Bike Tours Offer Unique Perspective
While there are many ways to enjoy the scenery of Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding area, the bicycle offers a completely unique perspective. "It's the perfect pace for seeing the world. You can cover a lot more ground than hiking, and yet you can still have that connection with the landscape that simply cannot be experienced from inside a car," says Shannon Burke of Velo View Bike Tours.
You Can Do It!
Of course, to experience Rocky Mountain National Park by bike, one must be prepared to pedal up and over the top, a feat Burke claims is not as hard as it may seem. "The key is to have a bike that has low gears. Rather than muscle it out with a big gear, you just need to sit in your 'granny gear' and spin away for a couple of hours. It's not a question of how fast you can go. It's about finding your rhythm and getting in a zone. That's when the focus shifts from the destination to the journey."
The Only Bike Tour through RMNP
It's that joy of the journey that makes cycling special, and it's the reason Burke has scheduled 10 tours next summer in Colorado. "I was surprised when I was working on my Colorado itineraries that none of the other bike tour companies rode through Rocky Mountain National Park. It's an amazing ride, really three rides in one: with the meadows at the bottom, the forests on the way up, and then the lunar landscape above the tree-line. And then there's that perfect descent all the way down to Grand Lake!"
Convenience is Key
All of the Velo View bike tours start and finish in Boulder ("cycling mecca" according to Burke), which is an easy shuttle ride from the Denver International Airport. "The goal with the tours is to make it super easy for guests to have the Rocky Mountain cycling experience without paying a fortune and without using all of their vacation time. So in addition to making the tours all-inclusive with lodging, meals, transportation, etc., we also wanted to start and finish near an airport served by bicycle-friendly airlines like Southwest and Frontier. We also partnered with a bike shop in Boulder where guests can rent bikes for the tour or have their bikes shipped and assembled if they don't want to bring them on the plane."
After riding out of Boulder, the tour spends the night at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, which, with its storied history and infamous connection to The Shining, is a destination all its own. The Stanley is also conveniently located at the doorstep to Rocky Mountain National Park, making it the perfect launching point for the "queen stage" of the tour.
The tour also includes a night at the Winter Park Resort and a bike ride up Mt Evans, on Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in North America (over 14,000 feet!).
You can learn more about Colorado bike vacations at: veloviewbiketours.com
Close your eyes. Picture Estes Park in December. Vistas blanketed in white snow, right? Most people have that picture in mind when they think of December in Rocky Mountain National Park, however most years they'd be wrong.
On a typical year, our high peaks are snow covered, but the region gets most of its snowfall during the early spring. Estes Park does get the occasional snow storm around the holidays, but when I think of Christmas lights around here it's the sunset that comes to mind.
The winter weather over Longs Peak often develops a cloud formation that sits just to the east of the mountains nearly all day long. While the mornings during these conditions are cloudy and cool, the evenings often allow the sun to shine. As the sun sets, the warm light and colors light up those clouds and the results are spectacular! So even though some winter days will be cloudy and grey, often the grand finales are more than worth the wait.
Guest Post by Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding. To book a guided tour of Rocky Mountain National Park, contact him at YWguiding.com.