Continental Divide Trail: Colorado and New Mexico MTB Tour - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
   
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891 info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Continental Divide Trail: Colorado and New Mexico MTB Tour

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

Continental Divide Trail MTB Tour: Highlights

Our Continental Divide Trail Mountain Bike Tour offers a supported adventure from Steamboat, Colorado to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.  This point-to-point journey takes us from the high Rockies, across all of Colorado and New Mexico, to the US-Mexico Border in Antelope Wells, NM. Along the way we’ll wind through meadows of wildflowers high in the Rockies, soar down sweeping descents alongside babbling rivers, and discover the untouched beauty of dozens of wilderness areas.

If you interested in riding the Continental Divide Trail, but not free for this full, 25 day tour? We also offer the option of riding the first portion of this route, from Steamboat, CO to Salida, CO. This is a 9 day tour offering a great taste of everything the Continental Divide Trail has to offer.

This is a fully-supported bike tour! Lizard Head Cycling’s Continental Divide Trail mountain bike tour offers a mix of indoor lodging and camping, with delicious meals and thoughtful support throughout the tour. Guests ride on their own throughout each day, with support by Lizard Head Cycling guides. It all adds up to a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and a trip you’ll never forget!

The Continental Divide Trail is the premier long-distance MTB trail in North America, and for good reason!

Continental Divide Trail MTB 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.

2024 Tour Dates

  • August 30 to September 23, 2024 Full Tour: Sections 1, 2, & 3 – Steamboat, CO to Antelope Wells, NM – (Book Now!) – TOUR OPENED
    • August 30 to September 7, 2024 Section 1 Only – Steamboat, CO to Salida, CO – (Book Now!) – TOUR OPENED

2025 Tour Dates

Interested in an alternative MTB tour? Consider our Colorado Trail MTB Tour!

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.

Why Should you Sign-Up Now and OPEN a Tour Date?
This is the proverbial chicken and the egg conundrum! We need our cyclists to first commit to the date that works for them so that we can commit to that date.

For starters, when you OPEN a date you get to pick your preferred departure date, and there is no penalty if the tour does not run. Once you pick your tour date, Lizard Head closes nearby dates and funnels all additional riders to your chosen date until the tour meets its 6 rider minimum.

BONUS: As an added bonus, we can also hold a spot for you on another tour date of your choosing. There is no fee to switch to another tour date.

In conclusion, if you want a tour to run, we need you to sign up and not wait for others to do the same! Waiting for others may mean that a tour date takes longer or does not confirm. Just Do It! Once a few riders jump into the proverbial waters, others will follow!

Continental Divide Trail MTB Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Tour Length: 25 days & 24 nights (9 days & 8 nights for Steamboat to Salida)

Starting & Ending Town: Denver, CO and El Paso, NM (the Steamboat to Salida Tour ends in Salida, CO)

Driving to and from this tour: Please contact us if you’re interested in driving to/from this tour; we can arrange a plan for parking and shuttling you back to your car.

Total Miles: 1,176 (243 for Steamboat to Salida)

Daily Mileage Range: 35 to 60

Ability Level: Advanced (3/4) 

Group Size: 6 to 10 (this smaller size ensures an awesome, personalized experience on the trails)

Tour Cost: $7,950 per person (Steamboat to Antelope Wells) ($2,950 for Steamboat to Salida)

Tour Discounts: Please see our Reptile Rewards & Tour Discounts page to learn more about Reptile Rewards, Tour Discounts, and Group Discounts. Tour discounts are not stackable with any other discounts or promotions – only the highest valued discount is provided. Please note that for discounts to apply the tour minimum must be met.

Package Includes: The 25-day tour includes 5-nights indoor lodging, 19-nights of supported camping. All camping nights will be supported by LHCG’s support truck (comfortable chairs, a delicious guide-cooked meal, etc.). This tour passes through remote areas, and very small towns. As such, all accommodations are selected with an eye towards comfort and authenticity, but the exact style of accommodation and service will vary throughout the adventure.

Also included: All meals, shuttles, vehicle support and daily gear movement.

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.

Mountain Bike Rentals

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)

Mountain E-Bike Rentals

The Strike eRIDE 920 offers SCOTT’s latest technologies together with the newest Bosch motor. Versatile, reliable, and accessible, the Strike puts the accent on the comfort with 150mm of travel, slicker tires, thicker grips and saddle to give you a solid choice for any outing.

Learn more about our Mountain Bike & E-Bike Rentals and Equipment

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

Rental Tent, Ground Pad and Sleeping Bag: Camping gear is also available for rental on this trip! All of our camping gear is carefully selected to keep guests warm, dry, and comfortable. More information, including pricing, can be found here.

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.

Riding the Continental Divide Trail Mountain Bike Tour

What is the riding like on this route? You’ll explore unspoiled landscapes, rush through cool mountain air, drink in 360-degree mountain views and pedal past carpeted fields of wildflowers (which can be handle-bar high). You’ll also navigate the high desert of southern Colorado and New Mexico, zig-zagging between cacti and wandering through ancient landscapes. Carefully-selected campsites offer a canopy of bright stars and deep sleep at night. Your experienced guides take care of all the planning and logistics.

At day’s end, the fully-equipped support truck at the camp (or at the night’s indoor lodging, on some evenings!) provides all the necessities for a delicious guide-prepared meal. All you have to do is relax, hang out with your new friends, or explore a little more on your bike.

What about the altitude? Cyclists from lower elevations ride in Colorado and New Mexico each year, and most have no problems. All it takes is some preparation, patience and a little more hydration than you’d normally have.

Yes, you’ll likely ride slower, and your heart rate will increase, but these are the Rockies, after all.

How is the weather on this route? The high Rockies and the New Mexico desert have some of the most dynamic weather in the country. One moment, it’s sunny and warm under intensely blue skies. The next, massive clouds race across the horizon and bring a frozen downpour with thunderclaps.

As Coloradans who know a thing or two about this stuff, we’ll make sure you’re well-outfitted and safe from these intense, but brief weather events.

Ok, but really, how hard is this tour? Although this tour is for advanced riders, it is NOT a death march. This is a well-planned, guided adventure into the backcountry that is within the ability of experienced riders. In reality, many riders who are capable of riding and enjoying tours similar to this one self-select themselves out of participation because they feel the tour will be too hard. If you would like to join us and have a question about your ability, please call. For more information or to make a reservation, contact us: 970.728.5891 or Info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com.

Continental Divide Trail MTB Tour: Itinerary*

*PLEASE NOTE: 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.

Section 1: Steamboat, CO to Salida, CO
243 miles through the High Rockies

The first section of our trip is a stunner! From the beautiful mountain town of Steamboat, CO, the route winds south the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Challenging climbs and ripping descents await, including Boreas Pass at over 11.400 feet above sea level. The section wraps up with a stellar descent (over 12 miles of downhill!) to Salida, on the banks of the Arkansas River.

Elevation Profile: 243 miles +15,580 feet / -15,220 feet

Section 2: Salida, CO to Grants, NM
538 miles of riding through some of the wildest mountains in North America 

After the first section of riding, guests will have settled into a routine, and become familiar with the Continental Divide Trail’s rhythms. That’s good, because the Rockies aren’t done yet! This portion of the route features more climbing (you’ll climb nearly 4,000 feet in the first 25 miles after leaving Salida, up to Marshall Pass!) and more time in the high-mountain wilderness of Colorado.

As the miles melt away, we’ll notice the scenery changing as we enter the South San Juan Mountains and, eventually, New Mexico. Though the terrain will stay mountainous, the high desert environment will present a significant change-of-pace from the Rockies, and a new kind of beauty to surprise and delight you as you pedal.

Elevation Profile: 538 miles +39,175 feet / -39,760 feet

Section 3: Grants, NM to Antelope Wells, NM (US-Mexico Border)
395 miles in a final push to the US-Mexico Border

Though the high mountains of Colorado may be the most well-known attraction on the Continental Divide Trail, this final segment may actually contain the most unadulterated, wild, beauty of the who route. As you approach the southern terminus of this epic journey, you’ll meander through some of the most scenic terrain in New Mexico, including traversing the Gila Wilderness, one of the wildest places remaining in all of North America. It’s a fitting, epic, conclusion to a truly epic ride. Congratulations!

Elevation Profile: 395 miles +17,535 feet / -19,375 feet

Continental Divide Trail MTB Tour: Logistics & FAQs

PRE-TOUR LOGISTICS: Guest fly in to Denver, CO (airport code: DEN) and meet LHCG at the designated meeting hotel. Then, LHCG will transport the group to the start of the route.

POST-TOUR LOGISTICS: LHCG will provide transport to El Paso on the day the trip concludes. Guests are welcomed to depart from El Paso that evening, or arrange their own accommodation in town before flying out later!

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.

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 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: https://tripmate.catravelins.ca/?utm_source=lizardhead

 

Lizard Head Cycling Guides is an equal opportunity service provider and employer.

Lizard Head Cycling Guides operates under special use permit from the USDA Forest Service, Rio Grande National Forest.

Lizard Head Cycling Guides is a permittee of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest.

Translate »