Summer Backcountry Family MTB Tour - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891

Summer Backcountry Family MTB Tour

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

Summer Backcountry Family MTB Tour: Highlights

“Wilding Your Kids” – Family Backcountry Vacations with Lizard Head Cycling Guides

To wild your kids: verb; Origin: Colorado, United States

  1. To expose your children or grandchildren to the great outdoors via guided mountain bike adventures in the backcountry.
  2. To teach your children the value of playing in the dirt, swimming in a lake and camping under the stars.
  3. To pass down the rugged heritage of the high country to the next generation of Coloradans.

Synonyms: To wild your grandkids, Antonyms: To wait in line at Disneyland

Want to escape to the high country and have a real adventure with your family this Summer? It can be an intimidating feat with your kids in tow, but our fully supported backcountry trips are designed to let you experience Colorado’s secluded beauty in a safe, responsible way. We provide all the equipment and expertise needed for an unforgettable two-wheeled adventure through some of the most fun, kid-friendly and remote riding in the state.

At Lizard Head, we believe it’s important to expose the next generation to the wild and help them appreciate the wonders of the outdoors. Our incredible campsites, exciting routes and guide-prepared meals will have you and your children wishing they could stay in the wild forever.

Bring your family on an unforgettable adventure this summer or join forces with another family in your circle and make it a group!

“Wilding your kids” is our mission and our absolute pleasure, so let Lizard Head Cycling Guides take you on the vacation of a lifetime. Our tours are incredibly fun, scenic and maybe even life-changing.

Summer Backcountry Family 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

  • June 25 to 28, 2024 (Book Now!) – TOUR A GO!

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!

Summer Backcountry Family MTB Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Arrival Town/Airport: Gunnison, Colorado. Fly into Gunnison–Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC); or fly into Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ) and shuttle to Gunnison.

Departing Town/Airport: Gunnison, Colorado

Tour Length: 4-Days and 3-Nights camping

Total Miles: 30 to 80 over 4 days

Ability Level: All level of riders can be accommodated on this tour from Beginner to Expert

Tour Cost:

  • Family of 2 – $2,230
  • Family of 3 – $3,345
  • Family of 4 – $3,910
  • Family of 5 – $4,420

Tour Minimum: 4 family members or the paid equivalent

Tour Includes: Roundtrip shuttles from Gunnison. Top of the line Scott Trail Mountain Bikes. Tag-alongs available for non-riding little ones, all meals, snacks, carbonated drinks. all necessary camping equipment (Tents, Sleeping bags, Ground pads). Guide Support, skills coaching, flora and fauna instruction, ghost stories, campfires and good nights!

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.

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 or call us at 970.728.5891

How young can a child do this? We have tagalongs that 5 year olds and up can ride.

Meals On Tour

Guides in camp will prepare all meals. Meals include: Dutch oven lasagna, wild salmon, grilled chicken, salads, quinoa, fruits and lots of seasonal veggies. Any dietary preferences or allergies should be noted on the registration form. Each of Lizard Head Cycling’s lunches contains gluten free options.

Summer Backcountry Family 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.

Day 0: Arrival in Gunnison, Colorado

The tour meeting on Day 1 will be at the Long Holiday Motel in Gunnison, Colorado

Day 1: Gunnison River and Cebolla Creek
10 to 15-miles along the Gunnison River and Cebolla Creek

Gunnison River

Time to eat!

At 8am we’ll meet at the Long Holiday Motel in Gunnison. At the meeting we’ll check gear, fit bikes, have a snack and pack lunches from the ample lunch spread. Once ready to ride, we’ll roll out for a flat cruise along the Gunnison river. Before long, there will be stop at a local’s swimming hole to immerse ourselves with a Wild Swimming dip in the Gunnison.

After the swim, the route continues along the Gunnison River. We stop for a lunch under the cottonwoods. After lunch we load up for a shuttle to Powderhorn, Colorado. The riding from Powderhorn is along a lovely dirt road alongside Cebollo Creek (pronounced suh-VOY-ah). Once in camp, the guides will cook dinner,  families set up camp, fish, swim, and run wild. Tonight, Cebolla Creek sings to us from our camp spot alongside its shores.

Day 2: Cebolla Creek and Mason Creek Family Wildlife Area
12-miles round trip

Cebolla Creek


Sleep in and listen to the river. The guides will quietly prepare breakfast and coffee. After a morning of fishing and swimming we’ll pack a lunch and ride to the Mason Creek Family State Wildlife area. If one is quiet, in this wildlife area there are often views of big horn sheep, raptors, mule deer and elk.  We’ll eat lunch and go for a swim in wildlife area and then head back to a 2nd night in our camp.

Day 3: Cebolla Creek to Spruce Camp
15 to 25-miles 

Spruce Camp

Gorgeous flowers!

After breakfast we’ll strike camp and head upstream through the “Cathedral” to Spruce camp. This is an area with soaring peaks, cliffs and water. Our second campsite at Spruce camp again has a stream in camp. In addition there is a cave to explore, a camp fire, games in camp and fresh Colorado air.  Enjoy an adult beverage while the kids frolic in summer freedom.

Day 4: Spruce Camp to Deer Lakes
10-to 25-miles 

Camp at Deer Lakes

Wild swimming!

On our final day after another peaceful morning, we eat breakfast, pack a lunch and head out to Deer Lakes for a final Wild Swim. Today has more uphill than the other days combined, so leave it all on the trail today!

Summer Backcountry Family MTB 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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