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Old 07-18-08, 09:58 PM   #1
JC 911
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Estes Park Riding?

Headed up to Estes Park, CO in a few weeks. I will be there for the week. Is there some good riding around there? Is it worth bringing my bike (packed in a bike case on a plane)?
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Old 07-18-08, 10:12 PM   #2
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I got started hiking when we lived in Loveland and Fort Collins. Hiking uphill was the best exercise I ever found, and now that I'm back in Dallas, biking is the next best thing.

That being the case, if you're just visiting there and in good shape, I'd skip the bicycle and go hike up a few mountains. Read up on the mountains, hit the trail heads early early in the morning to miss the crowds and thunderstorms, take a camera and lunch, and see what you see.

As for riding around there, it would be scenic enough, but I can't really say the best spots. Trail Ridge Road would be a major workout, great scenery, but it's fairly narrow, so not the ideal riding. Hwy 36 going up from Boulder is fairly scenic. Hwy 34 going west out of Loveland goes through a deep canyon and is fairly scenic (canyon opens up towards Estes Park). Hwy 7 going south is fairly narrow and not the best riding. Beware that if you start at Estes Park and go east, it's downhill all the way, then uphill all the way back. There aren't any mountain bike trails in Rocky Mountain National Park proper, but you can find some mountain bike trails in the national forests around the area.
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Old 07-19-08, 07:49 AM   #3
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Estes Park riding is the hard to beat

Hi. I'm a Colorado guy and i just spent a week near estes. Highway 7 south out of Estes Park is a great ride. It is narrow for a bit on the short climb up and out of Estes but the road widens near the tiny town of Meeker and has a huge shoulder and plenty of space. It's an excellent route. Check out mapmyride.com and search Estes Park and you'll really get a glimpse of the roads and elevation there. The ride to Ward is a Colorado standard. Incredible views and scenery.
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Old 07-19-08, 08:01 AM   #4
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Bring your bike and ride from estes park to ward, co! Take the highest(elevation) highway, peak to peak highway, all the way there. It is definitely worth bringing your bike. Map my ride has alot of rides incorporating estes park in there
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Old 07-20-08, 10:26 PM   #5
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Is there some good riding?

That's a pretty silly question!
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Old 07-21-08, 01:35 PM   #6
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outside of summit county i cant really think of a better concentration of awesome road riding anywhere in colorado.

34 from loveland to estes is a beautiful, well groomed road with a great shoulder (and a lot of traffic) that carves up the side of the big thompson canyon. its an easy road climb, i do it at least twice a month.

from Drake to Estes theres an alternate route up Devils Gulch thats a little quieter and more remote than 34, but just as gorgeous, its not much ahrder, until you get to the top, and tehre you'll face 12-15 percent grades for a couple of miles before you summit and find youself with an amazing, breathtaking view of estes valley and longs peak. then theres another 4 miles of easy cruise down into estes, or you can turn around and have most of the road to yourself for an amazing twisting descent down devils gulch.

Estes marks the north end of the Peak To Peak Scenic Byway, which takes CO 7 South out of town, for a spectacular 60 mile rollercoaster that ends in blackhawk, after 8000 feet of climbing and divebombing.

Peak to peak also takes you to the top of lefthand canyon, which is a favorite of boulder roadies.

or you can take 36 out of town to lyons, and that puts you out on the front range for some nice easy rolling miles.

inside of rocky mountain natl park, which borders estes to the west, theres bear lake road, which is a nice, relatively steep but relatively short climb to the gorgeous bear lake. its a really grat road, and very scenic, but also crowded.

and of course, theres trail ridge road. which is on the short list of great epic colorado climbs, summiting at over 12000 feet, making it the highest continuous paved mountain pass in the US. you an also ride down into grand lake village from trail ridge, and if youre up for a longer day, you can get all the way to winter park, or berthoud pass, or steamboat or summit county.

trail ridge isnt easy, but on the other hand it is a tourist road, so it takes a gradual, serpentine road up to the pass, rather than old fall river roads more direct route. as such, it nver gets much steeper than 5%, but it is sustained. very doable though. just watch the traffic as its really busy this time of year.

i spend a lot of time in estes in the summer (got married there last spring) so i can probably answer most roadie questions you might have about the area.

Last edited by badhat; 07-21-08 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:59 PM   #7
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from Drake to Estes theres an alternate route up Devils Gulch thats a little quieter and more remote than 34, but just as gorgeous, its not much ahrder, until you get to the top, and tehre you'll face 12-15 percent grades for a couple of miles before you summit and find youself with an amazing, breathtaking view of estes valley and longs peak. then theres another 4 miles of easy cruise down into estes, or you
that does feel like a couple of miles, but the steep part is less than a mile. people rave about the cinamon rolls at Glen Haven, but dont eat a whole one by yourself before doing the climb.
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Old 07-22-08, 10:15 PM   #8
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that does feel like a couple of miles, but the steep part is less than a mile. people rave about the cinamon rolls at Glen Haven, but dont eat a whole one by yourself before doing the climb.
I've ridden that road at least 5 times... 4 times just for the cinnamon rolls.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:30 AM   #9
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i usually ride UP 34 to estes, and then dry gulch over to Devils Gulch and take devils gulch home. Its not that i am afraid of the switchbacks (though they are formidable) but that i like stopping in estes for a snack before heading down, and i much prefer descending devils gulch to descending 34, and if i did devils gulch up and down i'd have to ride dry gulch twice. and that adds sort of a boring 20 minues to the ride.
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Old 07-27-08, 04:57 PM   #10
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piggybacking onto this post... is there any place that i can rent a touring or cyclocross bike around estes park? my mother is getting married up that way, but since the plane ticket has already been booked, i can't really bring my bike. i want to try a touring bike for an extended ride anyway, as that will most likely be my next major purchase.
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Old 07-29-08, 06:17 PM   #11
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+1 on Devil's Gulch, I ride that road both ways, From Estes to Drake then turn around and back to Estes.

Another nice day ride is to the top of Trail Ridge Road. There is also a nice ride from Estes into the park and up to the end of the road at Bear Lake. The road goes across a huge morain, then climbs steadily up to the lake, which is beautiful, even with tons of tourists.

Have fun, you'll be glad you took the bike.
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Old 08-16-12, 09:14 AM   #12
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Hi, heading to Longmont next Thurs & Fri - renting bike from Boulder and riding from there each day - Estes Park on Thursday (return one and get a different one Friday). I like all the options you have to ride up Estes Park/Rocky Mtn and I will end in Longmont. With only 2 days to ride, what would you suggest and also see beautiful sites? Being first time I'd like to stay away from traffic as best I could. Not too afraid of climbs and obviously can't get away from them. A suggestion was Hwy7/S. St. Vrain/Estes Park, again from Boulder. Thanks
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