San Francisco, Durango, Silverton, Telluride, Moab, Vegas & back

Discussion in 'Americas' started by acme rider, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. acme rider

    acme rider Living the GS dream

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    San Francisco (north bay)
    Hi All,

    I've scaled my 10 states in 10 days, to 4 states in 6 days as well as some interesting diversions along the way. I grew up in Durango, CO but now live in San Francisco. I've done several dirt rides including a D36 Enduro that I didn't do too bad in. As I slowly migrated towards dual-sport (with more an eye on touring)... my first forray was a V-Strom DL1000. Great introduction, but not exactly up for some of the riding I had in mind so I finally pulled the trigger and got an 05 R1200GS which I love. I've been prepping it in my garage and just about ready for my trip next month (will post pictures later).

    So here's my plan...

    Day 1, Tue. Sept 16 - San Francisco to Durango
    Route - Miles: 1,076
    My house to my mom's is exactly 1,076 miles so I'm going to do a Saddlesore Ride to get there. Have always wanted to do that and thought this would be the perfect trip.

    Day 2, Wed. Sept 17 - Hang out in Durango and rest
    Going to spend a little time with mom

    Day 3, Thu. Sept 18 - Durango, Silverton, Ophir, Telluride, Moab
    Route TBD - Miles: Approx: 300 (about 30 off road)
    Planning on leaving Durango super early and considering Silverton is only 50 miles away... I could easily be there and ready for the Ophir Pass by morning. I considered Imogene, but thought I would take the easiest road to minimize the get off factor. Then I'm off to Moab and looking for good slabbing routes.

    Day 4, Fri. Sept 19 - Moab
    Route - Miles: 60 (some off-road)
    Planning on doing the Mt. Sal Loop and possibly more. Then hanging out in Moab that night

    Day 5, Sat. Sept 20 - Moab to Vegas
    Proposed Route - Miles: 523
    This will be mostly a slab ride going through Capital Reef National Park and eventually landing in Vegas.

    Day 6, Sun. Sept 21 - Vegas to San Francisco
    Current Route - Miles: 560
    This will up near Death Valley and back through Yosemite.. I'll probably scrutinize the route from Yosemite home since I know there are some better routes I can't remember right off hand.

    Packing List
    • Extra brake light bulb
    • Couple of plastic bags
    • Toilet Paper
    • Syphon
    • Tire Repair Kit
    • Adjustable Wrench
    • Small Vise-Grip
    • Hex & Torx Wrench Sets
    • Extra Fuel (using small MSR canister)
    • Camelback
    • Snacks
    • Rain Gear
    • Electric Tape
    • Duct Tape
    • Wire Ties
    • Extra Fuses
    • Rag
    • Latex Gloves
    • SPOT
    • Small First Aid Kit (REI)
    • 3 pair of microfiber shorts
    • 3 pair of boot socks
    • 3 microfiber shirts
    • 1 pair of jeans
    • 2 pair of microfiber long underwear
    • Baseball Hat
    • Camera
    • Small Laptop and Power Cord
    • Headband Flashlight
    • Leatherman
    • North Face black Tech Jacket
    • Plexus and cleaning cloth
    • Tow Strap
    • Locking cable (helmet, jacket, etc..)
    I'm actually budgeting 6-7 days for this trip so I'm flexible. I'm pretty set on my plans getting as far as Telluride and the highlight is really Ophir Pass, but would love to incorporate some riding through some of the beautiful places I've seen in Moab... just not sure if it's possible to incorporate the Moab section as a leg on my way to Vegas.

    Any advice is greatly welcomed on routes, places to stay and see and I will update this original post with the final itinerary including my packing list which I've started.

    Here's the before pic of my new ride:
    [​IMG]

    It's been properly Farkled with various Touratech items for protection along with a mount for GPS and Radar and a new set of Tourances. It came with Vario luggage so will be using that for this first trip.
    #1
  2. Gerst

    Gerst Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    343
    Location:
    Durango, CO
    I've trailered from Durango to Red Mtn, road Black Bear Pass (good pucker factor and views) to Telluride ate and toured town, took Imogene to Ouray, hwy back to truck back to Durango all in time for an evening beverage. Silverton to Ophier pass turnoff a few miles at most. This is defineately the easiest and fastest route that I know of. Imogene is my favorite, have you looked into Bolum Pass? FYI snow, sleet or gropel above treeline at Wolf Creek 8/25/8!!! Go prepared have a blast.
    #2
  3. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Placerville Co.
    Silverton to Telluride via Ophir, on a 1200 will take ya about an hour maybe an hour and twenty with lots of pic stops. You could get denied on Ophir that late in September but I'm guessing it'll still be clear. The route the Webers did from t-town to Moab is an all dayer more or less. You could be in Moab within 2 hours from Telluride if you slab. And its a nice slab ride. My record from here to there was 1:45 when I had a GS. Their route is nice but I'd be inclined to spend that time riding around Moab vs to Moab. If you slab to Gateway and take John Brown to to the La Sal Mt. loop and into to Moab your looking at a half day.

    Hope this helps!!
    Have a great tour!!
    #3
  4. acme rider

    acme rider Living the GS dream

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I've been reading on the site about Black Bear Pass, but that definitely looks like a ride for when I'm not loaded up. I also considered Imogene, but since I'm probably going to be on my own I figured better take the safest route. I'm not familiar with Bolum Pass but will do some searching around. Good to know about the snow. Are there any local sources I can contact to get conditions on these roads/trails? Thanks.

    That's great info and exactly what I'm looking for. I still can't believe how close Moab was when I was growing up in Durango and never saw it. Of course the world was a lot bigger before the internet ;) I like the idea of getting there and then riding around so I'll definitely look into that loop you mentioned. Thanks!
    #4
  5. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Location:
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    My pleasure. If you PM me a couple days in advance I can let you know wether Ophir or any other passes are clear or snowed in.
    #5
  6. acme rider

    acme rider Living the GS dream

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    That would be awesome! Thanks again for the help... I can tell by the other related topics... you seem to be the resident expert in that area so all your help is very much appreciated :)
    #6
  7. acme rider

    acme rider Living the GS dream

    Joined:
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    What route do you take from Telluride to Moab? I'm very warmed up to the slab idea and staying in Moab the night before taking the loop you suggested.

    Thanks again,

    Jack
    #7
  8. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

    Joined:
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    The quickest route is through Norwood, Naturita, Bedrock, La Sal Junction then north on 191. So I assume you'll go Durango to Moab on Saturday and ride Moab Sunday staying in Moab again Sunday night? If so, you'll need more stuff to ride on Sunday. Assuming you won't do John Brown canyon on Saturday , heres an option for a Sunday LOop from Moab. Head south out of Moab on 191 about about 4-5 miles till you see a sign for Kens Lake. Take this and follow signs for the LA Sal Mt. loop. (paved). take this rd which will head back north skirting the west side of the La Sals. Once you get to the nrthern end of the loop you'll see John Brown rd takes off to the right and heads down to Gateway Co. (Easy dirt unless wet, then run for your life!!!) You can either take John Brown all the way to Gateway and Slab back on 141 towards Naturita,(very nice high speed canyon twisties) then repeat the slab you took to get to Moab. OR you can stay on dirt rds skirting the east side of the La Sals to Old LA Sal. Either way you can't go wrong, both the slab version and the dirt version are awesome!!! You'll want a map of the area for sure.
    #8
  9. acme rider

    acme rider Living the GS dream

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    Check!

    Excellent! Thanks again... will definitely add this my Sunday ride route! It's actually looking like I might be able to leave a few days early... I figure the sooner I go, the more I increase my chances of catching the passes before they close. I'll update my dates as I get closer.
    #9
  10. duckdiggler

    duckdiggler Guest

    my buddy and I are leaving SF Oct 13th for a similar ride no further east then durango/silverton/ouray. We will be taking 14 days though I would love to read about how well everything goes for you. I wont hijack your thread, but if you want to talk about details more, the PM me.

    -dave
    #10
  11. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie GS Boxers forever.......

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    SO FLA/SW CO
    Acme,

    If your going to be in Durango for a day, take 160 West for 45 min and see Mesa Verde. Just the ride up from 160 to the Mesa Verde National Park is spectacular. You really don't have to get off your bike to see some of the incredible cave dwellings. The same ones you saw in your 6th grade geography book. Well worth the ride.

    You are in the gateway to the four corners and there is sooooooo much to see, you'll want to make a second trip. If you can stretch it to more than one day in Durango, the narrow gauge train ride is also spectacular. Anyway, Have lunch at "Gazpacho", a little restaurant near the train station. Excellent Colorado-Mex food and not expensive.:dg

    Durango is an out of the way Gem, and glad of it!
    #11
  12. acme rider

    acme rider Living the GS dream

    Joined:
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    San Francisco (north bay)
    Thanks Eddie,

    I actually grew up in Durango so I know Mesa Verde very well. It's still one of the most amazing things I've seen and of course the train ride is also spectacular. In fact, I waited tables at a restaurant called the Palace that was right next to the train station downtown... I wonder if that's now the place you're describing. I'll check in with my Mom since she still lives there.

    I'm looking forward to going back for a visit... even though brief.
    #12
  13. acme rider

    acme rider Living the GS dream

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    San Francisco (north bay)
    I will definitely post up along the way. I'm taking a small laptop with me so will start a new thread with daily reports. I finally got to take the GS out in the dirt and although definitely more challenging than the CRF450x, it was still a great time and a good trial of things to come. Here's some pics..

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    #13
  14. acme rider

    acme rider Living the GS dream

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    San Francisco (north bay)
    #14