San Juans of Colorado Cycling Tour
(includes lodging, breakfasts and dinners, park entrance fees, support van, transfers, leaders, tour maps & narratives)
Extravagant rhetoric is unavoidable as we consider our San Juans program—there is just no other way to describe the awesome and singular beauty of Colorado’s San Juans Range. Their jagged, snowclad peaks rise dramatically from the valleys and their lush stands of evergreen and aspen are reminders of the snowfalls that can isolate this alpine region during the depths of winter. And, as though this array of natural beauty needs further enhancement, our date this season is timed to capture the peak of wildflower bloom in June.
The San Juans of Colorado Cycling Tour assembles in Durango and we’ll ride westward early morning of Day 1 to Mesa Verde National Park. National Park Service regulations require that we not cycle within the park and we’ll van shuttle to the high mesa setting of the beautiful Far View Lodge, where we’ll overnight. We’ll spend the remainder of that first day and the morning of Day 2 exploring the ancient Anasazi ruins of Mesa Verde. We’ll van shuttle from the park mid-day of Day 2, and it’s back on our bikes to Dolores and an overnight at the Dolores Mountain Inn. Along the way, we’ll visit the fascinating Anasazi Cultural Center north of Cortez.
We’re headed into the heart of the San Juans early-morning of Day 3. We’ll tour the old mining towns of Stoner and Rico and then begin a moderate ascent up Lizard Head Pass (10,222') on our way to the magical mountain paradise that is Telluride. Following our overnight at the Viking Lodge, we’ll ride from Telluride along the San Miguel River, climb the Dallas Divide and ride on to charming Ouray.
We’re up and out early Day 5 as we challenge imposing Red Mountain Pass (11,008') in the context of one of North America’s classic alpine experiences. From Red Mountain’s summit, it’s downhill to the quaint 19th-century mining camp of Silverton and our final evening at the historic Wyman Hotel, a restored Victorian masterpiece. Our final day includes ascents of Molas and Coal Bank Passes and a long downhill for our return to Durango where our San Juan's of Colorado Cycling Tour concludes.
|Day 1||Durango - Mesa Verde National Park—Tour Mesa Verde Ruins||57 miles|
|Day 2||Mesa Verde –Tour Cliff Palace or Balcony House--Cortez—Tour Anasazi Cultural Center||30 miles|
|Day 3||Dolores - Stoner - Rico - Lizard Head Pass (10,222’) - Telluride||72 miles|
|Day 4||Telluride - Dallas Divide (8,970’) - Ridgeway – Ouray.||40 miles|
|Day 5||Ouray - Red Mountain Pass (11,008’) - Silverton Memorial||22 miles|
|Day 6||Silverton-Molas Pass (10,910’)-Coal Bank Pass (10,640’)-Purgatory-Durango||45 miles|
Total Mileage 266