Bicycling across the Colorado National Monument is both breathtaking and rewarding.
The first six miles takes cyclists on a challenging 1,800-foot climb. With loads of steep switchbacks and one dark, narrow tunnel, the first four miles, from the east entrance of the Colorado National Monument to Cold Shivers Point, is the most challenging.
After Cold Shivers Point, the next two miles provide a gentle climb to 6,640 feet. Then, rolling hills and winding curves unfold into an exhilarating bike ride. Watch for cars as you make your way across the popular Colorado landmark.
ColoradoBicycleRides.com says pedaling across Colorado National Monument is a five-star ride.
“This is a must-ride as it not only has breathtaking views of the red rock canyon and the rock sculptures, but also has become a famous cycling route, being made famous back in the 1980s with the Coors Classic and featured in the movie ’American Flyers,’” the website states.
Normally, traffic along Rim Rock Drive is light and slow, but the dark tunnels near both entrances can be a little scary on a bicycle. Traveling from very bright light to sudden dark conditions provides a quick jolt to the senses. Take extra precaution as you pedal in and out of the tunnels. Cyclists should also be aware that the pavement entering and exiting the west side tunnels is a little rugged.
The most difficult stretches are the climbs at either end of the trail. In between, the rolling hills and winding canyon rim road provide spectacular scenic western Colorado views.
The fee to enter the Colorado National Monument is $7 for private, noncommercial vehicles. Individuals age 16 and up, hikers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pay $4 each. Passes are good for seven consecutive days.