Crested Butte to Telluride Gravel Tour - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891

Crested Butte to Telluride Gravel Tour

Please click here to jump to the Overview section with all tour details including pricing.

Crested Butte to Telluride Gravel Tour: Highlights

The Crested Butte to Telluride gravel bike tour spins a high country route through the southwest Colorado Rockies. This is a remote and wild region of the Centennial State that is worth the extra effort. On this tour we ride along gravel jeep roads with 29-inch wheeled mountain bikes or mountain e-bikes. Expert bike handlers could ride a rigid gravel bike on this route, but for most cyclists, wider tires and suspension will be useful and more comfortable.

Over the course of this tour the route climbs four major passes: 11,800-foot Spring Creek Pass, 12,000-foot Engineer Pass, 10,800-foot Molas Pass, and 11,800-foot Ophir Pass. This tour can be run as 4-days, 5-days, or 6-days in length with a mix of camping and lodging, or all camping or all lodging.

Colorful Colorado wildlife inspired artwork

Ghost towns high in the mountains

Beautiful scenery in all directions

Vast stretches of remote back country riding

Crested Butte to Telluride Gravel 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

To easily register for a particular tour, please click the Book Now! link after the tour date listed below. This will select the tour name and the appropriate date on the registration form.

NOTE: This tour has various length options. Cyclists can join this tour FOR THE FULL 6-DAYS FROM CRESTED BUTTE TO TELLURIDE -or- 5-DAY (GUNNISON TO TELLURIDE) -or- 4-DAYS (GUNNISON TO SILVERTON). Accommodations can be ALL CAMPING -or- ALL LODGING -or- A MIX OF BOTH. The first riders to open a tour date determines the tour length and the camping/lodging options.

2023 Tour Dates

Tour Status Notes: NO STATUS = Date Set, no riders have signed up. TOUR OPENED = Tour Opened, rider minimums not met. TOUR A GO! = Tour is Go, rider minimums met. SOLD OUT = Tour Full, rider maximums met.

Crested Butte to Telluride Gravel Tour: Overview

NOTE: This tour has various length options. Cyclists can join this tour FOR THE FULL 6-DAYS FROM CRESTED BUTTE TO TELLURIDE -or- 5-DAY (GUNNISON TO TELLURIDE) -or- 4-DAYS (GUNNISON TO SILVERTON). Accommodations can be ALL CAMPING -or- ALL LODGING -or- A MIX OF BOTH. The first riders to open a tour date determines the tour length and the camping/lodging options.

Reptile Rewards

Tour Length: Standard tour length is 6-Days Cycling/5-Nights with options for 4-Days Cycling/3-Nights, or 5-Days Cycling/4-Nights

Arrival Town/Airport: Gunnison, Colorado or Montrose, Colorado

Departing Town/Airport: Montrose, Colorado or Telluride, Colorado

Mileage Range: Varying between 20 to 40 per day

Ability Level: Intermediate (2/3) , Upper Intermediate (3) , Advanced (3/4)
E-Bikes allow intermediate fitness level. The descending from Day 5’s Cinnamon Pass and Day 6’s Ophir Pass requires a higher level of technical ability.

Camping or Lodging: LODGING CAN BE All camping or ALL lodging OR A a mix of both. The first RIDERS to open a tour date determines the tour length and the camping/lodging options.

Camping Based Tour Cost Per Person:
$1,275 (4-Day) | $1,490 (5-Day) | $1,700 (6-Day)
Tour Includes: Guide service for all days, 3-4-5 nights of camping, all meals, forest service fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, in-tour shuttles, and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, bike rental and massage are additional.


Lodging Based Tour Cost Per Person:
$2,285 (4-Day) | $2,765 (5-Day) | $3,085 (6-Day)
Tour Includes: Guide service for all days, 3-4-5 nights of lodging, forest service fees, most meals (depending on tour length generally all breakfasts & lunches minus 1 or 2 dinners), energy food, liquid refreshments, in-tour shuttles, and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, bike rental, and massage therapy (if available) are additional.
Single Room Supplement: Add $395 (4-Day), $395 (5-Day), or $595 (6-Day) to the Tour Cost for a private room each night your tour.


Private Tours:
For a private tour the rider minimum is 8 riders, or the paid equivalent of 8 riders. Private tours include guide service for all days, 3-4-5 nights of camping/lodging, forest service fees, all meals, camping gear, energy food, liquid refreshments, in-tour shuttles, and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, bike rental, and massage therapy (if available) are additional.


Camping or Lodging Options: (subject to change)

Meeting Hotel and Ending Hotel reservations and costs are NOT included unless specified otherwise. Guests are on-their-own to make reservations at the Meeting Hotel or Ending Hotel, or other nearby hotels.

Mountain Bike Rentals

NOTE: The make, model, and specifications of rental bikes may differ from what is described below. Please contact us if you have any specific needs for a rental bike or have any questions about rental bikes.

Lizard Head Cycling Guides is proud to rent the Scott Spark 930, a truly fantastic way to go up or down a mountain. We have been riding mountain bikes for a very long time here at Lizard Head, but we can easily say our rentals are the most fun mountain bikes we have ever ridden. The Spark 930 blends the featherweight lineage of its race focused cousin with the single track chops of a 120mm travel ripper - this bike is up for anything.

The Spark 930 features: Spark Carbon HMF-Alloy Frame, FOX 34 Float Performance 130mm Fork, FOX Nude EVOL/120mm/TwinLoc rear shock, Shimano XT-SLX 12 Speed Drivetrain, Shimano Deore Disc Brakes, Syncros X-25 TR Rims, Maxxis Rekon Folding Tires, plus Syncros Dropper Post. Approx. Weight: 28.88 lbs / 13.10 kg (without pedals)

Learn More: Click Here to learn more about our Mountain Bike Rentals including pricing.

If you have any further questions, please read more on our Rental Bikes FAQ page. You can also email us at or call us at 970.728.5891

Looking to head off road? The Strike eRIDE 910 is the definition of comfort for a full suspension e-MTB. State of the art integration, high-end components and a quality Bosch drive unit combine to give you a solid choice for any outing. Rack and fender available.

Are E-Bikes OK for This Tour? Yes – when electing for the all-lodging option, this is a good tour for E-Bikes due to the significant elevation gain to Colorado’s above tree-line landscape as the E-Bike motor is quite helpful. For riders from sea level riding a conventional pedal bike, the suffer factor can be quite high.

Meals On Tour

Lizard Head Cycling Guides provides most meals on all tours (unless otherwise noted) including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guides will prepare a daily lunch en route for nearly every tour, both road and off-road, as well as provide nutritious snacks at periodic aid stations during the day.

Most of our road tours utilize local restaurants for all meals and occasionally guides may prepare a dinner or two during a tour. Due to the nature of being "off the grid", most of our off-road tours feature guide prepared meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. FUN NOTE: When guides prepare a meal in camp and the guests sit around and watch, this is called "Guide TV". :)

We also pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests and needs, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works best for you during your tour. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!

Lunches: 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.

Dinners: On our road tours, Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients and guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu including: appetizer, salad, entrée, 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.

Overall Route Map

Below is an example of the daily routes for this tour and are subject to change based on season, available accommodations, road closures, and other factors. The actual routes will be made available to registered participants before their tour, so please view these routes as a general outline as to what to expect.

Crested Butte to Telluride Gravel Tour: Itinerary*

*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations, road construction, road closures, and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Also, the distances and elevation profiles shown below may not reflect the actual distances and elevations while on tour as these are provided here to give an idea as to the anticipated mileage and terrain. Please view this itinerary, the distances, and elevation profiles as a general outline as to what to expect while on this tour.

Day 1: Gunnison & Hartman Rocks
15 to 20 miles with up to 1,730 feet of climbing

On Day 1 of the Gunnison to Telluride gravel bike tour we meet, fit bikes, and ride to the Hartman Rocks trail network to get acquainted with our bikes. We then set-up camp in Hartman Rocks and enjoy our first evening under the stars.

Day 2: Hartman Rocks to Cebolla Creek Camp – The Cannibal Classic 
25 to 35 miles with up to 3,150 feet of climbing

On this leg, we ride beneath the La Garita Wilderness area (no bikes) which spins a stunning gravel route on jeep roads through the foothills of the San Juan Mountains to a camp along tranquil Cebolla creek. Today’s ride has been a guest favorite that follows creeks and climbs through forests towards the high San Juan Mountains.

Tonight’s “Cebolla Creek Camp” allows for swimming and fishing (bring a rod). We’ll enjoy a grilled dinner, vegetables and salad. Before dinner we’ll serve appetizers to cyclists while they soak their feet in the creek while drinking a beer. ??

A historical note: Today’s route is called the Cannibal Classic, named after the infamous Alfred Packer. He was a miner who became snowbound on an ill-fated journey into the San Juan Mountains in the late 1800’s. Come spring, Packer was the only remaining miner alive from his party of six, looking pretty healthy as he had literally eaten his compatriots!?

As a result this is definitely a stage in which one should watch your tent-mates!?

Day 3: Cebolla Creek Camp to Lake San Cristobal
33 miles with up to 3,225 feet of climbing

Starting from Cebolla Creek camp, the first 2/3rd’s of the route this day slowly ascends up to the first major col (aka pass) that is engaged – the 11,530′ Slumgullion Pass. However, with an average grade of around 3%, the climbing is not a challenge. From the Slumgullion Pass summit, it is a huge descent to Lake San Cristobal, where our lakeside lodging for the night awaits.

Day 4: Lake San Cristobal to Molas Pass (Camping) or Silverton (Lodging)
28 or (EFI) 40 miles with up to 4,450 feet of climbing

From Lake San Cristobal cyclists climb most of the morning to above tree-line to Cinnamon Pass. From the summit the views are 150-miles across the roof of Colorado! Climbing Cinnamon Pass on a bike is a major accomplishment. From the summit, the route then descends to lodging in Silverton, Colorado or camping at Molas Lake.

Day 5: Molas Pass Out & Back 
25 to or (EFI) 37 miles with up to 5,260 feet of climbing

From the lodging in Silverton or the campground at Molas Lake, cyclists enjoy an out and back ride on their own on the sweet singletrack of the Colorado Trail. Additional options on this day are to enjoy the town of Silverton, go swimming in Molas Lake, or simply relaxing in town or at camp.

Day 6: Silverton to Telluride via Galloping Goose Trail 
25 to (EFI) 36 miles 

From Silverton, the route starts from downtown and then climbs to the 11,800′ Ophir pass. From the Molas Pass campground, cyclists first descend 2,000′ and then climb to Ophir Pass. After descending Ophir Pass, we join the galloping Goose trail for a ride into Telluride, Colorado. Cyclists can spend the night in Telluride or shuttle to Montrose. Return flights are possible from the Telluride or Montrose airports.

Gunnsion to Telluride Gravel Tour: Logistics & FAQs

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

If you have not already, now would be a great time to consider adding travel insurance to your tour. You are welcome to use any travel insurance company you would like. We recommend Generali/Trip Mate.

Generally, if contracting COVID causes clients to cancel or interrupt their tour, trip insurance companies would treat it as any other illness as long as it is contracted after the insurance was purchased. Please check your individual plan documentation for details. Please note that quarantine is usually only covered if clients are actually sick with COVID. If a state requires quarantine upon arrival because of standardized state law, coverage is generally not covered. Again, check your individual plan documentation for details.

American Guests - use this link:

  • The Premium Plan is the only plan which offers Pre-Existing coverage so long as the plan is purchased prior to Final Payment.
  • The Premium Plan is the only plan that offers an optional Cancel For Any Reason - the policy must be purchased within 24 hours of initial trip deposit, the full trip cost must be insured, and if they cancel for Any Reason, it must be 48 hours prior to departure, and the reimbursement for an Any Reason claim is 60% of pre-paid, insured, non-refundable trip cost.
  • Customer Service can be reached at 1-800-874-2442 for coverage questions and policy modifications or to purchase by phone. Agency Code: LIZA0855

Canadian Guests - use this link:

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