With its sharp switchbacks, lofty inclines, and world-class views, the San Juan Skyway is a road biker’s paradise from the early days of summer until the last autumn leaves fall. Cycle your way along the entire 233-mile byway loop -- a multi-day adventure not for the faint of heart! -- or plan a day trip along a section, such as the mountain-hugging heights of the Million Dollar Highway from Silverton to Ouray. Pedal your way near cascading waterfalls, rolling hills bursting with vibrant wildflowers, and high mountain passes on this difficult yet rewarding route. Along the way, watch for bighorn sheep picking their way across cliffs, mountain lions prowling through the wilderness, or Peregrine Falcons diving for fish along one of the many alpine rivers.
For a taste of history, try the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, a 49-mile ride held each Memorial Day weekend to commemorate an epic man vs. machine race first held in the 1880s. It all began when local cyclist Tom Mayer raced the historic Durango Silverton steam-powered train driven by his brother Jim, from Durango to Silverton. Now this historic ride is part of an annual celebration in Durango that includes biking tours, a children’s race, and much more. Commemorate the history of the railroad in a new, adventurous way.
Looking for something a little tamer? Try one of the many biking paths in Telluride, Durango, and other cities along the byway. Stop by a local bike shop and find out about the best routes in the area. Plan the biking trip of a lifetime or a family-friendly cycling excursion on the San Juan Skyway!
- Public domain. Kent Wells Photography
- Public domain. Photo by Kent Wells Photography