Southwest Colorado Gravel: CampV & Gateway - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
   
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891 info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Southwest Colorado Gravel: CampV & Gateway

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

Southwest Colorado Gravel: CampV & Gateway: Highlights

The Southwest Colorado Gravel & Road Tour: CampV & Gateway is a breathtaking tour in Lizard Head Cycling’s backyard. The tour meets and ends in Grand Junction, Colorado and centers in the Redrock Canyon Country between the San Juan and La Sal Mountains.

The first three nights are in cabins at the hip CampV. The gravel routes from CampV to include dirt roads to the confluence of the Rio San Miguel and Rio Dolores, a ride on the Rimrock Trail, and a remote tour that passes many old uranium mines.

On Day 4 after three days at CampV, we head down the Rio Dolores to Gateway Canyons Resort. On Day 5 we ride the challenging John Brown Canyon route up and around the Sierra La Sals before a 5,000-foot descent through Castle Valley to the Rio Colorado and then into Moab, Utah.

After a night in Moab, on Day 6 the tour spins a morning ride in the Moab area before shuttling back to Grand Junction. NOTE: If cyclists wish to depart early on Day 6, Canyonlands Regional Airport (CNY) just north of Moab now has flight options via SkyWest Airlines.

In summary, this is a tour full of highlight rides and jaw-dropping views as Redrock Canyon Country offers up some of the most amazing riding on the planet!

Southwest Colorado Gravel: CampV & Gateway: 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.

2022 Tour Dates

  • September 18 to 23, 2022 (Book Now!) – TOUR A GO!
  • September 25 to 30, 2022 (Book Now!)

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.

Southwest Colorado Gravel: CampV & Gateway: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Tour Length: 6-Days or 4-Days in length

Meeting/Ending Town: Grand Junction, Colorado. Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT)

Total Miles: 265 miles with 173 miles paved (58%) and 92 miles gravel (42%). Additional mileage options are available.

What is the Riding Surface: This tour is nearly 60% paved! So although it is a “gravel tour”, it is designed for road riders who can ride dirt versus mountain bikers.

Tour Cost for 4-Day/3-Night: $1,995/per person.
Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

Tour Cost for 6-Day/5-Night: $3,090/per person. Add $645/per person to the Tour Cost to have a private room each night of the tour. Cost includes lodging and meals. Lodging availability may vary. Please note that the tour cost may vary slightly due to hotel availability and cost of Gateway Canyons Resort.
Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

2023 Early Bird Booking Offers: Register for a 6-Day or longer tour starting for 2023 by September 30, 2022, and receive a $150 tour discount plus a $50 bike rental discount.
(NOTE: New reservations only. Not stackable with other discounts.)

Tour Includes: 4 or 6 days of guide service, all meals, park service fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles, and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, bike rental, and massage are additional.

Lodging for 3 or 5 Nights: (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 info@lizardheadcyclingguides.com or call us at 970.728.5891

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.

Ability Level: Can I Ride This Tour?

Definition of Ability Levels

= Intermediate (2/3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 1 to 3 times a week for a total of 50 or more miles.
= Upper Intermediate (3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 2 to 4 times a week for a total of 75 or more miles.
= Advanced (3/4) Rides and/or takes spin classes 3 to 5 times a week for a total of 100 or more miles. Has ridden multi-day tours and done a century ride.
= Expert (4) Rides 4 or more times per week totaling 150 or more miles. Rides E.F.I. with regularity. Has done numerous multi-day tours, century rides and races.

How Fit do I Have to Be? If one month prior to the tour, you can ride 2 to 3 times a week equaling a total of 75 or more miles a week, you'll do just fine. We like to jokingly say that "one is ready for a Lizard Head Cycling Tour when they are finished with tour" and this is true! The only way to simulate a week long bike tour is to go on a week long tour.

Our average rider age is 55 years. These are bike tours, not races so we take our time to stop, take pictures and see the sights. We have all day to reach our destination and most riders take "bumps" at some points. We offer reduced mileage options for each day. Of course if someone wants to ride E.F.I. (Every Freaking Inch), we love to show them all the extra climbs, loops and hidden canyons that can be included!

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. This technique is similar to heliskiing in that one does not ski everything, they ski the best. 🙂

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 relative to other cyclists. Speed does not matter as long as one is moving on the bike. As long as one is moving, they are truly going fast enough.

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.

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.

Southwest Colorado Gravel: CampV & Gateway: 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: Confluence Loop
49 miles with up to 1,995 feet of climbing (72% paved/28% gravel)

The tour meets in Grand Junction, Colorado followed by a shuttle out to Naturita, Colorado where we set out on our first ride of the tour. On the bikes we head west riding through the stunning Paradox Valley where there will be an opportunity to swim at the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers. After a stop for a break in the town of Bedrock, Colorado we finish the ride back to CampV to settle into our lodging and then have a great first meal together.


 

Elevation Profile: 48 mi +1995 ft / -1995 ft

Day 2: Dolores Canyon Loop
50 miles with up to 3,875 feet of climbing (31% paved/69% gravel)

The route today heads south of Naturita for a 50 mile loop on a mixture of hard pack gravel and pavement with excellent views as we skirt along the eastern banks of the Dolores River Canyon. Riders take in huge views and marvel at the ages old relationship of rock and river and how it is has crafted this stunning landscape.


 

Elevation Profile: 50 mi +3875 ft / -3875 ft

Day 3: Naturita Loop
31 miles with up to 2,370 feet of climbing (54% paved/46% gravel)

For our last day of riding in the Naturita area we will head south from CampV. Throughout the course of the route we ride on both paved and unpaved roads, soak in beautiful views, and cross into the nearby town of Nucla. We then cruise along the banks of the San Miguel River and bask in the splendor of Colorado’s canyon country. We complete our loop by riding back for our final night at CampV.


 

Elevation Profile: 31 mi +2370 ft / -2370 ft

Day 4: CampV to Gateway Resort
49 miles with up to 1,515 feet of climbing (99% paved/1% gravel)

On the morning of Day 4 we ride from Naturita to Gateway Canyons Resort which includes a 25-mile stretch that some of our clients have called “The prettiest ride in America”. This 50 mile ride is chock-full of views that many remember for years to come. Guests opting for the 4-Day tour option will be shuttled from Gateway Canyons Resort to nearby Grand Junction Airport at the end of the day’s ride.


 

Elevation Profile: 49 mi +1,515 ft / -2,340 ft

Day 5: Gateway to Moab via John Brown Canyon
58 miles with up to 5,880 feet of climbing (62% paved/38% gravel)

The route today starts out from Gateway riding along the famous John Brown Canyon Road. As the pavement turns to red dirt, the ride enters Utah and into the simply jaw-dropping Castle Valley. We ride into Moab with the Colorado River to our right, roaring along with us as we celebrate a stunning week of riding. The ride ends at Moab’s oldest restaurant, Milt’s, for some of the best milkshakes to be found. We spend our final night together in Moab and reflect on the beauty of the last five days.


 

Elevation Profile: 58 mi +5880 ft / -6375 ft

Day 6: Dead Horse Point State Park
28 miles with up to 2,930 feet of climbing (75% paved/25% gravel)

After breakfast on the final day, we ride to the best views in all of Canyonlands to Dead Horse Point State Park, have lunch, and then depart for a shuttle to Grand Junction to end the tour.


 

Elevation Profile: 28 mi +2930 ft / -1060 ft

Southwest Colorado Gravel: CampV & Gateway: 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: http://www.generalitravelinsurance.com/get-a-quote.html?partner=LIZA0855

  • The Platinum Plan is the only plan which offers Pre-Existing coverage so long as the plan is purchased prior to Final Payment.
  • The Platinum 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: https://tripmate.catravelins.ca/?utm_source=lizardhead

 
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