It’s no secret that Colorado harbors some of the premier mountain bike tours on the planet. But what else would you expect in a state where thousands of miles of trails and dirt roads crisscross the high country other than premium rides? Any purpose built mountain-bike holiday to the Colorado Rockies is going to deliver the goods, but the tragedy is, most people set off on one of the many legendary day trips. Those out-and-backs or loop rides, as great as they are, plunk you back at the car way too quickly. For experienced bikers with a yen for backcountry, rare treasure can be found in these hills.
What you may not know is that there exist in Colorado a unique roster of public-land cross country routes that out-distance and out-climb the rank-and-file trails used by most mountain bike day trippers. We’re talking routes for the long-haul, long-winded rides that serve up a gluttonous menu of tasty opportunities for extended multi-day mountain bike tours. We’re talking days- and weeks long rides through serious wilderness landscapes. If you want a ride with character, then step up to one of these. After all, why go all the way to Colorado for something less than a memorable, heart pumping adventure, and enough time in the backcountry to enjoy it?
Consider it bike packing – like a hybrid cross between backpacking and mountain biking – where a tent is your mobile shelter, all your provisions are carried on panniers or an off-road bike trailer, and your bike is a vehicle for discovery. You’re miles from the nearest towns, and more likely than not, cell phones won’t work. You better be ready, because you’re going to be on your own for a few days, or even a week or more if you opt for longer routes such as the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. But any of these routes is going to make a ride you’ll never forget.