Mastering the trails 

For their fall expedition, the Fifth Graders go mountain biking in Western Colorado. The Outdoor Education team leads this trip along with the Fifth Grade teachers.

Aspen Country Day School’s mission is to develop mind, body, and spirit via our program in academics, arts, and outdoors. The children take at least two trips per year on their journey through the grades at ACDS, and each expedition deepens their understanding of the school’s core values: character, respect, responsibility, community, and perseverance. The Fifth Grade experience is the second year of a two-year mountain biking focus for the children, and they gain confidence by improving their skills year to year. 

On the fall mountain biking trips, children learn safe riding skills, uphill and downhill techniques, map-reading, orienteering and leadership skills. They also gain first-hand experience of the Western landscape that they study in their classroom curriculum about geology, landforms, and desert ecology.

Packing list

Pack everything in a backpack. This is practice for packing for the winter backcountry skiing trip. If you don’t have a big enough backpack, the school can lend you one. Please come to school the first morning wearing your biking clothes, ready to ride, with your spare tube (see below) in your daypack.


-Hat with visor (very important in the desert sun)
-Wool hat
-Rain jacket and rain pants
-Warm jacket (down coat or ski jacket)
-Pants to wear around camp
-Fleece sweater or jacket
-Gloves or mittens
-Socks (2 pair, no cotton)
-Bathing suit and small towel
-Warm pants
-1 non-cotton t-shirt
-1 non-cotton long-sleeve shirt
-Fitted shorts or leggings (something that is not too baggy around the ankles so it doesn’t get caught in the chain)

Personal Equipment

-Toothbrush & travel-size toothpaste
-Lip protection
-Small comb or brush
-Small sunscreen
-Headlamp or small flashlight

Camping Equipment

-Sleeping bag with stuff sack
-Sleeping pad (ridged foam kind that does not need to be inflated)
-Day pack
-One-quart wide-mouthed Nalgene-style water bottle, filled

Biking Equipment

-Mountain bike
-Bike helmet (mandatory at all times on any bike)
spare bike tube with the right type of valve for your wheel
-Two water bottles on bike or working Camelback (check for leaks)
-Riding shorts (to prevent chafing on long rides)
-Good sturdy shoes for riding
-Biking gloves

– TWO lunches and THREE days of snacks

Complete instructions, packing lists, and staffing details arrive via ParentSquare shortly before each trip. At least one certified Wilderness First Responder accompanies every expedition. NOLS Risk Services of the National Outdoor Leadership School has recently completed a comprehensive analysis of policies and procedures for the Outdoor Education program at Aspen Country Day School. This program operates under special use permit from the USDA Forest Service, White River National Forest.