Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado Bike Tour, Lizard Head Cycling
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891

Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado Bike Tour

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

Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado Bike Tour: Highlights

Our Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado Bike Tour (a.k.a. Brothels & Brews) brings together one-of-kind 19th century Victorian Hotels (some with a scandulous past), some of Colorado’s finest micro breweries, Colorado’s Scenic By-Ways and highlights such as the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park to create a spectacular summer bike tour through Colorado!

The tour rides through Lizard Head Cycling Guides’ home mountain range: the rugged & remote San Juans. In the late 19th century the tiny mining towns of Ouray, Durango and Telluride, Colorado were remote outposts of civilization. Each town felt they needed a landmark hotel to attract investors and to put their town on the map. In recent years these historic Victorian-Era hotels have seen major renovations and provide an entertaining end to a day of cycling across the Colorado high country. Go ahead, harken back to 1880’s and transform yourself to a time when Victorian opulence like this was reserved for the rich and famous, you’re entitled!

Colorado Bike Tour, High Summer in the Colorado Rockies

High Summer in the Colorado Rockies

Colorado Bike Tour

The Painted Wall at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Colorado Bike Tour

Summer in the Colorado Rockies

Colorado Bike Tour, Lizard Head van

Lizard Head Peak: Our Namesake Mountain

Colorado Bike Tour, Telluride

Hiking Above Telluride!

Colorado Bike Tour, San Juan Mountains

Cycling in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (America’s Newest National Park), The San Juan Sky-Way, The Unaweep/Tabaguache Scenic By-Way , the Million Dollar Highway and the simply amazing Dolores River Canyon (Colorado’s least known & most spectacular road).

Don’t Worry About the Altitude!

The rarefied air is a tonic to both man & beast! Sea-level cyclists ride this tour each year. Yes, you ride slower and the heart will beat faster in Colorado, but these are the Colorado Rockies and the views alone will make your heart beat faster. Read a Bicycling Magazine article about riding at altitude. Altitude on this tour ranges between 4,500-feet (Gateway Canyons Resort) and 11,000-feet (Red Mountain Pass). The average riding elevation is between 6,500 and 7,500-feet.

Colorado Micro-Breweries

If you are considering Colorado bike tours, the Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado Bike Tour is a well-crafted tour of immense beauty. It also features entertainment each night in towns where old time saloons and Colorado Micro-Breweries abound. Enjoy beer tastings and excellent hospitality as you bike tour across the San Juan Sky-Way and Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic By-Ways.

Some of the breweries we can visit include:

Over the Top!

On the final two nights of our Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado Bike Tour 19th-century Victorian elegance is exchanged for the ultra modern 21st luxury of the Gateway Canyons Resort. There are few places in the world that can provide an experience and location such Gateway Canyons Resort, it has to be seen to be believed. Come see for yourself.

Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado Bike Tour: Testimonials

Read what previous guests on our Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado bike tour have been saying…

The tour was spectacular, and we “flatlanders” were very well taken care of by Scott and Roy as we adjusted to the conditions. The accommodations and meals were excellent, the weather was great (we are used to hot and humid, so hot and dry was no worse), and the scenery was breathtaking. – Diane and Peter

Just finished a tour with them in Southern Colorado. Did one last year in Glacier National Park. They pick great roads to ride, good hotels to stay and keep their riders in good spirit. – Jean-Pierre B.

(This tour) was outstanding. The rides were the best I’ve ever experienced. The roads, scenery and challenge of every day left you wanting for more. – Gary W.

This was my third Lizard Head Tour, and it did not disappoint. The cycling was terrific, with well-planned routes, the lodging was first class, and the logistics well done as always. We are looking forward to our next Lizard Head trip! – Daniel S.

(W)hat really made the trip special for us was David, Paige and Joe! They worked so hard to make this trip fun and comfortable for all of us. The food was outstanding as well. Another big factor was the other riders in our group; it is always nice to meet other cyclists who share this crazy need to ride a bicycle up a mountain! I always come home from a ride like this feeling that there are more good people in this country than those who are not so good. – Michael and Sue

Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado 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 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

  • July 3 to 8, 2022 (Book Now!)
  • July 10 to 15, 2022 (Book Now!) – TOUR OPENED
  • July 24 to 29, 2022 (Book Now!)
    A new moon on July 28, 2022 means dark stargazing skies at night!

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.

Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado Bike Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Tour Length: 6-Days Cycling/6-Nights Lodging

Location: San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado

Meeting & Ending Town/Airport: Montrose, Colorado (MJT)

Meeting Hotel: On Day 1 cyclists meet the guides and support vehicle at 7:00am at the Hampton Inn in Montrose, Colorado.

Total Miles: 250 and up to 375 miles. Additional mileage options are available.

Average Standard Daily Mileage: 45 miles

Ability Level: Intermediate (2/3)  to Upper Intermediate (3) 
This tour is obtainable for the weekend cyclist who is comfortable on a bike & looking for a challenge.

Tour Cost: $2,990 per person.
Group discount of $200 per person for groups of 4 or more. Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

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. Non-Riding spouses and partners can join a tour's meal plan of three meals a day for $85 per day.

Single Room Supplement: Add $625- (includes 6-nights) total to the Tour Cost for a private room each night of the tour (6 nights).

Tour Includes: 6-nights of lodging (Includes 2 at the fabulous Gateway Canyons Resort!), 5-dinners, 5-breakfasts, 5-lunches, taxes, entrance fees, daily lunch en route, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles, guide service, and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, massage therapy & bike rental are additional.

Lodging for 6-Nights: (subject to change and availability)

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.

Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado Bike Tour: 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: Ouray to Silverton
24 miles with up to 3,400 feet of climbing

After an early morning meet and greet and the loading of the support vehicle, we embark on a short shuttle from the meeting hotel in Montrose to Ouray, Colorado. From here the riding begins with cyclists challenging Red Mountain Pass which is considered the most stunning road bike climb in all of Colorado. After the 13 mile climb to the summit, it’s an all downhill 11 mile ride to our accommodations in the old west mining town of Silverton, Colorado.

At the top of Red Mountain Pass

At the top of Red Mountain Pass

Silverton, Colorado

Silverton, Colorado

Elevation Profile: +3400 ft / -1900 ft

Elevation Profile: +3400 ft / -1900 ft

Day 2: Silverton to Durango
52 miles with up to 3,300 feet of climbing

Starting from Silverton, we continue south along the San Juan Skyway and soon tackle two major alpine passes: Molas Pass at 10,915′ and Coal Bank Pass at 10,640′. After topping out on Molas Pass cyclists enjoy a net descent to Durango, Colorado (6,512’) of 4,000-feet! Durango is a lively western town with a historic narrow gauge railroad. Tonight’s lodging is the landmark Strater Hotel on Durango’s main street. The Strater’s Diamond Belle Saloon’s attractive bar room belles & old time piano player both adorned in 19th century period garb have proven to be a guest (and guide) favorite.

Riding under the San Juan mountains.

Riding under the San Juan mountains

Colorado Rocky Mountain High!

Colorado Rocky Mountain High!

Elevation Profile: +3300 ft / -6100 ft

Elevation Profile: +3300 ft / -6100 ft

Day 3: Durango to Telluride
65 or 110 miles with up to 4,800 or 8,200 feet of climbing

This is the day for a century ride! Riders can choose either a full century ride of 110 miles with a point-to-point ride from Durango to Telluride, or opt for a metric century ride of 65 miles after a short 45 mile shuttle from Durango to the small town of the Dolores, Colorado. Both routes follow along the Rio Dolores from Dolores to Telluride, Colorado eventually making it to our namesake Lizard Head Peak and Lizard Head Pass. Then from Lizard Head Pass it is a 24 mile net descent to Telluride, Colorado for a well deserved beer at the 120-year-old New Sheridan Saloon.

The lizard is loose below Lizard Head Peak!

The lizard is loose below Lizard Head Peak!

Trout Lake near Lizard Head Pass

Trout Lake near Lizard Head Pass

Elevation Profile: 65 mi +4800 ft / -2900 ft

Elevation Profile: 65 mi +4800 ft / -2900 ft

Elevation Profile: 110 mi +8100 ft / -5900 ft

Elevation Profile: 110 mi +8100 ft / -5900 ft

Day 4: Layover Day in Telluride
Optional 53-mile “Tour de Telluride”

Today cyclists enjoy a well deserved rest day in box canyon of Telluride, Colorado. This is the home town of Lizard Head Cycling Guides and in our humble opinion, the highlight town of our tour. Ride the free gondola to explore Mt. Village, enjoy a massage, shop the funky historic, hike to an alpine lake or district or simply sit on one of Telluride’s many park benches and watch the world go by.

Those looking to keep riding can opt to ride the “Tour de Telluride” which is a 53-mile on-your-own route around Telluride and up to Lizard Head peak and back.

Guests are on their own this evening to enjoy dinner from one of Telluride’s many fine dining establishments.

Colorado Bike Tour, Trout Lake

Trout Lake above Telluride

Colorado Bike Tour, Telluride Valley

Descending into the Telluride Valley

Tour de Telluride Elevation Profile: 53 mi +6790 ft / -6790 ft

Day 5: Telluride to Gateway
Options of 55-miles or 103-miles (with 6,000-feet of descending)

The longest mileage day on the tour, the Mountains to the Desert stage descends over 4,000-feet from Telluride (8,827′) to Gateway, Colorado at 4,550′ elevation! This is an inspiring ride through the intimate confines of the San Miguel and Dolores River Canyons. The Dolores river canyon has been called by previous Lizard Head Cycling guests as the “most beautiful ride ever”. Come see for yourself! We believe it is the most spectacular and least known road rides in Colorado.

Tonight’s lodging at the Gateway Canyons Resort has to be seen to be believed. It is another highlight of this fabulous tour. There are few places in the world that can provide an experience and location such Gateway Canyons Resort. John Hendricks of the Discovery Channel built the resort in 2005. His love of Redrock Canyon country has created a destination that guests of Lizard Head Cycling Guides adore. Read reviews from Gateway Canyons.

Colorado Bike Tour, Delores River

The Dolores River Canyon

Colorado Bike Tour, Palisade Butte

Beneath Palisade Butte in Gateway, Colorado

Colorado Bike Tour, Gateway Canyons Resort

Lodging for two nights at Gateway Canyons Resort

Norwood Hill – Highlighted below
Selected distance: 1.9 mi
Elevation: + 685 / – 0 ft
Max Grade: 13.7 %
Avg. Grade: 6.6 %
Cat: 3

Elevation Profile: 103 mi +2665 ft / -6890 ft

Day 6: Unaweep Canyon
Optional ride of 30 to 80-miles through Unaweep Canyon 

The final day of the our tour can be spent lounging poolside, enjoying the 21st luxury of Gateway Canyons Spa or pedaling up into the confines of yet another amazing geologic wonder, Unaweep Canyon. Whatever activity or inactivity you choose, enjoy this final day of the tour. Tonight’s lodging is once again at Gateway Canyons Resort.

Colorado Bike Tour, Unaweep Canyon

Ride into the beauty of Unaweep Canyon

Colorado Bike Tour, Gateway pool

The Pool at Gateway Canyons Resort

Gateway to Unaweep Divide – Highlighted below
Selected distance: 23.5 mi
Elevation: + 2824 / – 338 ft
Max Grade: 9.2 %
Avg. Grade: 2.0 %
Cat: HC

Elevation Profile: 47 mi +3160 ft / -3160 ft

Day 7: Departure Day

Early Saturday morning Lizard Head Cycling offers a shuttle for departing guests to the Grand Junction airport (55 miles).  Make your departing plane reservations for 9:00am or later.

If guests are overcome by the raw beauty of Gateway Canyons Resort they may choose to extend their stay in Redrock Canyon Country.

Mountains-to-Rivers Colorado: Logistics & FAQs

Bike Shipping

Lizard Head Cycling recommends shipping with 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

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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