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Colorado: Aspen to Vail, Valleys of the Rockies

Colorado’s renowned Rockies have never been so bike-friendly! We’ve mapped out a Colorado bike tour that descends through canyons and traces valley floors with ease … mostly on paved, car-free bike paths. Ride among vistas at once sublime and splendid, with ample time to explore. Gaze upon “The Bells,” twin peaks rising to the heavens above and reflected in Maroon Lake below. Discover the Colorado Silver Boom during an interpretive walk in a deserted mining town. Take time off the saddle to soak in the culture and charms of the region’s most beloved towns—Aspen, Vail, Frisco, and Breckenridge. And savor the locally sourced farm cuisine and craft beer for which the region is so famous. Hit the heights, VBT style!

Tour Highlights

  • Ride among alpine peaks and breathe bracingly clean air as you discover the majestic beauty of the Colorado Rockies
  • Enjoy easy, hand-selected routes that take advantage of descending canyons, valley floors, recreational trails, and paved bike paths
  • Marvel at the breathtaking views of “The Bells,” twin 14,000-foot summits mirrored in sublime reflection at Maroon Lake
  • Cycle the gradual descent through the Roaring Fork Valley on the car-free Rio Grande Trail from Aspen to Glenwood Springs
  • Learn about early settlers and the history of the 19th-century Colorado Silver Boom during an interpretive walk through a deserted mining town

What to Expect

This tour offers mostly easy terrain on primarily paved, car-free recreational paths with the occasional rolling hill and the opportunity for longer rides. The VBT support vehicle is always available.

  • Daily Mileage: 6 - 42 miles|
  • Biking: 1 - 5 hours|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Jun80º/36º

Jul74º/38º

Aug78º/46º

Sep71º/36º

Average
Precipitation:

Jun1.4 in

Jul1.1 in

Aug1.6 in

Sep1.4 in

Tour Only

5 nights in historic mountain town hotels Check
10 meals: 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners Check
Optional car service from Aspen/Pitkin County Airport Check
Optional car service to Eagle County Regional Airport Check
Optional car service from Vail to Aspen Check

Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Support Vehicle

Luggage Transportation

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Sun, Jun 4 to Fri, Jun 9 - 2023

Show Itinerary:

VBT offers a complimentary car service from Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) to the Annabelle Inn, departing the airport at 12:00 p.m.

Meet at the Annabelle Inn, your accommodations for the next two nights, conveniently located just steps from the heart of downtown Aspen. Upon check-in, you receive your welcome package, full of useful information.

After settling in, meet your trip leaders at 3:30 p.m. for a safety and bike-fitting session. Your Colorado bike tour begins with a warm-up ride through the town’s Victorian west end. Aspen’s residential history is on full display along these charming streets. You return to Annabelle Inn via a scenic riverside bike path. Tonight, get to know your fellow travelers and learn about the upcoming week during a casual reception hosted by your trip leaders. Later, stroll into town for an included dinner at one of Aspen’s acclaimed restaurants. After, you’ll want to take your time, and maybe a detour, on the walk back to the inn, savoring the stunning mountain views and colorful shops in this idyllic, car-free village.

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up Ride — 6 miles

What to Expect:

Ride directly from the inn across town to Cemetery Lane Trail, a, tree-lined dedicated bike path with stunning mountain vistas. Views of the Roaring Fork River are a constant companion on this easy familiarization ride.

Cumulative Distance Range: 6 miles

Included Meals: Dinner

This morning, you shuttle to the White River National Forest and the foot of the Elk Mountains. Here you view one of the most photographed sites in North America and one of Colorado’s most magnificent vistas – Maroon Bells. These two towering peaks, at about 14,000 feet, are mirrored in the glassy surface of Maroon Lake, creating a spellbinding tableau. There’ll be time to enjoy an easy walk along the lake’s shore and savor the views in this most pristine alpine environment.

After breaking for a hearty lunch, continue on to explore Ashcroft Ghost Town, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This historic mining town was bolstered by a silver boom, then crushed by a sudden bust, in the late 1800s. You step back in time during a fascinating interpretive walk among the restored remains of the saloon, post office, and hotel.

Later, an afternoon of cycling takes you through majestic groves of aspen trees and past sloping hills. Your route follows the gentle contours of Castle Creek Valley. Enjoy an 11-mile descent that delivers you back into Aspen.

The evening is yours to explore Aspen. Perhaps you’ll board the Silver Queen Gondola in the heart of the village for a silent ride up to the 11,000-foot summit of Aspen Mountain. Dinner is on your own at one of Aspen’s many restaurants.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Maroon Lake Scenic Trail Walk — 1.5 miles

Afternoon: Ashcroft to Aspen — 16 miles

What to Expect:

The Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail is well-marked and features level terrain. Traverse a meadow to the far end of Maroon Lake. Walk past a beaver pond and cross a creek before retracing your steps around the shore back to the parking area.

Begin your ride “up valley” on Castle Creek Road. A gentle, 11-mile descent brings you to the head of the Marolt Trail. Then you follow the recreation path past the Holden Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum and continue through Aspen to your hotel.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you ride the length of the Roaring Fork Valley, and do so almost entirely on a car-free recreation path. Throughout the day, you lose about 2,100 feet in elevation over 44 miles, a gentle downhill ride on the Rio Grande Trail past breathtaking brick-red canyon cliffs. Along the way, you may stop at your leisure for lunch in the down-to-earth mountain enclave of Carbondale, set where the Roaring Fork and Crystal Rivers meet.

At ride’s end, you arrive in Glenwood Springs and your 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 boasts a rich history and lovely setting.

This afternoon, you may choose to raft the Colorado river on an easy float trip. The excursion, which is subject to seasonal availability, lasts about three hours and costs approximately $60 per person. This should be booked in advance; please refer to your conformation documents for details on how to book.

After a rewarding day amid the splendor of Colorado, you enjoy dinner on a private terrace at the hotel. After, stroll across the pedestrian bridge to downtown Glenwood Springs—just minutes away—where you may catch some live music and soak in the local ambiance under starlit skies.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Aspen to Carbondale — 29 miles

Afternoon: Carbondale to Glenwood Springs — 14 miles

What to Expect:

Following a final spin through downtown Aspen, hop on the Rio Grande Trail, an entirely car-free recreational path, all the way to Glenwood Springs. Open views and brick-red canyon cliffs paint the landscape as you descend the valley to Carbondale for lunch. Afterward, cycle or shuttle to Glenwood Springs.

Cumulative Distance Range: 29 — 43 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, walk next door and join locals for a sociable morning at the town’s enormous hot spring pool, said to be the world’s largest. It spans more than two city blocks and has drawn visitors since Glenwood Springs was first on the map. This is the perfect muscle-soothing pause as you have reached the mid-way point of the week.

Alternatively, choose to cycle east directly from your hotel onto the Glenwood Canyon Trail, a magnificent car-free bike path that cuts through a towering gorge. The Colorado River is your constant companion this morning as you climb slightly uphill out of the canyon, watching for bighorn sheep and bald eagles high on the jagged canyon walls. Finish your ride at the canyon’s edge in Dotsero before continuing onto Vail.

After, a short shuttle brings you to your final destination of the week – Vail Village. The iconic resort town sings with Colorado splendor. Mountains rise in every direction as Gore Creek courses through the village, complete with quaint cobblestone streets. Enjoy an exploratory ride along the Gore Creek Trail before lunch and a sampling of local craft beers at your hotel.

You check in to your delightful accommodations just steps from the base of Vail Mountain. Opened as one of Vail’s first great European-style lodges in the 1960s, Tivoli Lodge has been reinvented from the ground up, yet remains steeped in old-world charm and suffused with Tyrolean tradition, ambiance, and hospitality. Dinner is on your own, with many wonderful options along the pedestrian streets outside your door. On many Wednesday nights in June, July, and August, Vail Valley Music Festival events unfold throughout the town (vailmusicfestival.org).

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path — 18 miles

Afternoon: Vail Villages Ride — 9 miles

What to Expect:

Choose your own adventure this morning. Opt for a relaxing hot springs soak or cycle east from Glenwood Springs on the car-free Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail. Unlike rides on previous days, you will experience a gradual increase in elevation as you make your way out of the canyon. Your afternoon ride features the Gore Creek Trail—the best way to get acquainted with the ins and outs of Vail Village.

Cumulative Distance Range: 9 — 27 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, you shuttle to the top of Vail Pass, then ride down the east side to Breckenridge. This is the spectacular Ten Mile Canyon National Recreation Trail, a paved bike path offering incredible alpine views all around. You cycle downhill to Copper Mountain Village, then follow a more gradual descent to Frisco, a quaint small town with curious cafés and shops. Your final stretch passes the tranquil Dillon Reservoir and delivers you into Breckenridge, which boasts the largest historic district in Colorado. There’ll be time to linger in “Breck,” grabbing some lunch and browsing the scenic main street.

Shuttle back to Vail for an afternoon at leisure so you can further explore the town. This evening, celebrate your Colorado cycling tour over a memorable farewell dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Vail Pass to Frisco — 13 miles | Frisco to Breckenridge — 9 miles

What to Expect:

Following a short shuttle to the top of Vail Pass, begin a gentle yet breathtaking descent to Copper Mountain Village, then to the town of Frisco. Shuttle from there or continue on the bike path past scenic Dillon Reservoir up to Breckenridge. You gain some elevation on this more moderate stretch of the route. You ride today on a paved, car-free bike path.

Cumulative Distance Range: 13 — 22 miles

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Relax over an included breakfast at the lodge this morning before saying goodbye to your trip leaders and fellow travelers.

VBT has made arrangements for a shuttle from the inn to Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) departing at 9:00 a.m. and arriving at the airport at approximately 10:00 a.m. If you drove to the start of the tour, your trip leaders will also drive you back to Aspen, arriving at approximately 12:00 p.m.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Colorado: Aspen to Vail, Valleys of the Rockies 23

Download PDF Itinerary:

Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations (May vary depending on departure date. )

Reviews
47 out of 63 (75%)
4.8 out of 5 stars.
Read More Reviews

As our first cycling trip and first trip with VBT, I could not have had a better experience. It was such a treat to have all the gear ready for you each day, many meals provided, excellent chats and tips for the day from our guides, socializing and getting to know fellow travelers and top notch hotels. We shared many stories and loved the group we were cycling with. After the pandemic's impact on travels, it was a lot of fun cycling in beautiful Colorado and enjoying the adventures of travel again.

Bernadette F, Los Gatos, CA

Colorado: Aspen to Vail, Valleys of the Rockies

This is a fantastic trip led by an excellent tour company! From the very beginning, it was obvious this was going to be a great trip. From the moment you book, VBT maintains a steady line of communication leading up to the start of the trip to make sure you know everything necessary and bring what is needed. The transportation arrangements were superb. Once on the trail, the guides are really top notch. Our two guides went the extra mile to get us a 10 mile ride on a section of trail that had been closed due to a mudslide…

Dave W, Clarksville, VA

Colorado: Aspen to Vail, Valleys of the Rockies

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Sun, Jun 4 - Fri, Jun 9, 2023

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Sun, Jun 11 - Fri, Jun 16, 2023

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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