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Thread: Ride advice for REGIONAL MOUTAIN area

  1. #1
    Registered User ROBERTSI's Avatar
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    Ride advice for REGIONAL MOUTAIN area

    I am planning a trip in your area in summer 2014. Will be riding from Ontario, Canada. Will be going through Michigan,Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah , Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, then back north into Ontario. While on this LOOP, I was looking for input as to the most scenic routes I could be riding on and places of interest, going through these states. I prefer riding paved secondary routes. Please list routes and state and other info. Will be greatly appreciated in helping me plan this trip.
    Thanks and happy trails ....Rob.

  2. #2
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    Need to put NE route 2 on your plan to see the Sandhills region. Unique and recent geological feature. Also helps to defeat the ludicrous misconception that Nebraska is flat put forth by the scurrilous Interstate hooligans speeding toward the ski resorts.

    If you're coming through WY, take a look at NE 71 for Scottsbluff and Chimney Rock.

    Stop in Broken Bow for a rest if you've the time.

  3. #3
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Rob:

    There are numerous threads on this. Suggest you do an advanced search restricted to Road Reports, using search terms: "Bighorn Mountains", "Beartooth", "Absaroke", "Kiowa", "Glacier Park", "Lolo Pass", and "Kootenays", for starters.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Take a look at the Fort Collins area. Given a choice of one or the other of US 34 or CO 14 - take CO14 through the Cache Le Pudre valley.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  5. #5
    Registered User ROBERTSI's Avatar
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    Suggestions always welcome

    All input from all of you is greatly appreciated. I am looking at maps to see where those areas and routes are located. I am having lots of fun researching all this info. Still looking for any input that is out there.
    Thanks , and happy trails....rob.

  6. #6
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    I may be able to pull up some threads for you on the weekend.

    From the Rapid City area West, there are some pretty nice routes. For Colorado, your guide can be Steve Farson's excellent book:

    http://www.amazon.ca/The-Complete-Gu.../dp/1884313922
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  7. #7
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    Too Big A Bite

    before giving road advice, some questions need addressing:
    how much time are you talking? all summer long? 2 weeks?
    have you already established a rough route, and are looking for some fill-in assistance? (that 's what I did this past summer, and it worked very well for localized routing). or, are you just thinking you want to hit the states mentioned, and let us create an entire route for you (much harder to plan).

    Farson's book is excellent for CO. (The photo on page 17 is da best.)

    I think you'll do best if you give us more particulars that you already have in mind, and let us give you some "inside" thoughts about minor adjustments. we all have our faves, but that doesn't make them best for you, and they may not match in at all to your overall plans.
    for example, it would be easy to spend 2-4 weeks in CO alone, rarely retracing a road, and still not catch all the best stuff, while racking up thousands of miles. or that suggestion about traveling 2 in NE thru the Sandhill region is a great choice for NE. And if that road takes you where you want to go, it's a great option. But compared to most of what exists west of the Rockies' Front Range, it's pretty much "meh". Quality is relative, ya know?
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  8. #8
    Registered User kthflieger's Avatar
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    To follow up on Paul's post, from Ft. Collins, consider riding up to Estes Park (never mind all the tourist traps on main street), head up over trail ridge road and enjoy the most phenomenal view from the highest paved road in the U.S. From there fly past the Mummy Range into Grandby, on to Kremling and consider heading down to Breckenridge. Ride west to Glennwood Springs and take in the vapor caves, then south to Crested Butte. Leave Crested Butte to the black canyon of the Gunnison and from there to Ouray. The San Juan Mtns there are amazing. Ouray to Silverton to Durango then over to the Cliff dwellings. From there you can head to lake Powel and the grand canyon. I have done that area several times and you never run out of awesome scenery.
    "Wer reitet so spaet durch nacht und wind -es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind" -- Goethe
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  9. #9
    Registered User ROBERTSI's Avatar
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    more details

    We have 2 weeks for the trip. Just my wife and I and she rides as a passenger. We do not want to make an ironbutt ride out of this. We were planning to get to the Sturgis area in 3 days. From there maybe spend a day touring the black hills and rushmoreand then, the following day, going up through Granite Pass to Cody and take a day to go up the chief joseph hwy, up on the beartooth pass to red lodge and back to Cody. Then we were thinking of going through yellowstone up to Jackson ..then taking #287 towards Colorado ( around Fort Collins)??then take a day and do a loop ( Cache Pudre, down 125 and 34 back to Fort collins) then heading south maybe on hwy 7,72,119. then maybe taking 67 towards pike peak? From there, we would plan to go north towards Scotts Bluffs and go north and take route 2 going east from Alliance to Grand Island NE. And from there, 3 or 4 days should take us home back to Ontario. From the time we get to the Sturgis area, it leaves us 7 days to travel through the places mentioned up to Grand Island Ne. Are we taking too big of a bite?? I am not sure what the traffic would be like from late june to mid july on most of these roads. If traffic is heavy, we might not be able to ride at descent speeds. For example, is the loop from Cody,joseph, Beartooth, Red lodge and back to Cody easily done in 1 day? Just like the Fort collins,pudre, trail ridge loop back to Fort Collins. Is that a day trip too?? It looks to me that looking at the mileage, it seems reasonable but then , what about the traffic?
    The routes mentionned are just a rough plan. The trip is based more on scenery and some landmarks (and we cannot miss hot springs) than anything else as we have never been west. Also, how warm shall we dress? We are planning on staying at motels throughout the trip.
    Hope this gives you a bit more details. We try hard to avoid large centrers and try to find lodging in small towns if we can.
    Again, all info. is much appreciared and suggestions too!
    Happy trails rob.

  10. #10
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    A few thoughts:
    yes, a bit too much of a bite. Cut that pie in half. Go fully north, and enjoy the Glacier/Y'Stone/Chief Joseph area (yeah, you can do that Cody to Cody loop in an easy day). Or, come down and enjoy CO (Ft Collins over 14, hit 125 (a sweet little gem) and back over Trail Ridge and down 34 (or 7/36 or some other configuration) is a clean day.. but you could easily spend a day or 3 just hanging out in RMNP. US34 over Trail Ridge is the only place you're going to catch heavy traffic.. or if you do Y'Stone (worth several days on its own) and Glacier you can expect mucho traffic in the Parks. Rest of roads.. not so much, other than on weekends, maybe. (for example, we went over the Chief Joseph in early August this past year, met maybe 15 cars/trucks in that 70 miles or so.)
    I'd strongly recommend scaling back the overall distances, and plan on doing northerly or southerly, but not both. Go deeper, not broader, ya know? (you could easily spend all 2 weeks in CO, and still not get to all the best roads).

    If you decide to do the RMNP area in CO, send a pm when you know you'll be around, I'd be happy to show you a few local gems.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  11. #11
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    if you do Beartooth, run it from Red Lodge up, and then back via Chief Joseph, rather than the other way around. Better riding that way, imo.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  12. #12
    Registered User ROBERTSI's Avatar
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    too big of a bite

    I will be taking out those maps and take another look to see where i am going to shave pieces off of that pie. There sure is a lot of country out there.
    Should my wife pack her electric vest for the higher altitudes? Are motels fairly common in the areas in question or is it mostly camping?
    THANKS rob.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERTSI View Post
    I will be taking out those maps and take another look to see where i am going to shave pieces off of that pie. There sure is a lot of country out there.
    Should my wife pack her electric vest for the higher altitudes? Are motels fairly common in the areas in question or is it mostly camping?
    THANKS rob.
    A jacket with good venting and a removable liner should be sufficient for early July. However, elec vests are sweet for those rare situations, and don't take up much space. A definite maybe. A strong maybe if you're planning on doing a more northern loop.

    Motels exist in most any town or city you'd expect them to. If you know specific wheres and whens, it doesn't hurt to book. or at least look, in advance. every once in a while a rodeo or horse show or some such will take over a town's lodging for a weekend, making finding sleeping quarters a bit dicey.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  14. #14
    Registered User ROBERTSI's Avatar
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    Taking a smaller bite

    Thanks a lot for the input. I am looking at cutting it down a bit. I'll keep you posted as I fine tune it.
    But I think you guys are directing me on the right path. It sure helps a lot when I look at maps after reading the input from the forum. It worked great the last couple years also when I was planning my trips up in northern Quebec.
    Thanks, and ttyl rob.

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