101 Bobtail or Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 Phone: 970.728.5891
Email: info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Texas Hill Country Bike Tour

“Dancin’ on the pedals in the Texas Hill Country”

Our Texas Hill Country bike tour offers a good ol’ time deep in the heart of Texas. Enjoy exceptional cycling on a web of country lanes through rolling terrain where you see more Texas Longhorns than vehicles.

Before your trip, you’ll arrive in San Antonio, where a vibrant music scene and cycling culture reigns. On the road, treat yourself to an authentic Texas BBQ at the Salt Lick  and enjoy live music and two-step dancing at the state’s oldest dance hall all outside in the warm air.

Our Texas Hill Country bike tour will show you another side to the state you probably never thought existed; lush fields bursting with vibrant bluebonnets, evocative cypress forests and old world small town wineries. This journey around one of the Lone Star State’s most beautiful regions both surprises and delights.

What a great ride, and such a nice break from Winter. Texas was not at all what I expected, very beautiful, lots of hills, and not much wind. Great weather, lovely hotels, tasty food, and the company of fellow cyclists, all added up to a wonderful adventure! – Marj O.

Texas Hill Country Sign

Texas Hill Country Bike Tour: Highlights

Welcome to Texas Hill Country!

Texas Bluebonnets

Bikes and bluebonnets

Luckenback, Texas

Along the Willow City Loop

Noteworthy Links

New York Times: 36 Hours in San Antonio

New York Times: 36 Hours in Texas Hill Country

The Majestic Theater is the best venue for concerts & shows in San Antonio.

Texas Hill Country Bike Tour: Dates

Potential tour dates are listed below and not all tour dates will run. Lock in your preferred tour date early as unopened tour dates will be closed. Please see the Spring/Autumn Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Week (9 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891

2017 Autumn Tour Dates:

  • October 22 to 27, 2017 (Book Now!) – TOUR A GO! 7 spots remain
  • October 29 to November 3, 2017 (Book Now!)
  • November 5 to 10, 2017 (Book Now!)

Please note that the following tour dates are for 2018.

2018 Early Spring Tour Dates:

Early spring tours are generally considered training camps. Fellow riders will have few miles in their legs, so don’t let the overall tour mileage worry you. Take it one day at a time and you’ll finish stronger and happier then before.

2018 Spring Tour Dates:

  • April 1 to 6, 2018 (Book Now!) – TOUR A GO!
  • April 8 to 13, 2018 (Book Now!) – TOUR OPENED

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Early spring in Texas Hill Country

Enjoying the outdoor music in Luckenbach

Enjoying the outdoor music in Luckenbach

Texas Hill Country Longhorn

Texas Longhorn

The music scene in Texas Hill Country

The music scene in Texas Hill Country

Here is a video made by a Texas Hill Country Bike Tour participant.

[The Texas Hill Country Bike Tour] guides were PHENOMENAL in every way. They prepared delicious and nutritious meals for us, were very clear in providing directions and plans for the day, and anticipated our needs before we did. They were top notch in every way – extremely patient, good-natured, and so very competent. – Pace

Texas Hill Country Bike Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Starting & Ending Town: San Antonio, Texas: The tour meets Sunday morning at the meeting hotel listed in the confirmation document provided shortly after booking.

Tour Length: 6-Days | 5-Nights Lodging (Sunday through Thursday)

Total Miles: 225 up to 350 over 6 days of riding. (Can I keep up on this tour?)

Average Daily Mileage: 60 (daily mileage options are available).

Ability Level: 2/3 (Intermediate to Advanced)

Group Size: 6 to 13

Tour Cost: $2,700 per person. Free bike rental for Spring 2017 Hill Country Tours! Group discount of $200 per person for groups of 4 or more.
Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

Single Room Supplement: $490 for a private room each night of the tour. $300 if rider is willing to share and no same-sex share is available.

Tour Includes: 6-days of guide service, 5-nights of exceptional lodging (Sunday through Thursday nights), 6-days of meals including all breakfasts, 5 dinners, free high-performance bike rental on spring 2017 tours, daily gourmet lunch en route, a Texas BBQ lunch at the world famous Salt Lick BBQ, entrance fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles, mechanical support and a special gift to end the tour. 🙂 Alcoholic beverages & massage therapy are additional.

Included Lodging for 5-Nights: (subject to change)

*If guests are staying in San Antonio post tour (Friday night), they need to secure their own accommodations in San Antonio for Friday night.

Road Bike Rental: Lizard Head Cycling Guides is proud to rent Scott CR-1 Pro and Scott Solace carbon road bikes with full Shimano Ultegra components for only $250/week, or $150 for 3 or 4 day tours. Both the CR-1 and Solace models are sub- 17 lb comfortable, high performance bicycles geared for climbing hills. In addition we also have electric bikes available for rental at $375/week. And finally we have a selection of straight bar road bikes and kids bikes in our rental fleet. Just let us know what you need and we can probably find it.

Please also see this blog post for more information on bike rentals.

Electric Bike Rental: We now have a limited selection of SCOTT electric bikes that can be reserved for our tours. These are road bikes with straight bars that make the slowest rider the fastest rider in the group. Rental Price is $375/week.

Couples Bike Rental Discount: Sign up as a couple and receive one free bike high performance rental per couple ($250 value).

Tandems and Recumbents: Lizard Head Cycling Guides happily accommodates both tandem and recumbent bikes on its tours.

Meals On Tour

Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients. Guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu: including appetizer, salad, entree and of course dessert... yum! :) Also, while on tour if a guest wants to dine early before the group and go to bed, this is fine. We understand that on some days sleep is the most important post ride element.

Lunches on Tour: Lizard Head Cycling Guides prepares healthy lunches to keep you going. We will serve you fresh organic fruits and veggies, salads, hummus, sandwich fixings, nuts, gourmet cheeses and of course plenty of salty/sweet snacks such as chips and cookies. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works for you during the week. Gluten Free, Dairy Free or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!

I had a completely fabulous time on this trip…For me, the trip was a perfect balance of athletic challenges, beautiful and soul-restoring natural scenery… delightful bantering with other fun (and ageless!) cyclists, comfort food, plush accommodations filled with character, live music, beer, and dancing!! What more could a girl want? – Kristen Copeland

Visit the Texas White House

Visit the Texas White House

Ability Level: Can I Ride this Tour?

The details: This tour is a cyclist’s dream. With lightly traveled back-country roads, Texas-sized hospitality and delicious regional cuisine, this 6-day spin through the Texas Hill Country is one of the best kept secrets in the country. It delivers an exceptional start or end to the bike-touring season.

Lizard Head Cycling has worked with locals to devise a route on single and two-lane roads with little traffic.  The routes wind through rolling limestone hills, past wineries and through quiet river valleys under the shade of giant cypress trees. The destination towns have a rich history of independent German and Irish immigrants who fought off Comanche and Apache Indians to settle there.  There is a little taste of Europe in Hill Country with a Texas flair.

Don’t miss out on the music when you arrive! San Antonio is the heart and soul of a vibrant country, blues and rock scene. The venues and performances are legendary and electric. While on tour cyclists enjoy up to six live performances and dancing legendary Texas dance halls in Luckenbach and Gruene.  So treat yourself to some of the best live music you’ll enjoy anywhere.

The weather: Fall and spring bring ideal cycling weather to the Texas Hill Country. Spring is slightly milder, with high temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s. Rain is more common in the springtime as well. You’ll still have summer-like warmth in the fall. The highs range from the 70’s to upper 80’s. The evenings are pleasant and provide ample opportunity to outside dining.

Why choose this tour? The Texas Hill Country Bike Tour is designed for intermediate to advanced cyclists. Lizard Head Cycling Guides has developed an exceptional route through the Hill Country with the help of local Texan clients.  Our tour includes the best lodging available and many other small surprises. Both cyclists new to multi-day tours and advanced riders who pedal over 5,000 miles annually will enjoy this tour. The tour offers a challenge similar to rides such as Cycle Oregon, Ride the Rockies, or RAGBRAI.

Do the Bump! Daily mileage options allow cyclists of varying abilities to enjoy this tour. One of our favorite options is to give cyclists a “bump” via the support vehicle, or a 10 to 20 mile lift down the road representing an hour of pedal time.

After the bump the rider is “off the front” and riding at his or her own pace without feeling they are being left behind the group. They’ll then have time to linger and take in the spectacular scenery. All cyclists come together in time for lunch. Afterwards, cyclists can take another bump and/or continue riding.

Seamless Mileage Options Lizard Head Cycling Guides designs multiple mileage options for each tours – something we’re well known for in our business. Daily shuttle options allow cyclists of varying abilities to enjoy our tours through mileage customization.

Slow or Fast?

Many cyclists who sign up for our tours have worried themselves silly about not being able to keep up. But then they’re surprised to find that all the worrying was about nothing. They do just fine!

Slow and Fast only exist as relative terms to other people.  Speed does not matter as long as you are moving on the bike.

Like we say to even the most reluctant cyclist: “You will be ready for a tour with Lizard Head Cycling when you are finished with a Lizard Head tour”.

If you have questions about your ability to ride this tour, please contact our office (info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com or 970.728.5891).

See How the Shuttle works below Day 7’s description in Tour Beta.

Please also see this blog post for more information.

Overall Route Map

Texas Hill Country Bike Tour: Itinerary*

*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.

Day 0: Arrival in San Antonio

You’re in Texas, so you need to start BIG! Could there possibly be a better way to start off a week long bike tour of Texas Hill Country than by spending an evening in downtown San Antonio? The San Antonio River Walk offers entertainment to suit all tastes – from music, to boat tours, to restaurants, to shopping – the River Walk has it all and more! Have fun, but don’t stay out too late because our cycling adventure begins early the following morning from the meeting hotel.

Day 1: Old Blanco County Courthouse to Boerne
Standard: 40 Miles with up to 2,000 feet of climbing
E.F.I.: 49 miles with up to 2,465 feet of climbing

After travel and a possible busy night one may still be feeling the “buzz” from San Antonio. So today’s bike ride will have a casual start.

This first day’s route follows a lonely road from Blanco, Texas to Boerne. The 600-foot climb of Crabapple Hill serves as the major ascent on day 1. After a guide prepared lunch in Kendalia, there will be an optional E.F.I. side excursion to the Cave Without A Name adding 9 miles to the standard distance.

Both the standard and E.F.I. routes end in Boerne, Texas where we stay at the Ye Kendall Inn, one of the few remaining 19th century limestone resort hotels in Texas. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After settling in, you’ll enjoy a relaxing dinner while unwinding from the day’s ride. After dinner, stroll down the streets of this quaint Texas town.

Standard, 40 miles – Elevation Profile: +2000 ft / -1920 ft

E.F.I., 49 miles – Elevation Profile: +2465 ft / -2390 ft

Day 2: Boerne to Fredericksburg via Luckenbach
69 miles with up to 3,395 feet of climbing

Day 2 takes cyclists across the heart of Texas Hill Country with a stop in Luckenbach, Texas, a modern ghost town with strong western roots, a rich music history and a population of 3. The route offers a few short climbs at the start, then a longer one to Bat Cave State Park for lunch.

After Luckenbach, we continue our ride through the rolling Texas hills to end the day in Fredericksburg, Texas and to check into the Hoffman Haus, our accommodations for the next two evenings. Sit back after a day of cycling in their serene and secluded enclave. Stroll a block to downtown for a hearty Texas sized dinner, live music and post ride camaraderie. This town with it’s deep German heritage is sure to offer something to everyone.

Elevation Profile: +3395 ft / -3140 ft

Day 3: Layover, Willow City Loop and Enchanted Rock
51 miles with up to 2,470 feet of climbing

Day 3 is a layover in Fredericksburg. In the morning, you’ll set off on this region’s signature ride, the Willow City Loop. This scenic route stops at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, an enormous dome of pink granite covering a full square mile and rising 425 feet above the surrounding countryside. Enjoy a lunch at the park. You’ll also have time to hike the 1-mile trail to the top.

On this day off from the road, explore this old West area. Visit one of the neighboring towns’ famous German biergartens and enjoy a Shiner Bock Lager. Visit The National Museum of the Pacific War, or explore the many stores that downtown has to offer. You’ll be on own to enjoy Fredericksburg’s many dining establishments this evening.

Elevation Profile: +2470 ft / -2535 ft

Day 4: Fredericksburg to Blanco via LBJ Ranch
64 miles with up to 2,520 feet of climbing

On Wednesday we’ll take a meandering southeasterly route to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, homestead of the 36th U.S. President. A 4-mile paved interpretive bike tour of the working ranch serves as the park’s highlight. Next, visit the Johnsons’ private residence on a fascinating 45-minute tour.

During his presidency, Johnson and his wife Ladybird paved nearly every ranching road in the county. As a result, cycling in Hill Country has taken off.

Spend lunch under one of Hill Country’s iconic riverside Live Oak trees. Day 4 ends with pedaling into the town of Blanco and the Blanco Settlement.

In Blanco, we’ll enjoy a good-ol’ Texas barbecue, with live bluegrass music around the fireplace outside our cabins! Austin’s family owned Smokey Denmark caters tonight’s smoked sausages, brisket and fresh green salad. A local trio of musicians will entertain us during dinner.

Elevation Profile: +2520 ft / -2900 ft

Day 5: Blanco to The Salt Lick BBQ
49 miles with up to 2,200 feet of climbing

Day 5 departs from Blanco and meanders along remote Texas Hill Country roads past farms, ranches and pastures and through the near ghost town of Driftwood. But make sure to attack those rolling hills along the way to build up your appetite because we will have a feast of world famous Texas barbecue for lunch at The Salt Lick, a Hill Country legend!

After lunch we shuttle to the small town of Gruene, Texas. The Gruene Mansion Inn is tonight’s destination for dining and dancing before our final day of riding.

Gruene is home to one of the finest, if not the finest, live music venues in the world, Gruene Hall, the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas. Yes, the place looks as if it is about to fall down on your head, yet it’s nothing short of amazing. So after a day of “dancing on the pedals”, save a little for some dancing at this legendary place.

Elevation Profile: +2200 ft / -2505 ft

Day 6: River Road Out & Back
30 miles with up to 1,330 feet of climbing

On the final morning of the Texas Hill Country bike tour, we roll one more time into the heart of Hill Country for our final out and back ride along River Road, a cycling nirvana of 14 miles adjacent to the scenic Guadalupe River Road offering four wide river bridge crossings and beautiful river views along the entire route.

Back in Gruene after the ride, we shuttle back to San Antonio to end our tour. If one has the time, it is highly recommended that guests stay Friday night (post tour) in San Antonio to experience the town’s beautiful River Walk. Guests electing to stay in downtown San Antonio arrange for their own shuttle ($20) to the airport upon their departure from San Antonio.

Elevation Profile: +1330 ft / -1330 ft

Texas Hill Country Bike Tour: Logistics & FAQs

Bike Shipping

Lizard Head Cycling recommends shipping with BikeFlights.com. Bikes can be shipped either to our partner bike shop in each meeting town for professional assembly or directly to the meeting hotel for self-assembly. Bike boxes can generally be left at the meeting hotel during the tour. Bikes shipped across the continental US should be shipped 8 days prior to your tour.

Meals on the Texas Hill Country Bike Tour
Most meal (aside from two) from lunch on the tour’s first day (Sunday) through lunch on final day are included. The exception is that guests are own their own for dinner on the layover day in Fredericksburg. In total 5 dinners, 6 breakfasts and 6 lunches are included.

Breakfasts and dinners are in restaurants where clients either order off the menu or choose from a buffet. Fresh lunches that include salads, local fruit, vegetables and meats are served in roadside parks by the Lizard Head Cycling Guides. Any dietary preferences or allergies should be noted on the registration form. Each of Lizard Head Cycling’s lunches contains gluten free options.

If on any given night a guest is tired or not feeling particularly social, they can choose to eat early and retire. Lizard Head Cycling enjoys hosting its guests for meals each evening, but understands some of us may just need to lie down after a day in the saddle. A meal should not feel like marathon after a big day on the bike.

Ride Difficulty
The Texas Hill Country Bike Tour is designed for intermediate to advanced cyclists with various levels of fitness. Each day there are additional mileage options for advanced riders. With the rolling terrain and only a few steep & long climbs, the Texas Hill Country Bike Tour is a good tour for early season conditioning.

NOTE: The many small hills on this tour can offer a sprint workout for cyclists looking to gain fitness. If one sprints up each hill they come across, the fitness gains can be remarkable.

Tour Support
A 15-passenger van and trailer that carries luggage, food and equipment supports Lizard Head Cycling’s Texas Hill Country bike tour. Cyclists keep a day bag that is accessible within the support vehicle.

The vehicle will sag and then pass riders to set up aid stations every 20 to 25 miles. This allows cyclists to linger at the back and then take a ten-mile, fifteen-mile or whatever mile “bump” forward to catch-up or get ahead of the group. Energy food, drink mixes, and fresh fruit are available throughout each stage.

The Daily Schedule
Cyclists ride their own pace. Lizard Head Cycling does its best to support riders in their varying desires and efforts. Cyclists can either use our tours to simply support their tour experience or to engage in a guided experience along the route.

Cue sheets with directions, profiles and locations of aid stations are given out for each stage.

General Tour & Cancellation Policies

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of our tour and cancellation policies, which can be found by clicking here.

Travel Insurance

Lizard Head Cycling Guides teams up with Seven Corners for travel insurance. Seven Corners offers:

  • Travel Medical
  • Medical Evacuation
  • 24/7 Assistance
  • Trip Cancellation

Be sure to go to our custom Seven Corners portal by clicking this link or by clicking the the banner on the right after confirming your tour with us to get a quote on travel insurance.