Alpine Loop October 19th

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Shakey23, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. Shakey23

    Shakey23 Been here awhile

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    Hey all. I am heading to Colorado and want to ride the Alpine Loop and do some moto camping. My riding buddy can’t go, so I am looking for someone to go with. I am a novice at trail riding on the big bikes, but have a lot of dirt bike experience. I don’t want to do anything that is too technical. Looking at the BDR map it says there is an “easy” route from Ouray to Lake City which sounds like the route for me. I ride the gravel roads here in Texas a lot and some trail riding but not the rocky slate stuff in Colorado. Does anyone have any experience with this route to give me an idea of what I am getting into? And would anyone be interested in joining? I plan on camping in Durango Friday night and heading up to Ouray Saturday morning. I am leaving from north Dallas area Friday and coming back Monday.

    I am also considering camping in Lake City Friday and taking the route to Ouray then riding the San Juan Skyway.
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  2. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    That is getting late in the season to do that route.

    Be advised

    1 ....Its possible that snow can occur between now and then that will CLOSE the loop for the season

    2 ...Camping could be COLD at night,

    3 fall colors will be done in that area .
    ..it's peaking right about now

    Check the weather before you leave.

    Good luck

    Scott
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  3. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

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    I haven't done the part you are looking at, but like Scott said it will be cold at night. Last Oct I did the streatch going northfrom Lake City. Great camping along that road. Nice ride not technical but very cold early in the morning. The colors were great. See if I can find some pics. Have fun. 443875859.jpg 1230381587.jpg

    Count me as a maybe. Ill be in touch. Looks like fun, and I have the time.
    My tarp tore on my last trip, new one on order. View attachment 1918177
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  4. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    We just got back from riding most of the Alpine Loop and the weather was perfect last week. In the afternoon up around Hurricane Pass we got some afternoon ice and snow falling on us but it didn't create a problem. The colors were just peaking and will be well gone in a couple of weeks. Personally, I wouldn't plan to do the ride much later than now but you have to do what you have to do. Just be aware that you'll need a really warm sleeping bag if you camp anywhere in this area and impassable conditions may be encountered. Having been there in June in a year when all the snow was gone by then and now going in mid-September, I'd say the first half of September is the perfect time to go. Less traffic, better cooler weather for riding and camping.

    [​IMG]
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  5. shu

    shu ...

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    October 19?

    Most years would see snow at least a few times by then at high altitude (Engineer Pass 12,800 feet).

    Camping will almost certainly be cold: perhaps in the 20's at night, possibly colder.

    I would modify the plan and look for riding at the 7500'-9000' level. It will still be cold riding: perhaps highs of 50+ for a brief part of the day and the nights will be cold and long, but you have a much better chance of having a good ride. Remember that Forest Service Campgrounds will all be locked up.

    ..............shu
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  6. Shakey23

    Shakey23 Been here awhile

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    I appreciate all of the info! Here in north Texas it was in the 90’s this afternoon. The last time I went camping in Colorado was in May a few years back and it snowed on us and I was completely unprepared! I did get a 0 degree rated sleeping bag and just got a 3-season tent (ALPS mountaineering Linx 2-person). I feel confident about staying warm enough. I plan on doing some dispersed camping Saturday and Sunday. I think I am going to go to white sands monument and camp Sunday night before heading home. But I am not set on that part. My obsession is Colorado. Do you know of any more ideal places along the BDR at this time of year? I would like to ride the paved loop from Durango, Ouray, Telluride and Cortez loop. How are the conditions on the pavement?
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  7. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    HI

    Just finished my fall color ride.

    Wed night camp at Crested Bute woke up to 18 f on thermometer.

    The roads you are interested in are good shape.

    You could have snow or Indian summer condtions.

    If conditions are to wet/snow ... you could try the grand Junction area ... BUT... only if it is dry there.

    Good luck

    Scott
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  8. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

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    Northeastern Colorado is suppose to get about 70* temp shift between today and Friday. 80* today followed by rain turning to snow and a low 17* tomorrow and 10* on Friday.
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  9. Shakey23

    Shakey23 Been here awhile

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    I’ve been keeping an eye on the forecast and it looks like the temp is going to drop this weekend into the low 20s and then get back up into the high 20s at night and high 50s in the day. That will make for some nice riding as long as the snow holds off. If snow moves in I may stay in New Mexico and ride some BDR there. For now I am still planning on hitting the CoBDR between Lake City and Ouray. :pope
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  10. Metalcarver

    Metalcarver Geezer Berserker Supporter

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  11. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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  12. Shakey23

    Shakey23 Been here awhile

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    So after talking with some fellow inmates I have decided to change the plan a bit. I am going to start in Lake City and, weather permitting, ride Cinnamon Pass, Animas Forks and Head over to corkscrew gulch on the way back to Ouray.

    ibgary,
    Where is that camping spot? That looks ideal! I am going to be doing some dispersed camping in Lake City.
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  13. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

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    That spot is a few miles East of Lake City, on the COBDR, Spruce campground. I was the only one there. 1079172566.jpg
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  14. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Looks like the weather might hold out for you. Chance of a storm Thursday/Friday, but no real snow accumulation expected.
    Leaves are about done above 8000.
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  15. Shakey23

    Shakey23 Been here awhile

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    Things are looking good so far! I packed up my bike last weekend and it just made the excitement grow. Now I can’t concentrate at work! This will be my first camping trip on the bike so I am about to burst with excitement! On top of that I haven’t been to the alpine loop since 1991 and then I was in a Jeep and not old enough to really appreciate it. I was still amazed back then but I know it will be a much different experience this go round.
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  16. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

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    When will you be in Lake City?
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  17. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

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    How was the trip?
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  18. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Hope the hail melts quickly for you. I tend to always have a backup plan - especially this time of year. Like Southeast Utah.
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  19. Shakey23

    Shakey23 Been here awhile

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    The trip was awesome! It began snowing as I packed up camp but quickly stopped. Then about 1/4 a mile up the road there was probably an inch of snow covering everything.
    BD22AA91-9B70-4626-9AEE-140C347AF574.jpeg
    A9454858-CF81-4FE4-A4B9-1B3C2D8D4CE4.jpeg
    Going up cinnamon pass was nice but a little damp. I slipped off a rock and crashed once in one of the steep sections about 15 miles in, broke my saddle bag, top case mount and the front touratech faring but was able to ride on.

    View attachment 1953689

    Once on Ouray there was a mixture of snow and drizzle which made for a tense ride to Silverton on damp roads with insane drop offs.

    124FE308-2701-4491-ABFC-1AF9B027C521.jpeg

    but incredible views!

    then it was a long ride home. I have done a couple iron butt rides but never back to back. Everything hurt when I got home. I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to two wheels and dirt, I am a flat lander. 4 wheels, I’ll go back and try again. Otherwise I’ll have to stick to the pavement. But I had a blast! And I love the campsite!
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  20. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

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    Sounds like a very memorable trip. Cold long rides aren't much fun. My first I.B. was an unplanned event. I just kept riding and saying, "Ill set up camp when the rain stops.
    Next up, New Mexico?
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