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Colorado Tour on the GSA with my son

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Md11 flyer, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Md11 flyer

    Md11 flyer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Oddometer:
    63
    Hi all,
    I am planning a father son Colorado tour this summer two up on my GAS. I am using the Butler map to start planning the route but would love some advice or ideas on what not to miss, routing ideas ect. We will leave from Colorado Springs and be on the road for about a week give or take. Want to do a mix of camping and hotels. I am planning on staring south to Pagosa Springs, Durango, Million dollar hight way to Ouray then north to criss cross the state. I want to minimize highways and spend most of our time on the backroads and dirt roads. Do not what to get into anything to difficult as we will be two up and I am new to that GSA, but not riding. He and I ride trails a lot.

    Thanks for the help and ideas!

    Russell
    #1
    eakins likes this.
  2. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Location:
    DeLand Flatistan
    #2
  3. Md11 flyer

    Md11 flyer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Oddometer:
    63
    Thanks
    #3
  4. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Mar 19, 2014
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    2,769
    Location:
    denver
    HI

    I live in denver

    I say leave the GSA ! !

    Bring your trail bikes ... no 2 up ! !

    Pick a nice riding area ..Taylor park....Alpine loop ... rabbit valley ....

    He will have more fun on his own bike ! !

    Scott
    #4
    djroszina and Tewster2 like this.
  5. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Midwest
    If determined to ride 2 up on the GSA don’t ride anything more difficult than regularly maintained gravel roads. That’s a lot of bike with I assume rigid panniers and that coming down on a leg will spell disaster. Just my opinion based on getting in over my head on a 1150GS two up attempting Ophir Pass. We got 1/3 of the way up and realized we were way in over our head 2 up with a fully loaded bike. I flagged down a 4x4 to take the GF down and I followed on the bike. I discovered the GS does not like loose rock.
    #5
    Tewster2 likes this.
  6. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    989
    Location:
    Wasatch county
    I did a lap of Colorado a few years back, 2-up with my wife on a Vstrom. Here are the easy dirt back roads we rode:

    Route 8 over the flattops from Yampa to Meeker.
    Trough Road west of Kremmling. Connect to...
    Colorado River road between McCoy and Dotsero
    Cottonwood Pass west of Buena Vista (it's closed while being paved, not sure about the schedule, look into it)
    Cumberland Pass between Tincup and Pitkin
    Los Pinos Pass east of Lake City
    Owl Creek Pass east of Ridgway

    Good paved back roads: 145 and 149 thru the San Juans. 149 gets no traffic. Lake City is one of my favorite funky little towns way off the beaten path. 141 thru Gateway is a nice ride thru red rock canyon country. Everyone should ride 82 over Independence pass once. The ride thru RMNP is good if you want to do the crowded NP thing. I finally made a point of riding 65 over Grand Mesa last year and it was wonderful. Combine it with a ride on 92 to Blue Mesa Reservoir. If you get way north, 70 over the snowy mountains between Baggs and Riverside, WY is a good ride with no traffic.
    #6
  7. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism! It's a bad drug!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Peoples republic of Kalifornia, East...Kolarado
    If we know where you are from, that would give an idea of what you are used to. It can take a bit of time to explore a place like Colorado. So what do you want to explore? old ghost/mining towns. Mesa Verde is amazing. The high mountain passes can be as well. Railroads, music, wild life, etc. The plains are usually missed and can be really neat, if you take the time to look.
    #7
    boatpuller likes this.
  8. pranajerni

    pranajerni Been here awhile

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    Mar 6, 2012
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    If Cottonwood Pass out of Buena Vista is open it would be great 2up heading west then linking up with Kebler pass out of Crested Butte. Great dispersed camping on both of these routes. Easy to link into Rim of Black Canyon heading north from Paonia, CO via Blue Mesa Lake even up to Grand Mesa as mentioned above.

    Also if you find yourself wanting to get into Telluride from the east or leave heading east, Lost Dollar Pass is 2up appropriate.

    I only imagine these are shown on the Butler map and could easily be seen how to link them up.
    #8
  9. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Cottonwood pass is scheduled closed summer 18 for paving
    #9
  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Take him to the Great Sand Dunes & Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

    If he likes to swim there are a ton of hot springs to visit.

    Hike the box canyon in Ouray.
    #10
  11. eddyturn

    eddyturn Eternal Wannabe Supporter

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    Location:
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    Get to Ouray and from there go to Ridgeway and then east over easy dirt Owl Creek Pass. Take that past Silver Jack REZ and down to US50. Head east to Blue Mesa Dam and take CO92 across the dam and enjoy the pavement over to the main road then head west to the Cedaredge area and then go up on the Grand Mesa paved and dirt and camp out above 10k elevation. From there drop north to Colbran then head east over easy dirt to the town of Silt. Take the parallel dirt road that goes north to Meeker hwy13 but you will be on a parallel road just to the east of the Grand Hogback. Then hit Meeker then head east to Buford then more dirt to Yampa. Head into Steamboat on pave then north over Buffalo Pass or south over Lynx pass. Both easy dirt. Finalize way back to the Springs from there.
    #11
  12. missoulamike

    missoulamike Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Yup, Missoula (Montana)
    Hello from Montana and thank you for the great info on scenic CO rides! Hoping to spend a week or so doing that this coming summer as well, so very useful. Question though - ideally what time of year would be best for such rides, particularly this year? I know Montana's snowpack is at 160% or more so our high country roads may be slower in opening up than normal. I'm not sure whether CO is facing similar issues and would value your input on best guesses at this point for access on the high country roads, paved or gravel-dirt. Also, am not sure whether the clay/gumbo factor is an issue on any of these roads (as they can be at times on Montana backroads). If anyone is REALLY ambitious, what scenic down and back route through Colorado would YOU suggest for a ride coming down from Montana, including paved and decent dirt/gravel roads assuming roughly 7 days in CO? Cheers and thank you!!
    #12
  13. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Salmon, Idaho
    A suggestion to get your head around Colorado topography. Take your Butler map of the state of CO and trace the continental divide with a dark marker. This is the spine of the rockies containing some of the tallest mountains in the continental US. Now look at the Red and Orange sections on the map that cross the divide. String the crossings together, back and forth. You will cover some of the most spectacular paved roads in the world.
    #13
  14. kalikali

    kalikali Been here awhile

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    SoCal
    Do you have a map of this, I tried typing the items you listed in google maps with no success.
    Looking for easy/scenic routes on a GS. Thanks
    #14
  15. wellcraft

    wellcraft Been here awhile

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    PA
    I rode Colorado last July and enjoyed MT Evans, Loveland Pass, RT 6, RT 50 from Gunniston to Colorado Springs, Trail Ridge Parkway from Estes Park to Grand Lake to name a few. Pikes Peak is worth the ride but get there first thing in the morning and try to be the first vehicle through the gates, lots of cars and slow moving tour buses if you arrive later in the day. While in Colorado Springs checkout Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, Seven Falls and Helen Hunt Falls. If you start a conversation with me I'll email you my itinerary in pdf format.
    #15
  16. colomtnbiker

    colomtnbiker wimpy old guy

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    Location:
    mountains of western Colorado
    mt. evans is closed for 2020 due to covid, always check road conditions before you go. cotrip.org is the state website
    #16