10 days in the rockies, pls help (post virus)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by AJxr, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Blue Mountain, NY
    east coast guy coming to colorado (hopefully this year)

    basic idea is get on the bike in denver and do a loop.

    small bore dual sport. 200-250 mile fuel range. looking to get off the beaten path. have 10 days to ride. gnarlier route is good.

    so far i know i need to ride the alpine loop. im also aware that its only open for a small part of the year so hopefully the covid lockdown is eased enough by then.

    the more offroad the better. wouldnt mind dropping down toward moab either. unsure if it would better to head north on the divide though.

    obviously im in the beginning stages of planning but im looking for input so i can make the most of these 10 days.
    #1
  2. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36,489
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    The Alpine loop is good but kind of tame. Look up the Rainbow Trail. It is a long singletrack and not too bad on a smaller bike with camp gear. The Alpine Trail is also a fun long section of trail. Obviously near the Alpine loop. Following GPS Kevin’s TAT, using the Red sections will get you a nice amount of singletrack out of Denver and take you to Moab. Depending on the time of year, you may want to avoid Moab. It is too hot in August. When Moab starts to cool off, the mountains of Colorado start to get snow.
    #2
    eddie bolted likes this.
  3. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism! It's a bad drug!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,644
    Location:
    Peoples republic of Kalifornia, East...Kolarado
    This is BIG country. Plan to spend a lot of time getting between places. It can take more than ALL day at highway speeds to get from one part of the state to the other. Check out the first threads in the rockies section for some useful info. And "Stay the Trail". this is fragile, over used country out here, try not to tear it up.
    #3
  4. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Blue Mountain, NY
    Well I’m more interested in going from point a to point b via trail. I mean as much as possible. Even if it took 10 days to do a loop of trail never leaving the state that would be sweet.

    that comment about overused trail though... has me thinking. Should I choose a different point of the Rockies? Or maybe MT/Idaho?
    #4
  5. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36,489
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    I have been to Idaho once and it was pretty cool riding. If things work out, we were planning on spending a good amount of time there this summer. I don’t have my hopes up for this summer.

    Colorado is unique because of the gold rush. They put mining roads all around that state. The amount of dirt road riding there is pretty endless. Other states are more untouched. There are places in Colorado that are very popular among us East coast folks. Those places are hammered. The trails are whooped out and torn up.

    Have you done much touring on the bike, carrying camp gear and riding singletrack?
    #5
  6. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Blue Mountain, NY
    I haven’t done a motorcycle packing trip but I’ve done some extensive bicycle packing trips so I know about packing light. Also an AMA A class enduro racer so I love me some single track. Figure it’s time to combine the two! Haha
    #6
    Yinzer Moto likes this.
  7. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36,489
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    Yeah, you should be good. Ultra light backpacking or bike packing is great practice. If you are an A class racer, you should be able to handle all the singletrack out in Colorado. Traction is amazing, it like cheating when I go out, there. I just dig through my worn out tire pile and toss on some old tires. You don’t need good knobbies. If I am doing a longer trip where I want the tire to last, I’ll just run a Kenda K270 on the rear and a Pirelli Mid Hard on the front.
    #7
  8. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism! It's a bad drug!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,644
    Location:
    Peoples republic of Kalifornia, East...Kolarado
    If you want to do the Alpine Loop, plan to spend your 10 days exploring that corner of the state instead of the whole state.
    #8
    MVI likes this.
  9. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Blue Mountain, NY
    Thanks for the response. Just hearing that means I have a lot more homework to do.
    #9
  10. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36,489
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    There is not a ton of singletrack in the area, depending on your speed, maybe 2 or 3 days will click off most of it. It is very scenic but also can be very crowded on the Jeep roads.
    #10
  11. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Blue Mountain, NY
    researching idaho, wyoming, montana as well now. not giving up on co yet but hell its gonna be a few months anyway.
    #11
  12. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36,489
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    If you have never been to Colorado, I think you should stick with the original plan. It is worth seeing. Especially with the 10day time line. It will go quick.

    Start with some baseline routes like the BDR, https://ridebdr.com/cobdr/, the TAT and CDR. They are easier riding and hit some of the most scenic spots. Then edit them into something resembling a loop. From there. Find sections of singletrack using the Latitude 40 maps or the Forest Service MVUM maps.

    Idaho has the Tour of Idaho T1 Route. That is too long for your time line but it is 1800 miles of trail (about 350 of singletrack) north/south. It is intermediate skill level, and for a small bike.
    #12
  13. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Blue Mountain, NY
    ive driven around colorado a bunch by car but never hit any kind of trails. i did a week in moab on a dirtbike though. that was rad. i had heard there was an offroad route from moab to somewhere in colorado and thats what kind of sparked the idea for this trip. wonder if it would be cutting it close on time though. i dont plan to dick around but i definitely want to spend enough time in the mountain single track to enjoy it. not just a speed thru and then have to interstate back to the starting point.
    #13
    Yinzer Moto likes this.
  14. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Blue Mountain, NY
    #14
    MVI likes this.
  15. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36,489
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    It is possible ride just about anywhere out west via dirt. You’ll cross asphalt or do a short section into a town to grab gas and food, then back out into the dirt. It is more difficult to do on the east coast but it is possible to do some great, mostly off road loops out this way too. There are multiple ways to get from Colorado to Moab via dirt. Take a look at the TAT routes. From both Sam and Kevin. That is basically what they do. The main routes may be a little tame but Kevin includes singletrack options.

    As I mentioned before, it can get pretty warm at lower elevations during the time of year that the mountains are free from snow. We go to the Rocky Mountains every summer for a month or two to escape the east coast humidity. We try to just stay in the mountains and follow them in a north/south direction. The lower elevation stuff like Moab, we go in the spring and fall.

    Your plan is fine, take some time to familiarize yourself with a GPS program and how to take people’s GPS tracks and make them into something you can use. This will help avoid the highway slog back to the start point. If you can plan a return ride via dirt, you’ll be more happy.

    Your amount of time is fine, I think when we followed the TAT, we started out of Denver, I think it took us 4 days of riding to make it to Moab and we followed a good amount of singletrack.

    This image is kind of what I am talking about using other people’s tracks. There are 3 different rides here that we combined into one mostly dirt loop. The Trans WV Trail, the South East Adventure Trail and the Mid Atlantic BDR. This was a 4400 mile, 14 day loop that kept us off asphalt.

    E763620D-6FEA-45B8-948A-E9AC6387FBD0.jpeg
    #15
    MVI and scarysharkface like this.
  16. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Faking it/Making it

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    14,530
    Location:
    Indiana
    It's also nice to reverse the route for your return. You'll see a bunch of cool stuff you missed going the other direction.

    John
    #16
    AJxr and Yinzer Moto like this.
  17. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36,489
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    I just finished that report you linked. The Rainbow trail is what I mentioned earlier. It is a nice trail. I have ridden it many times on loaded bikes and unloaded bikes. When reading these reports and making plans, you are going to have to figure out what your personal speed is like. What took those guys 3 days to do might be half a day ride for some other people.
    #17
    MVI likes this.
  18. MVI

    MVI MVI Moto Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2018
    Oddometer:
    976
    Location:
    NRH, TEXAS
    Each year we basecamp in Silverton CO, and you can easily do 100+ miles a day of out and back.
    You can find Single track up and over Stony Pass.

    IMG_20190715_124254_560 (1).jpg
    #18
    AJxr and Creekgeek like this.
  19. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,706
    Location:
    denver
    HI

    My name is Scott, I live in Denver and ride a KTM 350 as my dual sport weapon.

    10 day loop out of Denver .... LOTS of options ! !

    Big thing ... do not underestimate how difficult off road Colorado riding can be. Besides the technical difficulties of the trail. The high elevations + dry air can be very exhausting.

    Plan for at least 1 full rest day !


    I suggest the following

    1 Buy / order the Delorme Atlas and Gazetteer for Colorado about $20.

    This is a large format topographic map book that covers the entire state. All dirt and jeep roads are shown. Some single tract shown .

    Very helpful for planning.

    2 ... goto caltopo.com this is a online mapping tool, has full USGS 7.5, USFS, map collection + their own cool topo map, and all the goggle map stuff...you can make your own tracts for GPS download, you can overlay and switch between maps without losing your place or zoom .. very cool feature

    3...National Geographic has a high resolution paper map set that covers most of Colorado ...these maps show single tract ... alternatively check out the latitude 40 maps ... just as good .. but not as much coverage.

    Lastly if your looking for a riding partner that knows the state ... let me know, I might be able to ride with you for a few days.

    Good luck

    Scott
    #19
    AJxr and MVI like this.
  20. MVI

    MVI MVI Moto Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2018
    Oddometer:
    976
    Location:
    NRH, TEXAS
    @shrederscott do you have some GPS files you can upload of the easier Single Track.
    I'm looking to do more then the alpine loop passes this year.
    #20