Roads from Dunes to Mesa Verda?

Discussion in 'Regional Forums' started by Edder B, May 9, 2002.

  1. Edder B

    Edder B Meister Poser

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    376
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    While planning alternate routes for our trip in June, which actually go the same way but from the other direction, I've seen that we will be crossing the mountains between Great Sand Dunes NP and Mesa Verda NP. Any suggestions on some roads/trails? My friend will be on a R1100R but has the ability to do some trail riding. I will be on a gray R1150GS with Jesse Bags and the Ohio plate MCSUV. I would like to end up in Cortez and have a cold one at the micro brewery downtown.
    #1
  2. GSL

    GSL Team Big Wheel

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,751
    Location:
    Albany, OR
    I would highly recommend staying off of Highway 160, between South Fork and Pagosa Springs. While this road is incredibly scenic, it is also under construction on the east slope of Wolf Creek Pass.

    As an alternate route, I'd suggest, 160 from the Dunes to South Fork, Highway 149 thru Lake City and up to Highway 50, near Blue Mesa Res. The only gas station I know of is in Lake City on that stretch. Then, go west on 50 to Montrose, with a possible stop over in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, then south to Ridgeway, and then either 550 to Durango or 62/145 to Cortez. Both routes are awesome so hopefully you can make that section into a loop. I personally prefer going north on 550 as opposed to south. JMO

    Have fun, bring a camera and allow time for photo stops!
    #2
  3. GSL

    GSL Team Big Wheel

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,751
    Location:
    Albany, OR
    p.s. there's also a few old mining roads between Lake City and Silverton, but only the GS with a really adventuresome rider would attempt it. It's called Engineer Pass and has a couple 12" - 18" rocky ledges, up at, oh, about 12,500 feet above sea level. :evil

    Big fun on a dual sport 400 or 650!
    #3
  4. Edder B

    Edder B Meister Poser

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    376
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Dunes to Mesa Verde is one option. After looking at the map again we've contiplated going through northern New Mexico then up to Mesa Verde. The plan is to make it to Kansas and then back roads from there through the west. The other route is starting in South Dakota, west and then back through Mesa Verde and Kansas. It will probably depend on the weather and forest fires. Thanks for the input, those 18" ledges sound too cool.

    Ed
    #4
  5. billcat

    billcat z

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Oddometer:
    777
    Location:
    Colorado
    Engineer pass can definately get rough in places, but for real challenge do corkscrew pass. Same area, harder terrain. Both rides are great fun.

    I was just down in Ouray, ride report is posted joebob sez check it out.


    And yes, there is a 30 minute wait on Wolf creek pass due to blasting/road widening. I caught it at dusk and waited with one other girl who let me skip to the front so I got to do the whole ride wide open (past the construction that is).

    I skipped sand dunes cuz on the map it looked really long and straight. I recomend 149 (the silver thread) as a possible alternative.

    Hasta, have fun!
    #5