CDR Southfork to Steamboat

Discussion in 'Americas' started by PittsDriver, Sep 17, 2019.

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  1. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    I'm planning to start out on the CDR going north from South Fork Colorado to ride the track up Steamboat Springs. A general question to anyone that can answer: where are the most challenging bits of this track in Colorado? Please note, I'm not asking where I'll have trouble because that would require some knowledge of our riding skills and what we're riding. We're pretty experienced off-road on KLRs and 690 Enduro. I'm just trying to get some idea of miles we'll ride each day and where people, in general, are finding the challenge in the that part of the CDR.

    We're starting the ride this Friday. When we get to Steamboat, we'll turn around and head south on the COBDR back down to Cortez. We're looping in that direction thinking it'll put us in the San Juans mid-week vs. the weekend if we go there first (traffic avoidance in the Alpine Loop area).
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  2. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    It's difficult to say.

    There is more than one route for motorcycles to take through Colorado that follows the Continental Divide.

    If you stay as true as possible to following the divide you will have technical single tract and technical jeep roads sections to overcome.

    With out seeing your specific route details are difficult to provide.


    Scott
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  3. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    I'm taking the same route up going north as Cannonshot / GPS Kevin's track and it looks, for the most part to be pretty easy dirt/gravel roads. Coming back down the COBDR it looks to me like Hagerman Pass (maybe Cottonood?) could be interesting but unless I'm missing something, it also looks pretty straightforward until we get down into the San Juans west of Lake City - Cinnamon down through Animas Forks, maybe Engineer Pass (not on the COBDR but may do it anyway) and end up going over Ophir to get in to Telluride. By all accounts I've read since the snow was cleared, Ophir seems to be more challenging than the rest but I'd appreciate any intel anyone has about current conditions.
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  4. Oh2RideMore

    Oh2RideMore Long timer

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    Last time I rode the cobdr, Ophir was by far the most challenging segment. Ophir has one quarter mile or so section of baby head rocks with a steep slope off side, this is right after the pass on the western side, narrow shelf section. There was also a water hole up by steamboat that was deep due to beaver damn. Not sure what current conditions are, others can speak up. Did the ride twice on a wr250r loaded with camping gear. Engineer, particularly lower engineer had some rough sections.
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  5. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Now back from the ride and now I'm wondering why the CDR track in Colorado does not come anywhere near the Continental Divide other than Boreas Pass between Breckinridge and Jefferson/Como in Park County? There was some beautiful grazing land epic views but the ride from Del Norte to Steamboat Springs was so easy and smooth that it could have been done in the family motorhome - and in fact we encountered a few in various places along the way.

    There's nothing remotely challenging about the CDR track in Colorado which made my choice the right one - do the CDR north and the COBDR south as looping route to see Colorado high country. Doing a week long ride in that direction worked out that the ride got better every day with the heart and soul of the trip being on the next to last day in the San Juans/Alpine Loop.

    When we rode the TAT in 2015, we went over Cinnamon Pass. Back then, the road over the pass was in much worse shape than now. It was covered in scree; switchbacks with grapefruit sized rocks and bigger; and, it was a pretty good challenge on a KLR loaded for the TAT and camping. When we rode over it last week, it was a piece of cake and easier than places like Cumberland and Marshall which we considered easy before. A lot of the rocks are gone and it's a pretty good dirt/gravel road up and down Cinnamon Pass now. Continuing on into the Alpine loop over California and Hurricane Passes and down Corkscrew Gulch got a bit real with the steep slopes a loose surface but I'd consider the whole place possible for a big bike now if you've got some skills.

    Funny thing - when we got to the top of Cinnamon Pass our reaction was "Wait, what?! We're here already?" We all remembered it as being a grind up the hill and down the other side the last time we were there.
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  6. mootsuno

    mootsuno Been here awhile Supporter

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    A few of us rode the CDR in July/August this year. We started in Banff and was
    planning to ride all the way to Antelope Wells. However, we were a little underwhelmed
    by the route. The scenery was great but there wasn't much of a challenge along the way.
    A couple of fun double tracks and Fleecer Ridge was interesting but that's a very small
    percentage of the ride.

    A couple of us (we started with six riders) have done the TAT and we told the other guys
    how much more fun it was. So we decided to turn west in Salida and take the TAT towards home. (No. California)
    We still had four in the group ( lost two of the original group) and did a mix of Kevin's and Sam's old tracks.

    Way more fun on the TAT. Over Engineer, California, Hurricane and Corkscrew passes. Frankly those
    are all pretty easy but fun. We were going to try Black Bear but it was closed so we did Imogene
    which does have some challenging elements.

    Then off to Moab and we took a day off the TAT to do the White Rim trail. Great scenery but temps
    reached 108 that day, was a little too warm. We even took the newbs to Black Dragon Wash, some deep
    silt at the beginning but the rest was great.

    Anyway, I don't want to do a ride report in your thread. Let's just say if you have a choice between the CDR
    and TAT the TAT wins.
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  7. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Having done the entire TAT I really felt like I'd missed most the fun stuff in Colorado. Cinnamon Pass was the only real highlight of the TAT through Colorado in the 2015 version so it was on my bucket list to go back and ride as much of it as I could in a 7 - 8 days. Now having ridden the CDR section that passes through Colorado, I'm thinking we would have had more fun if we'd just stayed somewhere like Ouray or Gunnison and done day or two rides north or south out of there. Don't get me wrong, the gentle rolling grazing plains on the CDR are beautiful in their own right but you could take in those sights along that route in a mobile home. The COBDR folks have completely obviated any interest anyone should have in the CDR through Colorado.

    I'm not saying it was terrible and in one sense, it worked out. We had a guy with us that hadn't been on a dirt bike in 20 years but was very athletic and very capable. Doing the CDR north was a 3 day soft entry into ADV riding for him and when we started south from Steamboat, he was ready to rock.
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  8. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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