Telluride to Moab
On the ride from Telluride to Moab, you will experience both the majestic mountains of Colorado and the intricate deserts of the West.
Beginning in the quintessential alpine setting of Telluride, we will head up to the Uncompahgre Plateau with views of the San Miguel and La Sal mountain ranges. Distances will range from 35 to 50 miles per day, including a 3,000 foot climb up John Brown Canyon, followed by a breathtaking descent into the Moab Valley.
For those who have some miles under their belts, this is a great way to see the West. The riding is physically demanding but not technical, making it the perfect trip for road bikers ready for a fat tire adventure. More questions? Call us at 800-845-2453. This Telluride to Moab tour is an intermediate to advanced 6-day guided mountain bike trip in Colorado.
This great ride begins in historic Telluride, after our three hour shuttle from Moab. Our route takes us directly underneath the dramatic Mount Sneffels Wilderness Area and offers outstanding views of the snow capped San Juan Mountains. In the early summer the wildflowers are incredible. In the fall, the golden hue of aspen and scrub oak add a nice touch to the spectacular mountain scenery. This afternoon, we will climb up towards Last Dollar Pass, which is just over 10,500 feet. This is a tough long climb but the awesome scenery will keep you going. Our camp is situated just over the top of the pass and we’re sure that you’ll understand why this is one of our favorites. TOTAL MILEAGE: 14 miles. ELEVATION GAIN: 2,400 feet
Our second day begins with a fun descent down the backside to Hastings Mesa and Route 62 which we will follow for two to three miles before heading back to the dirt. On this 2,200 foot downhill, we will descend through beautiful meadows filled with lush stands of aspen trees. A few rollers and a great creek crossing keep the fun level high. After our long descent, we begin a gradual climb up to the Uncompahgre Plateau which we will follow for the next few days. Views off to the south of the plateau lend a proper perspective to this amazing area. From the mesas, we can see the valleys far below us and the snow capped peaks above us. The plant life changes as dramatically as do our views. Tonight our camp will be in the aspens at 9,000 feet. TOTAL MILEAGE: 39 miles. ELEVATION GAIN: 3,100 feet
Our ride today takes us along the top of the Uncompahgre Plateau. From Windy Point, views of the La Sal Mountains are spectacular. Here the red rock desert country joins the mountains in an impressive geological display. The sediments that were laid down millions of years ago were warped upwards when the mountains rose from beneath the surface. The resultant landscape provides an interesting contrast of high snow capped peaks and arid desert. We can see the route that we will be following on our way to the La Sals. Yet the steep climb up John Brown Canyon remains deceptively hidden. TOTAL MILEAGE: 52 miles. ELEVATION GAIN: 2,800 feet
Our last day on the plateau takes us through beautiful pine forests to just above the town of Gateway. From camp, we’ll roll along the plateau before we begin a great descent through a beautiful canyon. The vegetation in this canyon is quite diverse and changes dramatically as we lose elevation. After this descent we will then climb a thousand feet before we arrive at our camp in the ponderosas, where we’ll have lunch. An afternoon of relaxation is in order. A short hike from camp will take us to a point overlooking Unaweep Canyon which is where we will be heading in the morning. From this impressive point we will get a hint of tomorrow’s big climb up John Brown Canyon. TOTAL MILEAGE: 17 miles. ELEVATION GAIN: 1,900 feet
Today we have a long descent followed by the big climb. First we will descend 3,000 vertical feet in 10 miles. After we roll through the small town of Gateway and cross the Dolores River, we begin the difficult ascent into the La Sal Mountains. The climb up John Brown Canyon is a strenuous one, however soon after beginning the climb great views of the mountains appear. In the afternoon, we reach North Beaver Mesa where we will camp high above the Colorado River at 8,300 feet. Here on the mesa top our view encompasses both the mountains and the desert. There are few places in the world where such a perspective is possible. TOTAL MILEAGE: 34 miles. ELEVATION GAIN: 5,000 feet
If you like to ride downhill, you will love today’s ride. We will descend a total of 5,700 vertical feet and 31 miles into the Moab Valley. We will begin our ride on the north side of the La Sal Mountains and work our way around to the central range, high above the Moab Valley. But first we start with a quick tour of the evidence of life here about 80 million years ago. Hidden in the scrub oak at an elevation of 7,500 feet are dinosaur track impressions in the rock. They’re about twice the size of anyone’s Sidis! While still pondering this amazing site we’ll hop on our bikes for a ripping 1,700 foot descent toward Castle Valley. We will get on the La Sal Mountain Loop Road (paved) and climb about seven miles up to Bald Mesa. In the afternoon, we ride a great 26 mile, 4,000 foot descent into the Moab Valley. TOTAL MILEAGE: 35 miles. ELEVATION GAIN: 1,800 feet
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: Hard packed clay, loose gravel. Mostly dirt road route, no singletrack. Some loose, rocky sections. Some pavement.
Overall Rating: Intermediate/Advanced
Technical Difficulty: Moderate
Physical Difficulty: Difficult. Steep climbs, long days and high elevations make this ride a challenging one.
Altitude: 4,000 - 10,500 feet
For travel logistics and a packing list, please download the complete trip itinerary.