Ride the Winding Tarmac Over Mountain Passes & Lush Valleys to the Most Famous Colorado Mountain Towns
- Visit Aspen, Marble, the Crystal Mill, Crested Butte, Ouray, Silverton, Durango, Pagosa Springs, and Buena Vista
- Premier Lodging: Cozy Bed & Breakfasts, Inns, Downtown Hotels, and Resorts
- Attractions: Waterfalls, Hot Springs, Bicycling, Hiking, Historic Points of Interest
Tour dates: June 11 – 15, 2022; August 13 – 17, 2022; September 17 – 21, 2022; October 12 – 16, 2022
Friends, Solos, & Couples
5 Days, | 4 Night
Guided or Self-Guided
Winding Paved, Smooth Dirt
Buena Vista → Aspen
Seat Time: 4 - 4.5 hours
Upon departing Buena Vista, we will immediately be immersed in the beauty of the Colorado Rockies. The Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway alongside the Arkansas River will lead us to Independence Pass: a spectacular route which will deliver us to our accommodations in Aspen, CO.
Ample leisure time is allowed this afternoon to explore Aspen’s bustling downtown, or sightsee around the area with an exhilarating hike or bicycle ride. We will enjoy our cozy accommodations for the night and rest up for our full day tomorrow.
Aspen → Crested Butte
Seat Time: 4.5 hours
Day two takes us past Carbondale and into the small town of Marble, where we will have some free time to explore this hidden gem. Observe the intriguing Colorado Stone Quarries’ marble mine (where the white stone for the Lincoln Memorial was mined). Nearby hiking trails will reward you with breathtaking scenery and waterfalls. Or check out our favorite attraction, the Crystal Mill! This is one of the most photographed spots in Colorado (be sure to bring your camera!). The Crystal Mill can be viewed by hiking or riding your motorcycle up a rocky trail. For the most adventurous riders, there is also the opportunity to ride a challenging dirt enduro loop before returning to our course.
After an eventful morning, we will be ready to continue to Paonia, CO for a healthy lunch at Delicious Orchards. This property features a café, farmers’ market, and acres of orchards and gardens to explore. This peaceful setting will have us feeling rested and rejuvenated before the final ride of the day over Kebler Pass, into charming ski town of Crested Butte. Bustling Elk Avenue downtown offers many shops and restaurants. The free town bus system shuttles guests between the ski resort area and downtown.
Crested Butte → Ouray
Seat Time: 4 - 4.5 hours
Day three will bring us along the East and Gunnison Rivers towards Gunnison. From there we will pass the Blue Mesa Reservoir, the largest lake within Colorado. We will then leave the pavement to travel over Owl Creek Pass, known to be one of the state’s most beautiful backcountry drives, especially in the fall. Silver Jack Reservoir (known for great fishing, it will be a scenic resting spot, and if time allows, there is an optional ¾-mile hike to “Secret Falls” along this road). Owl Creek Pass will deliver us into the town of Ridgeway and back to paved roads for about 15 minutes until we arrive at our destination for the night: Ouray, CO.
Ouray is a fascinating Colorado town with many attractions to explore. Surrounded by vertical cliffs and mountains, the town is known as the “Switzerland of America,” and boasts outdoor geothermal hot springs pools as well as the truly unique hot springs vapor caves. There will be time to explore the hot springs, waterfall hikes nearby, and an alluring downtown area. Our cozy accommodations are within walking distance to everything.
Ouray → Pagosa Springs
Seat Time: 4.5 hours
After leaving Ouray, the “Million Dollar Highway” to Silverton is a highlight of the ride. This paved road clings to the side of a mountain, providing a dramatic view at every turn. The San Juan Skyway will lead us to Durango, where we will stop for lunch in the historic district. When we are ready to continue, we will meander along scenic Highway 160 past some small towns and Chimney Rock National Monument, until we arrive at our evening’s destination, Pagosa Springs.
Day four allows for plenty time in the afternoon to relax in this pleasant setting. Our luxurious accommodations at the Hot Springs Resort boasts 25 geothermal hot springs pools to enjoy, and a full-service spa can provide a welcomed massage after four days of seat time! Many galleries and restaurants are accessible within walking distance across the riverwalk foot path. Enjoy a peaceful stroll in the town park, or rent an e-bike or mountain bike to check out the trail systems. The resort allows 24-hour access of the hot springs pools to relax and soak in the healing mineral waters under the stars (highly recommended!)
Pagosa Springs → Buena Vista
Seat Time: 4 - 4.5 hours
Our last day of riding will not disappoint. Upon departing Pagosa Springs, we will immediately ride up Wolf Creek Pass. The spectacular Treasure Falls will be viewable from the side of the highway, or take a short hike up the mountain for a closer look! We will ride past Wolf Creek Ski Area before our descent into South Fork. From there, another winding mountain road will bring us through the small town of Creede and then to Lake City, an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise (advertised as the most remote town in the lower 48 states). We will continue to Gunnison, where we will pause for lunch before the second half of our journey home.
From Gunnison, we will travel a smooth dirt route past the small town of Almont through the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness to Taylor Park Reservoir. The last leg of our trip will turn to pavement taking us over Cottonwood Pass, which will lead us back to Buena Vista.
(Optional shorter paved route also available)
Observation Deck with great view of Independence Pass & entire valley. Each room offers a flat screen TV, air conditioning as well as free Wi-Fi. Guests can relax after a hard day of skiing or hiking in one of our two hot tubs. Aspen is a culinary hot spot for delicious food, we’re certain you won’t be disappointed in our local dining options.
Crested Butte, Co
The Grand Lodge Crested Butte Located just 200 yards from ski lifts in the heart of the central base area, the newly renovated Grand Lodge Crested Butte offers convenient access to the finest outdoor activities the Rocky Mountains have to offer year round.
Matterhorn Inn & Suites
Remodeled in 2014. All 11 rooms now have high-speed internet. The full bar and restaurant make this retreat relaxing, warm, and comfortable. The Biergarten offers outdoor seating and features seasonal live music. The small details the new owner has added will bring your wilderness vacation alive and care-free.
The Springs Resort
The Springs Resort is located on the banks of the San Juan River in downtown Pagosa Springs. Relax in 25 naturally hot therapeutic mineral pools fed by the ancient waters of the World’s Deepest Geothermal Hot Spring. Discover your perfect pool with temperatures ranging from 87–114°F. Public bathhouse, lockers, showers, towel/robe rentals. Swim attire is mandatory. Hotel lodging on-site, hotel guests get 24-hour access to the hot springs.
Looking for group rates? Contact us today.
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