Coming to Colorado to ride? Some things to consider...

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by neduro, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    Depending on what you're riding, you might get some nasty surprises. With all the late snows, mudslides, avalanches, etc - the area around Telluride/Ouray/Silverton/Lake City is pretty beat up. We rode out of Lake City last week and had a good time, but it was challenging on big bikes (KTM 1190's). Lots of quad/SxS traffic have chewed the roads up.

    Day 1, we went over Cinnamon through Animas Forks and to Silverton coming back Engineer. Just south of Animas Forks an avalanche had blocked the road and a trench was cut through to reopen the road.

    While the Alpine Loop had been decent roads for a big bike when I was there 10 years ago, they are now pretty beat up and studded with sharp rocks well placed to puncture tires/tubes. Take patches/plugs.

    I last rode Ophir in '08 and it was a relative breeze on a GSA. This year, there is what seemed to be a mile of baby head scree on the west side of the pass. It wasn't fun on a big bike, but we made it through and enjoyed a nice lunch in Telluride. Honestly though, if I had known what it was like, I'd have avoided Ophir and had a nice lunch in Ouray instead.

    Still an enjoyable, challenging week, which is what I wanted. Honestly though, I won't base any future rides from Lake City.
    MrBob, Extorris, michaelmy and 2 others like this.
  2. Slammin

    Slammin Been here awhile

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    I had a similar experience. First of all, the trails of the Alpine Loop were packed with 4-wheel traffic. Three times we encountered convoys of 15+ jeeps and other 4-wheeled vehicles. The scree on Ophir was tough (I was on a loaded DR650) and the western slope of Engineer had some very difficult sections. I was going downhill, would not have wanted to tackle it uphill. We got lucky, we pulled off in a staging area just as a tour convoy of jeeps was coming up and so we got around them, and this was mid-week. Someone went off the side of the mountain on Corkscrew a week ago Saturday and all the traffic had to be reversed back to the start. What a PITA. One recommendation - do not go on the Alpine Loop on the weekend unless you are prepared for much traffic and many delays.
  3. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    a
    :thumbup On Monday, going up Cinnamon, we encountered 10+ quads, etc. Tried giving them a friendly toot to get by. No joy. What a bunch of maroons. I get it. They are having their own kind of fun - but a little common courtesy could make it easier for everyone.
  4. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    I thought about carrying a bunch of cheap rear view mirrors to hand out to maroons after passing them. "You ever see one of these? They a very handy for seeing stuff behind you, like the motorcyclist who's been eating your dust for the last ten minutes" also "here's a hot tip, no matter how fast you think you are in your razor, the moto guys are faster".
  5. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Ironically, many of the side by sides (twit by twit?) have a ginormous center rearview mirrow. Even with the bright LEDs I run on all of my bikes, most of them never even bother to check the mirrors.
    32dgrz likes this.
  6. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    :lol3
  7. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    We'll be on KTM 690 Enduro Rs but we'll be loaded up for a week+ trip on the Divide with camping gear. I guess we'll just see how it goes when we get there.
  8. MrBob

    MrBob Cisgendered Supporter

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    I found a new hazard as I was zipping along dirt roads north of Salida on my DR 650. The roads were dusty but not too bad otherwise, sandy spots were only a few inches deep. As usual, I got up some speed to lighten the suspension and because it’s fun, especially on the DR.
    Instantly, I was down. I got tossed into the weeds, but cleverly managed to save the front brake lever by stabbing it into my leg
    A field along that section of road was irrigated. Runoff had seeped across the road but the top few inches of sand were dry. Below: very slippery mud.
    The riding in that area is a blast and I finally got to the top of Marshall Pass at 10, 842 feet.
    TaZ9, thechief86 and Boianovich like this.
  9. arkansawyer

    arkansawyer Long timer

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    I rode the Telluride, Silverton, Lake City area 4 days last week on my XR650L with fresh 90/10 knobbies.
    It rained on me on Black Bear. This is not a place to be on a multi cylinder/street biased tire/loaded down/unskilled rider. Any one of those will make it not fun at best.
    Imogene is a bit easier. All 3 bikes I encountered there were having trouble and questioning the decision to ride there. It was wet. All 3 were on big thumpers.
    Ouray County 18 E of US550 is also not big bike territory.
    County road 33 up from Silverton-ditto.
    Telluride has whored themselves out. Nowhere to even park a bike.
    Silverton still feels fun and real.
    Be careful and consider you skills and your equipment before tackling the harder terrain. The consequences of getting just a bit off the edge of the road are rather severe.
    Every 4 wheeler was courteous and let me by. The one sxs moving quickly got the same courtesy from me. EXCEPT for the organized group of 18 jeeps on Black Bear. Their leader was like an HD road captain. Didn't want any outsiders infiltrating his group. I sat in one place for 30 minutes behind them.
    Toured the Mayflower mill one morning waiting on it to warm up some. I am so glad I never had to work in a place like that. Owned by the county historical society and just $10. The retired miner working there was great to talk to.
    Had a truly wonderful time. The scenery is just gorgeous. It was a week I won't forget.
  10. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile Supporter

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    The thing about Telluride is, in my experience, they would just as soon not have you there AT ALL.
    They are content with their very wealthy residents and property owners. The folks in the 4WD’s and MC’s are just to be tolerated.
    Edit. I might feel the same way if I paid what they did for a little slice of heaven!
  11. Kapstap

    Kapstap The job.

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    Hi all, I’m hoping for some tips/ info on riding out of Lake City, CO. We are coming to Lake City this weekend for a week of riding. We rented a house in Lake City. We have 4 guys on dirt bikes and 4 SXS. I did a week long trip out that way (Silverton) about 10 years ago. I did buy the trail guide by Charlie Wells. Any insider tips or current info would be much appreciated.
  12. Meritlane

    Meritlane Been here awhile

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    I have a great time in T'ride every time i go through. I camp in town park which is a great facility when there is no festival going on in the adjacent fields. Never have any issues with the bike or the folks. I think the transients passing through add to the vibe. It's not an easy place to get to nor on the route to anyplace else. I'm an ex-resident (90's) and encourage the locals to protect their bit-o-heaven.
    ZBone likes this.
  13. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    It has been 2 years since I last brought a motorcycle to Colorado, although I've been since in my 4x4 pickup and had a great time.
    I am now planning a late summer trip for 2020, in which I'll trailer a couple of bikes from TN behind my diesel VW Jetta.
    I have several different bikes ranging from a dr350 to an r1150GS, however, I feel like the best bike for my purposes will once again be my trusty KLR 650.
    Does anybody have a link to current rules, and required stickers for riding over the unpaved passes? We don't plan to get too much into the single track stuff, but I don't want to get in trouble. All bikes involved will be plated in TN, no matter which one I bring. In 2017 we all got the state - issued OHV stickers, although never saw anyone else with one, or met anyone asking to see them.
  14. Yokomo

    Yokomo Dirt Rider

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    You have to buy the CO state park permit for $25.25 and have a spark arrestor.
    CoatsEast and thechief86 like this.
  15. cidi

    cidi cidi Supporter

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    https://cpw.state.co.us/buyapply/Pages/RegistrationsOHV.aspx
    Here is the link. If you have a plated bike and stay on regular roads (including most of the unpaved passes then you will not need a sticker, but anything with a forest service road designation or trail you will need a permit. You could get checked depending on the area you riding in but just like in 2017 may not see any rangers. With that said, please get the sticker and pay the fee, it is pretty much the only money that you will spend on your trip that goes to trails maintenance and expansion. have a great trip.
    thechief86 likes this.
  16. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Thanks so much! I'll order our stickers now!
    I can't wait to get out there again, this time with more money and time!
    I would never get tired of riding in Colorado if I didn't have to come back home...
  17. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

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    I'm hoping to make it out there next summer/fall.
  18. AlH

    AlH Long timer

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    Might want to check but I think they all expire on April 1- so one bought now won't work for late summer. I could be wrong maybe they sell the next year in advance.
    thechief86 likes this.
  19. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Yep, I found this as soon as I clicked on the link. I'll wait until the 2020 stickers are available. I'm not likely to make it out there before summer anyway.
  20. shu

    shu ...

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    Slight correction, the way I understand it, unless the regs have changed: you can ride a PLATED motorcycle on numbered USFS roads without a special sticker. If your vehicle is NOT PLATED you must have a sticker. Also if you are on OHV designated roads and trails you must have a sticker, plated or not.



    .............shu
    eddyturn likes this.