Early to These Mountain Destinations
Photo by Ben Fish
Yearning for spring? Here are several mountain towns where snowmelt comes early and the patio umbrellas are open in April. One of the best ways to experience all three of these destinations is by bike, and all three offer everything from technical mountain biking trails to family-friendly paved paths.
Photo courtesy of Tourism Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico may be located more than 7,000 feet above sea level, but despite being one of the highest capital cities in the United States, it only receives 6 to 8 snowfalls between November and April. And for summer chasers, spring comes early to this artsy, southwestern town.
A great way to experience the changing of the seasons in Santa Fe is by bicycle. USA Today named Santa Fe One of America’s Top Mountain Bike Towns, and according to Singletracks.com it is a Top Ten Biking Destination in North America.
The area around Santa Fe features lots of terrain options, from flat cruising trails to expert mountain biking trails.
Riding the Animas River 7-Mile Trail, photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
In Durango, Colorado, flowering trees begin to bud in late March and are in full bloom by April. Experiencing this town of 16,000 on a bike is to do as the locals do. Whereas horses used to be the traditional form of transportation around this Wild West town, bicycles are now preferred.
The Animas River Trail is my favorite bike route in Durango, not only because it has beautiful views of the river, but it allows the rider to stop off at several breweries along the way. This paved, shared-use trail winds for seven miles through Durango’s Animas River Greenway. It’s the main artery for the city’s network of trails and open space.
Photo courtesy of Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
According to US New & World Report, the best time to visit Lake Tahoe is from March to May and September to November because the weather is mild, the crowds are fewer and prices are lower.
Tahoe South is an official “Bike Friendly Community,” and bike paths and bike shops are plentiful. Whether you come to Tahoe looking to shred or just to coast, Tahoe South has got you covered.
There are literally hundreds of miles of bike and multi-use trails around the Lake Tahoe area, and studying these maps is a must. Of course, you can always ask a friendly local bike shop employee where they’d recommend.