Northwest of Steamboat Springs near Steamboat Lake, there are three variations to this 14.5 mile mountain bike ride. Portions of these routes are steep and rocky requiring technical riding skills, possibly hiking your bike in places. Take County Road 129 about 25 miles north of Steamboat Springs to Steamboat Lake State Park. From the lake continue north to Columbine. Continue north approximately 0.5 miles to the road intersection with FDR 550. Take a right and continue on FDR 550 for about 8 miles to the intersection with FDR 503. Continue north on Road 550 past the cattle guard for about 3 miles. You will cross over Whiskey Creek; FDR 550 takes off to the left. Park off the road here and begin the route.
OPTION 1: Head north on FDR 550 for about 0.75 miles LO intersection with FDR 508 a gravel road. Turn left and follow the road about 1.5 miles where it turns into a 4WD dirt road and climbs for about 2 miles. This road passes the Elkhorn Mine connect Road #477 and continues to head northwest to connect with Trail # 1149 ( Elkhorn Stock Driveway). Turn left and continue south on Trail #1149. You will descend steeply to cross the Middle Fork of the Little Snake River. Be careful when making crossings. Continue on trail to the intersection with FDR #502. Take a left and continue northeast to the intersection with #55. Turn left again and follow for 2.5 miles back to the parking area. This loop is approximately 14.5 miles.
OPTION 2: Take FDR 555 (4WD dirt road) west for about 2.5 miles where it connects with Trail # 1149 (Elkhorn Stock Drive Head south on this unimproved dirt road. You will descend steeply to cross the Middle Fork of the Lake Snake River. The trail will intersect with FDR 502. Continue northeast to connect with FDR 550. Turn left and continue north on #550 for approximately 2 miles to return to the parking area. This loop is approximately 10.5 miles.
OPTION 3: Take FDR 555. Walk for about 2.5 miles until it connects with Trail #1149. Head north for approximately 2.25 mile turn right (east) onto 4WD Road #477. Continue east on #477 for about 4 miles passing Elkhorn Mountain and the Elkhorn (#477 lures info 11508). You will intersect with Road #550. Turn right on this gravel road and head south approximately 0.5 miles from the parking area. This loop is approximately 9.5 miles.
Overall, Crane Park / Elkhorn Mountian Loop is the 72nd most popular mountain bike trail of all 176 mountain biking rides in Colorado.