Mountain biking near Fruita

For their fall expedition, the Fourth Graders go mountain biking in Western Colorado. From their basecamp at Highline State Park in Loma, they venture out onto the network of trails that make this part of the country one of America’s best mountain biking destinations for beginners. The Outdoor Education program team leads this trip along with the Fourth Grade teachers.

A gentle introduction to mountain biking starts on the nearby trails of the Marolt Open Space. This meadow criss-crossed with smooth trails is just a short ride from campus on the new Castle Creek bike trail. Fourth Graders practice for weeks before heading out on their three-day expedition to Western Colorado.

Sample 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
-Non-cotton t-shirt
-Non-cotton long-sleeve shirt

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 (please have it tuned up and checked at a local shop before the trip)
-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
-Bike gloves


TWO lunches + snacks for THREE days. The school provides all other meals. No candy.

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.