Aspen to Santa Fe Bike Tour - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
   
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891 info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Aspen to Santa Fe Bike Tour

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

Aspen to Santa Fe Bike Tour: Highlights

This 11-day Aspen to Santa Fe Bike Tour focuses on the vertical landscapes and mountain town culture of the southern Colorado Rockies into New Mexico. This is a mountain tour that crosses the continental divide on four occasions, meanders along verdant river valleys and seeks out the eclectic lodging, food and the natural hot springs that this region is well known for.

Riding high in the Rockies

All smiles climbing Independence Pass

Keep looking UP to relieve the suffering

Keep looking UP to relieve the suffering

The descent from Independence Pass

The descent from Independence Pass

Aspen to Santa Fe Bike 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 Winter/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

No tours are scheduled at this time.

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!

Aspen to Santa Fe Bike Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Meeting Town: Carbondale, Colorado

Ending Town: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Tour Length: 11 Days

Total Miles: 450-675 miles: additional mileage options available. (Can I keep up on this tour?)

Ability Level: Upper-Intermediate (3) to Advanced

Tour Cost: $4,670 per person with shared accommodations. Add $995 per person to this Tour Cost for a private room each night of the tour (11-Nights).

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.

Tour Includes: 11-Days guide service, 11-Nights lodging, all meals (except 2 dinners, 1 breakfast, 1 lunch), entry fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, in-tour shuttles, and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, bike rental, and massage (if available) are additional.

Non-Riding Spouses & Partners on Tour: If a non-riding spouse or partner would like to join you on tour and they have their own transportation, they can stay in your room for the cost of the tour's single room supplement. Please note that non-riders cannot check into hotels prior to guide arrival as the guides need to manage the check-in process. Checking in a large group can be challenging and take longer than normal, so non-riders need to hang back and be patient. Non-riding spouses and partners are welcome to join the Lizard Head meal plan which includes breakfasts and dinners for $75 per day. Note: Lunches are not included for non-riders driving their own vehicles due to the inherent variability of both lunch timing and locations. It is best for non-riders to plan to explore each day.

Lodging: (subject to change)

TBD

Road 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 Scott Bikes. 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 about our Rental Bikes and Equipment

Road E-Bike Rentals: Click Here for more information on our Road E-Bike Rentals including pricing. Please note that E-Bikes are not available for certain tours including those that involve camping. Please contact us for more information before registering for a tour. NOTE: E-Bikes are great, but our tours are designed to be ridden without motorized assistance. We offer "bumps" along the road so that everyone can stay together.

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 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.

Aspen to Santa Fe Bike 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: Arrive in Carbondale, Colorado

Arrive in Carbondale. Guests can spin an optional out and back ride along the Crystal River

Day 1: Shuttle to Maroon Creek Trailhead and Ride Maroon Bells Out and Back. Shuttle back to Carbondale
Standard: 30-Miles with 2,000 of climbing
EFI: Ride the bike path to Carbondale

On Day 1’s warm up ride we ride up on a road closed to vehicles to the jaw dropping gorgeous Maroon Bells, where we take time to take in all the beauty and summer glory of this iconic Colorado location. These are Colorado’s most photographed mountains and offer a true Rocky Mountain High. On this climb we have seen Lance Armstrong and other Aspen socialites out for their daily rides. From the Bells visitor’s center it is all downhill back to the trailhead.

Day 2: Aspen, Colorado to Buena Vista, Colorado

Today serves up what we consider the most beautiful col climb in Colorado. The curvy climb to Independence Pass at 12,095 feet presents a magnificent challenge. Starting from Aspen we ascend the Roaring Fork River with big mountain views all around. After reaching the summit and the continental divide, the descent of Independence Pass begins in earnest! Be sure to stop on the descent to take in the magnificent vistas that inspired John Denver! What a beautiful day of riding!

Day 3: Buena Vista, Colorado to Gunnison, Colorado

After breakfast the ascent of Cottonwood Pass at 12,126 feet begins. Similar to Independence Pass, Cottonwood is a beyond category (HC) ascent to Colorado’s above tree-line landscape! From the pass itself once again on the continental divide, the descent of the western side was newly paved in 2020. Expect a smooth and fast descent to the eastern shores of Taylor Park Reservoir. From Taylor Park we follow the Taylor River and then the East Fork of the Gunnison River all the way to Gunnison, Colorado.

Day 4: Gunnison, Colorado to Joyful Journey Hot Springs

From Gunnison the route heads southwestward towards Colorado’s remarkable San Luis Valley. But first before the descent into the San Luis valley, we climb the continental divide again at North Pass at 10,149-feet. From the summit the 14,000-foot peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that border the eastern end of the San Luis Valley will be visible. Today’s destination is the Joyful Journey Hot Springs where we enjoy a 2-night stay.

Day 5: Layover at Joyful Journey Hot Springs

Day 6: Joyful Journey Hot Springs to Great Sand Dunes National Park

On this day we ride beneath the Sangre De Cristo Mountains down the San Luis Valley to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Due to its unique geology, size, and location, the San Luis Valley possesses some of Colorado’s most distinctive natural features. Among the most striking are the Great Sand Dunes, heaps of sand up to 750 feet tall piled against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the valley’s northeast section. The route to the Sand Dunes offers some non-technical gravel options on quiet country roads. Today’s lodging is at the Great Sand Dunes Lodge.

Day 7: Great Sand Dunes National Park to San Luis, Colorado

The journey continues south along the Sangre de Cristo to San Luis, Colorado. San Luis at 7,979-feet in elevation is Colorado’s oldest town established in 1851.

The town is most famous, however, for its Stations of the Cross, a string of bronze statues climbing the mesa adjacent to town. Each station represents a moment during the crucifixion of Christ, and the locale is popular with Christian visitors each Easter. Art aficionados might like to visit the sculptor’s studio, located in town at the bottom of the hill.

Lodging at San Luis Inn.

Day 8: San Luis, Colorado to Wild & Scenic & then Questa, New Mexico

From San Luis we spin a truly wild and scenic route on small roads to the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. The Wild Rivers Recreation Area is a showcase ride of Northern New Mexico and part of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The ride within the Monument follows a loop bordered by the majestic presence of the dark and mysterious Rio Grande Gorge. Check out the powerful images of this region at Shots from Above.

Day 9: Questa, New Mexico to Taos, New Mexico

Today’s penultimate ride follows a high country route on New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle Loop. From Questa we climb the small ski town of Red River. From the own of Red River we climb over 9,820-foot Bobcat Pass, descend to the wide open Eagle’s Nest Valley and after a short climb to Palo Flechado Pass, we descend Taos Canyon to Taos, New Mexico! Well Done!

Day 10: Layoever in Taos, New Mexico

Day 11: A Pilgrimage to the High Road to Taos – Taos to El Santuario de Chimayo
45 miles with up to 4,050 feet of climbing

Another highlight ride of the New Mexico tour! The riding commences at the historic San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church and then follows the scenic High Road amongst the southernmost peaks of the Sierra Sangre de Cristo range. This destination ride includes pine forests, cottonwood valleys and plenty of climbing. Praying that you can make it is encouraged as there are 5 mission churches along this pilgrimage.

The High Road ends at a special place, the El Santuario de Chimayo, a historical church in the old village of Chimayo. At this location a tiny shrine that is built on the site of what many believe to be a miracle associated with the crucifix of “Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas” (Our Lord of Esquipulas). El Santuario de Chimayo is also the site of “el pocito” the small pit of Holy Dirt which many people attribute as possessing remarkable curative powers.

Tonight’s lodging is steps from the Santa Fe plaza in the quintessential New Mexican lodging of Chimayo de Santa Fe. The farewell dinner this evening is at Estevan’s, one of our favorite dining experiences.

Post Tour Logistics

The Aspen to Santa Fe Bike Tour ends with dinner and lodging on night 11. Guests arrange for their own transportation back to Albuquerque via the convenient scenic Railrunner train or on many regularly scheduled shuttle services. For more information regarding transportation to Albuquerque, please visit www.riometro.org or groometransportation.com.

Aspen to Santa Fe Bike Tour: Logistics & FAQs

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.

Tour Support
A 15-passenger van and trailer that carries luggage, food and equipment will support this 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

 
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