First trip to Colorado. Need advice

Discussion in 'Americas' started by KYwoodsrider, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. texas123

    texas123 Been here awhile

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    4B34BBAE-DA94-41DE-A010-FFB59F0869AA.jpeg 0A1202B2-EE94-46A9-979C-98F3FF0FBC1C.jpeg I can’t believe nobody mentioned the Rio Grande Ntl forest north of Pagosa Springs
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  2. leafers826

    leafers826 Adventurer

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    Glad to see you are thinking ahead, that seems to be one of the only places that books up way in advance. It's very secluded, with great hiking, but stock up in Cripple Creek as you are coming North. I understand the virus concerns, as I am trying to plan a couple of rides this summer as well. I am in Woodland Park, which is a great hub or riding opportunities. My wife is from Mt Washington, between E-town and Louisville. Good luck on your ride.
    #22
  3. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    I’ve taken your intended route to CO before. Western KY through Southern MO (on Hwy 60) is easy riding. Unless you make a wrong turn, you won’t have to enter Cairo. I stayed with family in Springfield, MO then camped at John Martin Res. SP in CO. I remember the wind crossing Kansas was brutal.

    I agree with @DADODIRT...I wouldn’t venture all the way to Moab. I’ve ridden Hwy 141 from Dove Creek, CO up to Grand Junction, and remember it being a pretty fun ride. I imagine the two loops @DADODIRT mentioned would be great options.
    #23
  4. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

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    I was planning to ride hwy 149 (from hwy 160 up to hwy 50). Is this where these pics were taken?
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  5. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

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    If you make it over this way let me know. I can take you over to the Daniel Boone NF
    [​IMG]
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  6. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the advice. I've ruled out Moab for this trip. I think that deserves a dedicated trip, maybe next year.
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  7. texas123

    texas123 Been here awhile

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    Yep, best ride in Colorado. Hike up Treasure Falls for a break; it's before Wolf Creek Pass.
    Also, Check out Lake City on 149. You may want to spend a day there since there's access to Engineers pass. It's a big ATV friendly town, which I'm planning on going to later this summer or next week, haven't decided yet.
    #27
  8. leafers826

    leafers826 Adventurer

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    I definitely will. If my wife gets her way, I suspect I will some day be a resident back there. She misses it greatly.
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  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Being from KS and a lifetime CO lover whose been in KY ( I live in the Daniel Boone NF/Red River Gorge and it's neat but it's damned sure not CO!) since 1973 I would go another route to CO from KY. Believe me I've been on all of them but in the end it's all an IMO. For some years when I-64 wasn't built yet we did the Louisville to STL 2 lane route and it's still there, hit New Albany then up to Paoli, IN then from US 150 connect with US 50 to STL. Honestly for me I'd save some precious time and do I-64 from KY all the way to STL then I-70 to KC as every day not dragging your butt through stoplights is another CO day to enjoy. I prefer US36 across KS to CO but have also done US24 too. There are several ways to go around Denver that I've tried, I prefer the N of town direction.
    BTW, it takes forever to get to Paducah from Lexington! US60 gets OK a bit into MO but can be very slow like most 2 lanes.
    Regarding winds in KS being brutal, much of the western USA has what are called prevailing winds which blow incessantly! They made us all delighted when cars & trucks got power steering! Those winds also blow in CO & more.
    Do connect with CO riders as the good stuff isn't always easy to know. Even in CO taking a hike is imperative! to get to some of the real treasures!
    Ouray is a neat place to get to know CO. While on covid slow down, take a look at area jeep companies and where they take people, etc., to get some ideas of back country rides there. Do the back road between the Million Dollar Hwy and Silverton.
    Hope stuff opens up for your 1st trip to CO, it's a special place which you can spend a whole lifetime and not see whats there. My last two trips there were backpacking, not MC trips. IMO, the best/only way to see the special spots. Try to touch on the several mtn ranges so as to have some food for thought on your next trip out there. Then of course there's AZ, CA, OR, WA, NM, WY, UT, MT & ID to consider...:lol2
    Mexico is mostly mtns, try that too!:-)
    #29
  10. motocopter

    motocopter Long timer

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    @KYwoodsrider, I've ridden and driven many times from the northern, middle Tennessee area and almost have always crossed at the Mississippi River near Cairo when my first destinations are in Colorado. My preference is to avoid I-70, and that because the other roads like 54, 50, 400, and 96 move along nicely, are less crowded and have better sights to see while riding. Plenty of stank from the feed lots and distance to the next fuel stop keep me calculating.

    Skipping Moab this trip is a good call and there is absolutely no shortage of great riding in southern Colorado.

    141 between Naturita, Gateway, and to US-50 just south of Grand Junction is a fantastic ride. 149 had been mentioned is another one worth mentioning. South Fork to Lake City, then 30 to Animas Forks, and then south to Silverton. Part of that is the Alpine Loop which I've ridden with a 690ER and my current AT. Heads up for the SxS!

    Consider those, and connect them as needed. No disappointment.
    #30
  11. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all of the tips. I'm still in the planning stage especially on how to get there. I may just suck it up go thru St Louis/KC and reduce the travel time.
    With the virus issues I've been making an effort to ride the DBNF 1 day per week. Let me know if you're interested in meeting up one day.
    #31
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  12. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info.
    141 looks like a good route for this trip.
    Is route 30 gravel?
    Is this something I could do solo on a Tenere?
    #32
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  13. motocopter

    motocopter Long timer

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    Yeah, 30 up and over Cinnamon Pass is graded dirt/gavel and not difficult--even with a loaded S10. I won't say to air down the tires as I don't, but softening them is not a bad idea if the tires are road biased. Animas Forks has four entry/exit routes. I believe the south route is the easiest and north through Engineer Pass being the trickiest. All my riding in Colorado is solo and therefore conservative. The Alpine Loop is a tourist attraction and therefore maintained.

    Riding in Colorado, a rain jacket should be kept handy--especially for the afternoon times. Rain showers come and go pretty quick and being in mountains you cannot always see them coming, or riding into them.

    You're planning on August? I like that time of the year.

    If you can use a gpx file let me know in a PM.

    #33
  14. Jim22

    Jim22 n00b

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    Instead of staying on 149 all the way to 50 & the long paved way around to Ouray; just south of Lake City, take road #30 past Lake San Cristobal, the southern half of the "Alpine Loop" to Animas Forks and then the #2 road to Silverton, then back on the hiway to Ouray. this route is dirt/gravel but well used & maintained, and some breath taking scenery. Cinnamon Pass is 12,640 ft and a fairly easy ride up & down. other than some loose rocks in a few spots, the only issue is all the ATV & Jeep traffic on weekends. if you can time it for a weekday, you'll only have to share it with a few others. The photos below show some of the road & pass, this was before I bought my Husky and switched from ATV to Dual Sport. Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, Telluride area is an Adv riders dream playground in summer. (I live in South Fork Co at the intersection of hwy 160 & 149, and summer is not long enough to squeeze in all the rides I want to do) View attachment 2301190
    #34
  15. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info.
    Motocopter was also recommending #30 in the above post. I will be coming thru there on a Monday and it is something I should consider. About how long would it take me to ride #30 from Lake City to Ouray?
    I'll be coming from Trinidad State Park
    #35
  16. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the offer. PM sent
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  17. Jim22

    Jim22 n00b

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    Trinidad SP to Lake City will be about a 4-4.5 hr ride. Lake City to Ouray via Silverton will be about 3.5 - 4 hrs, depending on how many stops to admire the views.
    #37
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