Telluride to Durango
Telluride to Durango is a superb mix of singletrack and doubletrack trails through the remote San Juan Mountains of Western Colorado.
Also known as the "American Alps" the San Juans are stunning, their weather cool, their air clean, and the camping some of our most beautiful. Singletrack trails on this tour includes the beautiful East Fork Trail, Relay Creek and the grand finale on the remarkable Hermosa Creek Trail.
Telluride to Durango is a challenging intermediate to advanced tour at high altitude. Singletrack experience is necessary. Call us at 800-845-2453, we will give you all the details.
After meeting in Durango, we’ll load up and shuttle 2-1/2 hours to Telluride. On the way we’ll drive through the historic mining town of Rico, over 10,222 foot Lizard Head Pass, and beneath the 14,000 foot peaks of El Diente and Mt. Wilson. From Telluride we’ll ride the gondola with our bikes up and out of town to the ski area’s core at Mountain Village. Once we’re on our bikes again a 2,000 foot descent on singletrack awaits, plunging us into the Ilium Valley where we’ll have lunch. The remainder of the day will be spent climbing beneath the trees on the Galloping Goose railroad grade. At a consistent 3% grade the “Goose” climbs 2,200 feet, topping out in an alpine meadow where we will camp for the night. TOTAL MILEAGE: 26 miles
Our route this morning follows the difficult East Fork Trail up the headwaters of the Dolores River. This roadless drainage is extremely beautiful as it traverses high meadows beneath the towering peaks of the San Juan Mountains. The trail is fairly primitive and discretionary riders may want to walk some short sections. The East Fork Trail eventually intersects an old doubletrack that we’ll follow to our Bolam Pass camp. From this 11,000 foot elevation camp, fine views of Graysill Mountain and the La Plata Mountains dominate the skyline. After setting up our tents, an optional ride to Sliderock Pass on the Colorado Trail is available. Celebration Lake is near camp, where the hardy can enjoy a truly refreshing dip in the afternoon. TOTAL MILEAGE: 8 - 16 miles
Today we’ll join the alpine singletrack of the Colorado Trail for a spectacular ride at an altitude few people ever reach on their bikes. The Colorado Trail offers incredible wilderness scenery and runs nearly 500 miles from Denver to Durango. From camp the trail begins by winding around the slopes of Hermosa Peak before ascending 12,000 foot Blackhawk Pass. There will be some short hike-a-bikes on this section, which offer a chance to stretch our legs and enjoy the far reaching views from this high elevation trail. At the pass we’ll have a snack, and maybe a nap, and begin our ride back on the same trail to our camp at Bolam Pass. This layover day gives us a great opportunity to choose this challenging ride or take in a midweek day of relaxation at our high mountain camp. TOTAL MILEAGE: 15 miles, shorter options available
Another great ride awaits us today. We will start our ride with the Relay Creek Trail, a singletrack that traverses the base of Graysill Mountain. From the trail we’ll pick up a dirt road to our lunch spot. This will set us up to ride part of the mountain bike trail system at Durango Mountain Resort, home of the 1990 mountain bike world championships. Our camp tonight is in beautiful Hermosa Park, just above our last ride. TOTAL MILEAGE: 19 - 26 miles
The Hermosa Creek Trail is considered one of the best singletrack trails in the Rockies. Although we are almost always losing elevation on this 18 mile trail, it is a challenging workout. Beginning in the open meadows of Hermosa Park, we ride beside Hermosa Creek for a few miles before the creek drops away from the trail. The singletrack threads through large stands of aspens and conifers. After intersecting Dutch Creek we will begin a short, but strenuous climb. Some of the best riding of the day occurs after the climb, as we roll along at a fairly steady elevation, high above the roaring creek. Once we reach the trailhead, we’ll descend the four miles to the highway and we’ll shuttle into Durango where our journey will end. TOTAL MILEAGE: 19 miles of unsupported singletrack to 6 miles on paved road
This tour contains some very difficult riding on narrow, steep mountain trails. A high level of skill and fitness is required to enjoyably navigate much of the route. We will be without vehicle support during all of the singletrack sections of the ride and medical help is far away. Please call us and we can help you determine whether this trip is appropriate for you. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.
Riding Surface: Singletrack trails on clay, packed sediment, some rocky sections, pine needles, smooth dirt and short sections of county roads and asphalt.
Overall Rating: Intermediate/Advanced
Technical Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. Technical, narrow trails; lots of obstacles.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. High altitudes (over 10,000 feet), steep climbs and long unsupported sections.
Altitude: 8,000 - 12,000 feet
For travel logistics and a packing list, please download the complete trip itinerary.