VBT Bike Tour guests: VBT will offer a shuttle from Denver
International Airport (DEN) to Hearthstone House in Aspen, departing the
airport at 10:30 am. If you are arriving after this shuttle departs or your
flight is delayed, you must make your own arrangements to reach Hearthstone
House. The travel time is approximately
4.5 hours in duration. Colorado Mountain
Express and MPG-Express offer shared-ride shuttles.
Alternately, you may choose to fly into Aspen/Pitkin County
Airport (ASE), which is only four miles from Hearthstone House. You are responsible for your transportation
to the inn. Shared-ride shuttles and
taxis are available in the airport's arrivals hall. Taxi fare will run $18-$25.
For guests driving to the tour, parking is available in
Aspen at the Rio Grande Parking Garage, 427 Rio Grande Place. Vehicles can use the parking facility 24
hours a day, 7 days a week. Any car that is going to be left in the facility
for more than 72 hours needs to register at the attendant booth. Charges per
vehicle are dependent on how long the vehicle is inside the facility. The
Parking Garage contact phone number is 970-920-5430.
VBT Pre-Trip Extension guests: You have another morning to
enjoy Denver. At 11:00 am, the shuttle company will meet and transfer you to
Hearthstone House in Aspen. Please be ready with your luggage and meet the
driver at the concierge desk just inside the Tremont Place entrance on the
ground floor. The shuttle will be coming
from the airport with arriving VBT guests. The driver will be holding a VBT sign.
We meet at Hearthstone House, located in the heart of Aspen
village. Upon checking in, ask at the reception desk for your welcome package,
full of information you might find useful on your tour.
After settling in, meet your Trip Leaders at 3:30 pm for a
safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a warm-up ride through the town's
Victorian west end. Tonight, get
familiar with your fellow travelers and hear about the upcoming week during a
wine-and-cheese reception hosted by the inn. Then, we stroll into town for an included dinner at one of Aspen's
acclaimed restaurants. You'll want to
take your time, and maybe a detour, on the walk back to the inn. The views of the mountain and the colorful
shop fronts in this idyllic, car-free village are something to savor.
Day 2 - Maroon Bells / Gondola on Aspen Mountain
This morning, we cycle to one of the most photographed (but
still quiet) sites in North America, and one that certainly will say “Colorado”
to you. Maroon Bells is the name given
to two peaks in the Elks Range. The reflection of these 14,000 foot summits on the surface of Maroon Lake is unforgettable.
Due to U.S. Forest Service regulations for the White River
National Forest, we will partner with a local company to support you
today. We will shuttle from our inn to
the East Maroon Portal, three miles below the Maroon Bells Scenic Wilderness
Area, and will start cycling to the top from there. Today's ride is mostly along Maroon Creek
Road, where motorized traffic is limited. You may choose to take your time for the ride up to Maroon Bells Scenic
Wilderness Area. If you prefer, you may
take the shuttle all the way to the top to start your ride. We will ride the 11
miles downhill back to Aspen together, and then continue on a 6-mile loop around
Once back in Aspen, we refuel over an included picnic
lunch. This afternoon, board the Silver
Queen Gondola in the heart of Aspen village for a silent ride to the 11,000
foot summit of Aspen Mountain. The trip
covers 2.5 miles and more than 3,000 vertical feet. Once on top, enjoy the sundeck or go for a
walk. Return via the gondola for dinner
on your own and an evening in town.
Day 3 - Rio Grande Recreation Trail / Optional River Rafting / Hot Springs Pool
Today, we ride from one end of the Roaring Fork Valley to
the other, and do it almost entirely on a car-free recreation path. We lose about 2,100 feet in elevation over 40
miles, making for a gentle downhill ride on the Rio Grande Trail.
The towns of Basalt and Carbondale provide interesting stops
and a wide range of opportunities for enjoying a great lunch at your
We ride directly into Glenwood Springs and to our home for
the night, the venerable Hotel Colorado. While the guest rooms are modest by today's standards, the hotel is
ideal for our short visit, and you'll love it for its history and setting.
There is an opportunity to raft the Colorado River this
afternoon, with either a Shoshone Rapids run or an easy float trip. Rafting
lasts approximately three hours and costs approximately $45.00 per person. Your Trip Leaders will provide more
information and help with arrangements.
We enjoy dinner in our hotel's dining room tonight. After dinner, walk next door and join locals
for a sociable evening at the hot spring pool. The outdoor pool spans more than two city blocks and has been a draw for
visitors since Glenwood Springs was first on the map. This is the perfect muscle-soothing recipe
for a good night's sleep.
Day 4 - Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail / Hanging Lake / Vail Village
After breakfast, start cycling east from our hotel on the
Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail. The Colorado River is our constant companion
this morning as we ride along this car-free trail. There is a shallow climb as
we head east. Enjoy a two-mile scenic hike to Hanging Lake. Alternately, enjoy a later start to your
morning and meet your fellow travelers later for a picnic lunch, allowing us to
further enjoy the great outdoors. After
lunch, cycle to the trailhead where we join our shuttle, which covers most of
the elevation gain today, and continue east to Vail.
We check in to our deluxe accommodations in the heart of
Vail Village. Maybe you'll want to hit
the outdoor hot tub or mountain-view pool. Dinner is on your own tonight, with
many wonderful options along the pedestrian streets outside our door. On many Wednesday nights in June, July, and August,
there are Vail Valley Music Festival events scheduled
Day 5 - Vail Pass to Breckenridge
After breakfast, we shuttle to the top of Vail Pass, then
ride down the east side to Breckenridge. This is the Ten Mile Canyon National Recreation Trail, a paved bike path
offering incredible views. We head
downhill to Copper Mountain Village, then follow a more gradual descent to
Frisco, a small town with curious cafés and shops. Our final stretch today takes us into
Breckenridge. “Breck” is the largest
historic district in Colorado, and we'll enjoy some time in town.
After lunch, we'll shuttle back to Vail for an afternoon at
leisure so you can further explore the town. This evening, we'll review highlights of the week over a memorable
dinner at Leonora, our hotel's excellent restaurant.
Day 6 - Depart for home
Relax over breakfast at the inn this morning before saying
goodbye to your Trip Leaders and fellow travelers.
VBT has made arrangements for a shuttle from the inn back to
the Denver International Airport (DEN), departing at 9:00 am and arriving at
the airport at 11:30 am. We recommend flights
departing no earlier than 1:30 pm. If
you need to get back to the airport prior to that time, the transfer back to
Denver will be at your own expense. Colorado Mountain Express and MPG-Express
offer shared-ride shuttles.
If you drove to the start of the tour, your Trip Leaders
will transfer you back to Aspen at 9:00 am, arriving in Aspen at 11:30
am. You may also use this transfer if
you are flying out of Aspen/Pitkin Airport (ASE).