Developed by the Owner of Kokopelli Bike and Board, Pete Eschallier, The West La Plata Grinder is a challenging gravel tour of Montezuma county. Setting off from Cortez, CO, and gaining 6,716 feet into the foothills of the La Plata mountain range and near the outskirts of Mesa Verde National Park before looping back into Cortez.

A nine-part segment, the trail begins with around a steady grade through Hay Camp Mesa and Cash Canyon. The intensity ramps up through the Road 30.5 Climb and Haycamp Climb into the foothills of the La Plata mountain range. The ride offers reprieve for a straight-shot out of Mancos, Colorado before rising again through the County Road 33 and County Road 34 climbs toward Cortez. The grade flattens slightly on Highway 160 toward Denny Lake before rounding back into the heart of Cortez, CO.

(145.48 km)

Skill Level

Expert

Elevation gain

Travel Tips

  • Start your ride at Kokopelli Bike and Board and get additional insider tips from the staff there, as the ride was developed by the shop’s owner.
  • Be prepared for extreme exposure, hike-a-bikes, windy conditions and other challenges on this ride.
  • Pack and drink more water than you normally would.
  • Make sure you have everything you need in the event of a mechanical issue or flat.
  • Bring layers for the inevitable weather and temperature changes with the 6,700+ elevation gain.
  • Hit up Absolute Bakery for a well-deserved snack as you pass through Mancos.
  • Option: Leave a car in Mancos for a shorter, but still challenging ride.
A person riding their bike on a gravel road.

Key local business services

Hotels

Many nationally branded hotels are available in Montezuma County. Try these if you’re looking for something a little different:
Canyons of the Ancients Guest Ranch
Kelly Place
Mesa Verde RV Resort

Restaurants

Absolute Bakery & Cafe
The Farm Bistro
Breweries

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