Join us on an incredible Colorado bike tour focused in the San Juan Mountains, riding some of the most scenic terrain available and paying visits to historic towns and cultural sites along the way. You'll have some spectacular rides to tackle throughout the Rocky Mountains largest range – sure to offer up both high alpine splendor and a true challenge.
Day 1: Welcome to Grand Junction - Let's Get Acclimatized
Make your way independently to Grand Junction where you will meet your guides. At 4,600 ft, Grand Junction, is a great gateway and stepping stone to get acclimatized on our way to the higher elevations of the Rockies. Get settled and we'll reconvene for a welcome dinner where we'll have an overview of the trip, discuss logistics and raise a glass to toast together towards a great week ahead. Meals included: Dinner
Day 2: Colorado National Monument
(35 miles – 2,500 vertical feet) Starting ele. ~4,650', lowest ele. ~4,600', highest ele. ~6,700'
This morning we'll depart from the hotel and kick off our week of cycling with a ride into the nearby Colorado National Monument. Pedal along Rim Rock Drive and take in views of wildlife amongst the piñon and juniper forests from high atop the Colorado Plateau. Soak up the visual grandeur of Monument Canyon and experience first hand how this route was named Tour of the Moon. We'll cycle to neighboring Fruita to conclude the ride and enjoy lunch before our 2 hr 30 min transfer to Ouray – the incredibly picturesque, "Switzerland of America" – where we'll spend the night after enjoying another great dinner together. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 3: Hooray for Ouray, But Let's Ride to Telluride (50 miles - 3,900 vertical feet) Starting ele. ~7,800', lowest ele. ~7,000', highest ele. ~8,900'
This morning we'll pay a visit to the easily accessible Box Canyon Falls and take in the wonderful 285-foot waterfall as it plummets into the gorge below. We'll then grab our bikes and our ride today is an incredible route that climbs from Ridgway to Dallas Divide before descending to the San Miguel River. It's then another ascent from Placerville to the high-mountain paradise of Telluride, our home for the night. This area has a prominent mining history, well-preserved historic district, and some great riding. Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 4: Telluride to Cortez: A Very Looooooooooong Descent (75 miles - 2,800 vertical feet) Starting ele. ~8,400', lowest ele. ~6,200', highest ele. ~10,300'
We've got another magnificent treat in store for you today as we tackle the longest ride of the week, but don't let the distance fool you! Heading over Lizard Head Pass you'll embark on one of the longest descents, if not the longest, you've ever encountered, nearly 60 miles long and with close to 5,000 feet of elevation loss. Topping out at over 10,000 feet you're sure to enjoy this epic and exhilarating drop to Cortez, and it's a short transfer to Mesa Verde National Park, where we'll spend the night. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 5: Exploring the past at Mesa Verde National Park (optional hikes within park are available)
Today you'll take a step back in time as you visit our country's largest archaeological preserve at Mesa Verde National Park, home to more than 4,000 sites and over 600 cliff dwellings. We'll enjoy a private tour with our local step-on guide explaining how the ancient ancestral Puebloan people lived off the land as we hike around to various sites and get up close to the artifacts and ruins these ancient people called home. Making our way via van to nearby Durango you can enjoy the afternoon and evening as you see fit in this funky mountain town, also known for its mining roots and railroad history. Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 6: Dissecting Durango, Optional Train Ride to Silverton (52 miles - 3,000 vertical feet) Starting ele. ~6,800', lowest ele. ~6,800', highest ele. ~7,900'
The legs have certainly appreciated yesterday's downtime and today's it's back out on the road for a two-wheeled tour of Durango. We'll explore a local bread & butter ride, the Durango-Bayfield loop, a route that climbs out to the Vallecito Reservoir before returning to town. With your free time this afternoon, you may want to explore the Animas River Trail on foot or learn about the town's history at the railway museum. If you'd rather skip the bike ride, you can take the historic train ride from Durango to Silverton this morning and return in the afternoon. It offers up big views and amazing scenery from an open-air gondola car. Depending on how many people want to ride the train, and the needs of the group, we may be able to shuttle you back from Silverton if you don't want to ride the train roundtrip. It's another night on the town together this evening to enjoy a final group dinner at a regional culinary hot spot. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 7 – Planes, Trains (yesterday) & Automobiles (36 miles - 1,700 vertical feet) Starting ele. ~6,800', lowest ele. ~6,200', highest ele. ~7,300'
Today you'll sample another stunning ride through the lush Animas Valley out to Baker's Bridge returning via Honeyville and Hermosa. You'll have a chance to freshen up before our transfer to the Grand Junction. Bid your guides farewell and catch a flight home or continue your travels as you see fit. In these seven days, we'll have explored the region quite thoroughly and you'll have a great taste of southwestern Colorado living to take back home with you. Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
La Quinta Inn & Suites in Grand Junction, Co - 1 night
Experience elegance and charm at the newly renovated La Quinta Inn & Suites Grand Junction. New porcelain floors and pod-style desks enhance your check-in experience. The updated guest rooms are elegant as well as functional. Each room now includes a CubieBlue™ clock that charges your electronic devices.
Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs in Ouray, CO - 1 night
Today, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs occupies a portion of the property used by the original owners and offers outdoor mineral hot springs tubs terraced on the mountainside behind the lodge. Each tub offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. Revitalizing in the hot springs in this scenic setting, as has been done for over a hundred years, is an unforgettable experience.
Carmel's Garden Hotel in Telluride, CO - 1 night
Few places compare to Telluride. And nothing in Telluride compares to the Camel's Garden Hotel.The Camel's Garden Hotel is located in the spectacular historic town of Telluride on the Gondola Plaza, gateway to Telluride Ski Area and summer mountain activities. We are adjacent to the scenic San Miguel River and its acclaimed river trail, and within a block of five of Telluride's finest restaurants. No hotel in the world is closer to a chairlift.Camel's Garden affords the highest level of comfort and personal service. The luxurious rooms, suites and condominiums feature balconies, fireplaces, custom-crafted furniture, Italian marble bathrooms and oversized tubs.
Far View Lodge in Mesa Verde National Park, CO - 1 night
Far View Lodge is located 15 miles inside Mesa Verde National Park. The traditional Western decor of the lobby and dining room, fantastic views, warm hospitality and superb dining welcome you for an unforgettable vacation. The lodge was designed to reflect the true essence of Mesa Verde, with solitude all around you and freedom from the distraction of in-room TVs or cell phone service but plenty of wildlife watching. From your private balcony there are fabulous stargazing opportunities to enhance your vacation.
Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn in Durango, CO - 2 nights
Located 1.5 blocks from historic Downtown Durango, you will find the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a plethora of local restaurants and night life, stunning art galleries, and unique shopping. All of downtown Durango is within walking distance.
Pricing & Inclusions
Trip Price Includes:
- Lodging as outlined in lodging section above based on double occupancy
- Meals as noted in itinerary above
- Non-optional activities as outlined in itinerary above
- Ride-friendly snacks and beverages throughout each day
- Hybrid or alloy road bike rental – carbon road bike or E-bike available for an upgrade fee
- Services of professional trip leader(s)
- Van support during the trip & porterage service
- Black Sheep Adventures reusable water bottle, wool (baaaah) socks & luggage tags
Trip Price Excludes:
- Pre & post tour travel
- Alcoholic beverages
- Optional activities such as spa treatments
- Gratuities for your BSA guides