Touring in colorado - advice needed

Duncan Grimes

New Member
Feb 5, 2018
Hi all,

I’m planning a 10 day cycle trip in Colorado in mid- May. We’re flying into Denver and thinking to make our way over to Grand Junction, where we can fly or train it back to Denver.

We’re 3 guys who cycle regularly but probably little out of shape after winter in Europe. We’re riding touring/road bikes with panniers so can’t do too much off-road/mountain biking.

We’d like to do around 30-40 miles a day but also work in rest days to see some national parks, watch a rodeo, look around small towns etc.

So, I’d love any feedback on places people would recommend we definitely go to or miss out. We’re looking for some mountain/forest scenery, cycling quieter roads, swimming and interesting small towns.

Also, we’d like to start at lower elevation and build up to bigger climbs, so tips on where to start at a lower gradient would be super useful?

Here are there routes we’ve looked at (taking bus to starting point or cycling), I’ve love any feedback on the pros and cons:

First option,

Total ascent 5.7km, descent 5.9km

Second option,

Total ascent 8.5km, descent 8.6km (very similar to Duncs' route)

Third option,

Total ascent 8km, descent 8.5km
Mt Evans road out of Idaho Springs is an awesome climb. We've riden south out of Breck through Buena Vista then west. Durango area is nice and add a trip to Silverton. Independence pass into Aspen is a nice ride as well. Have fun!
Be aware that we sometimes get really big snow storms as late as mid May, in Colorado. And that's along the front range. It can snow later than that in the mountains. There will be a lot of snow still on the ground up in the high mountains. Expect it to be chilly up high. Freezing temperatures at night. Not sure Mt. Evans is a good plan that early in the year and I sure wouldn't try it on a loaded bike. Very hard climb.
The most scenic part of Colorado is the Southern part, the San Juan mountains. Grand Junction is getting into desert landscape and quite a bit warmer. In may, I'd be more inclined to go straight to Grand Junction and ride our desert southwest. Moab is a quick drive from Grand Junction and Colorado National Monument is just outside of Grand Junction in Fruita. Lots of mountains in Europe, but no canyon country like Moab.

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