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Old 03-31-2015, 01:03 PM   #1
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Colorado. late July/August

we are thinking of trailering up to Colorado and spending maybe 4 or 5 days.
Thinking of staying in Durango.
If you have any great roads in the area post up please. We are good for usually 300-400 miles or so. She will be on her VTX most likely and maybe i will take the goldwing or MAYBE the V-max.
Recomendations?
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:40 PM   #2
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

This book
The Complete Guide to Motorcycling Colorado: The Definitive Reference for ALL the Best Roads, Rides, and Tips: Steve Farson: 9781884313929: Amazon.com: Books The Complete Guide to Motorcycling Colorado: The Definitive Reference for ALL the Best Roads, Rides, and Tips: Steve Farson: 9781884313929: Amazon.com: Books



and a Butler map will give you information overload.

550 of course,
149
141 is one of my favorites that doesn't get mentioned a lot.
Compared to here, any of them.
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:02 PM   #3
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

Take some time to climb a mountain. It's good for the soul.
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:09 PM   #4
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

There is, of course, this must-do loop. North on 550, over the passes, through Silverton & Ouray, to Ridgway. Then southwest on 62 and south on 142. Stop in Telluride for the view, then south to Cortez, and east back to Durango. The loop is about 240 miles. Plan a full day because you'll want to ogle spectacular vistas, sight see in the historic towns, and of course there will inevitably be some construction somewhere along the way. A word of caution about direction of travel: some people find 550 southbound from Ouray intimidating because the dropoff is on the right side. I recommend driving the loop so that you're northbound on 550, not southbound, at least your first time. After that, you be the judge.

Following part of the same route, take 550 north to Delta, then east on 92 to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Besides the breathtaking views along the way, Hwy 92 is the very definition of a "canyon carving" road.

Going east, Pagosa Springs is only 60 miles, but along the way, you'll go up and over Wolf Creek Pass. 160 is wide and well paved through the pass, but also has great sweepers that motorcyclists enjoy. It also occasionally has radar cops, so keep your eyes open. On the way back, you might consider turning north at Bayfield to visit Lake Vallecito. EDIT: Correction and pardon my brain fart. Wolf Creek Pass is about 25 miles BEYOND Pagosa Springs when you're going eastbound. Still worth the ride. At the bottom of the pass is the town of South Fork. Stop and admire the Rio Grande as you'll never see it in Texas.

About 80 miles southwest is Shiprock NM. A totally different climate, you're down in the desert now. But the scenery is still great, just different.

Well, those are my ideas. I'm sure others will chime in with equally good suggestions. Enjoy.
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:09 AM   #5
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

The road along the south rim of Black Canyon is short but great with many views of the canyon just a hop away.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:38 AM   #6
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

tshelfer liteitup,and human race got it covered very well. First getting there is half the fun. Not thru Texas but Northern New Mexico. What route will you be taking? I can help getting there also giving you a great scenic route that you will talk about a long time.

Now here is how I would do it after arriving in Durango. As a bonus there is a train ride from Durango that I heard is fun. Now to the riding part. Take 160 over to Pagosa Springs then up to South fork,continue 149 to 50,turn west towards Montrose. Like HR said you must check out the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Worth it even if you only have a few hours to spare. Then 50 to Montrose. Finally 550 south back to Durango.

Now if you want a good reasonable place to stay in Gunnison The Long Holiday Motel is the place to be. Rustic and clean and comfortable. Eat at the "W" cafe for a good tasty breakfast before you head out in the morning. In Montrose eat at the Red Barn for lunch time steak. Have heard rumors they are closed but not sure,that would be sad they have really good steaks there. There is a neat junk/what not shop to the right as your going out of Montrose that has anything from classic cars to helicopter parts and everything in between. Cool place to stretch and check out antiques of every nature.
There is a camp ground outside of Ouray that is sweet to camp at if you are going to do any of that. Watch your speed in the town Pagosa there are areas that are 15-20MPH. Gas was very expensive there so gas up first. 160,149,550 are all must does. Even fun on 4 wheels! Water falls all over the place for good picture opportunities. The Cliff dwellings would be neat also if you can fit it in. Tim went there a while back. So many cool places and roads to do there in Colorado. Have fun and make double sure to have a-1 brakes before you go. The roads will test them to the limit. 550 south can be nerve racking to those who do not like to see the tops of the trees as riding/driving past. It is a long way down if you miss a turn. Be careful and take a bunch of pictures so we can enjoy them also. KP
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:08 AM   #7
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

I'm going to disagree with everyone else about 160 between Pagosa and Durango. I rode it both ways last August and it was easily the worst part of the trip. Road construction and heavy traffic the whole way. SLOW,SLOW,SLOW.

I got back and found this thread on ADVRider
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1003244

I haven't tried it, but it sure sounds a lot better than what I suffered through on that part of 160.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:18 AM   #8
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liteitup View Post
I'm going to disagree with everyone else about 160 between Pagosa and Durango. I rode it both ways last August and it was easily the worst part of the trip. Road construction and heavy traffic the whole way. SLOW,SLOW,SLOW.

I got back and found this thread on ADVRider
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1003244

I haven't tried it, but it sure sounds a lot better than what I suffered through on that part of 160.
I like the part between Pagosa and South Fork. The one between Durango and PS was not as interesting to me. Last time we went they were doing construction also but further north. The snow really plays havoc with the roads up there. Good info to know for those headed that direction.
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:48 AM   #9
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

if you were to make a base camp, were would you stay at? we are looking at either durango or pagosa springs, and then venture out on day rides so need to be in the 200-300 mile ranges. Michael
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:37 AM   #10
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

Colorado is home for me. So, I have a different perspective of travels within Colorado. If you haven't been, or haven't been often, stationing north of the million dollar highway, such as Ouray, Ridgeway or Montrose would be a better solution. There are many different off road routes out of that area. South of there (Durango, Silverton, Pagosa Springs), you basically have to travel north for day rides.

I have gone to Colorado with many from Houston for years and spent a week or two a year in Ouray. It has worked well as a base for day rides. However, a buddy and I are going up in June for two weeks to ride the front range. The trails and roads will not be as challenging as Southwest Colorado, but we are looking for a more leisurely "big" bike ride, camp and fish strategy.

Really, if I do a me only ride, I will ride out of Redstone or Marble. Great dirt and paved roads from there.

Keep in mind that July is the height of tourist season and many places may be full and those that aren't will be expensive.

Good luck and great travels.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:44 AM   #11
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

From Pagosa Springs, there are a bunch of National Forest campgrounds just north, along Vallecito Reservoir.

At Durango, two primary NF campgrounds -
- Junction Creek, which is just north of Durango. Very nice. Lots of sites. Last mile before the campground is improved gravel.
- Haviland Lake. About 15 miles north of Durango on 550. Picturesque, nice vistas. Set more or less at the foot of the first pass as you head north to Silverton.

Alternatively, camp at South Mineral, just outside of Silverton. Really beautiful campground, surrounded by peaks. Creek runs through the campground. Lots of chirping birds. Again, be aware that the approach to the campground is 1/2 mile or so of gravel.

All are good areas; it just depends on what what day routes you're planning, so where you want to be centered. If you're going to spend your time headed north, to Ouray, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, then Durango or even Silverton is better. If you want to explore Wolf Creek Pass, South Fork, maybe even make the drive up 149 to Creede (one of Colorado's best kept secrets), then basing out of Pagosa Springs would make sense.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:51 AM   #12
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

There is a nice camp ground right outside of Ouray. There is even a trail there and a little water fall feature. I think I remember seeing a camp ground outside of Montrose also but we went on to Ouray to hang our hats. I do not think there is a bad camp ground in Colorado. The one in Ouray has some wonderful views to the west and a spot over looking the whole town for some sweet distance pictures of the place.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:59 AM   #13
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

Train, one thing that would help is this: What's your idea of camping? Nice national forest site with picnic table & outhouse? Fully loaded private campground with flushers & showers? Boondocking at the end of a dirt road?

All the places I've described are NF campgrounds. The amenities are all basically the same, which are:
- Picnic table, fire pit, & tent pad per site.
- A couple of water spigots throughout the campground.
- An outhouse or 2.
Prices in that area run about $18 per night. If you're over 62, buy a pass & cut that in half.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:03 AM   #14
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

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Train, one thing that would help is this: What's your idea of camping? Nice national forest site with picnic table & outhouse? Fully loaded private campground with flushers & showers? Boondocking at the end of a dirt road?

All the places I've described are NF campgrounds. The amenities are all basically the same, which are:
- Picnic table, fire pit, & tent pad per site.
- A couple of water spigots throughout the campground.
- An outhouse or 2.
Prices in that area run about $18 per night. If you're over 62, buy a pass & cut that in half.
That is a great point Tim. Some camp prices vary the one I was at was I think $32 but we got the last spot so Tims suggestions a for sure less expensive. He goes there often an should be considered a expert. Are you camping the whole way?
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:40 AM   #15
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

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... If you want to explore Wolf Creek Pass, South Fork, maybe even make the drive up 149 to Creede (one of Colorado's best kept secrets), then basing out of Pagosa Springs would make sense.
Again, I would definitely make reservations wherever you decide to stay if you are going in July, even camping. I do think Redstone is a much bigger secret There is a small campground near Red Stone called Bogan Flats that is usually only frequented by locals. Or if your budget allows, the Redstone Inn is VERY cool place to stay. The do have a very nice restaurant.

I would say Colorado has three primary riding areas. Southern Colorado, which most Texans are familiar with, including the big tourist areas; Durango, Ouray, Lake City, etc. Then the northern area, along the lines of Craig and Steamboat Springs and Routt National forest. Very remote and not a lot there, but if you want to get away. And finally, my favorite the middle zone, probably north of Gunnison to a level east and west of Meeker. A good point to station for seeing this area is Redstone.

Near Redstone there is some difficult dirt riding through the Devils Punch bowl and Schofield pass that I would not recommend on a big bike. And great paved roads south over McClures Pass to make a Black Canyon loop and north to Glenwood Canyon and Aspen with Independence Pass. I also recommend the longer further west loop through Gateway, CO. Some very unique rock formations and history along that route. Also, a great ride through Colorado National Monument west of Grand Junction.

A lot there I know. I don't really expect this to fit into your plans Train, because it does involve a little more travel to get there. But I thought I would share.
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Old 04-04-2015, 04:45 PM   #16
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

Man I dont know how we got into camping but we aren't doing that. Base camp I mean that we are trailering up and starting from there. We plan on making 2 or 3 days of out and back but spending one nigjt somewhere else and return is doable.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:13 PM   #17
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

How'd we get into camping? You said "base camp" and we took it literally.

So are you moteling? Get the Hotels.com app. Great for checking prices from the road & getting the best deals. And you'll quickly find out which cities have lower rates. Durango actually isn't bad. Not sure about Pagosa Springs; never had to price a motel there.

As to which is better to base from, the answer is the same - whichever puts you closest to the most routes you want to ride.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:18 AM   #18
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

Quote:
Originally Posted by train460 View Post
Man I dont know how we got into camping but we aren't doing that. Base camp I mean that we are trailering up and starting from there. We plan on making 2 or 3 days of out and back but spending one nigjt somewhere else and return is doable.
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http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEV...pMtjO_dgGwJt4-
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:37 PM   #19
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

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The Long Holiday Motel in Gunnison is where I would hang my helmet.
http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEV...pMtjO_dgGwJt4-
How hard will it be getting to Gunnison, from the south pulling a 10ft trailer with 2 big bikes?
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:32 PM   #20
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Re: Colorado. late July/August

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How hard will it be getting to Gunnison, from the south pulling a 10ft trailer with 2 big bikes?
Easy getting to Gunnison with a 42 foot trailer. However, staying in Gunnison may have you driving through some good riding areas. Find a place in the most south central area to start and leave the truck and trailer, like Del Norte or South Fork. Then make a loop. I have thought about this a little and here is what I would do if I had a 5 days to ride in Colorado.



Highlights for each day:
Day 1) North Clear Creek Falls. You will thank me for this one. It isn't one that many people see, because it is off the road a mile or two but they say it is the most photographed falls in Colorado and when you see it, you will know why.
Day 1) North Rim Black Canyon. Stop at some of the overlooks to see the depth and ruggedness of the canyon.
Day 1) Redstone Inn. Very turn of the century (19th to 20th that is). Make sure to make reservations. It's Kinda expensive, so if this doesn't work ride on to Carbondale, there are some more economy hotels there.
Day 2) Independence Pass. Everyone does this once, highest paved pass in Colorado. Wear something warm.
Day 2) Glenwood Canyon. WOW! You will not be disappointed. Stop at the scenic overlook and go look at the rapids, class 4 and even some undoable.
Day 2) Hotel Colorado. Teddy Roosevelt stayed here . Go down to the hot springs pool, just below. Nice to relax in after a long days ride . Also a little expensive, but there are a number of less expensive hotels in Glenwood as well. Again, make reservations.
Day 3) Grand Mesa. This is where they filmed part of American Flyer with Kevin Costner. Nice twisty but flat. If you have the time and you want to do it, you can take the road out to "The End of the World" overlook. There is a very easy dirt road down off the plateau but you may not want to do it on the big bikes.
Day 3) Colorado National Monument. You may not have heard much about this, but again you will thank me if you get there. It is absolutely amazing and the road up and around is a great ride.
Day 4) The Gateway loop. Actually you would be doing only the good part. A whole lot of local (pirate) riders make this loop through Gateway and stop there for lunch at the little cafe. The Gateway resort there also is where the John Hendricks who started the Discovery Channel has all his getaways offered on the discovery channel. There's a great car museum there as well.
Day 4) Hwy 141. South of Gateway is some very unique rock formations along the Dolores River as well as the Flume used during the 1850's gold rush.
Day 4) Durango. Lot's of places to stay, eat and drink. They have a winery and a brewery.
Day 5) Million Dollar Highway. North of Durango, you may want to stop in Silverton and/or Ouray for a hamburger, as well.
Day 5) South Rim of the Black Canyon. Not as much to see but still some impressive sights.

I would have some other things planned as well, if this were me. But my guess is you may not read all of this anyway.

Attached are these routes in both Garmin (.gpd) format and Universal GPS (.gpx) files.

Just some food for thought.
Attached Files
File Type: gdb 5 Day Tour.gdb (442.8 KB, 3 views)
File Type: gpx 5 Day Tour.gpx (1.43 MB, 3 views)
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