San Juan Skyway Bike Tour
The San Juan Skyway, a designated All-American Road, is a 233 mile incredibly scenic loop through the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. This area is full of ancient ruins, deserted mining towns, national parks and some of the best scenery in America and along the way we pass through the towns of Durango, Mancos, Dolores, Stoner, Rico, Telluride, Ridgway, Ouray and Silverton.
The San Juan Skyway is literally in Lizard Head Cycling’s backyard as our mountain headquarters are located in Ophir, Colorado which we will pass during our tour and it is also home to Lizard Head Peak from which we get our name. The San Juan Skyway is a great introduction to our Colorado Bicycle Tours.
San Juan Skyway Bike Tour: Highlights
San Juan Skyway Bike Tour: Tour Dates
Potential tour dates are listed below. Please see the Spring/Fall Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Tour (7 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891.
2017 Summer Tour Dates:
- June 4 to 7, 2017 (Book Now!)
- June 16 to 19, 2017 (Book Now!)
- June 26 to 29, 2017 Special Durango to Aspen Itinerary (Book Now!) – TOUR A GO!
- July 10 to 13, 2017 (Book Now!)
- July 24 to 27, 2017 Special Durango to Aspen Itinerary (Book Now!)
- July 30 to 2, 2017 4-Day Itinerary (Book Now!) – TOUR A GO!
- August 7 to 10, 2017 (Book Now!)
- August 20 to 23, 2017 (Book Now!)
2017 Autumn Tour Dates:
- September 5 to 8, 2017 (Book Now!)
San Juan Skyway Bike Tour: Overview
☛ Click Here for the San Juan Skyway 4 Day Bike Tour Info PDF Flyer
StartingTown/Airport: Montrose, Colorado/Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ)
Meeting Hotel: Hampton Inn Montrose (not included in tour cost)
Ending Town/Airport: Montrose, Colorado/Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ)
Tour Length: 4-Day Option (4 days/3 nights); or 3-Day Option (3 days/2 nights)
* The group that OPENS a tour decides on either the 3-Day or 4-Day option.
Total Miles: 190-233/4-Day Option or 233 miles/3-Day Option. (Can I keep up on this tour?)
Mileage Range: 24 to 110 miles
Ability Level: 2/3 (Intermediate to Advanced)
Tour Cost: $990 (*add $100 for Durango to Aspen Vs.) per person for 3-Day version; $1,350 per person for 4-Day version.
No discounts are available for this tour. Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.
Tour Includes: 2 or 3 nights of exceptional lodging, 3 or 4 days of meals, guide service, shuttle to and from Montrose Regional Airport, entrance fees, daily lunch en route, energy food, liquid refreshments and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, massage and bike rental are additional.
Lodging, 4-Day Option: (subject to change)
- Day 1: The Wyman Hotel or Grand Imperial Hotel – Silverton, Colorado
- Day 2: Strater Hotel – Durango, Colorado
- Day 3: New Sheridan Hotel or Camel’s Garden Hotel – Telluride, Colorado
Lodging, 3-Day Option: (subject to change)
- Day 1: Strater Hotel – Durango, Colorado
- Day 2: New Sheridan Hotel or Camel’s Garden Hotel – Telluride, Colorado
Bike Rental: Lizard Head Cycling Guides is proud to rentScott 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.
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.
Please also see this blog post for more information on bike rentals.
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!
Overall Route Map for 3-Day Option
Overall Route Map for 4-Day Option
Ability Level: Can I Ride This Tour?
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 tour – 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?
PLEASE don’t be scared away from this tour. 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 cyclists: “You will be ready for a Lizard Head Cycling tour when you are finished with a Lizard Head Cycling tour”.
If you have questions about your ability to ride this tour, please contact our office via email or call us at 970.728.5891 - we'll more than happy to guide you!
Please also see this blog post for more information.
San Juan Skyway 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 (Both Tours): Arrival in Montrose, Colorado
Guests either fly into Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ) which is serviced by American Airlines, Allegiant Air, Delta Airlines and United Airlines, or guests can drive to Montrose, Colorado and leave their car at the meeting hotel during the tour. The designated meeting hotel is the Hampton Inn Montrose (not included in tour cost) which offers complimentary shuttle service to and from Montrose Regional Airport.
Day 1 (4-Day Tour): Ouray to Silverton
24 miles with up to 3,400 feet of climbing
After an early morning meet and greet and the loading of the support vehicle, we embark on a short shuttle from the meeting hotel in Montrose to Ouray, Colorado. From here the riding begins with cyclists challenging Red Mountain Pass which is considered the most stunning road bike climb in all of Colorado. After the 13 mile climb to the summit, it’s an all downhill 11 mile ride to our accommodations in the old west mining town of Silverton, Colorado.
Day 1 (3-Day Tour): Ouray to Durango
74 miles with up to 6,600 feet of climbing
After an early morning meet and greet and the loading of the support vehicle, we embark on a short shuttle from the meeting hotel in Montrose to Ouray, Colorado. Today’s ride climbs three major alpine passes along the San Juan Sky Way from Ouray to Durango, Colorado: Red Mountain Pass (11,018’), Molas Pass (10,915’) and Coal Bank Pass (10,640’). The high alpine views available while bike riding along the San Juan Sky Way are among the most impressive in the American West. The ascents and descents are smooth and to be savored. After topping out on Molas Pass cyclists enjoy a net descent to Durango, Colorado (6,512’) of 4,000-feet!
Day 2 (4-Day Tour): Silverton to Durango
52 miles with up to 3,300 feet of climbing
Starting from Silverton, we continue south along the San Juan Skyway and soon tackle two major alpine passes: Molas Pass at 10,915′ and Coal Bank Pass at 10,640′. After topping out on Molas Pass cyclists enjoy a net descent to Durango, Colorado (6,512’) of 4,000-feet! Durango is a lively western town with a historic narrow gauge railroad. Tonight’s lodging is the landmark Strater Hotel on Durango’s main street. The Strater’s Diamond Belle Saloon’s attractive bar room belles & old time piano player both adorned in 19th century period garb have proven to be a guest (and guide) favorite.
Day 2 (3-Day Tour): Durango to Telluride
65 or 110 miles with up to 4,800 or 8,200 feet of climbing
This is the day for a century ride! Riders can choose either a full century ride of 110 miles with a point-to-point ride from Durango to Telluride, or opt for a metric century ride of 65 miles after a short 45 mile shuttle from Durango to the small town of the Dolores, Colorado. Both routes follow along the Rio Dolores from Dolores to Telluride, Colorado eventually making it to our namesake Lizard Head Peak and Lizard Head Pass. Then from Lizard Head Pass it is a 24 mile net descent to Telluride, Colorado for a well deserved beer at the 120-year-old New Sheridan Saloon.
Day 3 (4-Day Tour): Dolores to Telluride
65 miles with up to 4,800 feet of climbing
This day for the 4-Day Tour follows the same 65 mile route along the San Juan Skyway as in the above description.
Day 3 (3-Day Tour) / Day 4 (4-Day Tour): Telluride to Ridgeway
40 miles with up to 2,000 feet of climbing
This final day is the same route for both the 3-Day and 4-Day tours. Starting from downtown Telluride, our short ride takes us along the rustic Last Dollar Road over Dallas Divide and then ends in the small town of Ridgeway with a hearty post-ride meal at Taco Del Gnar. From here it is a quick shuttle back to Montrose to end our tour.
San Juan Skyway Bike Tour: Logistics & FAQs
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.
Any dietary preferences or allergies should be noted on the registration form. Each of Lizard Head Cycling’s lunches contains gluten free options.
This custom tour is designed for cyclists with various levels of fitness. Each day there are additional mileage options for advanced riders.
A 15-passenger van and trailer that carries luggage, food and equipment will support this tour.
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.
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.