With 25 nationally designated Scenic & Historic Byways, Colorado seems to have been carved out of the smouldering rock to become the U.S’s most mindblowing driving destination. So with a landscape that has so much to offer you simply can’t experience it from inside a car. We say get behind the handlebars of an EagleRider chopper and feel the elements as they pass you by while you discover the beauty and grandeur of this northern state on an eight day driving trip.
Arrive in Denver and head to straight to collect your bike from the EagleRider pick up centre. Once you have your chosen your wheels for the trip you can take them for a spin around the city of Denver. Nicknamed the Mile High City due to its elevated location, Denver is a metropolitan hub where Old West is fused with a hip cosmopolitan edge. Once settled into your city-based crash pad we recommend hitting the town and experiencing Denver’s own intriguing regional fare. Keep your eyes peeled for the infamous Rocky Mountain Oysters; the squeamish should be warned that these aren’t seafood delicacies, but actually fried bull’s testicles. For something a little less testing, the city is also known for its array of micro-breweries, so that whatever you eat is washed down with a fresh local brew. The perfect way to start your trip if you ask us.Read more
Once you’ve soaked up the sights of Denver and after a good night’s rest it’s time to saddle up and hit the road. This trip doesn’t waste any time when it comes to viewing the best riding scenes in the country, for today you’ll drive 160 miles from Denver to Aspen. The highlight of the ride is crossing Independence Pass at an elevation of 12,095 ft. (3,687m), making it one of the highest elevation paved roads in North America. A 27 mile drive through old mining towns and challenging terrains, this stretch of highway 82 takes you though Twin Lakes; a worthy destination in its own right. This town started life as a mining camp fed by steady stage-coach lines plying the trail between Leadville and Aspen. Today, it retains all the old charm and heritage from days gone by with a nod to its mining past. But the breathtaking beauty of these lakes owes some credit to the towering Mount Elbert, the Rockie’s highest peak.
Once you reach the iconic pass you’ll zoom up a narrow ribbon of road perched high above the tree line where the views are simply cinematic; think mammoth glaciers and sharp-edged ridges visible along the horizon. As you reach the top of the pass, at 12,095ft you’ll be on the edge of the Continental Divide. This is your own IMAX film and you are the star.
After a thrilling day traversing the pass, you’ll arrive in Aspen, the US’s high octane glamorous mountain resort. Shed your leathers, lock up the bike, and spend some time exploring the handsome historic red-brick downtown that’s set against the magnificent alpine scenery. Before settling down for the night make sure to try out one of the boutique eateries, then head back to the hotel to curl up by the fire with glass of the local tipple.
Today is a shorter riding day where you’ll drive from Aspen to Crested Butte. Set off after a lazy morning in Aspen before you burn some rubber on the beautiful mountain roads where each bend turns into some mind blowing scenery that seems to last for ever. Make sure to stop off and take some time to soak up the splendour of the Rockies, and grab a few photos of you and your bike. After a 104 miles of driving you’ll reach Crested Butte, a sleepy mountain side retreat where you can settle into your hotel Lodge at Mountain Square.
Today you’ll depart from Crested Butte and head southwards to Ouray passing through the Gunnison National Park along the way. Riders take note as you embark on this 128 mile trail you’ll speed pass the Black Canyon, one of the trip’s highlights. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and driving past the sheer drops on the back of a bike is an experience like no other. From here you’ll head further into Cowboy country, where your overnight stop is Ouray, a small Colorado town with a lot of “Old West” character and charm.
Million Dollar Roads
Once you’ve had your fix of authentic cowboy culture it’s time to embark on the most challenging and rewarding part of the trip. The riding between Ouray and Durango is a dream for motorcycle enthusiasts and offers the chance to travel the famous Million Dollar Highway. The Million Dollar Highway stretches for about 25 miles (40 km) in western Colorado and follows the route of U.S. 550 between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado. It is part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. Between Durango and Silverton the Skyway loosely parallels the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Loaded with sublime natural scenery, historically fascinating and visually appealing small towns, and, most of all, sheer driving pleasure, the Million Dollar Highway more than lives up to its name. After a hair raising day it’s time to rest up for the night at Hot Springs Inn, where you can enjoy a little rest and relaxation.
Hot Springs and Deserts
Another great day, another great stretch of epic Colorado riding that climbs and descends several mountain passes while crossing Rio Grande, San Isabel and Arapaho National Forests. Breckenridge is another famous Colorado ski resort that doubles as a summer getaway for Colorado locals. The last day of riding, but we set up the route for riders to enjoy a few more great mountain roads before the city of Denver appears in the distance before them. Bikes will be returned to EagleRider Denver and riders will be transported to their Downtown hotel.