Now is the time to cycle Vail Pass


The Vail Daily Live team take a bike tour to the top of Vail Pass. Riders start the tour with stunning views of the Gore mountain range rising behind the picturesque Black Lakes.
Emma Cerovich / Vail Daily Live

The leaves are starting to turn, and one of the best ways to get a view of the valley’s famous fall colors is to take a Vail Pass bike tour, a 17.5-mile ride that descends the pass then takes you through the village of Vail and into Lionshead.

The paved route is designed for cyclists of all skill levels – and best of all, it requires almost no hawking. The 1.5-hour downhill ride allows you to admire the entire landscape around you while exerting minimal physical effort.

Charter Sports, a local snow sports and bike rental store with multiple locations in Vail and Beaver Creek, offers daily Vail Pass bike tours that depart from its Lionshead location next to the Arrabelle Hotel every day. days at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. There are also shuttles that leave directly from some local hotels, with departure times depending on location.

At the Lionshead storefront, Charter Sports will assign each rider a bike suitable for their size and weight, plus a helmet, then load all of the people and bikes into a van that will make the 20-minute ride to the Lionshead. East on Interstate 70 to the starting point of the bike path.

Charter Sports provides cyclists with a comfortable cruising bike, helmet and transportation to the top of the Vail Pass cycle path, about a 20-minute drive east of Lionshead village. The tour itself is self-guided, unless you decide otherwise.
Carolyn Paletta / Vail Daily

Upon exiting the van, bikers are immediately greeted with stunning views of the Gore mountain range rising behind the picturesque Black Lakes, two natural bodies of water that have been dammed up and mark the start of the trail. visit.

The main skill required by this path is the ability to brake, and once you get the hang of that, you’re good to go. The tour starting point is 10,600 feet above sea level, over 2,000 feet above the village of Lionshead, and 200 feet higher than Eagle’s Nest.

The air temperature drops five degrees every 1,000 feet, so expect to start the ride about 10 to 15 degrees cooler than at the end. To ensure a comfortable top-to-bottom ride, bring layers of clothing – and if you get cold easily, you won’t regret bringing gloves and earmuffs to shield yourself from the wind.

Although Charter Sports calls it the Vail Pass Bike Tour, the tour itself is self-guided unless you decide otherwise. Their experienced bike rental specialists will be more than happy to guide you around the trail, but one of the unique things about this tour is that once you’ve got the gear and drop-off you’re free to hop off. at any rate.

The cycle path traverses changing landscapes which give cyclists a comprehensive overview of the topography and foliage of the valley. It winds around the tree cover, runs along the highway in places, crosses streams and streams and opens up a bird’s eye view of the valley.

Cyclists can watch the tree population change as they move from highest to lowest elevation, and this month you can expect to glide between red, orange and aspen leaves. yellow during a significant part of the trip.

Runners can choose to end their tour at Lionshead Village or continue to the hotels they started from in Avon or Beaver Creek. If you take the path from Frisco to Avon, the journey takes about 25 miles. Round-trip transport from Lionshead to other departure locations is available for the 10am trip but not for the subsequent two departure times.

The Vail Pass Bike Tour costs $ 59 per person and reservations can be made online at or by emailing [email protected]. Tours will be offered in September and October, weather permitting.

As we come to the end of summer and patiently wait for the onset of winter, now is the time to cycle through the Vail Pass.


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