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Thread: Question about a CO mid June Trip

  1. #1
    Registered User Firenailer's Avatar
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    Question about a CO mid June Trip

    Hi everyone, I'm planning a trip in mid June starting out in Denver and working counterclockwise through Estes Park, Durango. Colorado Springs and back to Denver.
    I'd like to stay on two laners and travel at a relaxed pace stopping for sights as I feel like it.

    Looking at a map I have a rough idea of my route, and my question is - how are the roads at some of the higher elevations and passes at that time of year?

    Would reserving rooms along the way (at that time of year) be necessary?

    Thanks for your replies
    Ride Safe,
    Bob
    '12 R1200RT

  2. #2
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    I would recommend you get the Butler map, and go.
    Don't take the adventure out of it.
    There are at least 2 2 lane roads in all directions all around there. And if one is not open, take the other one. But your best source of information is right on the road, from someone coming down the road the other way.
    Just ask at the gas station, or the coffee shop.
    The big answer will come at the time, if weather has been beautiful and warm, or if a big storm just came thru'.
    dc

  3. #3
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Dumb question, what is a Butler map?
    John.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firenailer View Post
    Hi everyone, I'm planning a trip in mid June starting out in Denver and working counterclockwise through Estes Park, Durango. Colorado Springs and back to Denver.
    I'd like to stay on two laners and travel at a relaxed pace stopping for sights as I feel like it.

    Looking at a map I have a rough idea of my route, and my question is - how are the roads at some of the higher elevations and passes at that time of year?

    Would reserving rooms along the way (at that time of year) be necessary?

    Thanks for your replies
    You will be fine. June is a great month to ride Colorado, including up high. The peaks are loaded with snow and incredibly scenic. As you ride Trail Ridge Road west of Estes Park up high, through and over Rocky Mountain National Park you will be dwarfed by amazing and mesmorizing walls of snow plowed through for the Memorial Day weekend (bikerfish1100 may chime in with some pics of what to expect). Independence Pass east of Aspen will likely be similar, with every effort made to open by Memorial Day. The San Juan Mountains in SW Colorado will be stunning. There is the slight chance a blizzard will make a visit. There is a chance cold, wet, but white precip will fall but it will likely melt when it hits the pavement. There is also the excellent chance you will have spectacular weather. Last, with most vacationers not swarming the state until July and August you shouldn't have any problem finding rooms along the way.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JStrube View Post
    Dumb question, what is a Butler map?
    http://www.butlermaps.com/

  6. #6
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    I think the Butler maps, along with Steve Farson's Complete Guide to Motorcycling Colorado will give you all the advance information you could possibly hope for. Steve's book is tremendous, especially linked to videos on the web. I find the Butler maps much more readable than Mad Maps and they are very durable. Too big for a map pocket on a tank bag, but great for planning out a trip to Colorado ... which we're doing too~
    Dan

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    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    If you like rallies, you can't beat this one. The BMW RA is having their 40th anniversay rally in Copper Mountain, about 70 miles west of Denver. It's smack-dab in the middle of June. Here's a link to the RA webpage:
    http://www.bmwra.org/d/node/19
    Karen Jacobs
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    2012 R 1200 RT
    MOA-133005, RA32109, IBA #37923

  8. #8
    Registered User Firenailer's Avatar
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    Thanks for that link Karen! We are going to pass just west of that on day 3, so it might be worth adjusting our timetable to get there a day earlier to check out the rally while it is in full swing.

    My ex wife had family out there so I'm kind of used to the bizarre weather patterns, I just wasn't sure what to expect up in the higher elevations. ( or if the roads would even be reopened by mid june). I'm thinking layers will be the way to go, as normal temperatures seem to range from low 40's to high 70's at that time of year.

    I'm looking forward to it, I haven't been out there in a few years and it's a beautiful part of the country. Should make for some great riding!
    Ride Safe,
    Bob
    '12 R1200RT

  9. #9
    Raspberry waffles Bob!!! kewlmoose's Avatar
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    Ya beat me to posting about the RA rally Karen!
    82 R65LS - gone but not forgotten
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    "Oh good, my dog found the chainsaw"
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    I too am planning a trip to colorado and had the same question about the weather in mid to late june.I have read the rider's guides by Steve Farson and Mario Caruso. based on what I read and by looking at different maps I am considering using Gunnison as a base. any input or suggestions is much appreciated

  11. #11
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    buck... Gunnison is a great base camp for rides in every direction, but you will have more choices if you're astride a GS. What will you be riding?

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    steve,

    I do ride a GS and plan on riding some dirt roads that you wrote about.

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    Excellent!

    There are plenty of Gunnison lodging choices, and numerous decent dining options. For day long journeys...

    - Consider CO 135 north towards Crested Butte, turning east up the Taylor River Canyon, bearing right/south for the semi-ghost of Tincup, then ascending Cumberland Pass to Pitkin. From Pitkin you have choices... the Parlin Pitkin Road (paved), or Waunita and Black Sage Passes. Both will take you south to U.S. 50. If you have time, scoot over to nearby Marshall Pass.

    - Ride west on U.S. 50 to the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison (CO 92) to Hotchkiss, then CO 133 north over McClure Pass to Carbondale, then CO 82 east through Aspen over Independence Pass to U.S. 24. Return towards Gunnison over Cottonwood Pass. A big circle.

    - Ride west on U.S. 50 connecting with CO 149 towards Lake City at Blue Mesa Res, all the way to South Fork, return via CO 114. If your tires want to taste some dirt, consider exploring the Alpine Loop or Los Pinos Pass.

    - Ride west on U.S. 50 all the way to Montrose. Ride south to Ridgway, then Ouray, then experience the Million Dollar Highway. An optional return is via Owl Creek Pass from Ridgway to U.S. 50.

    There's much more. For some side exploration, north of Gunnison check out Ohio Creek Road and Ohio Pass, to the Kebler Pass Road.

    All the preceding are chapters in the book. You will have a blast. For previews, check out the book's video hosting site at http://rmridervideo.com

    A pic of the Los Pinos Pass Road (Very lonely )...


  14. #14
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    Steve,

    Thank you for the reply,I will keep studying your book. Also thanks for the link to the videos.

  15. #15
    Just passin through wanderer's Avatar
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    Don't miss Garlic Mike's restaurant a few miles North of Gunnison on the road to Crested Butte. WONDERFUL spot for dinner.
    Live this day.

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