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Old 03-09-2010, 07:40 PM   #46
The Tourist
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Thanks Geek! This is just what I need (hopefully this summer).

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Old 03-09-2010, 07:40 PM   #47
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Location: Salida, coloRADo
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Originally Posted by Geek
Says a man that makes his living off of the Colorado Tourist Trade

I'm going to have a big section in this report about shopping in Salida.

Great thread, full of great info, Geek. Nice job.

One correction, though (since it's about my neighborhood). The "Collegiate's" are just a group of mountains within the Sawatch Range. They are named after various colleges... but they are not a range themselves. Oh and Chaffee County (home!) has more Fourteeners than anywhere else in the country.

Carry on...

"What these people need is some mental psychology."-Bonnie Abbzug

Hayduke screwed with this post 03-09-2010 at 07:47 PM
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:46 PM   #48
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....still my favorite riding state.
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12 XT12 black, Akrapovic, Givi W'shield, Kappa saddlebags
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:51 PM   #49
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I just retired and this is on my Bucket List. Thanks Geek!!!
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:55 PM   #50
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Awesome Thread

This thread is much appreciated. I will be touring across Colorado this June. Last year I toured Western Colorado for 4 days based out of Grand Junction. Since I was on my Royal Star, I could only get a glimpse of what lay beyond the asphalt, and hated to turn around when the asphalt ran out east of Silverton. This year I'll be on my brandie new KLR 650, and I have 10 glorious days, starting June 1st, to explore every dirt road in Colorado and Eastern Utah I can find. After slabing it from Indy to Colorado Springs, I am planning to ride Gold Camp Road to Cripple Creek, then Shelf Road to US 50. That's all I know at the moment. The other 9 days I am currently piecing together from information on this thread, as well as reading tons of Colorado Ride Reports on this site.

Thanks again for all the useful information!

My ride reports are at
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:29 PM   #51
Geek OP
oot & aboot
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Originally Posted by RamblinKevin
starting June 1st, to explore every dirt road in Colorado and Eastern Utah I can find.
June 1st eh?

You bring up another good point.


Here in the Front Range we can pretty much ride year around (with some time outs for blizzards, ice, etc.. but it usually melts off quickly)... but as you climb up that changes.

Every mountain pass can have its own unique calender dependent on the "micro climate" around a specific mountain as well as the shape of the specific mountain.

For example.. Webster Pass is 12,000 feet high. Right beside it is Red Cone which is 12,800 feet. Usually Red Cone will open BEFORE Webster! Why? Because Webster Pass has a wind swept cornice that literally will be 50+ feet deep so even though everything above it has melted off, it is still unpassable.

The view from Red Cone at 12,800 feet looking down on Webster Pass. If you look closely in the bottom right corner you can see a Jeep (tiny dot) to give some perspective. Red Cone is usually open and ride able before the pass below because the shelf road (visible) fills in with a snow cornice each winter

Red Cone is also an experience in fear if you don't like heights.. but more on that later (I think I literally left a 1/2 mile long skid mark on it the first time I rode it )

So back to your June 1st date... that is awfully early in the season to get up really high. Usually I consider late July, August, and early September the "big months" for getting up to the highest stuff.

In fact here is a photo JjustJ posted last July 6th of the exact Webster Pass snow cornice I mentioned above. This is half way down Red Cone approaching webster and you can see the shelf road going to the left is still snowed in (I think we finally got through something like July 24th last year?). The dots on the snow shelf are people!

Moral of the story: Stay flexible and have alternative routes planned for your trip. You might plan on doing a day riding over Hurricane Pass and California Pass only to find they are still snowed in... by being flexible you can re-route yourself easily over to Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass which tend to open up earlier each year (because they plow them )

I'll try to give some idea to when a pass is open as I write about them.. but it really is a crap shoot. In the Rockies Regional forum here on ADV you'll literally see threads where we ask eachother "is this open yet?" when it gets close to the "normal time" for a local.

If you could pick any time to come to Colorado? Mid/late August is ideal for access.. but it can snow on the high stuff literally any day of the year.

...more to come...

Geek screwed with this post 03-09-2010 at 10:00 PM
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:06 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by CA Stu
Does spending a couple of nights acclimatizing at intermediate elevation (i.e. Durango, Ouray) before venturing up to the highest peaks and passes mitigate the effects somewhat?

CA Stu
Hi Stu !!
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:09 AM   #53
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Geek does not like the plains of Colorado, he is new here and still mesmerized by our high peaks. However, the plains have great riding, deep canyons, untold secrets and are steeped in history. Besides they are lonely and oh so solitary - time stands still out there.
Besides, you can't find painted turtles walking around the mountains.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:33 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Geek


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Old 03-10-2010, 01:04 AM   #55
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Northern Illinoise
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Originally Posted by Geek
...Hopefully it'll help some of my ADV brethren plan their summer vacations this year and lead you to some of the places that make me go "Wow!" every time I visit them.


WOW is right! Thanks for all this info and the sights! I've been out there many times and CO always leaves me wanting to stay. I'll agree with you that good fitness can help with being able to cope with higher altitude.

I'll be spending a couple days riding trails late May... lower elevation stuff (like 6500' - 8500') starting with the Rampart Rng trails... and again in July. Are your trips usually day-trips ending back home or do you stage a truck/trailer and camper somewhere?

Thanks again!
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:13 AM   #56
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I am assuming that the department of tourism grant application was accepted.

Good work Ed. I am looking forward to seeing new stuff from north of I-70 and west of the Front Range.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:31 AM   #57
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Very Cool!!!!!

Like Hayduke says, "Colorado Sucks"
2007 - Vintage TAT - Ok, NM, Co

2008 - Vintage TAT - Ut, Nv, Or

2009 - Vintage TAT - NC, Tn, Ms, Ar

2010 - Unfinished Business Tour - TAT, CDR Shadow of the Rockies
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:24 AM   #58
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Fly over zone
Oddometer: 1,801
Great RR.. I'm in. We have camped all over CO. (Did Alpine Loop last yr in a Tacoma.. )
Have camped at Hawns Peak, Ouray, Salida (O'Haver Lake) Rocky Mtn, Crested Butte, and above CO Springs (can't remember the name of the lake..)
Looking for new places in CO to see..
Thanks for posting!
IBA#32778 2008 R1200GSA 2007 G650XChallenge
No man is as good as he ought to be, and few men are as bad as they seem.. (from a early 1900s post card found in Perry, Missouri..)
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:04 AM   #59
Trustin' my cape...
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Joined: Sep 2009
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Three things

1) The report is good, right up to the point that you pinpointed the location of Taylor Park. Please knock that sh*t off...

2) A quick lesson is alititude induced pulminary edema: When I still lived out of state (23+ years ago) we organized a ski trip to Steamboat. One member of our party caught a "cold" after we'd been in state for a couple days. He spent one day in the Boat on the slopes but generally felt like crap. The final 3 days were spent in bed. As we returned home, we stopped in Colo Spgs. He was so weak he could barely walk and we decided, much to his opposition, to take him to the local EmergiCare. Without telling us much of anything, they immediately whisked him into an ambulance and took him to the ICU at Memorial Hospital. Once the dust settled, the doc said "Good thing you didn't try to make it home, he wouldn't have made it". Yea, wouldn't have made it as in "died enroute" . If you feel bad, don't try to tough it out, it could cost you your life.

3) It's dry here. 10% RH isn't unheard of. Drink more water than you think you need because you rarely sweat here. The liquid just vanishes from your body via evaporation and dehydration will contribute to PE.

... carry on..
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:31 AM   #60
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What's wrong with knowing where Taylor Park is?
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