Weekend Cycling Getaway: Vail Valley
August 2 - 4, 2019
(3 days, 2 nights; Fri - Sun)Alternate Tour Dates
Includes all lodging, breakfasts and dinners, bicycle rental, support van, transfers, leaders, tour maps and narratives.
Timberline van shuttle is included between Denver and Silverthorne before and after the ride.
Not included: Airline service to Denver International Airport; Guide Gratuity.
Hotel 8:00 am
“The tour guides were amazing – AMAZING – helpful, knowledgeable, kind, caring, unflappable.” Judy W. cyclist on Colorado tour
Vail, Colorado is known for its world class skiing, regularly playing host to both professional ski races and happy ski tourists. But the lesser known side of Vail are the excellent high altitude cycling paths. Communities in the Vail Valley have invested in wonderful facilities for cyclists. The centerpiece of this investment is the fully paved Vail Pass bike path that connects the multiple ski villages along the Front Range, making a wonderful experience for cyclists to enjoy the climbs, descents and views along the way. Paved pathways off the roads are continuing to be expanded down the valley, along the Eagle River, and all the way into Glenwood Springs. From our hotel base in the town of Vail, our weekend getaway will give you a taste of cycling in the Colorado Rockies. We’ll ride on roads and paths up over Vail Pass, down through Glenwood Canyon to the hot springs pool, and beyond the high altitude town of Leadville. All the details have been taken care of for you, including bicycle rental.
On Day 1 of our weekend getaway we will meet in Denver and shuttle into Summit County. We start cycling on the bike path in Silverthorne, a community that sits in the middle of nature’s playgrounds: statuesque peaks topping out above 14,000 feet; bold rivers with renowned rapids and fishing holes; and hundreds of miles of wilderness. The path winds along Dillon Reservoir, through the quaint town of Frisco, past the world class Copper Mountain Ski Area, up over Vail Pass and down into the glitzy town of Vail. Our lodging for the 2 nights in Vail is located right in the middle of the European style village. You can walk the brick lined streets to stores, ice cream shops and galleries. (35 miles; 2100 ft elevation gain)
Day 2 includes a tour of the entire Vail Valley to start, then continues down along the Eagle River to Dotsero – named for the mile marker (dot zero) of the famed Dotsero Cutoff that connected the rail road route west out of Denver through the Moffet Tunnel, to the Denver & Rio Grande line that continued to the west coast. From there we pick up the Glenwood Canyon Bike Path that follows the Colorado River through the narrow and scenic Glenwood Canyon. You share the gorge-like canyon with the river and I-70, where you can marvel at the engineering genius required to create a major transportation passage through the canyon. At the end of the route is the opportunity to soak in the natural waters of the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool at Glenwood Hot Springs, before the van shuttle return to Vail. (63 miles; 1100 ft elevation gain and 3500 ft elevation loss)
You’ll get your climbing in on Day 3 as we leave the town of Vail, climb over Tennessee Pass and head for the community of Leadville, which was once one of the world’s largest (and most notorious) mining camps. Steeped in history and renowned for being the highest-elevation city in the United States, you’ll want to take some time to explore this unique town. From Leadville it is a surprisingly easy climb to the top of Freemont Pass, then an enjoyable downhill back past Copper Mountain Resort and into Frisco where our weekend getaway concludes. (63 miles; 5500 ft elevation gain) The van will return you to Denver in the late afternoon.
|Day 1||Silverthorne to Vail over Vail Pass||35|
|Day 2||Vail to Glenwood Springs; hot springs pool||63|
|Day 3||Vail to Leadville to Frisco over Tennessee Pass and Freemont Pass||63|