I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time in Colorado’s Vail Valley this summer. While I absolutely love winter weather and snowboarding, the mountains in the summer is pretty darn amazing too. I’ve done a lot of hiking this summer, for example this hike, this hike, and this hike.
A few weekends ago, a couple friends biked over 20 miles through Glenwood Canyon, which is a rugged scenic 12.5 mile canyon on the Colorado River in Colorado (roughly between Dotsero, CO and Glenwood Springs, CO). Interstate 70 runs through Glenwood Canyon. Completed in 1992, this was one of the final pieces of the Interstate Highway System to open to traffic, and is one of the most expensive rural highways per mile built in the United States.
You might be wondering why I’m so excited about this canyon and section of the interstate. I guess you just have to see it, but this is probably one of the most beautiful stretches of highway, ever. Anywhere. In fact, both the federal and state departments of transportation have praised the engineering achievement required to build the freeway through the narrow gorge while preserving the natural beauty of the canyon. I read at one of the information placards that the construction crew only had to blast only one or two sections of the canyon (tunnels excluded) and they dyed the rocks to match the rest of the canyon. I mean, a lot of thought went into this build.
So much thought, that they put a 30-some-odd mile bike path alongside, and in some places, under the interstate through the canyon. And that was our destination a few weeks ago.
There are several rest areas throughout the canyon and we opted to park at the Grizzly Creek Rest Area. There, we unloaded our bikes and had to reassemble one bike. That didn’t go so well.
Meanwhile, I took a selfie:
When you leave the Grizzly Creek Rest Area, you are hit with the natural beauty of where you are:
I should mention that the path is paved the entire way and is relatively flat. There really weren’t any tough uphill climbs and you had plenty of opportunities to take in the natural beauty of the canyon:
We turned around near Dotsero. There’s a parking lot here, which included a trail map:
Here’s where Cindi felt the need to go off trail and stand in the river:
And where I felt the need to take a half-way point selfie:
The ride back to the car was just as gorgeous and just as awesome. Because I had already ridden this part of the path, I experimented with my phone and took a video selfie!
I mentioned earlier that the bike path runs right alongside I-70 and at some points you are under the interstate. I wasn’t kidding:
And because my biking skills and iPhone skills are top-notch, a video along I-70:
All-in-all, the 20-ish mile trip took just over two hours (I think). It wasn’t strenuous or difficult and I would do this ride again in a heartbeat. I think it would be gorgeous in the fall with the turning of the leaves.
Back at the car, I thought the best way to end the trip would be with a group selfie:
Have you biked through Glenwood Canyon? What did you think of it?
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