Buena Vista/Salida overnight loop off road?

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Inforoo, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Inforoo

    Inforoo Adventurer

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    Hey folks,
    I used to be an activeish NYC-area inmate but haven't ridden too much in recent years at the behest of the wife . Getting back into it (hopefully) with a few days-long trip later this month with a buddy on two rented XT250s basing ourselves at his house just outside of BV.

    I figure that we could entertain ourselves plenty just doing day trips out his front door based on the Chafee County recreation and nearby ranger district maps but I'm wondering if there might be an interesting two day overnight that we could pull off. Are there any routes that could be done as a loop starting/ending on Rt 24 in the BV/Salida area?

    Hoping for ±80% dirt, stuff that's accessible by 4x4 truck if possible, and near either a cheap motel or a nicer campsite (maybe with a pool?) for the overnight. Looking to carry as little as possible and possibly rely on a third buddy (who doesn't ride) in the 4x4 as a support vehicle - relatively short go-arounds for the truck vs light single track for the bikes would be ok.

    We'd be interested in going up through Gothic from Crested Butte, as well as perhaps looping around Telluride, if that helps. Are these too far? Also I realize that this wouldn't work for the truck, but what is this motorcycle-only (singletrack?) trail on the maps to the south/southwest of Salida all about?

    While we're at it, is any other current/local knowledge that we should be aware of? Based on what I've read here and some other research, cottonwood pass and tincup aren't options, anything else I should be looking out for?

    Thanks so much in advance everybody!!
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  2. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider Supporter

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    Triad Ridge Trail (#1425) - about 6-7 miles long (?).

    Like to stand while you ride?
    Ride along with Matt on his quick trip through both parts (12 minutes)

    Triad ridge Buena Vista Colorado Part 1



    Triad Ridge Buena Vista, Colorado Part 2




    Lottsa fun on a KTM 300; not so much on an XT250...
    __________________________________________

    FourMile links:

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/psicc/recarea/?recid=21414

    https://garna.org/friends-of-fourmile/


    https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/...tionArea/Documents/Admin/Maps/FourMileMap.pdf


    :ricky
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  3. Inforoo

    Inforoo Adventurer

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    Thanks Ramz! Is it really less than 10 miles total? I haven't laid the maps out side by side but my first impression is that there were more than 10 miles worth of dotted line there.

    In any case looks a bit too technical for us given our lack of recent experience as well as the ground clearance and suspension travel of the XT250s.
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  4. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider Supporter

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    There is one single-track trail in the FourMile area (dotted lines) - Triad Ridge Trail, about 6-7 miles long, if that.
    Matt rode the two parts in 12 minutes....

    There are ATV trails in the FourMile area (dashed lines) - and they are less technical, and enjoyable on a motorcycle.

    The trails are shown on the maps I refer to above.

    PS There are very few EASY single-track trails in central Colorado; most are intermediate because of the rocks, mud (July, August), and steepness. There are many ATV trails in central Colorado, and you should probably look for them and 4WD dirt roads for your trip.

    :ricky
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  5. Failo

    Failo Is it spring yet???

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    Here's a general route you can tweak to do more or less single track as you see fit.

    From Bv take Rodeo Road to Mt Princeton to St Elmo over Tincup Pass to Taylor Park. Tincup will be a walk in the park on your Xt 250s. At Mt Princeton your buddy in the truck can loop around through Salida, over Monarch, etc and meet you either in Altmont or in CB. Once you're in Taylor park you can decide if you want to do some single track or just slab it to CB. At Taylor Park there is a very scenic gravel loop that takes you up around Spring Creek Res that's worth doing if you don't feel like doing any single track. At CB you can go up through Gothic over Schofield and back to town. Great views as you're coming back down into CB. You can get a motel in CB or there is a lot of dispersed camping up above town toward Kebler Pass. On day 2 you can come back over Ohio Pass into Gunnison and screw around for a while on the single track in Hartman Rocks. After that you can wander around the county roads toward 114 and Sargents. Depending on the time of day and how you're feeling you can come back over Marshal Pass or Old Monarch or if you're feeling frisky take Tomichi Pass or Hancock pass back toward St Elmo and home. When you leave Hwy 50 your buddy in the truck will have to peel off and meet you back in BV.

    Hope this helps.
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  6. codys

    codys Lost in the Vizcaino

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    Failo’s ride would be pretty fun. The mileage wouldn’t be huge but your gonna he tired.

    Not sure of long distance comfort of those xt250s but the San Juan’s would be doable. Consider jumping on the TAT and heading west on it. It’s a very fast route to lake city. From here it gets more interesting but not hard for 250s. I’d basically reverse route to get home. Have fun!
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  7. Inforoo

    Inforoo Adventurer

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    edit: Oh wow. Lots of replies came while I was writing the below.

    Failo - how many miles do you think we should be covering each day?
    Cody- so it as a two day out and back? Three day?

    This is all really helpful. Thanks for all the advice and please keep it coming!

    Second edit: Failo, I shouldn't worry about the skulls/rocks by tincup pass? Could the truck do that part?

    Yup, that's what I've been looking at. It basically limits us to the valley and doesn't lend itself to overnight loops if we want to stay mostly on dirt, right?

    I'm thinking Poplar Gulch would be similarly beyond our capability, is there any other way to do a loop from BV to St Elmo to ??? to BV, or would it have to be an out and back?​
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  8. codys

    codys Lost in the Vizcaino

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    2 day would be doable but all you will be doing is riding which isn’t totally terrible. 3 days would be ideal. 1 day there, 1 day to zig zag all over the San Juan’s and 1 day back.

    Btw Tincup isn’t all that terrible. The rockier side by far is the west side . Going st Elmo to Tincup direction is the easier direction. A truck could do it but it will a slow slow go . If the truck is set up for wheelin’ Then maybe ....
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  9. Failo

    Failo Is it spring yet???

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    Ok. I don't know how old you are or your level of physical conditioning, but hogging those XT 250s around at altitude is going to take its toll on you. I think when you get to Cb after doing the Schofield loop you're going to want to call it a day.

    As far as taking your buddy's truck down Tincup I guess it all depends on how good a friend he is. I'm guessing at the bottom he's not going to be real happy that you told him to follow you down. I wouldn't do it in my truck. The XT250's will do fine going down Tincup. The extra weight will actually work in your favor going down those babyheads.

    There is a single track above Cottonwood lake that goes over to St Elmo but I've never ridden it. I've heard it's pretty tough. Probably not advisable on the XT250s.

    There's plenty of single track, of all levels of difficulty in Four Mile. I'd take a day and get the single track thing out of your system and then go exploring on the back roads/ 2 track, etc and have some fun without torturing yourselves on those bikes.

    Cody's suggestion of zipping over toward Lake City and exploring the San Juans would be good on those bikes too. One day to take the back roads to Lake City. Day 2 screwing around the San Juans. Day three get up early and slab it back to BV.
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  10. woodzrider

    woodzrider Long timer

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    FYI-as of Thursday (8/3), Tomichi Pass was closed due to rockslide and was told that it might not be cleared this season, and Cottonwood Pass is closed due to being paved
    On the west side. Might want to adjust your routes accordingly! I would also agree to Cody's suggestion of a lake City run .
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  11. bradrh

    bradrh Been here awhile

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    I'd suggest that you work Hancock pass into your rides. Napolean pass is on the way in between Tincup and Hancock too. American flag mtn and Italian creek road too
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  12. MartiniUp

    MartiniUp Long timer

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    :thumb Very excellent!
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