Rockies Road Tour, Colorado USA
Two week itinerary:


Arrival day:
Once you arrive in Denver, you will be greeted by Ride the World staff who will transfer you to the first night's hotel close to the airport. There should be plenty of time to unpack and relax, meet other guests and get some food in a nearby restaurant.


Day 1
Introduction and welcome meeting:
We will formally introduce ourselves before running through the two week itinerary and preparing you for the two weeks ahead. You will also have the opportunity to meet the other guests and ask us any questions you may have.

Bike shop visit:
We will drive you into the foothills of the Rockies for the first day's ride via a well equipped cycle store where you can pick up any supplies and browse the bargains on offer. This is also your opportunity to pick up a hire bike should you need to.

Ride #1: Peak to Peak Scenic Byway (Nederland to Estes Park)
Total Distance: 41 milesHigh Point: 9,100ft.
Start Elevation: 8,100ft. Total Climbing:
End Elevation: Total Descent:


After all the travelling to get to Colorado you'll be eager to stretch the legs in this new terrain. This is a great starting route with lots of rollers of various sizes eventually climbing to Wind River Pass before a great downhill into Estes Park and the second night’s stop. Along the way you'll be treated to rolling pine forests and great views of Rocky Mountain National Park and its many famous peaks.....tomorrow, you'll be riding them!


Day 2
Ride #2: Trail Ridge Road (Estes Park to Grand Lake)
Total Distance:45 milesHigh Point:12,200ft.
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:7,600ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:7,300ft.


This is cited by many as one of Colorado’s ultimate rides and its definitely going to push you to the limit. The entire day is spent within Rocky Mountain National Park where you will rise from the lush grassland valley floors, through the dense pine forests and out into the crisp tundra landscape surrounded by 14000ft. snow capped peaks. A 25 mile downhill with hairpins and fast sweeping corners takes you across the continental divide and down into the head waters of the Colorado River but watch out for the elk, moose and bear!


Day 3
Ride #3: Windy Gap and the Blue River Valley (Grand Lake to Frisco)
Total Distance:63 milesHigh Point:
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:4,200ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:3,300ft.


After such a challenge yesterday, today’s ride is relatively easy going. There are no major climbs just miles of grey ribbon which snake through lush grasslands, home to several buffalo herds. Along the way, you'll pass through one of the first 'canyons' (albeit a very modest canyon) of the Colorado river, hot sulphur springs and glistening mountain reservoirs all the time being flanked by the impressive Rabbit Ears Range, Williams Mountains, Eagles Nest Wilderness and the Gore Range. The road is of very good standard and gently rolls its way into Summit County, the outdoors adventure capital of Colorado.


Day 4
Rest day: Frisco
After three days of riding at these high altitudes you'll welcome the chance to catch up on your rest. There is plenty to do around the Dillon Lake area. Get presents for the folks back home at Silverthorne’s factory outlet stores or take it easy on a boat out on the peaceful lake. You could even go mountain biking in Keystone or white water rafting if you're feeling energetic, the choice is yours.


Day 5
Ride #4: Hoosier Pass (Frisco to Buena Vista)
Total Distance:75 MilesHigh Point:11,500ft.
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:4,600ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:5,700ft.


Only one challenging pass today with fast rolling roads taking you through varying landscapes from Summit county’s dense pine forests across South Park’s grasslands and into Buena Vista’s dryer shrub land dominated by the imposing Sawatch Range. The ride makes use of Summit County’s excellent bike path network to take you around Dillon Lake and through the lively ski resort of Breckenridge. The ride carries on south, and once again crosses the continental divide at Hoosier Pass. A fast open descent takes you into the town of Fairplay, formerly called South Park and home to the characters of the namesake cartoon. More downhill rollers take you out across the plains of Park County where wildlife can be abundant. A small rise takes you over Trout Creek Pass and a sweeping descent gets you to your day's destination.


Day 6
Ride #5: Cottonwood Pass (Out & Back Ride)
Total Distance:40 MilesHigh Point:12,100ft.
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:5,700ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:5,700ft.


We couldn't bring you all this way without showing you one of Colorado’s classic rides. Cottonwood Pass Road is only paved on the Buena Vista side which means the traffic is light and you are rewarded with just as much down as up. The views from the top are immense as you look out on the Sawatch Range with the Collegiate Peaks and the Continental Divide in the background. The road to the top draws you in with gentle uphill rollers through the valley floors only to punish you with some of the steepest paved sections of byway in the state. Endless Alpine style hairpins wind their way upwards. Coming back down makes every drop of sweat shed seem worthwhile.


Day 7
Ride #6: Monarch Pass (Salida to Gunnison)
Total Distance:55 MilesHigh Point:11,300ft.
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:5,600ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:5,000ft.


This ride is an epic from the word go. Climbing through damp, cool forest on a smooth open road the first few miles will drift by. The climb soon kicks in and with 5 miles still to go to the summit, the 6% grade becomes sustained and reaching the summit is a great achievement. As a reward for your efforts, one of the fastest downhills in the area will see you grinning all the way to Gunnison and your hotel room. You'll also get to see the huge contrast in scenery the Rockies have to offer as you pass from the lush forest into the dry baked grasslands and sage bush of Gunnison County.


Day 8
Ride #7: Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Gunnison to Hotchkiss)
Total Distance:66 MilesHigh Point:
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:7,600ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:10,400ft.


Today's ride will be a tough one and if you're into rollers, they don't come much bigger then these! The excellent quality road climbs along side the immense Black Canyon, one of the most impressive canyons in the States with sheer drop-offs on the roadside and spectacular views at every turn of the day. Eventually, the road heads away from the canyon and a gradual rolling downhill takes you across lush farmland flanked by the majestic Castles Wilderness. Your return to the mountains is getting nearer!


Day 9
Ride #8: McClure Pass (Hotchkiss to Carbondale)
Total Distance:59 MilesHigh Point:8,800ft.
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:4,600ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:4,200ft.


Today is a relatively straight forward mountain pass to conquer but the scenery is breath-taking. Leaving the sage brush behind, you climb through orchards, wildflower meadows, aspen groves and eventually reach the familiar territory of pine forests and snow capped peaks. The Raggeds Wilderness looms over this ride and it is one of the most intimidating ranges in Colorado with its broken cliff faces and peaks. After 35 miles of steady climb you reach McClure Pass. From here the descent is fast and furious and takes you past the strange kilns and friendly village of Redstone; well worth a bun stop! Carbondale comes all too soon as the road winds down this beautiful valley to your day’s end.


Day 10
Rest day: Glenwood Springs
Spend the day relaxing in Glenwood Springs. As the name suggests, hot springs are available here and it’s a great place to unwind and soothe the aching limbs in a therapeutic hot pool. Whilst you're here, it’s well worth visiting Glenwood Canyon which the town is built at the Westerly entrance to. 1000ft. cliffs loom above you as the Colorado river surges through the canyon floor and it’s whole ten mile length is accessible by paved cycle track if your legs are up to it!


Day 11
Ride #9:
Independence Pass (Aspen to Leadville)
Total Distance:58 MilesHigh Point:12,100ft.
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:6,700ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:4,600ft.


This is another classic Colorado stage and certainly one you'll remember, climbing 4000 vertical feet in just 17miles. This is a climber's dream with every type of terrain thrown in. Weaving shaded sections lead to narrow stretches with steep kicks to keep you on your toes. The Alpine style hairpins see you climb well beyond the tree line to a summit that you can 'big ring' for that extra satisfaction of conquering Colorado's highest paved public highway. From the top you can view the snaking challenging descent below with the backdrop of the highest peaks in Colorado. The last twenty miles of this route flatten out and gradually climb to the historic mountain town of Leadville; the highest town in the Rockies!


Day 12
Ride #10: Tennessee and Vail Pass (Leadville to Frisco)
Total Distance:64 MilesHigh Point:10,700ft.
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:7,200ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:7,900ft.


We are now well and truly into mountain country again and today sees you with three passes to climb. The first is a gradual climb from Leadville to Tennessee Pass and gains you 400ft. which adds to the 2000ft. downhill on the other side. The next pass comes and goes with a similarly out of proportion downhill. Joining back up with Summit County's bike path system keeps you away from the traffic for the last 25 mile stretch taking you over the highest point of the day on Vail Pass at 10,700ft. The beautiful aspens, mountain lakes and beaver ponds of Ten Mile Canyon accompany you back to the Dillon Lake area.


Day 13
Ride #11: Mt. Evans (Out & Back Ride)
Total Distance:56 MilesHigh Point:14.100ft.
Start Elevation:Total Climbing:8,400ft.
End Elevation:Total Descent:8,400ft.


What a way to round off your holiday! This will be a very tough day but one you will certainly never forget. Infamous among road cyclists worldwide, this unique challenge is not to be missed, or taken lightly for that matter. By now you will be well adjusted to riding at high altitude but today will take you 2000ft. higher than your highest pass so far. Within the Mt. Evans State Park, the Mt. Evans Highway climbs all the way to the summit and, as you would expect, the views are the most spectacular of the holiday: Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, Summit county, the Collegiate Peaks, South Park, in fact, almost your whole two week route can all be seen from the top! It's no walk in the park to get there though, 28 miles of uninterrupted climbing lead from Idaho Springs through dense pines and shimmering aspen groves, past raging creeks and mountain lakes and out into the exposed tundra that you will now be used to conquering, but this road carries on! By 14000ft. the dry, thin air and rocky landscape is another world entirely.

This climb is not for the faint hearted (or lunged!) but if you choose to take the challenge, you will join the ranks of the relative few to conquer this beast. Needless to say, rounding off the day with a glorious 28 mile descent couldn't be more fitting.


Day 14
Departure Day:
The final night will be spent close to Denver. We will transfer you to Denver Airport in the morning or, if you have an evening flight and would prefer not to spend the day sat in DIA, we'll be happy to drop you in Denver city centre for the day where you can do some last minute shopping and catch a bus to the airport later on.


Further details:
There is no obligation for riders to ride in groups on any of the days. All of the routes are easily navigable with few, if any, turn offs. Detailed directions and maps will be provided to each rider for each day's route. Each day the route will be 'patrolled' by a RTW support vehicle.

All accommodation will be arranged by Ride the World along with the transfer of guests' luggage from one hotel to the next during the holiday. Most days the route takes the guest directly to the town where they will be staying that evening so the only time limit on each day's ride is that imposed by Mother Nature!


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