Biking the Great Divide: Colorado

  • Author: VeloGuide
  • Published: Mar 26, 2018

Boulder, ColoradoEven the name of the state conjures majestic images.  This is the state of John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High and the site of the Great Divide – one of cycling’s great North American adventures.  It’s here you’ll find the almost 12,000-foot elevation of the Indiana Pass – the Cowboy State’s most challenging climb.

But it’s not all uphill, featured are gentle climbs and gliding downhill past sleepy ranches and mountain towns full of new things to see and experience.


The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route cuts down the continent from Banff, Alberta, Canada, ending in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.  Over 2,700 miles in length, the GDMBR changes continually, as cycling aficionados grow and evolve it.

Opened in 1997 as a project of the Adventure Cycling Association, it’s easy to see why so many cyclists get dewy-eyed at the very thought of taking on this mammoth route.   Following the Continental Divide as closely as possible, the route crosses it 30 times and about 90% of it is unpaved.  That means cyclists taking it on will need off-road skills to do it right.

As the longest off-road cycling experience in the world, the GDMBR is about to get even longer, with 400 more miles being added to the route.  When completed, the northernmost terminus will be Jasper, Alberta.

The GDMBR in Colorado

One of our favorite sections of the Great Divide in Colorado is the one you’ll find between Breckenridge and Del Norte.  On this stretch of the route, you’ll get the best the GDMBR has to offer, in terms of solitude, natural beauty and feeling like you’re charting a course through unknown territory.

Cutting through Colorado’s heart, this 250-mile stretch is perfect for those who love bikepacking and sleeping under the abundant stars you can still enjoy in this wild country.

Stops in Salida and Poncha Springs can take you back to civilization for a cold microbrew once the Great Divide has had its storied way with you.

Believe us, you’ll be ready!

A Personal, Local VeloGuide

Durango, Colorado

With three amazing, knowledgeable guides in the state of Colorado, VeloGuide helps you experience the wonders of the Great Divide with in-depth regional experience. 

Having raced in Europe for 3 years, Alvin has now lived in Golden for 4 years.  He knows where the best rides are and the best sections of the GDMBR.  A lifelong cycling enthusiast, John competed for 6 years and now enjoys sharing his passion for cycling with others.

Both these guides are experienced in the off-road conditions and challenges you’ll face while riding the Great Divide in Colorado.

The VeloGuide Revolution

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We match your passion for the two-wheeled life with the passion of local insiders who know the ins and outs of their region.  You get the skinny on all your destination has to offer from rides to eats.

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