Get High In a Hut: San Juan Hut Trips

Published on 06/18/2010


red mountain pass

By Lara Rosenbaum

Call it the perfect marriage of mountain-bike towns: Durango, Colorado and Moab, Utah. You could simply drive between the two. Or, naturally, you could bike-along a 215-mile hut-to-hut backcountry route through some of the Southwest's most scenic wilderness. As the more difficult follow-up to the uber-popular Telluride-to-Moab hut-to-hut route, the Durango-to-Moab journey, now a virtual must-do for fat-tire aficionados, offers more climbing, more variable terrain, and plenty of bonus singletrack options.

Each hut is simple but well appropriated with eight bunks, sleeping bags, food, gas, water, a wood-burning stove, and a deluxe composting loo. Bikers carry only clothing, sleeping bag liners, and tubes-lots of tubes. It's hardly a cakewalk, though. Think 26,000 feet of climbing over seven days at elevations topping 11,000 feet.

The rewards, however, are outsize: views stretching over alpine peaks and crimson canyons, cobalt-blue skies, and wildflower meadows straight from a Crayola box. There's also, of course, the gonzo, yahoo-inducing, 5,961-foot descent from the pine forests of Geyser Pass to the slickrock of Moab that tops the whole thing off.

$850 per person buys access to hut facilities, preparations for three meals a day, and trail descriptions and maps. www.sanjuanhuts.com

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