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Summer of 2010, we took your suggestions and traveled to Yellowstone and drove Beartooth Pass. The wife and I have decided for 2012, we will do Colorado. We love the beauty of the mountains.

Several years back, we flew into Denver and went to Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Royal Gorge, etc. we really enjoyed the area. This year we want to go back but travel further west into Moab Utah on our wing. Not knowing much of the area, we believe we want to travel the Million Dollar Highway and return on 70 back to Denver. We have a friend at Monument CO that we will probably stay at or near when we first arrive and then return there after our travels.

If you have any recommendations of the routes to take or pictures of the area, we would appreciate in hearing them or seeing the pictures.

Oh yeah. We are thinking of going the week of Memorial Day/first week in June. 2 weeks isn't out of the question of possibilities. Hopefully the weather isn't too hot or cold.

Thanks again as you help us knock another item off our bucket list.
 

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I'd recommend you head south out of Monument to Penrose. Once at Penrose head west on highway 50 until you get to Montrose. From Montrose go south on highway 550 to Durango. From Durango you would need to decide if you want to drop down to 4 corners or not. Norton can tell you more about that area.

On the way back, I70 is ok, you're still riding through the mountains. I would say, give yourself time to ride up Mount Evans but you are going fairly early in the season and it may not be open to the top. You can take back roads in from Evergreen to Chatfield lake so you get to bypass all the I70/E470 mess plus it's just a lot more scenic. It takes some planning and a GPS helps a lot.

Keep an eye on the weather as some of the higher passes could have snow (Monarch, Red Mountain).


Highway 50 near Salida





Blue Mesa along highway 50



Silverton on highway 550





Mount Evans





 

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Just a suggestion about the Million Dollar Highway, since you're from the same flat land that I am. Spend some time on the mountain roads before going on this one, unless you have no problems with high places and no guardrails.
There were some spots where the pucker-factor definitely kicked in.
In Silverton, take a look at the narrow gauge RR.

:praying:
 

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I have been to Colorado several times for 3 days to 5 days at a time. I ahv e a friend living in Colorado Springs and he acts as a guide for me and I LOVE riding there...The very BEST place in the USA to ride..



Some of my favorite places & rides:

Independence Pass - a must..the most beautiful place on earth

Mt Evans & Pikes Peak - go in the morning! Avoid bad weather

Hy 50 from Canon City going west

Any road WEST of Hy 25 on the eastern side of the divide

Cave of the Winds road near Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods

Highways 24 & 67 North of Woodland Park

Hy 6 near Golden

Hy 119 from Central City to Nederland



I could go on & on ...



Rules for traveling in the Rockies-

1) Lightning - BAD. Get indoors!

2) Watching scenery and driving off side of mountain - BAD

3) Drink LOTS of water - You are in the high desert and at altitude

4) Take every canyon road you can find up and down

5) Stay off the highways and really see the beauty of the mountains

6) 250 miles in the Rockies on backroads is a BIG DAY of riding.

7) Be sure your bike is operating at peak efficiency including brakes!

8) Stop often and take many pictures.

9) Watch for fallen rocks & gravel in the curves (especialy the right handers where trailers run off the edge and make a mess)

10) If you feel weird, dizzy or nauseous - you are too high and need to lower your elevation by going down. Some roads like the Eisenhower Tunnel Highway 70 cross 11,000 feet in elevation.



Enjoy







4)
 

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Estes Park is really cool too! Don't over look Estes Park!
 

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Estes Park is quite a ways north of I-70 and Monument and Estes Park itself is more touristy than anything else. But Trail Ridge road into or out of Estes is another story. If you have time to swing north, Trail Ridge would be worth the ride. Then a ride down the Peak to Peak highway. The problem will be time. If you pan on covering some of the sights in Utah you're not going to have much time in Colorado, and this doesn't take in to account the day or so you will spend getting to and home from Colorado.

Trail Ridge Road





 

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I never found myself on a road in Colorado that I didn't enjoy being on and long for the chance to get back there.

these pics are from the Leadville and Breckenridge areas south of 70. I believe it was hwy91 and hwy9. these were taken at the end of June and the snow had not been gone long so late May might be a little early for the higher elevations. have fun and don't get discouraged with the picture taking, there is a better picture to be taken everywhere you look.













 

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would like to be here again also

[flash=425,344]http://www.youtube.com/v/rpNYUaE_BF4&hl=en&fs=1[/flash]
 

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Pictures - Colorado trip August 2006











Colorado trip August 2009











Colorado trip Sept 2010











 

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Wow. Great pictures and great advise! It will take me a while to research all of this.

As far as my bike goes, I try to keep it up as much as I can. I have new brake pads and rear rotor to install in the next couple of weeks. All the other stuff I did a couple years ago (timing belts etc).

I've done ok with elevations at 11K feet. Didn't do as well on top of Pikes Peak, but that was 6 months after open heart surgery. Maybe that had something to do with it. :)

Keep the suggestions and pictures coming! I'm looking at all of them.
 

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Danimal your're an Animal! 6 months after open heart surgery and your'e at the top of Pike's Peak? GEEZ!!:thumbsup:
 

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Rocky Mountain National Park - Trail Ridge Road - Peak-to-Peak Highway - Independence Pass - McClure Pass - Monarch Pass - Kebler Pass - Cottonwood Pass - Fremont Pass - Vail Pass - Muddy Pass - Rabbit Ears Pass - Gore Pass - Tennessee Pass - Hoosier Pass - Cameron Pass - Loveland Pass - Wilkerson Pass - Kenosha Pass - Pikes Peak - South Park - North Rim of the Black Canyon - Front Range Canyons - North Park - Glenwood Canyon



All of these are worth a look....



Go here and get info on a wide variety of rides in Colorado..



http://rockies-gold.net/CopperRides/copper_rides.htm



Here's a few more pictures to keep you dreaming...













 

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I would not plan a trip through Colorado that early in the year. All the great riding is west of Denver/Boulder and is above 6,000 feet. Almost every road you take is gonna end up above 10,000 at some point. I would expect that there will still be snow and places like Rocky Mountain National Park could be closed or the road conditions could be suspect.

As far as riding the roads, it’s hard to go wrong. There are great roads on both sides of I-70.

Road Suggestions:

The Silver Tread Highway
The Peak to Peak Highway
The Million Dollar Highway
Trail Ridge Road
Loveland pass


SLIDESHOW-SILVERTREAD/MILLION DOLLAR
 

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I've seen Trail Ridge Road closed for snow in August.
Sometimes you just gotta go then modify your route according to the weather if necessary.
 

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norton wrote:
I've seen Trail Ridge Road closed for snow in August. ~
Yeah, we got caught in a blizzard thereonce, back in the mid-eighties I think, around the 1st of August. We were in that tourist shop up there around 12,000 feet. I was having doughnuts & coffee, and suddenly the sunshine was gone.:wtf: I looked out the window toward the parking lot, and could barely see the cars parked right in front of the building. That storm seemingly came right out of nowhere.

WHOA!! Time to beat feet! It turned to rain @ about 10,000 feet. Sunny & warmbefore we got downto Estes Park. The stuff memories are made of, you know? Once you do Colorado, there will be SOMETHINGS you will never forget. Guaranteed. :3sum:
 

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There is always a possibility that there may be a freak summer snow storm at those elevations. But if it’s in August it will surely melt the next day. If I was planning a once in a lifetime trip to the mountains of Colorado I would wait for the winter snow to melt and the passes to be open before heading out.

Even if the high passes are open there will most likely be a lot of snow left. So you want to see snow, ride on wet sanded roads or see mountain flowers and ride on dry roads? Just sayin.





LAST SPRING RMNP -CLOSED
 
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