6-Day loop from Denver (on pavement) - Route help

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Katabatic, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Katabatic

    Katabatic Adventurer

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    A friend and I are doing a 6 day loop (all pavement) through Colorado and Utah starting in Denver this Saturday. I’m on a Tiger 800 and he’s on an MT-07 (FZ-07).

    We’ve used other posts on ADVrider, along with motorcycle road maps as a guide and have a route mapped out that we feel pretty good about but have a feeling there’s some good stuff we’re missing. Part of me wants to keep it unstructured, but I also don’t want to miss out on some potentially awesome roads/views especially if it’s a minor detour. We are also open to major ones.

    Can you guys take a look and offer your input on the route? We are also interested in any landmarks, breweries, and restaurant recommendations to break up the riding days.

    Link: Go ahead and edit the route if you are able!
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1A0wBe3Rf_w8lBxqD5nL9Qi4KvntjRB90&usp=sharing

    upload_2019-8-30_10-15-38.png

    Some more specific questions I’m hoping you guys can answer:

    1) Is the detour to Deckers worth doing on our way out of Denver? Or should we just take 285?

    2) Black canyon of the Gunnison – is there a good way to see this on bikes?

    3) Moab - any good paved rides in this area other than Arches National Park? And is it worth going all the way out here to not do any off-road riding?

    4) Is Fry Canyon in Utah worth the long detour?

    5) Top 3 (paved) mountain passes in Colorado that are not to be missed?


    Thanks for your input!
    #1
  2. Merfman

    Merfman Cape truster... Supporter

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    IMO
    1) yes, that's better than 285
    2) Yes, CO92 is your friend, (you're skipping in your route)
    3) Cisco to Moab is a beaut after you get to the river but otherwise... meh
    4) Yes
    5) Too many to list, just enjoy what you find... ;)

    If it were my ride, I'd take 62 to 145 (Montrose, Ridgway, Naturita) instead of the 550 shitshow.
    I'd also skip the I70 Vail trek and take 131 to Tonopas, over Gore Pass, then Kremmling to RMNP...
    #2
  3. cidi

    cidi cidi Supporter

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    I fully agree with @Merfman !
    285 out of Denver on Saturday is going to be a shitshow and you will be enjoying bumper to bumper traffic...
    #3
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  4. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf High functioning sociopath

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    Hotels? Camping?
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  5. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf High functioning sociopath

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    Especially Labor day weekend as a launch. Better get a pre-dawn or late evening start, which makes day 1 not so scenic. Or you can get started toward the mountains the back way...relagating yourself to some slab. Take I25 south to Trinidad, then get off on Legends Highway, (CO 12), loop back toward US 160 and work your way west
    #5
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  6. Boricua

    Boricua Long timer

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    Too bad your friend is on an MT-07. However, depending on tires he might be able to pull it off. I would recommend coming down Grand mesa through Lands End road and go across from Gateway, CO to Spanish Valley through John Brown Canyon. Both dirt and gravel. However, they are usually well graded unless it rains then avoid John Brown Canyon. It's no exaggeration when they say is impassable when wet. John Brown canyon have some steep and a bit intimidating section. However, perfectly fine for most big bikes. I saw a video of a guy in an RT doing it.

    Like said before CO 92 is your friend. Alternative to CO 550 is CO 145 between Dolores and Telluride, then connect back to CO 141. UT 128 between Cisco and Moab is a very scenic detour. So is La Sal Loop.

    Fry Valley worth it? You are around and through Bear Ears. If you have time for the detours it is totally worth it. From Fry Valley to Landing a good detour would be UT 261 down Moki Dugway from the bottom of Moki take another detour through Valley of the Gods. Valley of the Gods it's like a half scale Monument Valley. Bring lot's of water it will be hot in that part of route. I use a cooling vest when riding the four corners.
    #6
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  7. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf High functioning sociopath

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    If you can, keep us informed of your progress, might be able to provide last minute suggestions
    #7
  8. -clinton-

    -clinton- Been here awhile

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    How did this turn out? I will be in Co in three weeks for a trip like this. Planning on hauling ass across Kansas and then spending 4-6 days in and around the mountains.
    #8
  9. Katabatic

    Katabatic Adventurer

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    Hey everyone,

    Thanks for all your input on the route - definitely made for a better trip and everyone's advice was spot on. We hit some absolutely fantastic roads and mountain passes.

    Some takeaways that might be helpful to others trying to do something similar:

    1) We averaged about 250 miles a day which doesn't sound like a lot but it can leave you pretty drained by the end of the day on these windy roads (we are in our early 30s). Our longest day was 290 which ended up being Grand Junction to Vail.

    2) We missed Mount Evans due to bad weather but it can be done on Day 6 or on Day 7 on the way back to Denver.

    3) Moab: 95 - 101 degrees Fahrenheit from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. Highly recommend doing Canyonlands around sunset - incredible views. Give yourself 2.5-3 hours from downtown Moab to get to Grand View Point and back. We did Arches first thing the next day to beat the crowds and the heat. We did La Sal loop right after that and thought it was great.

    4) We skipped Fry Canyon - no regrets as we got our fill of desert landscapes in Moab. Maybe next time.

    5) We ended up staying in a lot of Ski Towns because they coincided with our daily mileage goals and some great hotel deals can be found in the summer.

    6) Barely saw any cops, in case anyone here is into very spirited riding - Just in the towns and cities

    7) 285 out of Denver was indeed a shit show - bumper to bumper until we turned off towards Deckers. Recommend you do the same on a Saturday.

    8) If renting from Eagle Rider (Foothills Triumph Location). Call ahead and make sure they will have the actual bike you are reserving. Maybe it was just a labor day fluke but it seemed like everyone there that morning was getting put on bikes they hadn't reserved. My friend ended up on a 2018 Tiger 800 XRX instead of an MT-07 so it worked out great for us but if you absolutely have to have the bike you reserved I would call ahead to confirm.

    @Boricua - CO 92 was definitely our friend! One of the best roads we did on the whole trip and the north rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison is definitely worth the detour from there. Also, La Sal loop was a great suggestion!

    @-clinton- - Independence Pass may be closed in three weeks' time. Best to check up on that closer to the date.

    Here is a link to our actual route - which ended up being 7 days (I'll update the thread title after this post):
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UI_xxE9bRvlLDqFnxUGIlQwbFmw2Wd_s&usp=sharing

    Colorado Pavement Trip 2019 -Mymaps.PNG

    Thanks again for the route help and let me know if any of you have specific questions.

    Attached Files:

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  10. Assfault

    Assfault Exposed Member Supporter

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    Looks like a nice 3 day ride.
    #10
  11. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf High functioning sociopath

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    Not bad. Hit a lot of the good twisties.

    Glad you had a good time.
    #11
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  12. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Looks like some awesome riding!

    Whenever I route through Deckers on the weekends, I avoid 285 altogether!
    I always take Deer Creek Canyon, High Grade Rd, and Foxton Rd.
    Great bit of twisties, and rarely any traffic (even on the weekends) . You can ride it pretty aggressively, as I've never seen any LEO's through there.(except closer to Deckers)
    There is a short section of dirt along the Platte River section, but I have ridden it on my FJ1200 many times................You can avoid any dirt by going the other way through Foxton and Buffalo Creek.

    DEER CREEK.JPG
    #12
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