Active + Adventure

The Checklist: Ultimate Adventures

by Sarah Tuff

MOUNTAIN BIKE IN THE ROCKIES

The trip: Perhaps the only thing more exhilarating than wheeling among the 14,000-foot peaks of southern Colorado and the slickrock of southern Utah is doing both—and not having to carry an ounce of food or camping equipment. The San Juan Hut System spans 215 miles from Telluride, Colorado, to Moab, Utah, letting mountain bikers pedal all day on singletrack and secondary dirt roads, then crash in a fully stocked shelter at night. Spaced 15 to 40 miles apart, the system's six wooden huts are furnished with a kitchen and eight bunks and supplied with cold beer, bacon, and more. Only one has a hot shower—the Graham Ranch Hut, halfway through—but the swims in lakes and streams near the other huts are more invigorating anyway. Reservations are required. Have a group of eight? Reserve well in advance, as the spots go lickety-split, especially on weekends.

Why go? You could witness the spectacular San Juan scenery from a car window, but your quads and hamstrings will work for less than $5 a gallon.

What to pack: An extra set of duds for your arrival in Moab—a Colorado shipping service can send it ahead of you.

Difficulty: 7.5 out of 10. Bikers must be able to ride up to 40 miles in one day in order to make the next hut, often over challenging terrain.

Your guides: You and your fellow riders, plus the hut system staffers who stock the cabins.

San Juan Hut System
Tel: 970 626 3033
Seven days, including hut facilities, sleeping bags, meals, and maps, $750 per person

NEXT: The Sahara, baby, the Sahara >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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