Total tour distance: 235 miles
Daily tour distance: 47 miles
Difficulty: 80 / 100
Verdant valleys harboring crystal-clear streams, mountain passes, and steep slopes ablaze with Indian paintbrush, characterize this new weeklong, inn-to-inn tour of southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Could it get any better? Yes! We’ll stay each night in a cozy mountain inn or motel and feast at local restaurants. During the days, we’ll drink in the scenery, stopping often to breathe in the clean, crisp Rocky Mountain air.
Starting in the vibrant, friendly, and cycling-crazed town of Durango, we’ll make our way along the San Juan Skyway, one of the world’s most spectacular road networks. Our loop encircles the western flank of the massive San Juan Mountains, a range containing some of the highest peaks in the Lower 48, including several at more than 14,000 feet above sea level.
Ranging from a “low” elevation of 6,200 feet near Cortez to over 11,000 feet at Red Mountain Pass, the route takes us through forests of quaking aspen and stately pines, Victorian mining towns, prehistoric ruins, and expansive livestock range. And don’t be surprised if you spot elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, black bears, or mule deer, as all inhabit the region.