Route Overview

Region

Utah
Colorado

Miles

947

Days Out

14-22

Physical Difficulty

6/10

Season

Summer to Early Fall

Elevation Gain

76,100' Westbound
77,000' Eastbound

Tire Size

≥ 2.1”

Technical Difficulty

5/10

Route Map

Route Details

​The TransRockies Connector links the WWR from high on Utah’s Wasatch Plateau to the GDMBR 550 miles to the east at Salida, Colorado via the iconic mountain bike destinations of Moab and Crested Butte. This route is a stunning and diverse one with Colorado Plateau badlands and slickrock landscapes, desert mountains, redrock canyons, and the inspiring peaks of the majestic Rocky Mountains. This link also extends west to Salt Lake City and east to Denver, creating a 950-mile-long route stretching from the Great Basin to the Great Plains with convenient access to public transportation options on either end. The riding on this route is a mix of smooth gravel, rougher 4×4 tracks, short sections of singletrack, quiet pavement, and urban recreation paths. This route is a bit rougher, more remote, and more physically demanding than average miles on the GDMBR and WWR, and long sections of the route can become absolutely impassable when wet and quite hot during mid-summer months.

  • Climbing out of the Great Basin and over the Wasatch Range
  • Reaching treeline in mountains high above Strawberry Reservoir
  • Skyline Drive, the rugged dirt road that takes riders to nearly 11,000 feet and follows the scenic crest of the Wasatch Plateau for 40+ miles
  • The long descent off (or climb onto) the forested and subalpine Wasatch Plateau
  • Views into the otherworldly San Rafael Swell landscape
  • Crossing the Green and Colorado Rivers – main arteries of the Colorado Plateau
  • The cool island peaks of the La Sal Mountains
  • Riding among the colorful summits of the Elk Mountains and the jagged peaks of the Wasatch Range
  • The small communities along the route and each one’s unique atmosphere
  • Riding past the granite domes and peaks of the Tarryall Mountain
  • Meandering along the South Platte River
  • Descending out of the Rocky Mountains and onto the edge of the Great Plains just south of Denver
  • What kind of bike should I ride? We recommend a mountain bike with tires at least 2.1” wide and front suspension.
  • What’s the ideal time of year to ride the route? Generally mid-summer to early fall, with September being the most ideal month, but it depends on the year. See the route guide for more details.
  • How long will the route take to ride? Generally 14 to 22 days, but it depends on the rider.
  • Do I need any special permits? No permits are needed for riding on this route. 
  • Are there any specific safety considerations on this route? (1) This route traverses black bear territory. Safe bear camping practices should be followed by riders at all times. (2) Long stretches of the route can become absolutely impassible when wet. Pay close attention to weather forecasts and carry extra food in case you need to wait for a road to dry out. See the route guide for more details.
  • What is the longest distance between water sources? 64 miles. See the route guide for more details.
  • What is the longest distance between resupplies? 137 miles. See the route guide for more details.
  • Is it easy to find places to camp? Yes, dispersed camping is often relatively easy to find, but some routes also include some lengthy sections of private lands. See the guidebook for specific restrictions and suggestions.
  • Can I ride the route in either direction? Yes. However, the guidebook is written west-to-east.
  • How do I follow the route? These routes are not marked on the ground in any way. You will need to load the route data onto a GPS unit, or use the Bicycle Routes Navigator smartphone app.
  • GPS waypoints and PDF Route Guide
  • Or, find the Bicycle Route Navigator App in your phone’s app store

If you encounter any inaccuracies or changes please let us know at [email protected]

  • As of May 10, 2022 there is no longer a general store in Crested Butte South and there is only one restaurant and a coffee shop in town. Riders should plan on getting their resupply in main Crested Butte (Clark’s Market).
  • There is a now a bike shop in Naturita – Paradox Cycle.
  • Kurt Refsnider for his route development.
  • Patrick Hendry and Ally Johnson for their contributions.
  • The Adventure Cycling Association for partnering with us to develop this route.
  • This route traverses the traditional lands of the Ute, Goshute, Eastern Shoshone, Great Sioux Nation, Arapahoe, and Cheyenne peoples.