My friend and I just credit-carded the "grand loop" - well, almost - this weekend.
Friday - Boulder / Ned / Central City / Virginia Canyon / Idaho Springs.
Saturday - Idaho Springs / Berthoud Pass / Grand Lake
Sunday - Grand Lake - Trail Ridge Road / bailed due to weather - we hitched down from just above Rainbow Curve, it was hailing sideways // got a car ride back to boulder b/c we didn't feel like riding in the rain. We were planning to go either to Estes Park or all the way home via 36, but we were soaked & frozen & there was a huge amount of tourists in E.P., so 36 seemed a dangerous choice in the wet. Other than that it would have been a long hard day, but do-able.
Lot of climbing, good roads.
Season for touring seems to be just about over, though, for the really great parts of CO. Can't wait to see other suggestions here.
A beautiful ride, though a tad far for a weekend jaunt from Boulder, is the Durango-Ridgway-Dolores-Durango loop. It's about 220 miles with 20,000' of climbing if I remember correctly. It take ones through some of my favorite high country riding in Colorado. One can make the ride in 2 or 3 days. Some hard core folks do it in 1 day. The route is easy to self-support with Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Ridgway, Dolores and Mancos offering places to purchase food and beverages.
To piggy back on valygrl's suggestions. One can continue west from Idaho Springs over Loveland Pass to the Frisco/Dillon area. Overnight there and then ride up Rt 9 and US40 to Granby. Then take Trail Ridge as valygrl suggested.
One can make a 2 or 3 day loop using Granby (or Hot Sulphur Springs), Walden, Steamboat Springs and Kremmling as 'corners' of the loop. I'd recommend using Rt 134/131 vs. US40 as the way between Steamboat and Kremmling. Rt 134/131 is very nice and has low traffic whereas US40 is heavily traveled by car and truck. Using Rt 131/134 takes one through the very small town of Toponas (one convenience store) and Yampa (slightly larger than Toponas).
Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Originally Posted by Magnolia_Fan
I'm thinking of doing the copper triangle, not too long of a trip and some good mountains. I toured from Estes Park to Grand Lake earlier this summer up over trail ridge, the new pavement is great!
Leadville to Aspen over Independence Pass. Aspen to Glenwood then Eagle. Eagle to Leadville via Tennesse Pass. If you went by mountain bike and wanted something shorter, you could come back to Leadville via Hagerman Pass out of Basalt. Nice rail bed except for the last 10 miles or so.
I'm looking as well to do a one day in the flavor of "Copper Tri" or "Lead - Aspen." So which (or where else) is popping the best Fall scenery at the moment? Anyone ride them in the last week or so? Do I smell a BF group ride brewing??
How's that descent on the dirt? Better to climb it?
I've only driven over it, but there were a bunch of riders from an Adventure Cycling Tour that seemed to be going both ways. As I remember, the route down has some bumps, etc., and might be better for an ascent - but it would be manageable. Heck, just go the opposite way if one wants to descend on the pavement.
I think Cottonwood pass (12,126 ft) closes down pretty quickly as the snow starts flying.