June 2011 trip to Colorado - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2011, 12:39 pm Thread Starter
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June 2011 trip to Colorado

Son and I are taking a motorcycle trip the third week in June on our matching 2007 GTs(!).

The outbound leg is pretty much decided... from Anaheim, east on the 91 to the 15 north to St George Utah. Second day is kind of a toss up, but probably up the 15 to the 70 east to Denver. We may take the alternate route from St George through Zion and up the 89 to the 70. Down the 25 to Monument where my daughter lives.

The return trip we're going to go south through Colorado, west from Pueblo on the 50/149/160 through Pagosa Springs and Durango. Next day westbound down the northeast portion of Arizona on the 160/89 to the 40, then to Kingman. Last day westbound on the 40 to the 15 south, and then home.

Any advice on the return trip is welcome. Looking for scenery and nice rides.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2011, 11:27 pm
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Utah option

One really great ride with lots to see and great roads; 70 to 14 to 12, then at boulder take 1668 for 30 miles +/- then return to 12. 12 onto 24 to the 70.
The geography covers alot of very unusual country. I always stop alot to take photos.
Have fun and come home safe.

Roger2010

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2011, 3:39 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckwilmot
...............The return trip we're going to go south through Colorado, west from Pueblo on the 50/149/160 through Pagosa Springs and Durango. Next day westbound down the northeast portion of Arizona on the 160/89 to the 40, then to Kingman. Last day westbound on the 40 to the 15 south, and then home.

Any advice on the return trip is welcome. Looking for scenery and nice rides.
Chuck,

It looks like you've done your homework. About the only portion I'd do differently is going down to Pueblo and taking 50 west to, I'm assuming here, Canon City. That is one of the ugliest stretches of road in the state.

I recommend the following alternatives:
VERY scenic route - take I24 west out of Colorado Springs and stay on it until you reach Hartsel. This will take you up Ute Pass to Woodland Park and eventually up to Wilkerson Pass and down into Southpark (yes, of TV cartoon fame) where you'll traverse an ancient seabed as you make your way to Hartsel.

From Hartsel take 9 back towards Canon City, there's a nice little restaurant in Guffey if you want to stop for a snack or refreshment. Continue towards Parkdale where you'll hook up with 50 that will take you towards Texas Creek and Coaldale where you'll ride alongside the Arkansas River and see some incredible white water rapids. This route involves a little bit of back tracking but it'll only add about 40 miles to your day and trust me, it's worth the detour.

If you can't do that then take 115 out of Colorado Springs and intersect 50 about ten miles east of Canon City and continue on as I describe above.

Next, you head towards Poncha Springs and, eventually, Monarch Pass. This photo is from a ride me and a buddy took a few years back and was taken at the apex of Monarch Pass:

It's late September and yes, that white stuff in the parking lot is snow!

The rest of your CO trip planning looks good. You'll have a great time! Oh, watch out for serious CHP activity on all roads coming into and leaving CO. They like to get your travel dollars as soon as you enter or before you leave the state if you know what I mean.

Regards,
Randy
'02 RT nacht black
'05 Ducati ST3 black
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2011, 7:43 am Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I will definitely pull out the maps and look at revising our route. That's the kind of first-hand knowledge I was looking for.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2011, 11:25 pm
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Highly recommend a map from Butler: http://www.butlermaps.com/ for Colorado. Well worth the $15. They accurately highlight the best of Colorado for the motorcyclist.

If you do go through Canon City suggest a minor detour;Skyline Drive

Also just north of Durango is the "Million Dollar Highway" (US 550) it is a breath-taking route. I rode it for the first time just last weekend. If you can fit it into your route I promise it will be worth the detour. Million Dollar Highway Images

The all-in alternative route covering many of the most beautiful roads of Colorado suggestion:

Start: Colo. Springs.
24 west -> Woodland Park -> Buena Vista
306 -> Cottonwood Pass -> 742 -> 135 -> Gunnison -> 50 -> Montrose
550 -> Ouray -> Million Dollar Highway -> Durango

Apologies if this route is over-the-top. Still enjoying the afterglow of last weekend's ride But, if you dont get to Colorado often...do it!


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2011, 10:38 pm
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He's right

Hey Chuck,

Inline's right about Skyline Drive in Canon City. One thing you didn't mention is your daily mileage goal, i.e., how much progress you want to make each day. Skyline Drive takes little time to do when going through CC and it's still on the route I recommended. One thing about Skyline, and this is something most people DON'T know, is that the ridge is dinosaur city. Lots of fossils there....it's like you'll be taking a trip back through time.

Gee, I'm so giddy about it I think I'll ride it this weekend!

Regards,
Randy
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2011, 8:05 am Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, yes, the million dollar highway is already on the route, all the way from Montrose to Durango. Didn't know about Skyline Drive. I'll check that out.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2011, 9:38 am Thread Starter
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OK, we're taking the 115 out of Springs down to the 50. We'll take the Skyline Drive detour at Canon City, then back on the 50 all the way to Montrose so we can go down the 550 Million Dollar Highway to Durango. As far as mileage goals, we just want to keep it into a day trip so we can get to the motel in time for a steak and a beer, and this route is just about right for that if we start out early.

Although the trip up is two days, the trip back is three because we're trying to do some sightseeing and also because son has more miles to go to get home on the last day... he lives in Encinitas, while I live in Anaheim Hills. The last time we did something like this, it just about killed him with the extra hours to go all the way home.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2011, 4:49 pm
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Thumbs up

Great! I wish you both a wonderful and safe trip and look forward to a ride report and photos (if possible).

Regards,
Randy
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2011, 10:38 pm
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trip photos

Chuck,

I took my K12 out last Friday and rode the route from Colorado Springs to Westcliffe then over to Canon City and up over Skyline Drive.

About two miles east of Silvercliffe, CO, looking at the Sangre de Christo mountain range:


The entrance to Skyline Drive:


About 1/4 of the way up:


Some informative signs detailing the dinosaur rich ridge that comprises the road:



About 1/3 of the way up:


A rocky outcropping:


At this point I'm about 1/2 of the way up the road. The rest of the way is most sweet with the last portion offering a few almost 180 degree switchbacks.

The ride itself was great and the Gods must have been favoring me as I came across a Sheriff riding a HD. I was doing at least 20 over as we approached each other yet he just smiled and waived.

Regards,
Randy
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'05 Ducati ST3 black
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