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Old 04-22-2013, 08:16 PM   #1
kdowell OP
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Need help with CO and UT

My son just turned 16. Which not only makes me think about my age, it makes me think about how soon he will be leaving the house for college. Which means, he done with his life at home.

So, I have an idea which Im still trying to find the opportune time to explain to my wife (but thats not important here).....to buy a couple WR's, ship them to Denver, fly my son and myself to Denver and ride those two bikes through Colorado, Utah, into Vegas and finish on the beach in San Diego.

Reason for this post is to see gather some input on off pavement roads through Colorado and Utah. I'd like to stay off road as much as possible and seek out some of the more scenic places along the way.

Im all ears! If you've been through these areas and have ideas, I'd love to hear them. If you have recommendations on people that know areas/trails/routes in these areas, or if you know of good maps/trail guides/etc, I'd appreciate the input.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:06 PM   #2
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Sounds fantastic!

Start with these...




You can spend hours with these maps.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:02 AM   #3
byways
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You've a massive task before you.

Perhaps some insights into your experience, background, skill level, geographic knowledge and backcountry-travel experience would be helpful for inmates who'd like to assist.

You're proposing to cross the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, Mojave and perhaps Sonoran deserts, and then the coast ranges.

How do you define "off-road"? Off-pavement is helpful.

How much time do you have?
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:05 PM   #4
keithmckenney
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and where you are starting from

need a bit more information to offer helpful suggestions....that won't stop us from offering opinions........
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:40 PM   #5
speedmonkey7
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You are a cool Dad! Your boy will remember whatever ride you end up doing forever. Some of my best memories are trail riding with my dad!
I don't have much to offer, but do you mind if I subscribe since my Dad and I are looking to do a similar ride at some point ASAP. I'm now almost 38 though, lol.
Maybe check out the Utah back country discovery route? I think Colorado has one too. When you guys get to California maybe my Dad and I could ride with you guys!
Good luck with everything!
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
kdowell OP
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Glad you all are willing to assist. So, more details are in order. Im 48 and have ridden since I was 13, when my dad bought a nice used 72' Husky 250. While I have enough experience to solo to Patagonia (if my wife and life would allow), my son does not. This will be his first venture into adventure riding, which Im hoping he will take a liking to. Partially, for selfish reasons Im sure you all understand.

That being said, I want to give him a life long experience. He's a strong, athletic kid and welcomes challenge. To clarify, he'll have a bit of experience before this trip comes around. Likely, through Big Bend and the Texas Hill Country for some prep.

I'll be on a Wr450. We have not acquired the bike he will be taking, yet! Considering a WR250. We're not in a huge rush and the lightness and difference in bikes could be fun/interesting. We'd swap throughout the ride. The bikes will be shipped to Denver. We'll fly up from Austin. Do the ride through CO, UT, Vegas, and on through to San Diego where we'll ship the bikes back and fly home.

Single track is good, fire roads are good, dirt roads are good, and im not opposed to pavement. We/he can handle a few expert level technical sections, but dont want to spend too much time doing this unless its the means to a good route, destination, views etc. And if thats that case, bring it on!

I know I cant avoid highways. Im fine with that and will use them to get back on schedule if we fall behind. This is about the experience, scenery, challenge, etc. Im looking for suggestions on scenic routes through CO and UT mostly. The "dont miss" kind of places. The places that make us all spend time on this website!!

I havent decided if we're going to be camping or hotel-ing it. right now, do to the time we have and the distance I want to cover, im leaning towards hotels.

Anyway, bring on the suggestions! Dont let skill or experience get in the way. Give your favorites and I'll decide if its too much for my son. Thanks in advance, everyone. I'll certainly be posting a ride report once it happens.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:11 PM   #7
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Have you taken a look at the Back Country Discovery routes? CO & UT are mapped out, with tracks available, maps available from Butler maps, and even videos. You would have very little planning on your part other than just getting the tracks into a GPS & the maps and just plan the time you need. Now that takes care of CO & UT, but doesn't really count for heading West. There's other off road adventures out there shared out too you could look at that I'm sure others can chime in on.

We are doing the COBDR & UTBDR this summer ourselves on small bikes.

COBDR thread - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=744112
COBDR web page with free tracks - http://www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/COBDR

UTBDR thread - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=715935
UTBDR web page with free tracks - http://www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/UTBDR

FB page for Discover Routes - https://www.facebook.com/BackcountryDiscoveryRoutes

I would suggest buying the maps and the videos from Butler Maps as they greatly help you know what to expect even though you could do it with just the tracks.

Butler maps also sells great maps by each state which mark very scenic roads, gravel roads, etc.
ADV Vendor thread - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=598717
Butler Maps - http://www.butlermaps.com/
FB Page - https://www.facebook.com/butlermaps

BTW, I own a WR250R and is the bike I'll be taking out West this summer. Its a great bike and should be a fine bike to put your son on. Its a very well built motor that is mild down low, but definitely keeps revving when you need it with plenty of power on such a great light bike.

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Old 05-07-2013, 11:56 AM   #8
speedmonkey7
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Hey kdowell, have you looked at dualsportmaps.com? Craftycoder is an inmate here and built a great site for the recording of DS tracks. I? As looking at the California loop a little bit ago. I'm sure there are tracks on there to get you from Utah west. Plus there is an android app that turns your phone into a useful gps tool. Just a thought.

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Old 05-07-2013, 12:37 PM   #9
MountainsandRivers
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This sounds like an awesome trip! You could find ways across Colorado without much slab. I have done a ride the last several years (the Unofficial, Unorganized Monkeybutt 500) starting in Woodland Park near Colorado Springs that goes to Taylor Park near Crested Butte and back focusing on singletrack, 4wd roads etc and has very minimal pavement. You might search for that and may find some good route options. Taylor Park has some lodging options and would be a fun place to ride for a few days. You could then go toward Lake City and pickup the roads commonly done on the TAT and run that to Utah. Depending on when you go, you could spend a few days around Moab as well, but it gets really hot in the middle of summer. If you do this and pass through Telluride and need a hand or a place to crash, let me know, I would be glad to help out!
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
kdowell OP
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Thanks for the good advise. I'll definitely check out the maps. I spent some time on the couch this weekend looking through YouTube. Didnt really realize what a great resource it has become, for adventure/trail riding. A lot of folks are filming their rides giving people like me a glance at what the areas look like.

So MountainandTrails......while on the couch this weekend I 'did' decide Telluride would be a stop for us. I've skied just about everywhere in CO except Telluride. Hard-er for us Texans to get to! Taylor Park looks good. Imogene Pass looks fun coming from Ouray. I understand Black Bear pass is closed in early June (the time Im shooting for).

Got another question. We'll likely stay in a hotel in Telluride, Vegas, and maybe a couple other nights. Im trying to decide if we should pack the camping gear or just fill in the other nights with hotels. What is everyone's thought about camping in Colorado/UT? Its not about saving dough on the hotel room as much as the experience of camping. I've camped all over Texas and can handle our wildlife (snakes, hogs, coyotes), but I dont have much experience with bears and cats
Is that a concern in early June, or no? Any suggestions on killer camp sites?

BTW- picked up an 09 WR450 with only 100 miles on the clicker, this weekend. The modifications shall begin!
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:20 PM   #11
MountainsandRivers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdowell View Post

So MountainandTrails......while on the couch this weekend I 'did' decide Telluride would be a stop for us. I've skied just about everywhere in CO except Telluride. Hard-er for us Texans to get to! Taylor Park looks good. Imogene Pass looks fun coming from Ouray. I understand Black Bear pass is closed in early June (the time Im shooting for).

Got another question. We'll likely stay in a hotel in Telluride, Vegas, and maybe a couple other nights. Im trying to decide if we should pack the camping gear or just fill in the other nights with hotels. What is everyone's thought about camping in Colorado/UT? Its not about saving dough on the hotel room as much as the experience of camping. I've camped all over Texas and can handle our wildlife (snakes, hogs, coyotes), but I dont have much experience with bears and cats
Is that a concern in early June, or no? Any suggestions on killer camp sites?

BTW- picked up an 09 WR450 with only 100 miles on the clicker, this weekend. The modifications shall begin!
MountainsandTrails? Who dat? Let me say my name louder and slower so you Texans can understand it...MountainsandRivers! Got it? J/K-I married a Texan so I figure I can get away with anything...
The skiing won't be so good in early June, but technically if you wait until late June/early July we do the Lunar Cup up near the top of Imogene Pass, which is a racing event/party...lots of nudity and drugs, perfect environment for a 16 year old!
We did not get a lot of snow this year, so there is a good chance Black Bear will be open by early June. Still too early to tell though, since we did have a little fresh snow this morning...Ophir usually opens first, then Imogene, then Bolam and Black Bear. PM me closer and i will let you know real time what is going on.
Be bear smart when you camp, like don't keep food in your tent, tie it up and a bit away from camp, should be no issue. Generally if you hear one and make a little noise, they run off. Mountain lion sightings are very rare, and they prefer easy prey. Same thing, just don't be stupid and there isn't much to worry about.
Lodging in Telluride can be pricey, I would recommend the Victorian for a more basic room downtown but if you want more upscale, try the Hotel Telluride or go all out for the New Sheridan or the Hotel Columbia. In Mountain Village, the Mountain Lodge usually has the best deals, the Peaks is the most well known place with pool and spa, etc...
Another option is the Angler Inn. It just reopened and it is about 15 minutes down valley. Small lodge with a decent restaurant. It is also practically across the street from Fall Creek, which is a road, mostly dirt, that will connect you over to the Dunton area where you can connect with other dirt roads to run you to Utah.
Does your son already have his permit for motorcycles? If so, does it cover operating them in other states? Just curious. This is something i want to do with my boys when they are older for sure!
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:40 PM   #12
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Camping in the Colorado high country in early June could be an adventure
(meaning cold & snow) or it could be great weather. The next couple of days here in the central Rockies is the potential for snow. But camping in Colorado is also awesome, hotels are nice to clean up occasionally. Our snowpack in the central Rockies is nearing normal, which means high passes may be closed, depending on when you come. The southern mountains are much drier. Here is the national weather service website for western Colorado - http://www.crh.noaa.gov/gjt/
And don't forget about tent space from the inmates here. If you are in the Aspen-Glenwood Springs area, I have tent space (actually a bit better than that, meaning it could be the hot tub, bed, etc.). Except I'll be in Ireland for my son's wedding 6/8-6/16
Moab is starting to get pretty warm this time of year but I also have a house there.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:10 AM   #13
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thnx

...and yes bring some Benchmark Maps too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluelghtning View Post
have you taken a look at the back country discovery routes? Co & ut are mapped out, with tracks available, maps available from butler maps, and even videos. You would have very little planning on your part other than just getting the tracks into a gps & the maps and just plan the time you need. Now that takes care of co & ut, but doesn't really count for heading west. There's other off road adventures out there shared out too you could look at that i'm sure others can chime in on.

We are doing the cobdr & utbdr this summer ourselves on small bikes.

cobdr thread - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=744112
cobdr web page with free tracks - http://www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/cobdr

utbdr thread - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=715935
utbdr web page with free tracks - http://www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/utbdr

fb page for discover routes - https://www.facebook.com/backcountrydiscoveryroutes

i would suggest buying the maps and the videos from butler maps as they greatly help you know what to expect even though you could do it with just the tracks.

Butler maps also sells great maps by each state which mark very scenic roads, gravel roads, etc.
Adv vendor thread - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=598717
butler maps - http://www.butlermaps.com/
fb page - https://www.facebook.com/butlermaps

btw, i own a wr250r and is the bike i'll be taking out west this summer. Its a great bike and should be a fine bike to put your son on. Its a very well built motor that is mild down low, but definitely keeps revving when you need it with plenty of power on such a great light bike.

Utbdr trailer


codbdr trailer
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:57 AM   #14
kdowell OP
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Now every time I see your Profile I'll see you flipping me off for calling you a trail instead of a river!

First, I should clarify. Im researching WAY in advance for this trip and will likely have 2-3 others in between. In fact, I'll be in Grand Junction for a weekend ride to Moab this coming September. The trip with my son wont happen until June 2014.

This summer's schedule is already shot for him and me. He does not have a permit or bike yet. But most notably, his mother doesn't know anything about this fantastic idea that I have! As any of you married men know, its all about "when/how" you ask. Still trying to find the opportune time, but until then I might as well gather some intel from all of you, right!

So it sounds like Colorado could be cold during that time of year and Moab could be hot. I have the option to take him either the first week of June or first week of July. I'll have to play that by ear when next year rolls around. Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:22 AM   #15
speedmonkey7
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Ok. For sure keep an eye on the BDR site then. They are working on an Arizona route right now, and once that's done, they are doing most of the other western states. You might just be able to ride west linking back country discovery routes! That might help with the planning! Oh, and I definitely get the timing aspect with your wife. My Dad and I BOTH have one to time the asking with!! :eek:


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