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Biking Vacation Colorado: Biking the Rockies​

Activity Level: Easy / Moderate  |  Daily Mileage: 11 – 43 mi  |  Daily Biking: 2 – 4 hr
Land only
6 days from only
Pre-trip Extension:
Denver · 2 nights $245
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Aspen / Warm-up ride / Reception and dinner

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.
Please meet the shuttle at the Denver International Airport West Terminal, Door 510, Island 1 Limo and Taxi. Your shuttle bus will carry "MPG Express" titles, and the driver will be holding a VBT sign. The shuttle will depart promptly at 10:30 am.

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 beautiful Aspen

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 leisure. 

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 (www.vailmusicfestival.org).

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).
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