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Mountains to Desert

Registration is opening soon for the 2020 Mountains to Desert ride!

Join other cyclists for one of the most spectacular road rides in the country! Ride from the beautiful mountains of Telluride to the incredible desert landscape of Gateway, CO to benefit the Just for Kids Foundation!  Choose your distance (72 miles, 101 miles, 104 miles or 132 miles) and pass through golden aspens and brilliant red canyon walls to our finish line destination at Gateway Canyons Resort.

Mountains to Desert is the single fundraiser each year for the Just For Kids Foundation, which provides essential scholarships, operating grants, program support, capital & start-up funding, and new equipment to deserving youth & youth organizations within the San Miguel Watershed including the towns of Telluride, Norwood, Nucla, Naturita, Paradox and all points in between.

Details about the ride

Cyclists depart main street in Telluride at 7:30 AM, past towering 14,000-foot peaks and continue their descent parallel to the San Miguel River. A short climb at mile 28 leaves riders at the summit of Norwood Hill, overlooking miles of ranches, farmlands and the La Sal Mountains.

Riders who prefer a shorter, 70-mile ride, start in Norwood a half hour later, at 8:00 AM from Norwood, the ride continues through Naturita, Nucla and Uravan and winds further along the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway past the Hanging Flume.  Riders will pass millions of years of history, geology and ancient lands.

The route subsequently meanders along the Dolores River at the base of thousand-foot red sandstone walls into the sleepy town of Gateway, CO. Most participants choose to end their 100 or 70-mile ride here, but another 15-mile hill climb is available for those pushing their limits. Eight aid stations along the route provide snacks, water, energy drinks and a generous dose of support for riders.

The finish party is a festive atmosphere where cyclists reminisce on their favorite sections, struggle points and relief of making it 100 magnificent miles. You will finish the best road bike ride in the South West at Gateway Canyons Resort with a Grand Feed and Live Music.  For an additional fee you can spend the afternoon after the ride at the pools and spa! Click here for information regarding lodging.

Follow this link to learn more about the elevation and see the maps!

Weekend Schedule

Friday, September 25

  • 2pm-6pm Packet pickup at Bootdoctors on Main Street **at 5pm, all bags for riders starting in Norwood will be transferred to Norwood for Saturday morning pick-up

Saturday, September 26

  • 6:30am-7:15am Telluride Check-in & Registration – Coffee and donuts!

  • 7:30am Riders start from Telluride in front of the Courthouse

  • 7am-7:45am Norwood Check-in & Registration

  • 8:00am Riders start from Norwood

  • 1:00pm Lunch, music  & silent auction begin at Gateway Canyon Resort

  • 2:30pm Last AID Station prior to Gateway Canyon Resort & Spa closes

  • 2:30-3:30pm Awards & Silent Auction

  • 3:30pm 1st Shuttle departs back to Telluride & Norwood

  • 4:30pm 2nd shuttle departs

Awards and prizes

Although this is considered a “ride” and not a “race” there is some spirit of competition in all of us! Awards are given for the following:

  • 132 Mile Traditional Summit Ride: Top Man/Top Woman

  • 104 Mile Telluride to Gateway Ride: Top Man/Top Woman

  • Norwood to Gateway: Top Man/Top Woman

  • Top Fundraiser

Optional fundraising: Support youth in the San Miguel watershed!

Each year, the Mountains to the Desert Bike Ride serves as the single fundraising event for the Just For Kids Foundation. We encourage you to help by fundraising this year! Every dollar raised through participant fundraising before and during the ride is matched dollar for dollar by the Carstens’ Family Fund at the Denver Foundation. Over the past ten years, the Just For Kids Foundation is proud to have raised over $2 Million; all of which has been awarded to hundreds of organizations benefiting thousands of local children.

Help us meet our goal of raising over $100,000 for youth in the San Miguel Watershed this year and you’ll be rewarded too!

  • Raise $500 or more by race day and get your race entry credited back to you!

  • The first 5 athletes to raise $2,500 or more will receive the race entry credit & 1-night stay at the Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa!

  • It’s easy and fun – once you register, you will be prompted to create your own Mountains to Desert fundraising page and you will be on your way with an easy link you can share via social media and in emails to friends & family!

Mountain to Desert riders

Register for the Mountains to Desert ride!

Event Details


Saturday, September 26, 2020


06:30am - 04:30pm


N First and W Colorado Telluride, CO 81435
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