“The guides have been all exceedingly friendly, helpful, and genuinely fun to be around, especially to my son, whose first question upon returning home is always, "Where are we going next year?" ”
Hovenweep Family Trip
- Apr 7, 2014 - Apr 11, 2014
- Apr 14, 2014 - Apr 18, 2014
- Apr 21, 2014 - Apr 25, 2014
The Hovenweep Family trip is great for kids from 4 to 14. It includes some short riding sections perfect for younger kids on trail-along bikes or older kids on their own bikes. The trip is not appropriate for children under 4 who need a bike trailer. The roads are just a bit too bumpy! The ruins are fascinating for everyone, and every day (except Day 1) includes some extra mileage options for hiking or biking.
Please provide a little information to see the full itinerary, travel logistics and other important details:
Hovenweep Family Trip Itinerary
MEETING TIME AND PLACE
The trip will meet at 8:00am MST at Hassle Free Sports, 2615 Main Ave, Durango, Colorado, 970-259-3874. You will need to spend the night before in Durango.
ENDING TIME AND PLACE
We will return to Durango between 4:00-5:00 pm on the last day.
TRIP DAY 1
After meeting in Durango, we will head west to the Anasazi Heritage Center in Delores, Colorado. The Center is the perfect introduction to the ancestral puebloan culture. In addition to two 12th century archaeological sites, there are interactive exhibits on weaving and food preparation; there are also many displays of pots, jewelry and architecture. After lunch at the Center we will shuttle over to the northern boundary of the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. From here we will take a short family ride that begins with a pavement warm up and ends on a dirt road with lots of bumps and wiggles. Our ride brings us to a short hiking trail which leads right to Cutthroat Castle. After exploring these, we take a short pedal to our camp on the rim of the canyon overlooking the Painted Hand ruin site. TOTAL MILEAGE - 7 miles riding, 1 mile hike
TRIP DAY 2
Today we ride right out of camp along a smooth dirt road that brings us out to the Pedro Point and its fascinating ruin. The main Pedro Point Road is double track with a few bumpy, loose sections to keep us on our toes and has beautiful views in all directions. The ruin is nestled in the Pinyon Pine and juniper forest on the edge of yet another lovely canyon. After lunch we will head south to the Hovenweep National Monument Visitor Center. Here we will find the famous Square Tower group and Circle Tower Point. After hiking to the point, those with extra energy can continue around the entire loop, while the rest of the group heads over to the campground, our home for the next two nights. TOTAL MILEAGE - 11 miles riding, 1-4 mile hike
TRIP DAY 3
We ride from camp this morning north to the Holly Hackberry Road. This area is home to three beautiful ruins. The Horseshoe Unit is composed of four masonry structures that blend beautifully into the landscape. Each stone was shaped and fitted into place with a clay, sand, and ash mortar that still holds them in place some 800 years later. At the Hackberry Unit, archeologists speculate that over 300 people lived in this area at its height. The seep at the head of this canyon provides one of the more reliable water sources in the region. From here we go on to the Holly group and the famous Tilted Tower. The Tower was built on a large sandstone boulder that shifted some time after the canyon was abandoned around 1300 A.D. After lunch, those ready for more can hike the 4 mile Holly Trail which finishes right back at our camp, or do a ride from the ruin. The rest of us will shuttle or bike back to camp the way we came. TOTAL MILEAGE - 6-20 miles riding, 2-6 mile hike
TRIP DAY 4
Today we leave our Hovenweep camp and shuttle east to Cannonball Mesa. From our camp just below the mesa top we will head out to find the Cannonball Ruin. A steep and loose climb will bring us to the top of the mesa. Most of us will do a bit of a hike-a-bike to get to the top, but from there it is smooth sailing along the top of the mesa. Again the views are 360 degrees, with Sleeping Ute Mountain watching over us and the mighty La Plata Mountains in the distance. We will have lunch at the ruin. When we return from the ruin the kids will work on their interpretive skit for the evening, giving the parents a chance to do a longer ride or hike in the afternoon. TOTAL MILEAGE - 7-25 miles riding
TRIP DAY 5
Before we return to the 21st century, we will make our way over to Mesa Verde National Park. We will start with the impressive museum and visitor center where we will have the chance to further our knowledge about these fascinating ancient people. We will do a self guided tour of the Spruce Tree House; Mesa Verde's best preserved cliff dwelling. The vegetation we will encounter along the way is the same used by the ancestral puebloans for food, soap and many of the needs and activities of daily living. After lunch we will do a guided tour of the famous Balcony House. This dwelling includes 35 rooms and was occupied for over 100 years - a great finale for our tour.
Road Surface: Packed dirt, loose dirt, gravel, sandstone, and pavement.
Technical difficulty; Easy to moderate
Physical difficulty: Easy to moderate
Altitude: 4,500-5,500 feet
GETTING TO DURANGO
Durango is located in southwestern Colorado. It is a 6 hour drive from Denver via Interstate 25 to US 160. From Grand Junction, Colorado it is a 4 hour drive via US 50 and 550. There is parking available.
-Flying into Durango
This is the most direct way to get to Durango. America West, Mesa and United fly into Durango.
Durango Transportation 970-259-4818 or 800-626-2066
Airport Shuttles are $30 each way and you need to reserve your seat at least 2 hours in advance. They also have a taxi service which will help you get to Mountain Bike Specialists in the morning, please call ahead.
It is a good idea to book your rooms ahead and these are our recommendations.
970-259-5373 or 800-228-5150
Best Western Durango Inn
970-247-3251 or 800-547-9090
Best Western Mountain Shadows
970-247-5200 or 800-521-5218
Durango Central Reservations
Above rates are approximate.
There are really just two kinds of weather: weather you like and weather you do not like. Come prepared for both and you won't care what the weather does.
If you have questions about temperatures for your specific trip please feel free to give us a call 800-845-2453 or email us at email@example.com. We will be happy to give you packing suggestions and help you with ideas for things to do before and after your bike trip.
PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP
You will receive a tour packing list with your tour confirmation package. Be sure to bring everything on this list. Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable so be sure to bring all the warm clothing and rain gear listed! When you arrive for your tour, we will give you a dry bag in which to pack your gear. If you have any questions about anything on the list, please call us.
SHIPPING YOUR BIKE
You are welcome to ship your bike to us in advance of your trip. For a moderate fee we will unpack it, build it, and ship it back home to you afterwards. Bikes can be insured to $4,000. Domestic shipping only. If you decide you want to go this route, you must call us in advance of your trip so we can inform the shop that your bike is on its way.
To ship your bike UPS, send it to Hassle Free Sports, 2615 Main Ave. Durango, CO 81301; 970-259-3874. It is critical that you include your name, "Western Spirit Cycling" and tour date on the outside of the box. Check with your local UPS people for the number of days needed for it to arrive in time. There is no Saturday delivery to Durango. It is imperative to have your bike finely tuned and cleaned before your tour so you know it is in top running condition.
If you have any other questions about trip logistics, please feel free to send us an email or, better yet, to call us at 800-845-2453. We will be happy to try to help you answer any other questions you might have about our bike trips.
THINGS TO DO
The Durango Diner, 957 Main St - a local's favorite
Carver's Restaurant and Bakery, 1022 Main St - awesome bakery and full breakfast (great for lunch or dinner too)
The Bridge Café, Main St and Camino Del Rio - a great outdoor spot for lunch
Ore House, 147 E. College Dr - our favorite Western steak place
Gaspacho, 431 E. 2nd Ave - traditional northern Mexican Cuisine
Ariano's, 150 E. College Dr - excellent Italian
Our two favorite books about the area are:
Tomboy Bride by Harriet Fish Backus and Pam Houston
A Woman's Personal Account of Life in Mining Camps of the West. This can be found at http://www.amazon.com/.
Durango and Silverton Narrow Guage: A Quick History by Duane A. Smith
which can be found at http://www.colorado2.com/ search for Durango.
Your guides will have all the maps necessary for your trip. If you would like your own copy for a souvenir, here is all the info:
National Geographic Trails Illustrated map #504 Durango Area
This can be found at www.shop.nationalgeographic.com. Go to Maps and Atlases and then to Trail Maps.
Stop by our favorite bike shop, Mountain Bike Specialists at 949 Main Street. They have a great map table with pictures and directions to all the local rides. Their super friendly staff will help you pick a ride and point you in the right direction.
Southwest Whitewater, 1430 Main, 970-259-8313 - these folks run both day trips and overnights.
Rivers West, 520 Main, 800-622-0852 - give them a call to check their schedule.
THE TRAIN MUSEUM
The Durango Silverton Narrow Guage Railroad and Museum is at 479 Main Street, 970-247-2733.
There are daily scenic train excursions on the Historic Steam Powered Coal Fired Locomotives from Durango to Silverton and back. It is a beautiful trip, but quite a long day to go to Silverton and come back in the same day. If time permits spending a night in Silverton would be fun!
Main Street in Durango - Many of Durango's best shops can be reached by strolling down Main Street. You can find everything from silver Navajo jewelry to toy cowboys and Indians.