Note to reader:
Two things I would like to share with you about this Review/Grading of Dave’s Mountain Tours in Telluride, Colorado. First this is my first Review/Grading of a Tour/Outdoor Activity so I am exploring this process. Second I claim to be UN-biased on these reviews/grading but I will admit up front, I work for this particular business and I happen to know that they do have one of the best tour guides of all times working for them. This guy is kind of a ringer, but despite that I will try hard to give a fair review and grading of this 4×4 tour biz 😉 Dave’s Mountain Tours in Telluride Colorado has recently undergone a change of ownership, Dave Rote, a brash upstate New Yorker and the founder, after 16 or so years of running this tour business sold it to a Southern Gentleman named David Biser. The best news was the New Dave didn’t even have to scrape the name off the vehicles, but did put in a lot of sweat equity and some $’s working on the rigs, that I will get into here soon. But let me get started on this Grading/Review.
Traditionally Dave’s Mountain Tours has never had a store front or office and has hired a stay-at-home gal to answer the phone. I can say from personal experience that they have always been super nice, informative and professional on the phone and really bend over backwards to accommodate their customers. They are always good about suggesting clothes and sunscreen, etc. If you happen to get Dave on the phone you will also find that he is very accommodating and a true Southern Gentleman. So in this category I will have to give them a 9 on a 1-10.
I don’t think the reservation gals have ever turned down a crazy request, as long as the customer is willing to pay. Dave’s has always been in the position of the small fry in Telluride and because of that they are more willing to accommodate the unusual. Trust me on this one, I have done some real unusual trips working for this bunch, part of the reason I enjoy the job actually. I will have to once again give them a 9 for flexibility.
Dave uses 70’s era Styre/Puch Pinzgauers, surplus Swiss Military troop transport vehicles. They have been in service in Telluride for about 7 years but have proved to be very reliable. Typical for military vehicles they are over built and with a small air cooled 4 cylinder motor, they do not have enough power to break anything on the drive line. Contrary to most military vehicles, at least from my experience, the Pinzgauer with independent suspension on all four wheels rides relativity smooth on the rough and rocky trails around Telluride. The one drawback I see is in the position of the well cushioned seats, the customers end up facing towards the middle of the vehicle, while facing forward has always seemed more preferable for the enjoyment of the passengers. Because of this I am only going to give Dave’s a 7 in this category. Coolness and condition are just fine though, not to worry!
Update: The New Dave, being the creative welder he is, has re-arranged all the seats in the Pinzgauers, including the newest a 6×6, so that most of the now face forward and convenient doors on the side instead of the single door in the rear, which kicks this up to a 10 now!
I am sorry, it is hard to be UN-biased in this category as I am the main guide and I not only have been doing this sort of work for almost 30 years, I also really enjoy what I do and seem to be very good at it. I have actually written books about some of the trails in the area, I usually click with the clients and often hear that they call back to rave about what a good time they had on their trip. I also end up training most of the other guides, to include New Dave himself. So sorry for being biased but I give Dave’s a 10 in this category!
The guides for Dave’s Mountain Tours do not come across as ridged, by-the-book professionals, but are very confident in what they are doing and face all situations in this confident yet laid back sort of approach, let’s give them a 9 in this category.
Give me a break, we are talking about the San Juans of Southwestern Colorado. If you have any questions, just browse around the Alpine Paradise site and you will see what I mean 😉 Their bread and butter trip is a half day trip to the top of Imogene Pass, the second highest pass in the country, past the historic and famous ghost town of Tomboy. Their most exciting trip is a half day trip that ends up dropping down the Stair-Steps and switch backs at the end of the Telluride Box Canyon, and past Bridal Veil Falls, the highest waterfall in Colorado, a.k.a. Black Bear Pass: “You don’t have to be Crazy to ride this road, but it Helps”. Dave’s gets a 10 in this category!!!
Web Site Critique:
Dave’s Mountain Tours in Telluride has a great web address I will give them that: telluridetours.com . This site seems to be a simple WordPress site that seems to function well, but it is a bit dated and not kept up on. The Bio still talks about the Old Dave for one and his photo pops up all around and not a one of the New Dave. It has the comments turned on, but I do not think anyone monitors and/or approves them, or does any sort of maintenance as far as that goes. From what I understand, a WordPress page is great but lends itself to being an interactive page with fresh content, etc. The trip descriptions are okay, but leave a little to be desired. I am only going to give them a 6 in this category. Maybe this will motivate Dave to figure out how to work on this page.
Update: I have up-dated this page with all new up to date info and photos, and will soon be adding info about the new Dave’s Mountain Cook-Outs! Would give his page a good 8 or better now.
So 8.6 is Dave’s Mountain Tours of Telluride Colorado’s final score!
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