Ride The Rockies has been fortunate enough to experience the hospitality of the following host communities throughout its years: Alamosa, Aspen, Avon, Boulder, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Cañon City, Carbondale, Castle Rock, Chama, N.M., Colorado Springs, Copper Mountain, Cortez, Craig, Crested Butte, Delta, Denver, Durango, Edwards, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Frisco, Georgetown, Glenwood Springs, Golden, Granby, Grand Lake, Grand Junction, Greeley, Gunnison, Hotchkiss, Idaho Springs, Leadville, Manitou Springs, Montrose, Ouray, Pagosa Springs, Rifle, Salida, Silverton, Steamboat Springs, Telluride, Trinidad, Vail, Walsenburg, Westcliffe and Winter Park.
In 2017 we look forward to revisiting seven of these communities, plus one new one--Ridgway, which will be hosting this year with support from the nearby town of Ouray.
Alamosa • 7,543' Elevation
Rich in history, Alamosa is reported to have been built in a single day in June of 1878. Legend has it, inn-keeper Joe Perry served his guests breakfast in nearby Garland City; that night he served them supper in the same building in its new Alamosa location. Now, Alamosa boasts over thirty five restaurants, ranging from authentic Mexican and Thai cuisine to classic American cooking. Explore our inviting downtown, filled with great shopping and dining. As you spend time here, you will begin to see the layers unfold that make Alamosa what it is today, from the early settlers who built this town, to the agricultural prowess that fuels a large part of our economy, to that small town hospitality that make you feel right at home. Any time of year is a great time to visit Alamosa, with our sweeping views and copious sunshine, there is plenty to do here. Come visit Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, ride a scenic railroad, camp, hike, fish, and more!
For more information, visit www.alamosa.org
Pagosa Springs • 7,126' Elevation
Nestled in southwest Colorado at the base of Wolf Creek Pass, Pagosa Springs offers visitors an opportunity to explore over 2.5 million acres of surrounding wilderness and natural forest areas and soak in the world's deepest hot springs. With outdoor adventure awaiting each turn, there's always something new to discover in Pagosa Springs. The challenge is not deciding what to do, but what not to do.
With the majestic backdrop of the San Juan Mountains, you will never forget the thrill of rafting or tubing the San Juan River, the feeling of the alpine sun as you explore over 650 miles of trails and the bliss of a rejuvenating soak in one of our famous hot springs.
People have been soaking in Pagosa’s naturally hot mineral water for thousands of years enjoying the health, healing and relaxation benefits. The Ute Indians were one of the first to discover the miraculous Pagosa Hot Springs, and named them “Pagosah,” meaning “healing waters.”
A visit to Pagosa would not be complete without exploring our arts & cultural side. Take a tour at nearby Chimney Rock National Monument, a historic site used by ancestral puebloans, enjoy live professional theatre at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts or browse one of our many museums, art galleries and shops.
Whether you hope to relax, reconnect or recharge, Pagosa has something for everyone. Refresh your spirit and discover Colorado's secret at visitpagosa.com.
Durango • 6,512' Elevation
Durango is home to some of the best outdoor, historic and cultural attractions in the state. Board the historic 1880’s Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains and old-world atmosphere. Visit the archeological wonders and ancient cave dwellings at nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Mesa Verde National Park, Aztec Ruins National Monument and Chaco Canyon.
The ultimate destination for outdoor adventure, the gold medal waters of the Animas River flow through downtown Durango with Class II and III whitewater rapids perfect for families, while the Whitewater Park offers something for kayakers, rafters and tubers of all abilities. Purgatory Resort guarantees fun for the whole family with 1,360 skiable acres, snowcat skiing and a full range of summertime activities. Hike, bike or ride through the San Juan National Forest and Weminuche Wilderness, or experience world-class mountain biking trails and rock climbing less than five minutes from downtown.
Stroll the Animas River Trail, a paved, multi-use path that leads you into historic downtown Durango for galleries, shopping, spas and culinary delights. Sample crafted beverages from one of the area’s many breweries or distilleries, and taste cuisine prepared with locally raised meats and organic vegetables. At the end of the day, rest your head at a luxury hotel or B&B, or camp out under the stars. Visit Durango and explore all that Southwest Colorado has to offer.
For full details about Durango, visit www.durango.org.
Ridgway/Ouray • 6,998'/7,792' Elevation
Ridgway rests in the Uncompahgre River valley of Ouray County with stunning views into the northern San Juan Mountains. A quiet, western town with charismatic energy; Ridgway is a way of life. The town was founded in 1890 as the headquarters of the world-famous Rio Grande Southern narrow gauge railroad, which served the area’s rich silver and gold mines, ranches, and farms.
Today, with nearly 300 days of sunshine, Ridgway is the perfect place to enjoy and explore a broad range of outdoor activities. Whether it’s mountain biking or hunting, hot springs soaking or fishing, cross-country skiing or stand-up paddle boarding, Ridgway takes its “Think Outside” slogan seriously.
For a town of just under 1,000 people, Ridgway has a robust culinary and cultural scene. A wide variety of one-of-a-kind, family-owned shops and restaurants are sure to please; and, as a Certified Colorado Creative District, there are galleries, artists and public art to explore all through town - including the alleys. Live music and cultural programming is always on the schedule at the newly-restored Sherbino Theater, and in Hartwell Park during the annual Ridgway Concert Series in July.
Ridgway is working in partnership with its neighboring community of Ouray to provide Ride The Rockies participants with additional lodging, services, soothing hot springs, and happy greetings as you ride down the spectacular Million Dollar Highway and San Juan Skyway. We can’t wait to share our beautiful landscape and friendly communities with you this June!
For more information on Ridgway, visit: http://ridgwaycolorado.com/
For more information on Ouray, visit: http://www.ouraycolorado.com/
Montrose • 5,794' Elevation
Situated within an hour’s drive of some of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in Colorado and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands where biking, hiking, camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities abound, Montrose is the perfect destination camp for year-round adventure.
Montrose is the gateway to the Black Canyon National Park where plunging walls descend 2,722 feet. Take the scenic route along the rim, hike the North Vista Trail (listed as one of the “Top 10 Canyon Hikes in the U.S. Parks” in National Geographic magazine), or ride in a pontoon-boat that glides through the Morrow Point Reservoir for neck-stretching views of the awe-inspiring canyon sides.
Go boating at Blue Mesa Reservoir, the state’s largest body of water, raft in the trout-rich Gold Medal waters of the Gunnison Gorge, enjoy mountain biking, ATVing, and four-wheeling on the Uncompahgre Plateau. And when the weather changes, snowmobile or cross country ski groomed trails from three national forests, climb blue ice, and downhill ski or snowboard some of the best runs in North America.
Venture along four designated scenic or historic byways that meander over 12,000-foot-high passes or see the view from atop Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain. Then return to Montrose to enjoy western hospitality, a locally-sourced gourmet meal, a local brew or wine, or a show at one of our many venues.
A unique place to visit and a great place to call home, Montrose boasts a bounty of experiences for day-trippers and vacationers alike.
Visit www.VisitMontrose.com for more information
Gunnison • 7,703' Elevation
Gunnison’s gentle valley first attracted Ute Indians, then explorers searching for passageways and railroad routes. It quickly grew from a ranch into a settlement and by 1877 served as the county seat. Soon after, the railroad arrived and the town flourished as a supply center for the pioneers, ranchers, farmers and miners flocking into the land rich with minerals and promise. Today, ranching still plays a prominent role in the economy, lifestyle and character of Gunnison. Overlaid on that, Western State Colorado University adds vitality, youthfulness and enthusiasm for learning. Western holds a reputation for personalized, hands-on education. Its huge “W” – the largest collegiate symbol in the world – over-looks the town from Tenderfoot Mountain.
Unlike some of the forested alpine land around it, Gunnison actually occupies a high mountain desert, wide open and sunny. The thriving downtown eases into lush green irrigated ranchlands then into the territory’s dramatic landmarks – Curecanti National Recreation Area – a water sports haven, the imposing Black Canyon of the Gunnison and four massive mountain ranges. Recreation is hands-on here, too. Mountain bikers and climbers find prime fare at Hartman Rocks on the southern edge of Gunnison and the surrounding streams offer exceptional fishing. In keeping with its historic role, Gunnison serves as the gateway for all of these destinations and more.
For lodging, restaurant, and activity suggestions, go to www.GunnisonChamber.com
Salida • 7,083' Elevation
Salida is honored to host Ride the Rockies once again this year. Located in the Upper Arkansas River Valley below the Continental Divide, Salida is buffered from the harshest winter weather by the Sawatch mountain range to the northwest, Sangre de Cristo mountain range to the south, and the Mosquito mountain range to the north, creating a “mild” climate referred to as the “banana belt.” This also creates ideal conditions for year-round outdoor recreation. Salida, with 12 nearby peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation, is known for its skiing, hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly fishing, ATVing, camping, horseback riding, tennis and golf. Originally settled by the Ute Indians who favored the area’s natural hot springs, Salida became and remained essentially a product of the Denver & Rio Grande railroads. The usual mix of industries, mining, quarrying, smelting, agriculture and retail trade—along with the usual “related” saloons, gambling and prostitution—existed at various times and magnitudes. Home to Colorado’s largest historic district, Salida celebrates its wonderful examples of turn-of-the-century commercial structures. In 2012, Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper designated Salida as Colorado’s first “Creative District” for its dozens of artist-owned studios and galleries, restaurants, unique shops, breweries, distilleries and a large selection of antique and resale shops. “Unpretentious, bike friendly town” is what led to Salida’s designation as a “Top 10 2009 Best Small Towns” in Outside Magazine. The New York Times featured Salida as a “haven,” describing it as “the outdoors life, with no attitude.” Our Mountain Utopia!
For lodging, restaurant, and activity suggestions, go to: www.salidachamber.org