With almost a week of free time and great weather, I decided to ride out from my home in Colorado Springs to Moab and back, passing through the San Juans each way. I just returned home last night and thought I'd post a quick ride report and post a few photos. On the way to the San Juans I rode over Marshall Pass, which is a tame dirt road and an alternative to going over the paved Monarch Pass. A photo from the top: The first day of the trip was mostly paved, with Marshall Pass and Ophir Pass being the exceptions. I had a tough time with Ophir Pass the first time I rode it and wanted to redeem myself a bit. It's also a great way to get from the 550 to the 145. I called around and tried to find out how Ophir Pass was looking, snow-wise (the area has had off and on snow for the past couple weeks) but could not gather any solid intel. Luckily, the road was virtually clear with just a bit of snow at the top. Some views from the pass just during and after sunset: It was my smoothest Ophir Pass run yet (the road is in rough shape and has a few sections of somewhat steep scree) and I made my way up the paved 145 highway just a bit to disperse camp on the road up to Alta Lakes. There are tons of great places to camp for free in the San Juans. The next day I rode up 145, to the 141 (great paved road that winds along the river up to Gateway, Colorado) and then took John Brown Canyon up to Gateway Road. I then took part of the Kokopelli Trail from the Polar Mesa down to Onion Creek Road. This stretch of road did not go well for me at all and I dropped the bike numerous times. It was dirt and rocks, but there seemed to be no hardpack and I could get very little in the way of traction. Apparently, some sort of road machinery was just in front of me and was loosening everything up (or so I was told by others on the road). At least the scenery was still great: The road eventually connects with the much more traction-friendly Onion Creek Road, which was an awesome road that passes through the creek countless times. Here is one such creek crossing: I then made my way into Moab and set up my camp for the next couple days. The next morning, I rode out to the White Rim Trail via Potash Road. Potash Road was unlike anything I had ever ridden previously (my off-road experience to that point included dirt, rocks and gravel only). Potash had quite a bit of variety - hardpack dirt, loose rock, solid rock, even a little bit of (not deep at all) sand. What was new to me were sections like that last picture. They weren't especially tough, but at least for me usually required stopping and picking a line beforehand, then gunning it upward - my 1200GSW has lowered suspension and so I have to be careful with ground clearance. I rode about a third or so of the White Rim Trail and then came back up to the intersection of the Shafer Switchbacks, Potash Road and the WRT. I rode up the Shafer Switchbacks and then back down. My initial plan was to ride either Long Canyon or Gemini Bridges back to town, but I met a rider at the intersection of the switchbacks, the WRT and Potash Road who had just had a tough time going down the switchbacks and cautioned me going up them. He was to give me 30 minutes before riding Potash by himself back to town. After going up the switchbacks and realizing how much easier they were than the loose sections of Potash, I knew I had to go back down and at least warn the other rider. After much discussion, the other rider was keen on taking Potash Road rather than going back up the switchbacks. I decided to ride back with him as I was relatively certain he would be in over his head. Besides, I ride alone 99% of the time and would not mind the company. Roads are also a difference experience going the opposite way. Unfortunately, the other rider actually ended up fracturing his ankle (unbeknownst to him at the time) on the way back in a fall, but luckily after the loose stuff was already over with. He was able to make his way back to town with his foot in what I imagine was in quite a painful state. The next day I decided to ride Chicken Corners. This road was definitely my favorite of the roads I did in Moab. It had even more variety than Potash and was in my opinion a step up in difficulty. There were more sections of line-choosing rock, looser hills to climb up and down and sections of (to me, at least) deep sand. This was my first time riding in sand and though on the way out I dropped it a few times, things went better on the way back. A few photos from the road: That third picture was my favorite stretch of the road. Just before the picture, there was a 4" or so step up that I was happy to clear cleanly. The line I chose for this stretch was to first hug the left through the sand, then turn in and up a little bit. There was then another similar section to negotiate turning upwards the other way, so that the road eventually continued more or less on the top of that picture. Sections like that - that took planning and a bit of finesse - felt like an accomplishment to me. I'll definitely be back in Moab again soon. I then made my way back to Colorado Springs but not before hitting some of my favorite roads in the San Juans. The plan was to go up Corkscrew Gulch -> Hurricane Pass -> California Pass -> Animas Forks -> Cinnamon Pass. The weather was very warm and since there was little precipitation since I last passed through a few days prior, I figured I would probably be okay. I was right, at least through Corkscrew and Hurricane: Right past the Hurricane Pass sign, however, the road was very snowy and icy due to the direction the road faces at that point. It looked like this in parts (I walked up it a bit to scope it out): I was told by someone else heading the opposite way on the road that the last switchback up to California was as snowy as the worst of my pictured section, so I decided to play it safe, turn around and head back to Silverton via CR 110. I then hit Cinnamon Pass on the way home: And that was the ride!