Gateway & Wine Country Loop - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891

Gateway & Wine Country Loop

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

Gateway & Wine Country Loop: Highlights

Colorado National Monument

View from Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument

Unaweep Canyon near Gateway

Dolores River Canyon

Thimble Rock

Gateway Canyons Resort

Remnants of the Hanging Flume

Gateway & Wine Country Loop: 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 is well suited for custom groups. Please contact us to learn more.

2022 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.

Gateway & Wine Country Loop: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Tour Length: 4-Days Cycling/3-Nights Lodging

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

Total Miles: 185 to 225 miles (additional mileage options available)

Mileage Range: 38 to 74

Ability Level: Intermediate (2/3) , Upper Intermediate (3)

Tour Cost: $1,895 per person.
Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

Single Room Supplement: Add $450 to the Tour Cost above to have a private room each night of the tour.

Tour Includes: 4 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 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.

Custom Tour Add-Ons: Add another day to this tour on Day 2 to enjoy riding the The Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway. Or add another Day to this tour at Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa to enjoy the resort. The cost for each additional day is $450 per person.

Road Bike Rentals

The Scott Addict 10 Disc was designed from the ground up with those longer days in mind. With geometry that is less focused on racing and more on enduring, the Addict 10 will be your go to when you’re looking to put the miles in.

The Scott Addict 10 Disc features: Carbon Frame and Fork, Shimano Ultegra 2x11 Drivetrain, 34x32 Compact Gearing, 30mm Tires, and Hydraulic Disc Brakes. Approx. Weight: 16.89 lbs / 7.66 kg (without pedals)

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

Road E-Bike Rentals: Click Here for more information on our Road E-Bike Rentals including pricing.

Couples Bike Rental Discount: Sign up as a couple and receive one free Road Bike Rental per couple for a one week tour. ($250 value. Pedal bikes only. E-Bikes excluded.)

Tandems and Recumbents Lizard Head Cycling Guides happily accommodates both tandem and recumbent bikes on our tours.

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

Meals On 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. 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!

Dinners: 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.

Overall Route Map

Gateway & Wine Country Loop: Itinerary*

*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations, road construction, and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as a general outline as to what to expect on this tour.

Day 1: Colorado National Monument
38 miles with up to 3,650 feet of climbing
E.F.I. option of up to 65 miles

The tour begins with a ride on Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument. This 23-mile route follows the redrock rim nearly 2,000 feet up a series of canyons above the Rio Colorado. The entire road has been designated a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places and was named by National Geographic as one of the country’s Top 10 Under-Appreciated Parks. During the 1980s, Rim Rock Drive was host to a classic mountain stage of the Coors Classic Stage Race dubbed The Tour of the Moon where Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond battled it out on this scenic road.

Part way on our ride through Colorado National Monument we will divert west towards Glade Park, turn-around, and then return back to Colorado National Monument to descend down through multiple tunnels and end the ride at the Tabagueche Trailhead. From here it is a short shuttle to Palisades, Colorado and out loding at the Wine Country Inn.

Elevation Profile: 38 mi +3650 ft / -3400 ft

Day 2: Unaweep Canyon to Gateway
43 miles with up to 2,775 feet of climbing

After a morning shuttle from Palisades, cyclists start the dat by riding into the stunning confines of Unaweep Canyon. Unaweep Canyon is quite possibly the most spectacular road ride in all of Colorado and it is also one of the least known roads in the state. Geologically speaking Unaweep was at one time a river channel of the Colorado River before the massive uplift of the Uncompahgre Plateau diverted the river’s course.

Today cyclists enjoy riding the road where the river once traveled and although smaller in scale, the experience is akin to riding a bike through the Grand Canyon. The splendid desert hideaway of Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa (opened in 2005 on the Dolores River) in Gateway, Colorado awaits us for dinner and lodging. The beauty of Gateway Canyons Resort must be seen to be believed.

Elevation Profile: 43 mi +2775 ft / -2860 ft

Day 3: Dolores River Canyon
74 miles with up to 3,730 feet of climbing

We consider the first segment of the route today to be the most beautiful section of road on all of our tours. The route follows the dazzling scenery of Highway 141 southward and the first 25-miles from Gateway Canyons resort are beneath 1,500-foot Redrock Canyon walls and alongside the Dolores River. Many of our guests have called this section the “most beautiful ride” they have ever enjoyed.

Views of the Hanging Flume are visible from Highway 141. The flume is an engineering feat of over 100 years ago and also one of the world’s most extraordinary monuments to human greed and folly. Its purpose was to deliver water to a placer gold mine. Construction started in 1889 and a million board feet of lumber was used. The mine went bankrupt in the early 1890s. Today travelers are awe struck at the lengths gone into the creation of this means to convey water.

Our turn-around point is at the San Miguel River Preserve where we have lunch and then return back to Gateway Canyons Resort along the same stretch of amazing road, this time from a different perspective.

Elevation Profile: 74 mi +3730 ft / -3730 ft

Day 4: Unaweep Canyon to Whitewater
43 miles with up to 2,995 feet of climbing

Starting from Gateway Canyons Resort we pedal north along Highway 141 through the magnificent Unaweep Canyon. In the spring and after rain storms there are multiple waterfalls on the west side of the canyon. Look for a waterfall near milepost 122 and then again near milepost 132 at Fall Creek. After reacing the summit of Unaweep Divide, it is a near 20 mile descent to Whitewater where we end the rid and the tour.

Elevation Profile: 43 mi +2955 ft / -2875 ft

Gateway & Wine Country Loop: 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

Lizard Head Cycling Guides highly recommends clients purchase Travel Insurance through TripAssure. A policy can be purchased individually through the sales link below.

The estimated cost for a 50-year old buying insurance for a $2,500 tour ranges from $100 (standard plan) to about $200 (cancel for any reason plan).

Lizard Head Cycling Guides Custom Sales Portal Link is:

  • The best options for our clients are either the Asset or Bridge plans.
  • The Asset-Plus & Complete plans both include a Cancel-For-Any-Reason option.
    • As a result these plans cost more.
    • The Cancel-for-Any-Reason option is only available when insurance is purchased within two weeks of initial deposit.
  • For information on Coronavirus, please click here.
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