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Aspen Self-Guided Bike Tour

Immerse yourself in the magnificence of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

Located 7,908 feet above sea level and surrounded by the pinnacle of Rocky Mountain beauty, Aspen is one part luxury getaway, one part outdoor paradise. Its world-class ski slopes make it one of the premier ski destinations in the winter, while the high-alpine passes, serene valleys, and sun-drenched wildflowers make it a cyclist's dream destination. Based out of one of the top hotels in downtown Aspen and with an array of stellar routes at your fingertips, you'll have a quintessential Aspen experience, riding at your own pace in this bicycling mecca surrounded by an impressive natural beauty. The epic scenery, the vibrant culture, the upscale shopping, and the abundance of gourmet dining restaurants will captivate you immediately and make for an unforgettable self-guided Aspen bike tour.Learn if a self-guided trip is right for you »
From:
$2799 Per Person
Duration:
6 Days & 5 Nights
Rider Type: ?
3 / 4 - Active / Avid Non-riders Welcome
Hotel Style: ?
Explorer
From $2799 per person View All Details
Trip Wows
Stay at an exclusive hotel perfectly located in downtown Aspen and within walking distance to acclaimed restaurants and stores
Ride right into a ghost town and explore Aspen’s silver mining history
Conquer one of America’s highest paved roads, Independence Pass
Pamper yourself at one of the many health spas in town
Delight your palate with the fresh-inspired, organic restaurants that make this town a foodie's delight
Watch the Experience
A very well-conceived trip with fun routes, excellent food, and interesting side tours. We felt Trek was fully behind us whilst enjoying the freedom of self-guidance. And the Trek bikes inspired confidence!
-John, Trek Travel Guest

Dates & Prices

Early Booking Savings Ends October 7th

Book today for the best savings of the year and the widest availability of dates. Not sure where or when you want to travel?
We don’t charge a fee for changing dates or destinations up to 90 days prior to your trip start.
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Available in 2020 and 2021. Our trip on your schedule. Simply choose your own travel dates and we will handle the rest. Price may vary based on hotel availability and dates requested. Contact our Trip Consultants today at 866-464-8735 to get started.
Don't see your ideal travel date? 
Call us at (866) 464-8735 for custom date availability
Looking for a one of a kind, once in a lifetime experience?
Look no further. Choose your trip date, get your group together and we will do the rest. Private trip pricing is as follows:
2020 Departure Dates:
  • 6+ Guests    Price as advertised*
  • 4-5 Guests +$500 per person to trip price*
  • 2-3 Guests +$2,500 per person to trip price*
  • 1 Guest        Call us for pricing*


2021 Departure Dates:
  • 10+ Guests Price as advertised*
  • 8-9 Guests +$500 per person to trip price*
  • 6-7 Guests +$1,000 per person to trip price*
  • 4-5 Guests +$1,500 per person to trip price*
  • 2-3 Guests +$3,000 per person to trip price*
  • 1 Guest        Call us for pricing*
*Pricing, availability and guest minimums are all subject to change at any time. Certain dates have a minimum number of guests required, please contact us for details. Private pricing is not available on Ride Camp, Race, Special Edition or Cross Country style trips.
Looking for a date that you don’t see?
Look no further. Simply tell us your preferred travel dates and we’ll work together to deliver the same great trip on your custom schedule.
*Pricing, availability and guest minimums are all subject to change at any time. Certain dates have a minimum number of guests required, please contact us for details. Custom dates are not available on Ride Camp, Race, Special Edition or Cross Country style trips.
Want to customize this trip?
We've got you covered. We’ll work with you to build your perfect vacation from scratch, including your choice of riding, accommodations and dining options. With the help of our trip designers and travel experts, the world is available like never before.
*Pricing, availability and guest minimums are all subject to change at any time. Certain dates have a minimum number of guests required, please contact us for details. Custom trips are not available on Ride Camp, Race, Special Edition or Cross Country style trips.

Meet your guide at your beautiful retreat, the Limelight Hotel, in downtown Aspen, nestled among the aspen trees famous for their golden hues in the fall. After settling in, your guide will walk you to a local cafe where you will enjoy lunch together and learn about the week ahead. Following lunch, your guide will give you a personalized bike fitting to ensure your comfort on your bike for the week. Then, it's off on your first warm up ride climbing along McClain Flats toward Woody Creek, a quaint village surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas and nestled in the Brush Creek Valley. The route will have you ride past the Woody Creek Tavern, an eclectic eatery and landmark frequented by locals, tourists, and celebrities alike, where you can stop for a refreshing drink. Your journey will then continue on the route the US Pro Cycling Challenge took up the beautiful Brush Creek bike path. This stunning path will provide amazing views of Snowmass Mountain. Upon reaching the rodeo parking lot, you'll have one short climb up Owl Creek Road before descending past the back side of the Aspen airport. From here, you'll take the path back into Aspen, where we suggest you take a bit of time to relax, perhaps by unwinding in the inviting waters of the hotel hot tub before enjoying a delicious meal at the hotel's restaurant.

Today's Ride:

Aspen McClain Flats Loop
Approximately 21 miles with 1,598 feet of climbing

Avid Option:

Aspen McClain Flats Loop with Star Mesa
Approximately 23 miles with 1,979 feet of climbing

Hotel:

The Limelight Hotel

Included Meals:

Lunch | Dinner

Today's ride is an Aspen classic. You will depart the Limelight for a local favorite climb up Castle Creek Road. This ascent averages 2.5% for 12 miles to the historical mining town of Ashcroft. Nestled among spectacular alpine meadows at the headwaters of Castle Creek, this ghost town calls back to the mining boom that founded both the towns of Ashcroft and Aspen. Take the opportunity to visit the restored remains of several historic buildings, including a saloon, a post office, and the Bird House Hotel. Like many "boomtowns" of the period, this prosperous town was founded in 1880 after a productive silver seam was discovered nearby. The town was abandoned only a few years later, as the silver mines were shallow and were quickly exhausted, forcing the town's residents to leave. After this adventurous journey, you may decide to continue your climb to the end of the pavement, where you will see some hikers begin the 11 mile journey to the neighboring town of Crested Butte. From here, you can cruise back down to Aspen or tackle the next famous climb of the day, Maroon Bells, one of Colorado's most iconic bike rides. The route passes through countless aspen groves, underneath the watchful gaze of Pyramid Peak, a "fourteener"—one of Colorado's many peaks that rise above 14,000 feet. The road ends at Maroon Lake, a beautiful high-alpine lake of clear green waters rimmed by wildflowers and craggy peaks. A speedy descent will then take you back to the Limelight to end this fantastic bike ride. Tonight, take a relaxed stroll in town or linger over a meal of your choice in the chic town of Aspen, armed with our list of recommended restaurants.

Today's Ride:

Aspen to Ashcroft End of Pavement Return
Approximately 28 miles with 3,828 feet of climbing

Short Option:

Aspen to Ashcroft Ghost Town Return
Approximately 24 miles with 2,008 feet of climbing

Avid Option:

Aspen to Ashcroft EOP and Maroon Bells Return
Approximately 47 miles with 3,926 feet of climbing

Hotel:

The Limelight Hotel

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Your self-guided journey in this beautiful region begins today with a ride that starts on the famous Rio Grande Trail. This trail follows the corridor of the historic Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, which first reached Aspen in October 1887. The mostly paved trail spans the entire Roaring Fork Valley and connects Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs. It's practically a ride back in time, passing historic ranch buildings, with bald eagles soaring above the river, herds of elk in the wide open meadows, and the majestic Mt. Sopris in the distance. Once you reach the historic Emma Schoolhouse in Basalt, you'll turn up West Sopris Creek Road for six miles until the end of the pavement. There are several short, steep ramps to wake up your legs as you head towards the base of Mt. Sopris. Afterwards, you will descend back to the schoolhouse before spinning through the town of Basalt and making your way to the Rio Grande Trail and back to the hotel. The avid option will have you tackle the gravel sections of East Sopris Creek Road and the Watson Divide before rejoining the bike path, which will take you all the way home. Tonight, we suggest you take some time to relax at the hotel pool before dinner. Opt to dine at the hotel or choose the restaurant that best suits your tastes in town, making use of our list of hand-selected recommendations.

Today's Ride:

Aspen to West Sopris Creek Return
Approximately 55 miles with 3,336 feet of climbing

Short Option:

Aspen to Basalt Return
Approximately 31 miles with 2,099 feet of climbing

Avid Option:

Aspen to West Sopris Creek, East Sopris Creek, and Watson Divide Return
Approximately 53 miles with 3,848 feet of climbing

Hotel:

The Limelight Hotel

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Today is a very special day as you have the opportunity to conquer one of the most iconic rides in Colorado and one of the highest paved roads in the US: Independence Pass. We highly recommend you begin the ride early so you can be off the top of the pass by noon, avoiding any potential thunderstorms. Starting early will also give you the advantage of avoiding the heaviest traffic. The climb to Independence Pass picks up just after Difficult Campground, around mile marker five. From here until mile 11, your legs will enjoy an average gradient of 6%. You’ll pass the winter closure gate along with the Grottos trail and campground on your right. If you need a rest before tackling the rest of the route, this is a great spot to pull off, take photos, and refuel. Over the next five miles, you will be able to relax a bit, just before the treeline ends. Once you spot the Independence Ghost Town on your right, you've got two more grueling miles until the summit. Hitting upwards of 7.8%, your lungs may be burning as the elevation increases and the air thins. The stunning views will surely help to take the sting from the legs and the lungs, as you crest the top for the ultimate reward for your efforts. At the summit, take a few photos in front of the iconic Independence Pass sign, which sits at 12,095 feet elevation. Make sure you pack a wind breaker for the top, as the blue sky and sun can be deceiving. Have a snack before the descent and enjoy the smooth cruise back into Aspen. This afternoon, rest your climbing legs before a delicious dinner of your choosing to celebrate this quintessential achievement in the Colorado Rockies.

Today's Ride:

Aspen to Independence Pass return
Approximately 39 miles with 4,258 feet of climbing

Hotel:

The Limelight Hotel

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Today you have various routes at your fingertips so you can enjoy another spectacular day on your self-guided Aspen bike tour! If you prefer to get some gentle uphill riding on refreshingly remote roads, we've got you covered. The short option takes you on the Rio Grande Trail to Woody Creek. At the intersection, you will take a right and ascend a gradual eight-mile climb up to Lenado and then back to the hotel. The cruise out to Lenado takes you past the home of legendary writer Hunter S. Thompson as well as musician John Oates. You may even get to see a few llama and peacocks on your way! If you opt for the "Today's Ride," you'll head towards Old Snowmass and step back in time as you pass through ranch country on your way up Snowmass Creek Road. Once you reach the end of the pavement, you will continue on this classic road for the next 5.7 miles, with an average grade of just over 4% for the duration of the climb. The views will be worth the effort as you look back down the valley from where you came. Once you reach the pavement again, you will be on top of the Divide Road. From here, you'll begin to descend back through Snowmass Village, where you can stop for a snack and refuel at a local cafe before returning back to Aspen. Alternatively, choose to head to the town of Basalt and climb thirteen miles on a false flat until the grade picks up for the final mile. You will ride on a fairly busy road but be treated with stunning lake views as you reach a sapphire gem known as Ruedi Reservoir. Tonight, get ready to indulge in another tasty dinner at the restaurant of your choosing, toasting to a memorable week of bike rides in this cycling paradise!

Today's Ride:

Aspen to Deaf Camp EOP to Divide Road Snowmass Loop
Approximately 40 miles with 4,258 feet of climbing

Short Option:

Aspen to Lenado return
Approximately 32 miles with 2,366 feet of climbing

Avid Option:

Aspen to Lenado to Deaf Camp EOP to Divide Road Loop
Approximately 56 miles with 4,774 feet of climbing

Hotel:

The Limelight Hotel

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Take it easy this morning and sleep in before enjoying a leisurely breakfast or a stroll in town for any last minute souvenirs. If you want to finish your self-guided Aspen bike tour with a final spin, we suggest one more climb to the Maroon Bells, a perfect farewell spin to the Colorado Rockies. A Trek Travel guide will meet you at 11:00 AM and will drive you to the Aspen Pitkin Airport (about 20-minute ride) to close out this trip of a lifetime, having accomplished some of the great cycling challenges of the American Rockies.

Today's Ride:

Aspen to Maroon Bells return
Approximately 22 miles with 1,842 feet of climbing

Hotel:

The Limelight Hotel

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Hotels

hotel image

The Limelight Hotel

Aspen, Colorado

In the heart of downtown Aspen, The Limelight Hotel is a contemporary hotel built on the site of the storied Limelight Lodge and the Ski and Spur Bar. Within walking distance to the world-class dining and shopping of this iconic mountain town, the Limelight is a famous home away from home for adventurous clientele coming to Aspen to enjoy the outdoors. Featuring modern and spacious luxury rooms, the hotel offers unique, upscale amenities like an outdoor heated pool, two hot tubs, and a rooftop terrace where you can relax enjoying incredible views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.

What's Included

For us, the details matter most

Every moment of a Trek Travel self-guided bike trip has more than you could have ever dreamed. More romance. More scenery. More choice. It's the little additions to every Trek Travel cycling vacation that make it truly special. And that's how we help you create more memories.

bike

Trek Domane SL 7 Disc

It isn’t the cycling vacation of a lifetime unless you have the industry’s best bike to match. In 2019, we upgraded our fleet to feature the award-winning Domane SL 7 with Shimano Ultegra Disc brakes. Because when you combine the lightweight stability and comfort of the Domane with the superior safety and stopping power of disc brakes, you get a match made in cycling heaven. And the best part? It’s included in the trip price. Ride confidently, comfortably and longer in the most beautiful destinations around the world with the new Domane SL 7. Learn More

bike

Trek Electric-Assist Verve+

With its Low-Step frame design, hopping on and off the Trek Verve+ is super easy. The front suspension will take the edge off any bumps in the road and the Bosch system will keep you smiling from ear to ear. The integrated battery keeps this bike looking sleek as you pedal through amazing terrain. Learn More

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Five nights of accommodation at one handpicked hotel
  • Daily breakfast
  • Day 1 lunch with the guide
  • Daily lunch and dinner recommendations
  • Ride a Trek Domane SL 7 disc or Trek Electric-Assist Verve+
  • Up to three daily route options on riding days
  • Two Trek Travel water bottles to keep
  • Each bike is equipped with a flat pack, frame pump, phone mount, front and rear lights, a Bontrager saddle, and flat pedals (we suggest you bring your own pedals and saddle for the most comfortable fit)
  • Bontrager helmet (optional if you do not bring your own)
  • All luggage transfers during your trip
  • A bike lock, all necessary chargers and a floor pump
  • Bike fit on the first day to help you find your optimal position for comfort
  • Ride With GPS app on your phone to navigate and get all the information you need to travel unsupported
  • Optional daily phone or video call with the guide to prep you for the next day’s adventure
  • Support on the ground in case of emergency

GEAR

  • Trek Domane SL 7 disc carbon road bike with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting or Trek Electric-Assist Verve+, available in a limited quantity
  • Two Trek Travel water bottles to keep
  • Flat pedals
  • Bontrager helmet (optional if you do not bring your own)
  • Bontrager men's and women's specific saddles
  • Bontrager front and rear Flare R lights and a flat pack
  • Upgrade your bike to include carbon wheels (+$200)
  • Coupon valued up to $500 off a new Trek Bicycle. Your coupon will be delivered via email prior to your trip.

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Gratuities for your Trek Travel guide are not included in your trip price. We recommend tipping 7.5-10% of your trip price, preferably in the local currency. Please tip your guide at your discretion, based on his or her level of professionalism, guest care, and service.
  • Airfare and transportation to and from the trip pick-up/drop-off locations
  • Lodging before and after the trip
  • Personal items purchased during the trip
  • Optional activities not scheduled by Trek Travel
  • While we provide daily breakfast and one lunch, the other meals are not included. On self-guided bike tours, Trek Travel provides restaurant recommendations and invites you to explore the local cuisine at your leisure.

More Information

Rider Level: 3/4 - Active/Avid?

AVERAGE DAILY MILEAGE:
34 miles
TOTAL MILES:
205 miles
AVERAGE DAILY ELEVATION:
3,186 feet
TOTAL ELEVATION:
19,120 feet
TERRAIN: MOUNTAINOUS
The terrain is varied with rolling hills, sustained climbing (up to 20 miles), amazing descents, and gradients averaging 4-6% on most climbs. Please note that all rides are above 6,000 feet above sea level. The town of Aspen resides at 8,000 feet above sea level, and you will definitely feel it in your lungs and in your legs. Our self-guided Aspen bike tour is best suited for our Type 3 Riders. Those who wish to ride every mile but are concerned about their physical ability may want to try our electric bike option–you still get a workout but can climb alongside even the strongest rider. Type 4 Riders will enjoy the extra mileage the avid route options offer. Also, most of our Avid options will give the riders a taste of our hard packed dirt/gravel roads. While you may think of gravel as loose, in Colorado they use Magnesium Chloride to keep the surface area hard and intact, while minimizing the loose stones.
NON-RIDING ACTIVITIES:
There are a variety of non-riding options on this trip for riders who want to take the afternoon off or travel companions who want to spend little or no time in the saddle. Some of these options may need to be scheduled before your trip–please contact one of our Trip Consultants for more information. Except as specified in the itinerary, expenses and transportation to these activities are not included in the trip price. Some non-riding options on our self-guided Aspen bike tour are:
  • Fly Fishing on the Frying Pan in Basalt
  • Hiking
  • SUP
  • Climbing
  • White Water Rafting (Blazing Paddles)
  • Hot Springs (Avalanche Ranch, Glenwood Springs)
  • Spas & Massage (all over Aspen)
  • Yoga (Shakti Yoga)
  • Shopping
  • Exploring the towns of Basalt, Carbondale, Redstone, Marble, and Glenwood Springs

See itinerary for specific daily ride distances and elevation options. On all of our vacations, Trek Travel seeks to find quiet, paved secondary roads or bike paths to experience a region; busy roads are avoided as much as possible. Our itineraries are an approximation of our trips. Trek Travel strives to offer every guest a vacation of a lifetime on every trip. At times routes, hotels, activities, etc. listed here may change at the discretion of the trip designer or guides to improve the trip experience.

Averages and totals are calculated from our "Today’s Ride" options.

Travel Details

How to Get There

FLY INTO:
Aspen–Pitkin County Airport (ASE)
MEETING TIME:
11:00 AM
MEETING LOCATION:
your trip hotel, the Limelight

Say Farewell

FLY OUT OF:
Aspen–Pitkin County Airport (ASE)
DEPARTING TIME:
11:00 AM
DEPARTING LOCATION:
your trip hotel, the Limelight

Arriving

We suggest that you arrive at least one day prior to the start of your self-guided Aspen bike tour, which will enable you to adjust to the time zone and minimize the risk of missing the trip start due to flight-related delays. We recommend that you fly into the Denver International Airport (DIA), followed by a short flight to Aspen–Pitkin County Airport (ASE). United and American offer direct flights (seasonal and subject to change) from Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, and Los Angeles. Alternatively, from DIA, you can choose to fly into Eagle Country Airport (EGE) and take a one hour and a half shuttle to Aspen. Another possibility is flying into Grand Junction (GJT), which is two hours west of Aspen with direct flights from Denver, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. If you wish to drive to Aspen from Denver, we suggest that you drive through Leadville and Twin Lakes over Independence Pass. It will take about three hours, and it is a very scenic drive. Driving via I-70 and Co Hwy 82 will take about four hours.

Your Trek Travel guide will meet you at the Limelight Hotel in Aspen at 11:00 AM on the first day of the trip and together, you will walk a short distance for a coffee and lunch as you get a brief orientation of the week ahead. Following lunch, you’ll be assigned to your bike for the week and receive important information about the daily ride options and the specifics of cycling in the area. Then set off on your first warm up ride of the week.

If you will be late for the pick-up or are going to miss it altogether, please inform your guide. You will receive an email a week before the trip start with his or her name and contact details. If you cannot reach them, please call your hotel, Limelight (+1 970 925 3025), and leave a message with your expected arrival time and contact details

View our pre hotel recommendations

Leaving

A Trek Travel guide will meet you at 11:00 AM on the last day of your self-guided Aspen bike tour at the Limelight hotel to take your bike and related accessories. You’ll depart by shuttle provided by the hotel to Aspen-Pitkin Airport, and the trip will take approximately 20 minutes.

View our post hotel recommendations

Planning For Your Trip

Packing and Weather

Spring, summer, and fall are the best times to visit Aspen, as the skies are typically clear and blue, the humidity low (10-20%), and precipitation is minimal. Daytime temperatures can be pleasantly temperate to quite hot (high 70’s to high 90’s) with evenings dropping to the high 30's. Rain is fairly infrequent, but it’s always good to be prepared for the occasional afternoon thunderstorm. The elevation in Aspen is 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) above sea level, and the riding takes you up to 12,000 feet (3,687 meters). Please be aware of any altitude sensitivity and prepare yourself physically for strenuous exercise at altitude. Packing List

Before and After Your Trip

before

Before & After: Denver, Colorado

The Mile High City is a big-city getaway with a mountain-town edge. Visitors come here from all over the world for its laid-back feel and cosmopolitan edge. Visit the recently completed Union Station downtown for a hip vibe with world-class restaurants with plenty of patio seating in the crisp, mountain air. Or, venture to the foothills, minutes away by car, for a trip to Red Rocks Amphitheater, Lookout Mountain, or the Wild West town of Golden, where gunslingers still walk the streets. Don't be surprised if you're completely transformed by this unique city, where outdoor activity is more than a hobby. It's a way of life. We recommend the following accommodations for your pre- and post-trip hotel:

Why Trek Travel

Our Bikes

Our unrivaled selection of Trek Bikes sets the bar for quality and comfort. From the ultra-smooth Trek Domane SL 7 to the Trek Electric-Assist Verve+, you deserve the best ride on your vacation. Plus, we offer a range upgrade options to take you the extra mile.

Our Guides

Our guides are trained to make your trip magical. They aren't just experts in riding; they're trained in delivering uncompromising service in ways you won't believe. We know that it's the unexpected surprises that make a trip magical. That's why our guides pride themselves on anticipating your needs before you ask.

Your Day. You Decide.

Our vacations are built to deliver the ultimate in flexibility, from extreme relaxers to hard-core roadies. You pick your mileage, itinerary and experiences. We take care of the rest.

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