Vacationing in Colorado - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
Western Riders Covering - Colorado - Montana - Utah - Wyoming

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post #1 of 9 Old 08-14-2007, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Vacationing in Colorado

A friend and I are taking our KLR's to Colorado for 10 days and would appreciate some suggestions on where to ride.

We are starting out by visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park and will be camping in Grand Lake. Are there any places to ride in this area?

We plan on visiting Silverton. I have been there once before and know that there are many trails in this area.

Where else would you recommend? We are not adverse to driving a few hours to get to a good area. I notice that the Cripple Creek area might possibly be a good stop.

Thanks in advance for the recommendations
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-14-2007, 10:28 AM
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Location: Richmond, Ky
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You might check this link for National Geographic Hiking and Trail Topo maps:

There are seven pages, just find the map number in relation to the area you will be. Then you can order that number or others if needed.

If there is a map of the area you are going, they will show all park service roads and gates and all back roads, along with GPS coordinates and elevation and terrain. They are worth their price. I have two ordered for the Great Smokey Mountains area and tellico area.

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-14-2007, 09:38 PM
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I'm in Montrose on vacation. It's a good central area for touring. I think you should go to Silverton. It's a great stop and hwy 550 from Ouray to Durango is known as the million dollar hwy. (due to the road being built from mine tailings)
The scenery is spectacular. Also consider hwy 141 from Grand Junction towards Telluride. It's a 150 mi. ride through "Gateway Canyon" Good road, but little travelled. Take any forest service road up into the canyon, you can't go wrong.
This area is wonderful for the KLR, but not too touristy. I come here every year.
If you see a gravel road, take it. I love Ouray, Ridgway, Silverton. Montrose is a good home base, big enough to have a Super WalMart, small enough to be out of town in 5 min. For a easy ride try Owl Creek Pass. It's a 42 mi. gravel road from the Black Canyon area to Ridgway. It's where they filmed "True Grit" and beautiful. You'll probably find cows on the road. Ask any local for directions. Don't miss this area. I'd skip Cortez and Durango unless you want to take the train. Crested Butte is a cool town with more trails available. Sometimes I try trails I give up on because they are too knarly (for me), but the challenge is wonderful. I keep coming back here. Friendly people, not too discovered. Don't tell anyone.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-23-2008, 09:29 PM
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I am heading to Montrose in 10 days. Thanks for all the suggestions.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-24-2008, 09:01 AM
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more on Montrose

Montrose has lots of motels if that's what you want. The Black Canyon looks nice and is convienient. If you are RV'ing, I'd recommend Montrose RV Resort (I think that's the name) On Cedar st. I stay there every year. Nice people, very clean, safe and quiet.
If you are adventuresome (fearless) Take Imogene Pass road from Ouray to Telluride. I confess I've turned around many times when the pucker factor got too high for me, but I always go back. At least take a jeep tour from Ouray. The pass is at 13,114' but it's quite the road all the way. Another one to look at (less death defying) is Ophir Pass. It runs from just north of Silverton on 550 towards Telluride. Ophir (ghost town now) was know for Tesla wiring it for AC current before Edison. I guess he almost burned the town down. Edison believed AC was too dangerous and he proposed DC (for a while).
For a peaceful ride go to the north rim of the Black Canyon, 75mi. Take 50 e. to Blue Mesa Reservoir, 92 n. Follow the signs before the little town of Crawford.
Later in Crawford, take a drive in the area north of the big rock jutting up out of the ground (you'll see it) and drive by Joe Cocker's house. He's done well, but picked a great spot to live. "Mad Dog Ranch"
If you go to Silverton, stop at the saloon and have a burger, the best around, and say hello to the girl playing the piano. She's a great young lady. Later continue through town, the road becomes gravel then 7 miles later joins the Alpine Loop road with some of the best trails/jeep roads anywhere.
Also you need to do Gateway Canyon. 150mi through what must be one of the most beautiful canyons anywhere. Hwy. 141. Great road, little traveled.
Take a camera everywhere. Oh, yes, Owl Creek Pass too, don't miss the drive. Anyone can give you directions, once you find the road, just keep going. When you come out near Rigway, stop at the "True Grit Cafe" for a bite, great food, nice atmosphere. I like towns that still have wooden sidewalks.
I'd recommend picking up the Colorado Gazeteer, the map book with extreme detail. They're about $20 but will show all the trails.

Let me know how you liked the trip.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-24-2008, 08:38 PM
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Will do.

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post #7 of 9 Old 07-24-2008, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Myself and 2 other riders will be in Silverton 7/31 thru 8/8 will will be riding based out of Silverton and towards the end of week will take off and do a 3-4 loop with some camping off the back of the bikes. We had a ball last year and are looking foward to this trip. We will be camping at Red Mt RV park more than likely. We have a 31 foot Flagstaff, if your in the area drop by. The riding is great. here's some pictures from last year. If you have any ?'s feel free to call. I will PM you my Number
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-24-2008, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-25-2008, 12:02 PM
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Thanks John.

My plan is to be in Montrose Aug 3 thru 8. I have Jeeped the area in the past and look forward to doing some of the gravel roads and trails on the KLR.

The Alpine Loop is on my list.
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