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Old 09-13-05, 07:58 PM   #1
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Colorado Peeps!

I have a question for you. Does anyone know of a good ride fairly close to the Denver metro area for viewing the fall colors? Preferably a trail that's more about great scenery than the technical challenge? Thanks...
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Old 09-13-05, 10:27 PM   #2
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Good question. I'll be waiting for an answer.

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Old 09-13-05, 10:55 PM   #3
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The bike path between Frisco and Breckenridge. Start either end, have lunch, then ride back. Lots of color early (mid-September), worth the drive. If you have mountain bikes go to Rampart Range Res. near Woodland Park (Colo Sprgs), family friendly single track, except for a few rough spots.
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Old 09-14-05, 05:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMPC
I have a question for you. Does anyone know of a good ride fairly close to the Denver metro area for viewing the fall colors? Preferably a trail that's more about great scenery than the technical challenge? Thanks...
Elm Meadow Trail, Bergen Park, near Evergreen (http://www.trailcentral.com/trail/tr....php?trail=103 ) some technical challenge (moderated by loop selection) with great scenery

Waterton Canyon, at the south end of Wadsworth- 6.2 miles one way, no technical challenge, very popular these days (it's getting busy), but great scenery, along water on an old railroad grade converted to gravel. Only cars are Denver Water service vehicles. Can access singletrack at the 6.2 mile point and continue along the first part of the Colorado Trail.

Anything in Pike National Forest- lots of forest service roads offering terrific scenery, little traffic. I like a lot of the stuff around Buffalo Creek ( http://www.imba.com/epics/buffalo_creek.html )

That help?

Steve
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Old 09-14-05, 07:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input, guys. I like the Rampart Range Res. and Buffalo Creek ideas. I'll have to check those out. I'll be going with my g/f who's not a very strong rider, so the easier/more scenic the trail, the better - Elk Meadow may be out.

Anyone ridden in the Pine Valley Ranch open space park? What's the trail like?

Any other ideas?

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Old 09-14-05, 08:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input, guys. I like the Rampart Range Res. and Buffalo Creek ideas. I'll have to check those out. I'll be going with my g/f who's not a very strong rider, so the easier/more scenic the trail, the better - Elk Meadow may be out.

Anyone ridden in the Pine Valley Ranch open space park? What's the trail like?

Any other ideas?

West of Boulder: several places to go... 1 of my fav's is the Switzerland Trail. It's an old railroad bed... so it's a pretty mellow climb. I would start at the town of Sunset (if you can call it a town), and ride UP. Take Canyon Blvd through Boulder, go into the Mountains, thru Boulder Canyon, then take Four Mile Canyon Road all the way to Sunset. ( you will have to stay to the Left at the Fork )

...OR.... Go up to Sugar Loaf Mountain... park and ride to the West towards Peak to Peak hwy. Can't remember the trail's name, but it is there... and it is super flat.
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Old 09-14-05, 09:19 AM   #7
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hey thanks - this is a good post. i'd say glenwood canyon or roaring fork river but that's 150 miles away
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Old 09-14-05, 09:33 PM   #8
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I was in Leadville on Tuesday and noticed they had the Mineral Belt Trail. The trees are starting to change color up there and the trail looks like it's made more for families rather than racers. Of course the elevation in Leadville is something like 10,200 feet and that alone could make the trail a little challenging.
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Old 09-15-05, 08:43 AM   #9
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Here is a link to a trail map for Rampart Range Reservoir Trail. This trail is a kick, and good for someone without a lot of experience, but still fun for the thrill seeker. Fabulous views of the mountains, and fall color.

http://www.teamtelecycle.com/maps/rampart.html
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Old 09-15-05, 08:44 AM   #10
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Where's Lord Opie?!
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Old 09-15-05, 08:55 AM   #11
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This is great guys - I'm really leaning toward the Rampart Range Res. idea - just too bad it's so far from Denver. But I'm still eager to hear more ideas...


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Where's Lord Opie?!
I was wondering that myself; haven't talked to him in months! (Of course I haven't been around here in that same amount of time, so... )
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Old 09-15-05, 09:59 AM   #12
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Where's Lord Opie?!
Awww, thanks for thinking of me

I've been really busy at work. In fact, if someone had told me to log-in, I wouldn't have seen this thread.


As for fall colors, the only trip I've taken so far to enjoy 'em was down to Ouray... my god, too beautiful. Not a great deal of riding there, tho with mt.bikes, you can ride up the jeep roads through some amazing colors.
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Old 09-15-05, 01:31 PM   #13
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Awww, thanks for thinking of me

I've been really busy at work. In fact, if someone had told me to log-in, I wouldn't have seen this thread.


As for fall colors, the only trip I've taken so far to enjoy 'em was down to Ouray... my god, too beautiful. Not a great deal of riding there, tho with mt.bikes, you can ride up the jeep roads through some amazing colors.
LordOpie is that you? I thought your were dead. I'm so gald you're not. We've all got to get together and ride that Sedalia ride again. Glad your back.

Steve
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Old 09-15-05, 04:04 PM   #14
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Yea, we all have to get together and having a end of the season ride!!!! Even though its not end of the season but it sounds good!!!
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Old 09-15-05, 10:12 PM   #15
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It's getting cold! I've had to wear arm and knee warmers three days this week. :-( I'm a wimp.

I'd suggest waterton canyon personally since it's close to you and about as easy as they come. I went up it two weekends ago and there was a herd (?) of bighorn sheep by the dam at the end of the 6.2 gravel road. Just kinda cool.
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Old 09-16-05, 12:50 AM   #16
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Yeah, Waterton is nice (my g/f and I actually ride it together every now and then). Hadn't really thought of it for fall color though; I'll have to see how it looks in another few weeks.

LordOpie and snowy - good to see you guys are still around. I like snowy's idea of a late season ride...
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Old 09-16-05, 09:09 AM   #17
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I'm always around BABY!!! No I have been busy, a friend of my just completed a 24-hour mtb race in Winter Park this last weekend, let me tell you these guys are TOUGH.
It has really, really inspired me to start RACING!!! So I am in training now.

Would love to get the GROUP TOGETHER soon, everybody check your calendars K.

Hey SirScott, I would be wearing the leg/arm warmers myself BRRRR!!!
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Old 09-16-05, 10:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMPC
Yeah, Waterton is nice (my g/f and I actually ride it together every now and then). Hadn't really thought of it for fall color though; I'll have to see how it looks in another few weeks.
Waterton's a bust for fall colors! Try the Switzerland Trail above Boulder. West side of Rollin's Pass is real nice. Boreas Pass in Breckenridge is very good. Mashall Pass near Salida is excellent but far. The ride up the old Colorado South Park and Pacific near Princeton Hot Springs is good too but again a bit far away. I'd start that one near St Elmo and go all the way to the Alpine Tunnel. It's a little early but Gold Camp Road above Manitou Springs is also excellent. Also the aforementioned Mineral Belt trail would be good.

All of these are old railbeds so they are gentle grade and don't require much in mountain bike skills but they do require a mountain bike.

For road bike: the lower Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National is good. Frisco area of course. Golden Gate Canyon (the park ride wouldn't be too hard. I'd drive there to start.) Peak to Peak Highway but that can be a bit of an expedition for someone who is looking for an easy ride. Deckers to Woodland Park used to be good but that was before the fires. The aspen haven't come back yet but it should be spectacular when they do. The Frazer Valley trail in Winter Park or around Grandby.


Note: I was up in Alma yesterday at around 10000 feet and the colors were just starting. It's a little early yet.
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Old 09-16-05, 11:18 AM   #19
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Wow - thanks for the plethora of ideas, cyccommute! Reading through your list of places, I recognized Boreas Pass, I bet that would be a great spot! Not too much traffic, gravel road, gentle grades (for the most part).

Here's a photo I found on-line of Boreas - BEAUTIFUL:


I used to do quite a bit of 4x4 off-roading in my other, less active, life and know a few of the places you mentioned. I guess I didn't consider many of them to be good for mountain biking, but I may have to take another look...
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Old 09-16-05, 11:39 AM   #20
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Wow - thanks for the plethora of ideas, cyccommute! Reading through your list of places, I recognized Boreas Pass, I bet that would be a great spot! Not too much traffic, gravel road, gentle grades (for the most part).


I used to do quite a bit of 4x4 off-roading in my other, less active, life and know a few of the places you mentioned. I guess I didn't consider many of them to be good for mountain biking, but I may have to take another look...
I think the picture you got is actually from the east (South Park) side. Although it's more remote, that side is a little prettier.
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Old 09-16-05, 11:52 AM   #21
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I will be in flying to Littleton tomorrow. If I can borrow a bike when I am out there my g/f and I usually cruise out on the Ken Carol(spelling) ranch.
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Old 09-16-05, 01:30 PM   #22
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Waterton's a bust for fall colors! .
For monochrome, aspen-yellow displays, yes. But there are some nice sumac and alder displays, and Waterton is always pretty, IMHO.
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Old 09-16-05, 02:09 PM   #23
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For monochrome, aspen-yellow displays, yes. But there are some nice sumac and alder displays, and Waterton is always pretty, IMHO.
The smaller plants and bushes don't have the same effect as the aspens but I'd agree on the nice variety. Personally, I prefer the colors found around beaver ponds this time of year, both out of the water and in it
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Old 09-19-05, 09:38 AM   #24
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Waterton's a bust for fall colors! Try the Switzerland Trail above Boulder. West side of Rollin's Pass is real nice. Boreas Pass in Breckenridge is very good. Mashall Pass near Salida is excellent but far. The ride up the old Colorado South Park and Pacific near Princeton Hot Springs is good too but again a bit far away. I'd start that one near St Elmo and go all the way to the Alpine Tunnel. It's a little early but Gold Camp Road above Manitou Springs is also excellent. Also the aforementioned Mineral Belt trail would be good.

All of these are old railbeds so they are gentle grade and don't require much in mountain bike skills but they do require a mountain bike.

Note: I was up in Alma yesterday at around 10000 feet and the colors were just starting. It's a little early yet.
One that I forgot, and I did it this weekend, is the old Argentine Central line above Silver Plume. It was spectacular. The Argentine Central goes from the end of the Georgetown Loop Railroad up Leavenworth Mountain all the way to Waldorf. For the first 3 or 4 miles you are on a non-motorized section that zigzags it's way up the mountain on the northfacing slope. Lots of aspens in a dense forest. After you top out at Panarama Point (an old chimney is all that left of a dance hall) you can continue on to Waldorf which is about 6 miles away. The road is an easy 4-wheel drive road but is steep enough to get up some great speed on the way down. If you are feeling fit you can continue up to the east (the road to the west is Argentine Pass) by the quansit hut all the way to McClellan Mountain which offers spectacular views of Gray's and Torrey's peaks. McClellan is very high, however (around 13500), so it's a tough ride.
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New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
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Old 09-26-05, 04:01 PM   #25
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