Colorado Backcountry Discovery route when will the passes be open?

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by 690Ray, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. 690Ray

    690Ray Adventurer Supporter

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    Myself and a few buds are planing on riding the COBDR starting around the 12th of July, we have heard that Colorado has an above average snowpack from this winter and that some of the high mountain passes might not be open. I tried the ridebdr site and although it does have a map with a view snow levels tab it doesn't have a legend (or at least I couldn't find it) suggesting what the pretty colours they displayed mean. It does say that due to high snow levels Cottonwood pass will more than likely not be open till mid August and gives an alternative route. My question is can any of you locals or previous riders give us some insight on if the other high alpine riding/passes will be open by July 12th this year? Any resources we could check.
    Thanks for your help.
    #1
  2. cidi

    cidi cidi Supporter

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    Check out bushducks.com they keep track of all the passes and their status.
    Also cottonwood Pass will be closed through August 12 due to reconstruction.
    If you are riding the BDR be prepared for detours and deep water crossings. It is just now getting warmer in the high country and melt off has just started. There is a section between Westin Pass and the 4 mile area that may still be closed due to a forest fire last year. Best of luck and report back!
    #2
  3. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    yeah a buddy of mine is in Ouray right now and said the snow is still crazy, and we haven't seen the melt yet

    Imogene and Engineer are both still closed, Yankee Boy was being plowed yesterday
    #3
  4. GeoffMont

    GeoffMont Adventurer

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    Yep..... good luck. GoPro Games in Vail had to change all of their routes for the run and bike races this weekend. The Leadville Race Series/Lifetime Fitness had to re-route the half marathon next weekend to a totally new course. I'm thinking this is going to be a common theme all summer..
    #4
  5. Omi

    Omi Thanos 2020

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    My wife measured over two meters of snow at 12k feet at her testing station outside of Silverton yesterday. It's going to be a while.
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  6. Omi

    Omi Thanos 2020

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    "This video was taken yesterday near American Basin along the Alpine Loop. It shows just how many, and how massive, the slides were this spring. This is why County Road 30 remains closed at Sherman. It will take time to make the road passable, especially when there are so many demands on a small county road and bridge department. We know many of you are anxious to recreate in your publc lands and to see this for yourselves. However, should you get hurt, it will take people away from other pressing issues, like getting ready for possible flooding. Please respect the closures that are in place, they are for your safety."
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  7. Meritlane

    Meritlane Been here awhile

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    That video is worth a million words. Best of luck to the fix it crews.
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  8. 690Ray

    690Ray Adventurer Supporter

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    Thanks for your feedback sound like this might not be the year to do the COBDR in July....
    I imagine there are work around for most closures but then the question is if you are missing things like all the passes, the Alpine loop and battling swollen river crossings is it still worth it or best to push it till August or next year? Or go ride the southern sections of the UTBDR....
    #8
  9. Omi

    Omi Thanos 2020

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    It's hard to say, but by August there should be plenty open. Just keep an eye here and Bushducks.
    #9
  10. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    Bottom of Imogene this morning, the first water crossing
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  11. 690Ray

    690Ray Adventurer Supporter

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    Wow what elevation is that at?
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  12. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    Around 10,500 +/-
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  13. 690Ray

    690Ray Adventurer Supporter

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    Thanks for all your replies. Although paved twisties are fun we have those at home what we are looking for is that wow factor in riding off road in remote places. we rode UTBDR last year a Lochart basin was the best!
    So given what you know about the snowpack and the fact that you might have to take alternative routes around a number of the big passes the big question is; are these passes the highlight of the COBDR and therefore you would wait till they are open to ride it or is there still enough exciting/fun riding to be had?
    #13
  14. sceep

    sceep Long timer

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    The passes of the San Juans are the highlight of the BDR.
    They are not to be missed.

    I would personally skip the COBDR this year.
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  15. C.J.

    C.J. Sierra Nevada Rider

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    Wow that photo of the start on Imogene. That's a long way from the top and the amount of water that will be on it as it melts.
    Could be a long time before the Big ADV bike gets up that.
    #15
  16. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    Exactamundo

    and I have no idea if they had any avalanches back there or not, you can't even get to Animas Forks out of Silverton due to debris fields

    dirt in the high mountains may be tricky all summer
    #16
  17. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things! Supporter

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    I'm sure there were avalanches there. We had some on just the other side in Bear Creek that cleared a valley and pushed the trees on the opposing side up against the hill. Scattered toothpicks. It has been warm here this week. I would think mid July could be a possibility. The towns dont want to lose the offroad tourism. Its just a bit daunting this year. Dunton to Fall Creek via Beaver Park is a good go around that could be open sooner. Ophir could be early July. Rim rocker trail Montrose to Moab will be another earlier option, just not yet..
    #17
  18. _CJ

    _CJ Conservative Conservationist

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    Does the forest service open those debris piles up to people wanting to harvest some firewood, or to commercial interests?
    #18
  19. Coloadvguy

    Coloadvguy Adventurer

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    I would push to mid-August. Snow wise, everything should be open, country road departments will have started clearing trails of trees. The local jeepers and OHV guys will pitch in to help get roads clear. Everyone wants to get up there to ride and none of those towns want to lose a summer's income.
    Plus, think of all the awesome pictures you'll get of the debris fields.
    #19
  20. airjammer

    airjammer Western Colorado

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    Kebler Pass
    Just Opened a few days ago.
    #20