Rocky mountain high to desert valley low on our mountain bike tour Colorado
This new mountain bike tour Colorado has been designed to give you our ‘Colorado Collection’ of the most outstanding riding locations from Snowmass through Fruita to Crested Butte, experiencing the many different faces of mountain biking in the Centennial State. In just six days of mountain biking you’ll ride through alpine meadows, aspen groves, mountain forests and desert.
With the golden light of late summer bathing the mountains of Colorado, our photographer Ross Bell had the joy of capturing the vast and diverse landscapes and glorious trails that Colorado has to offer on our new mountain bike tour Colorado…
“What a trip. Colorado is my new favourite state. Such variety; so stunning. Beautiful Aspen groves in amazing autumn colours; challenging desert single track, and descents from 12,000ft. Great accommodation and hearty food. Do it.” Nick M., Canada
Is this mountain bike tour Colorado for you?
We want you to have the best experience in Colorado, so it’s important to be sure that this is the perfect mountain bike adventure, with the right level of challenge, for you.
You’re an experienced mountain biker, riding at least twice a week through the season and comfortable on: steep singletrack climbs; technical singletrack descents with switchbacks; rooty, off-camber forested singletrack; high altitude trails with some exposure; and rock gardens. Read more on our intermediate+ skill level.
Tour dates 2020
- 23 – 29 August
Tour dates 2021
- 15 – 21 August
If you’d like to travel with a group of your friends/family contact one of our expert team about creating your own private trip.
This mountain bike tour Colorado is a real must-do for passionate mountain bikers, taking in an array of mountain and desert landscapes that will keep each day fresh and exciting. Here are some special moments you can look forward to in Colorado:
- Riding pristine singletrack through breathtaking Aspen forests
- Enjoying a private BBQ dinner watching the sun set over the mountains
- Experiencing diverse landscapes, from high alpine singletrack to dusty desert flow
- Having your own private shuttle to maximise descents on the IMBA Epic Monarch Crest Trail
Mountain bike tour Colorado Itinerary
This epic mountain bike tour Colorado will take you from high alpine wild flower meadows and Aspen forests, over mountain passes and into lush valleys, then on to the hot, dry, flow trails of the desert. You’ll be riding at over 2,000m / 6,500ft much of the time when we are in the mountains, so be prepared to pace yourself as you acclimatise to the altitude.
- +Arrival in Colorado - refresh + prepare for your adventure
So that you’re ready to ride the following morning, we recommend arriving in Snowmass the day before the tour start date, to give yourself time to relax after your travels.
- +Day 1 - Welcome to Colorado! Local trail secrets + sunset BBQ
Your guide will meet you at the H+I preferred hotel in Snowmass in the morning, enjoy a coffee with everyone whilst chatting through the all-important pre-trip briefing. He will set the tone of the week ahead, explain the trails to come and answer any questions that you may have.
After your guide meeting you’ll build your bikes or set up rental bikes, before hitting the flow trails in and around the world-famous Snowmass natural trail network. Your guide will build you up progressively to warm up the legs and the mind, before returning back to your Snowmass hotel for your mountain top BBQ dinner, watching the sunset.
Distance cycled: 20km (app. 4 hours)
Accommodation: Mountain condo Snowmass
Meals included: L, D
- +Day 2 - High mountain traverse to Aspen
This morning your breakfast will be delivered to your room, where you can sit in the comfort of your condo, sipping coffee and preparing your bag for your first big day on Colorado trails.
We’ll set off today from the door of your condo to bike to Aspen on a fabulous mix of flow trails and technical singletrack, that will see you riding through aspen groves and open meadows filled with wild flowers. It will take us all morning to reach our goal of the Aspen Brewing company where we will enjoy lunch and a cold drink.
With legs rested and stomachs refuelled, we will resume trail riding in the early afternoon light, working our way back along the valley on trails that are worthy of IMBA Epic status, all giving you a flavour of the days to come!
The singletrack will deliver you directly into the centre of Snowmass village in time for a swim in the pool before dinner in the upper village.
Distance cycled: 24km (app. 7 hours)
Accommodation: Mountain condo Snowmass
Meals included: B, L
- +Day 3 - Early morning desert dash
Following early breakfast in your condo, you will say goodbye to Snowmass until the end of the tour, as this morning we transfer to the desert landscape and riding of Fruita, CO.
On arrival to this golden playground, cut in two by the majestic Colorado river, you’ll spend the morning riding trails that hug the river itself. You will experience the trails here like a local, we have crafted a route that builds in technical difficulty all morning, until you finish the ride on “more fun”!
This is fun, technical, rocky riding on packed shale trails, which give a unique style of singletrack. The aim of riding these trails (other than lots of fun!) is to give you a good feel for the type of technical riding the desert offers. Ledges, steps and rock gardens, all accompanied by breath-taking views along the Colorado River. By lunchtime you will be back at the van when the sun will get too intense to ride in the desert, but fear not, we’re heading to Crested Butte to get in position for the next three days of unforgettable riding and our pizza dinner in your guide’s favourite haunt.
Distance cycled: 25km (app. 4 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel in Crested Butte
Meals included: B, L,
- +Day 4 - Crested Butte classics 401 + 403
After an energy-filled breakfast and great local coffee, we’ll grab our trusty steeds and start this big mountain day with a shuttle.
As we weave our way into the backcountry the sense of adventure and trepidation builds to a crescendo as we arrive at the start of this amazing ride. It’s time to experience yet another face of mountain biking in Colorado…
The trails today start off fairly easy with buff smooth singletrack and only the occasional tree root, steep pitch and tight corner, but all accompanied by the thin air of the high mountains. Throughout the day you will reach vast meadows of wild flowers, multi-coloured patchwork quilts that spread for miles and fill any gaps created in between the forests.
We will top out eventually at the high point of 3500m/ 11,500ft, on this day that is the very definition of alpine mountain biking in Colorado. Once we reach the summit we’ll begin the long, and seriously grin-inducing, descent that lasts for an hour and half and delivers us directly to the awaiting van, a pleasant sight after a long day in the mountains sampling some of the best singletrack available anywhere in the world.
Distance cycled: 30km (app. 7 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel in Crested Butte
Meals included: B, L
- +Day 5 - Local guide selection - Hidden trails Crested Butte
On your last day in Crested Butte you’ll sample the best of the best, your ‘guide’s choice’ trails; where they ride when they’re off duty and riding with their mates. This is a fabulous insight into local life, style and culture of the high mountain town.
Again today you will start with a shuttle up to a mountain pass where your guide will sort bikes, discuss the day ahead and prepare you for what will be one of the best days riding available in Colorado.
Ahead of you is a long day, with multiple mountain passes, countless meters of descent and the odd climb, all peppered with wild flower meadows and Aspen trees. We’ll crown the day on a trail with three distinct sections: narrow Aspen groves; open, fast and smooth singletrack; and a technical, rocky trail with a multitude of lines, including the ‘hero line’, that will drop us directly to the van and a round of high fives, laughter and beer!
Distance cycled: 40km (app. 8 hours)
Accommodation: Mountain lodge near Salida
Meals included: B, L
- +Day 6 - Monarch Crest secret options + classic finale
Bleary-eyed, we’ll sip coffee and tuck into a tasty mountain breakfast before moving location from Crested Butte, and head further out of the heart of the mountains, to the Continental Divide and the highest mountain pass in south-central Colorado.
From here you will undertake a spectacular day riding high ridge lines with views for 50 miles in all directions, to fast, flowing, twisting and turning descents that will make you think you’ve arrived in trail nirvana! Your guide has a few options for today, and may include some little known descents that will require a shuttle back up to the pass, for you to retrace your climb a couple of times, it is no hardship, as the views are incredible, the trail pristine and the descents are phenomenal.
Once you start your final descent proper, you will be in descend mode for a couple of hours, in a train of your newly-found mountain biking buddies, stopping every so often to discuss the trail features with excitement. But try to save something in the tank, there are a couple of short sharp climbs near the end of this one, before the last glorious descent that will leave you exhausted and fulfilled by your time in Colorado.
Once the bikes are packed, we will set off on our drive back to Snowmass and our final celebratory dinner at our favourite restaurant in Colorado, where we’ll have our own private room to celebrate our successful mountain bike adventures in Colorado.
Distance cycled: 50km (app. 8 hours)
Accommodation: Mountain condo Snowmass
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 7 - Departure
Sadly today we leave Colorado behind, say our farewells and transfer to Aspen airport by 10am for your homeward journeys.
Meals included: Breakfast
Please note: Your mountain bike tour Colorado is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Colorado and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience on our mountain bike tour Colorado.
- +Tour price
Mountain Bike Tour Colorado Price
£2,350 GBP / $3,408 USD / €2,938 EUR per person (ex. flights, based on two sharing a room)
We welcome solo travellers on our adventures and if you are happy to share a room with another solo rider of the same sex you do not need to add the single supplement. If, however, you wish to have a room by yourself, a single supplement of £695/ $1,008/ €869 will be payable.
H+I Adventures is bonded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), so you can be sure that when you book with us your money will be safe. Price includes:
- Services of fully-qualified, English speaking expert mountain bike guide(s) for the duration of the trip
- All breakfasts and lunches
- Welcome dinner on night 1 and a celebration meal on the last night – you should budget $50USD per day for other meals and drinks
- All transportation mentioned in itinerary
- 6 nights’ accommodation
- All park and all access fees
- Luggage/ bike transfer (as required) for duration of your mountain bike tour Colorado
- All group safety equipment
- Global Rescue security evacuation services
- International/ domestic flights
- Bike hire – we can arrange bike hire for you at a cost of £395/ $573/ €494 for the duration of the trip
- Travel and activity insurance
- Tips in restaurants and hotels
- Alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverages
- Personal safety and cycling equipment
- Any other items not mentioned as included
- +Skill + fitness levels required
Does this sound like you? Your vacation time is precious and we want to be absolutely sure that you’re making the most of it, by finding the perfect mountain bike tour for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other mountain bike tours that may well be a better fit for your mountain biking experience and ability.
Please note: The skill level required reflects an overall rating for the trails on the trip but you should expect to find sections and obstacles that push your ability levels.
- You are generally comfortable riding most types of terrain in different conditions: singletrack, double track, muddy, dry, loose, bedrock…
- You can brake, use gears and corner instinctively
- You’ll have a go on moderate technical features, such as small rock gardens, small drops and steeper sections, but may get off and walk certain technical features
- You mountain bike two or three times a week throughout your biking season
- And the ‘+’ part of ‘Intermediate+’ means that you will be aiming to tackle more of those moderate technical features
- You have a reasonable level of mountain bike fitness, exercising at least twice a week for one hour or more, throughout the whole year
- You can ride a mountain bike for up to six hours per day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for four or more consecutive days
- You are capable of tackling one or two moderate mountain bike climbs per day, of up to 600 metres each
Typical trails you’ll be riding
- Much of the riding you’ll do on our mountain bike tour Colorado is over 7,000ft/ 2,000m and to over 10,000ft/ 3,000m with exposure present on most trails
- Double track: undulating forest roads made up of hard-packed dirt and small rocks
- Singletrack: rustic singletrack, high alpine trails and forests trails with roots crossing, and at times you will encounter golf ball-sized rock gardens, and occasionally purpose built flow trails
- The trails in the Rocky Mountains are hundreds of years old, so are not always buff purpose built trails, they are natural high alpine walking trails that link regions and surfaces may be soft and muddy at times
- +Arrival + departure details
Your mountain bike tour Colorado will start and end in Aspen.
You should arrive the day prior to your tour start date and spend one night in Snowmass, allowing for any delays to flights and luggage, ready for your guide to meet you there the following morning. Your guide will meet you in the foyer of your hotel and he/she will be holding an H+I Adventures sign and wearing an H+I ride top.
On the last day of the tour, your guide will ensure you are dropped off at Aspen airport on time to catch your flight home. Therefore, we would advise booking your flights home no earlier than 11am on your day of departure.
If your departure flights differ from this, we would be happy to help you with booking an airport hotel. Or perhaps you’re thinking of spending some extra time in Aspen? You could hire a car and head to Glenwood Springs, home to the world’s largest hot springs pool. Then why not treat yourself afterwards to a beer at the Aspen Brewing Company – you certainly will have earnt it!
- +Travelling to Colorado
Aspen, Colorado is well-served by many major airlines from all over the world.
For up-to-date timetables and booking visit: www.delta.com; www.aa.com; www.united.com; and www.swiss.com. You must book your bike on to your flight in advance, otherwise you could face a heavy charge at the airport.
Canadian Citizens generally do not require visas to visit USA. You must have your passport as proof of citizenship. All other citizens should check the Visa and ESTA requirements on the Travel.State.Gov website. A tourist/landing card may be given to you aboard the airplane during your flight to USA.
- +Preparing yourself + your bike for your adventure
Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your mountain bike tour Colorado, so that you have everything you need!
Our mountain bike tour Colorado is for intermediate+ riders with level 6 fitness. The ideal bike for the Colorado trails is a good quality full-suspension bike with around 140mm of front travel. To get the most out of your mountain bike tour Colorado you should plan some training in advance of your tour, and it is essential that, if you’re bringing your own bike, you must ensure that it has been properly serviced before the trip.
You will experience altitudes of between 7,000ft/ 2,000m and 10,000ft/ 3,000m when mountain biking in Colorado, so we have some advice on mountain biking at high altitudes.
We recommend that you do travel with your own bike, and have some handy tips on how to do this, however if this isn’t possible for you we can arrange bike hire for you for a high quality full suspension mountain bike for the duration of your mountain bike tour Colorado.
- +Your mountain bike guides in Colorado
Our mountain bike guides in Colorado are of the highest level.
They are qualified in first-aid and they have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these remote, wild and beautiful parts of Colorado.
Our guides have years of experience in the saddle on the trails of the Colorado area and will be able to enhance your holiday with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna. They’re also genuinely nice people and will do their best to make sure that everyone in the group has a great time. Meet Colin.
- +Accommodation + food
One of the things that sets our holidays apart from others is the unique local accommodation we use. We aim to use the best, locally-run accommodation in each country, and that which is traditional to that specific area, whether it be city or mountain.
On our mountain bike tour Colorado you’ll be staying in a selection of mountain accommodation from mountain condos, to small family run hotels, to hidden retreats, where a warm welcome awaits all mountain bikers.
Most of the food you will enjoy on our mountain bike tour Colorado is traditional food influenced by surrounding states, all prepared with the greatest of care and skill.
- +Health + safety
No vaccinations are required for visiting Colorado.
We recommend you check before drinking tap water, but 99% of this is safe for consumption. Bottled or filtered water will be readily available throughout the trip.
Also, please let us know if you have any special food requirements, allergies or pre-existing conditions your guides should know about.
You should always consult your own doctor or physician before travelling to new countries to seek their advice on matters concerning your health abroad.
Your health and safety is on our mountain bike tour Colorado is our top priority so when you travel with us you also have the peace of mind knowing that you will be covered by Global Rescue emergency medical and evacuation services.
- +Currency + foreign exchange
The official currency of Colorado is the US dollar. ATM machines are readily available throughout Colorado.
It is not compulsory to tip your guides or drivers in Colorado, but if you feel that you have had a good service or experience on your mountain bike tour Colorado, you can tip at your discretion.
It is not compulsory to tip in restaurants, however should you wish to tip your servers, 15% – 25% of your meal cost would be acceptable.
- +Holiday insurance
You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. In this policy you must include cover for mountain biking and we recommend that you take out a policy which covers cancellation and baggage.
We work closely with WorldNomads whose policies are specially designed for mountain bike holidays and you can arrange your insurance cover directly with them.
H+I Adventures Ltd. operates in partnership with Blazing Adventures and COBC with all riders operated under their special use permits from the USFS and BLM.
Please note: our mountain bike tour Colorado is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Colorado and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
Submit your review
Vast is probably the only word I can think of to describe the landscape in Colorado.......oh and high! This place is simply stunning and nothing quite prepares you for the scale of the scenery. We had an amazing week with our guide, Ben. The trails more than lived up to their billing and the countless YouTube videos (just check out pretty much anything from Yeti if you don’t know what I mean....).
The trip is varied with an opportunity to ride some of the classic Colorado trails as well as some hidden gems that only the locals know about (Dr Park is my personal favourite although the descent into Greens Creek did have me grinning for hours afterwards).
You will also get to experience some of the different styles of mountain living in Colorado. Crested Butte is my favourite - really cool little town!
One word of caution though, riding at altitude is tough.....really tough, especially for the first few days. Please pay attention when Cat advises you to get there early otherwise your first few days will be a real struggle. Give it 48hrs and your body starts to settle down though and you can enjoy this amazing trip......
Wow. Breathtaking scenery. This tour has everything - forests, desert landscapes and alpine meadows. The riding conditions were varied: fast & flowy; and technical & challenging. Our guide Colin was a true pro and continually entertained us on our tour.
What a trip. Colorado is my new favourite state. Such variety; so stunning. Beautiful Aspen groves in amazing autumn colours; challenging desert single track, and descents from 12,000ft. Great accommodation and hearty food. Do it.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) mountain bike tour Colorado
- Q. How many people will be in the group?
We only run small group mountain bike tours to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible, and there will generally be between six and eight people in each group. We can stretch to a maximum of ten if it’s a group of friends. The minimum number of people we require to run this mountain bike tour Colorado is four.
- Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this holiday?
Our mountain bike tour Colorado caters for a wide age range; typically between 30- and 55-years-old. As long as you have a good level of physical fitness you will enjoy this mountain bike tour Colorado no matter what your age.
- Q. What style of mountain bike tour is it?
This mountain bike tour Colorado is a guided mountain bike vacation, ideal for intermediate+ mountain bikers. The terrain you’ll be riding on consists of double track and singletrack through thick forests, villages and across mountain passes. You’ll encounter some steep climbs and rooty sections, as well as fabulous, swooping descents. Altitude is a factor in this trip and we have some tips for riding at high altitudes and managing the effects of altitude.
- Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?
The distances we cover each day range from 20km to 50km, in accordance with the altitude and height gain/ loss on each stage. We will gain a lot of your height via shuttle but don’t be fooled, you will still need to ride and climb. Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s mountain biking and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.
- Q. Do we have to carry all our gear with us?
No, you only need to carry a day pack with you whilst riding. We have your large kit bags transferred to your next accommodation each day, and have it ready and waiting for your arrival. Due to the mountainous environment you will need to bring a 20L backpack to ride with.
- Q. What if I come across a section of trail I can’t ride?
Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills help during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour Colorado. If there is a section that you would prefer not to ride, then you can simply hop off your bike and walk. You won’t be the only one to walk certain sections and it’s not a competition in biking ability; it’s a mountain bike holiday!
- Q. Who will be guiding us?
Your mountain bike guides are local to Colorado and experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the culture and landscape of Colorado. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour Colorado. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip.
- Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?
On this mountain bike tour in this beautiful region of Colorado you will be staying in a selection of mountain accommodations, from small family run hotels, to mountain condos in Snowmass mountain village.
- Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?
All lunches starting on day one, all breakfasts starting on day two and a welcome BBQ with a celebration last night meal. Colorado has a diverse and high quality offering when it comes to food, pulling on influences from around the US and further afield with its dishes.
- Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?
A good quality full suspension with 140mm front travel would be ideal for this mountain bike tour Colorado. It depends on your style of riding because this mountain bike tour is fairly unique in that riders of differing abilties and experience can enjoy the trails equally; the more confident bikers can just ride faster!
- Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?
The daytime and nighttime temperatures vary greatly in this part of the US, so you must make sure that you have plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot, and you should bring a down jacket for the evenings. It is possible that you will experience some rain in the afternoons in the mountains, so you must remember to bring a waterproof jacket too. You should bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, padded undershorts, specific shoes for cycling, sun cream, insect spray, and Advil or Ibuprofen. Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your mountain bike tour Colorado.
- Q. Will there be a chance to get laundry done?
Yes, you will have the chance to have laundry done most evenings.
- Q. Can I bring a drone with me?
Unfortunately not. We are working hard to provide each and every customer who rides with us an unparalleled mountain bike experience in every destination we ride. This takes years of experience, riding and planning to get right, and a drone adds a very real danger to the group’s riding experience and health & safety.
- Q. Can I take a day off from riding?
Sure, it is your mountain bike vacation. Just chat things through with your guiding team and they will arrange your day for you. Depending on the day you wish to take off, depends on what else is available for you to do, but they will gladly advise you.
- Q. Do I need to worry about altitude?
Altitude is something to be aware of on this mountain bike tour Colorado, but we have planned this tour in the best way possible to allow you to enjoy the riding, without feeling the effects too much during the riding. But please be aware, you will be working that little harder on the climbs, but expertly managed by your guide.