Geology and Sightseeing Tours and Hikes

Dr. Dave Noe, of Colorado Detours, wants to share his deep knowledge of geology, natural history, and hidden places in Western Colorado with you! We host a variety of driving and hiking tours, each one focusing on a special part of the region, to look at the geology, physiology, biology, and human interactions with the land. Each event is like a college course, but even better because it’s based on discovery and fun…and there are no tests!

There are no upcoming events at this time.

What You’ll Do

Some of the tours are primarily hiking tours, where we’ll get out to see astounding things in wild, natural settings. Other tours are primarily driving and sightseeing tours, where we will visit scenic overlooks and fascinating places that are near to the roadsides. For the hiking tours, we’ll gather at a designated meeting site and travel in the Colorado Detours van to a trailhead, and then hike up a trail, discovering new and amazing things as we go along. For the driving sightseeing tours, we will travel by van to a series of stops at points of geologic, ecological, or scenic interest. Wherever possible on these tours, we will emphasize hands-on experiences, identify and discuss what we’re seeing, and present you with some tremendous photography opportunities! Some of the trips will be half-day tours (4-5 hours), while others will be full-day tours (8 hours).

Where We’ll Go

While some of these trips will be to the region’s centerpiece scenic destinations (Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Grand Mesa, Kebler Pass), other tours are geared to lesser-known destinations that have high interest or experiential value (and are truly hidden treasures). In the fall, we’ll do fall color driving tours. We will also run geology and wine tours to various vineyards and wineries during certain weekends, in support of local wine festivals and in conjunction with the West Elks American Viticultural Area. Those tours will focus on the interrelationship between geology, soils, topography, climate, vineyard siting, and wine-grape growing in the area (an interrelationship known to the French as Terroir, the combined effects of those elements on the taste of the wine!).

What We’ll Provide

Transportation in a sleek, roomy tour van with panoramic windows, bottled water for on-van consumption, expert commentary and tour guiding. For wine and geology tours, free wine tasting and/or bags for u-pick fruit picking at applicable destinations

What to Bring

Dress for outdoor comfort from the elements! Bring a day pack, rain jacket, sunglasses, sunscreen, filled water bottles, a sack lunch (for full-day tours) and snacks. We recommend wearing a long-sleeved shirt and good walking shoes or boots. For geology and wine tours, bring money for buying locally produced wines, u-picked fruit, and specialty food items and products, directly from the farmers. Bring a camera, too!

Tour Start Times

Most tours will meet at 8:00 am to take advantage of the weather. Half-day tours typically end at 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Full-day tours typically end at 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm. See the calendar for specific dates and times.

Who, What, When

and How Much?

Each trip will have its own point of meeting and departure, mostly at or near Paonia, Hotchkiss, Crawford, Cedaredge, or Delta, Colorado. Instructions and directions will be emailed to guests once the trip is booked.

Who can attend

Minimum age is 8. Minors must be accompanied and supervised by an adult guardian. See Physical Requirements for the tour to assess whether a child can keep pace with the group.

Physical Requirements

Physical requirements will vary according to the type of hiking or driving tour being run. Individual tour descriptions will contain a listing of necessary physical requirements.


We love your pets, but they’re not allowed on our tours.

More Info

Many of these tour destinations are known to the local populace as being hidden gems. Even the more well-known ones are off the beaten path and are lightly visited!

Maximum Group Size

Maximum group size is 13 guests.

Registration Cut-off

Booking must be done by at least 24 hours before the tour.

Restroom Facilities

Restroom facilities are not generally available along the hiking trails and are sometimes available at trailheads. We recommend that you find and use a public restroom facility before arriving at the tour meet-up location. For van sightseeing tours, we will strive to work restroom stops into our itinerary. The van does not contain a toilet.

Fill a tour van with your own group and receive a discount!
Contact Colorado Detours for more information.

Child (Half-day)

$ 49

Age 8-21

Adult (Half-Day)

$ 99

Over 21

Child (Full Day)

$ 79

Age 8-21

Adult (Full-Day)

$ 159

Over 21