Colorado 40 with Carol
Includes all lodging, snacks, breakfasts and dinners, park entrance fees, support van, leaders, tour maps and narratives. *Bonus riding with Carol
Grand Junction, CO
Timberline van shuttle is included back to Grand Junction following the tour.
Not included: Airline service to Grand Junction Regional Airport; Guide Gratuity.
Grand Junction Airport Hotel 8:30 am
4 pm Grand Junction Hotel or Airport
This will be the ultimate tour of our 40th Anniversary season – a reunion tour with our living founder – Carol Gottsegen. We return to our Colorado roots (and routes) with a tour that has something for everyone – a combination of lodging styles, cuisine including local wineries and world-renowned chefs, beautiful wooded roads, paved bike paths and mountain passes, and all this on 40 MILES PER DAY! We’ll stay in hotels from the basic mom and pop to the forest cabin, to historic country comfort to the luxury that is Aspen. We’ll have all day to cycle the wonder of Grand Mesa, the beauty of McClure Pass and the glamour of being in the reflection of the Maroon Bells.
Geographically, and gastronomically, this is a unique tour. Roaring Fork Valley is one of the most affluent regions in Colorado, with glitzy Aspen lying at the end of the valley. The massive Grand Mesa truly is Western Colorado’s premier playground, encompassing almost 500 square miles of wooded timberland and more than 100 crystalline lakes, and primarily sitting above 10,000 feet in elevation. It is the world’s largest mesa towering above the surrounding Grand Valley. The vast majority of Colorado’s 80 wineries are concentrated in the Grand Valley and Orchard Mesa between Grand Junction and Palisade, and in the valley of the North Fork of the Gunnison River near Hotchkiss and Paonia – exactly where we are heading. Dinner with your friends and a fine bottle of wine – whether on the porch of your rustic cabin or in the excitement of downtown Aspen – it doesn’t get better than that!
We have designed this tour with approximately 40 miles** of riding each day – leaving plenty of time to enjoy the sights along the route, take advantage of the amenities at our destination, chat with old friends, and create new memories. And don’t forget time to catch up with Carol – whose only duties on the tour will be to ride, smile, and enjoy your company. This is a one time only tour and we are not offering a single supplement option – so call that old friend from 25 years ago and get on the list.
*In Timberline’s 40th anniversary year, we are celebrating all things 40
We’ll assemble in Grand Junction, this time first thing in the morning of Day 1. After bike fitting and orientation we’ll take a shake-down ride through Grand Junction and along the Colorado River to Palisade, wine capital of Colorado. Day 2 we’ll want an early start for our climb from the Colorado River up the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway to its crest, some 6,000 feet above the valley floor. Although we have all day to make the 40 mile climb, the Timberline van is always near-by to give a boost if you so choose. The views in all directions are incredible from the lofty heights, and our overnight will be in the historic cabins at Grand Mesa Lodge. As we descend from the Mesa on Day 3, we’ll explore the many vineyards and wineries along the way. We pass through Hotchkiss and follow the North Fork of the Gunnison River up to Paonia (named for the prolific peonies in the area) – an old mining town turned arts and culture center. Day 4, we’ll continue upstream along the North Fork of the Gunnison. We climb gradually at first, then the pitch steepens as we approach the summit of McClure Pass at 8,755 feet. we’ve earned the exhilaration of the plunge into the Crystal River Valley and the all too short descent to the Historic Redstone District where we stay in the Tudor-style Redstone Inn. We continue our downhill run on Day 5 to the Roaring Fork Valley at Carbondale. We then turn back upstream on the gentle Rio Grande Trail that takes us straight into the ski town of Aspen – playground of the rich and famous. Our last 2 nights will be spent in downtown Aspen where all the action is! We have many options on our layover Day 6, including a beautiful 40 mile loop to the obligatory photo stop of the Maroon Bells, and returning via Snowmass Mountain. Hiking, people watching, and many opportunities for ice cream are all possible. Our final ride on Day 7 is a pleasurable cruise back down the Rio Grande Trail all the way to Glenwood Springs where the van will return to Grand Junction for the conclusion of our Colorado 40 with Carol tour.
|Day 1||Meet for bike fit and orientation, ride to Palisades||26|
|Day 2||Palisade—Grand Mesa Scenic Byway—Grand Mesa Lodge||39|
|Day 3||Grand Mesa - West Elk Loop - Paonia||45|
|Day 4||Paonia—McClure Pass—Redstone||42|
|Day 5||Redstone—Crystal River Valley—Carbondale—Roaring Fork Bike Trail—Aspen||45|
|Day 6||Layover day Aspen - Marroon Bells - Snowmass Loop||40|
|Day 7||Aspen - Roaring Fork Bike Trail - Carbondale - Glenwood Springs||43|