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Event Series Event Series: Power of Four

Snowmass 50

August 5, 2024

mountain biker at snowmass 50

The Audi Snowmass 50 Mountain Bike Race, previously known as the Power of Four MTB Race, showcases the best singletrack in the Aspen/Snowmass region with a 25-mile loop ascending 5000’ feet.  The team here at Strambecco considers the event to be one of the Best Mountain Bike Events in the Rockies and Colorado. Solo competitors can choose 1 or 2 laps, or you can split duties with a partner in the 50 Team event. The mountain bike race, organized by the Power of Four and Aspen Snowmass, is part of a series, which includes a ski-mountaineering race as well as a Trail Running Race race both under the Power of Four banner.

The Power of Four started as a race going up and down the four local ski mountains, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass, representing an extremely difficult challenge. Organizers devised a new route for the Snowmass 50 to provide an even more accessible event to riders with a broader range of skill and fitness levels.  Don’t be fooled; this is still a challenging and difficult event that attracts many of the best athletes in the Roaring Fork Valley.  The route starts on Fanny Hill, just above Snowmass Village, and circumnavigates the Snowmass Valley.  The route is almost entirely single-track and hits some of the famous trails of the region, including Rim, Tom Blake, Government, and more. The route below is not official, but should give you a good idea of what to expect.

If you aren’t within easy reach of Aspen/Snowmass or familiar with the area, the Snowmass 50 Mountain Bike Race is an ideal event to plan a longer stay or vacation around. Limelight Hotel and The Gant are unique hotels that provide details on Aspen activities for any time of year. In addition to hotels and resorts, participants have the option of camping or staying at RV Park nearby at Willows on Coulter Creek and RV Camp Site. To celebrate a successful trail run, participants and supporters can try out several local restaurants in the area. Bosq and Betula are fine dining options in the heart of Aspen’s downtown area, while Meat & Cheese and Spring Cafe are two of our personal favorites for a casual bite.

Although mountain biking here is world-class, the road and gravel riding is just as good, not to mention every other mountain sport you can imagine all year long. Aspen and the surrounding Roaring Fork Valley are a mecca for outdoor athletes participating in the event and supporting friends and family. For those who may want to do some warm up runs before the race or just leisurely hike, Aspen boasts an extensive network of scenic trails that cater to both trail runners and hikers. The area is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, including breathtaking mountain vistas, alpine meadows, and serene forests. Trails like the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop and Cathedral Lake Trail, are great ones to check out in addition to the trails that are part of the course loop. Aspen is a paradise for mountain biking enthusiasts, with a multitude of trails suitable for various skill levels. Riders can explore the renowned Snowmass Bike Park, which offers thrilling downhill trails and features like jumps, berms, and technical sections, while Government Trail, Tom Blake, and Skyline are local favorites. Road cyclists will also pinch themselves with the riding options right out of town, from taking on the challenge of climbing Independence Pass, riding to the ghost town of Ashcroft or to the stunning Maroon Bells. Lastly, with the Roaring Fork and Arkansas Rivers in close proximity, whitewater rafting and kayaking are also top favorite summertime activities for those that love exploring the outdoors.

For the multi-sport athletes out there, be sure to check out the other sporting events part of the Power of Four Series as well as top trail running events in Aspen/Snowmass: Aspen Backcountry Marathon and Heavy Half in July or the Golden Leaf Half Marathon in September.

View Reviews (1)
  • This is a difficult, but exceptional event. I’m a fit 50+ road rider talked into doing this event by my son. We have family in the area, so it was a great chance to mix the event with a family visit. For context, I reside at sea level and had just 4 days to acclimate to the 8k+ elevation of the Aspen/Snowmass region. In hindsight that probably wasn’t very smart. I could have used a least a few more days. What’s more, although I’ve done a fair amount of mountain biking, I have medium technical skills at best. I rode the event with a partner and took the first 25 mile leg of the 50 mile team event. You have a choice of participating in the 25 or 50 mile solo event, or you the 50 mile team event. 25 miles, with 5k of elevation gain, was all I could handle. The lap took me 4:30 which was among the slowest times. The fastest laps from the strong local field came in around 2:30. Although I had a lot of excuses leading to a tough day in the saddle, the course is absolutely sublime with some of the best single track you can find anywhere. The route hits many of the best trails in/around Snowmass including Government, Rim, and Tom Blake trails. Think dense Aspen tree’s and beautiful mountain vista’s. The full route circumnavigates Snowmass Village. This is not a huge event in terms of participants (about 180 in 2021), however testament to the quality of the event, all the local hotshots come out to ride/race. Even Lance Armstrong, who lives part time in Aspen, participated in the 2021 event in support of his significant other.

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