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Old 05-08-09, 10:01 PM   #1
CL39
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Trail Ridge Road

I am thinking of going to Colorado this July and would like to
ride up the Trail Ridge Road (plus other passes in CO).
I will stay in either Estes Park and
ride up from East side or stay in Granby and ride up West side.
Which side is better climbing (in terms of scenery, traffic, etc)
and which town has better options for some initial
altitude-training rides before the real ride up TRR?

And can you recommend some training ride routes from
either town?

Thank you.
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Old 05-08-09, 10:31 PM   #2
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You'll have more traffic on the east side early in the day...usually. I like to climb the west side and descend the east side but I'm not sure it matters.
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Old 05-08-09, 10:43 PM   #3
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I haven't really compared mileage, but it seems like the west side is longer and less interesting (based on driving over). Other things being equal, I'd go from the east.

To avoid traffic, get out at the crack of dawn. That'll also help avoid thunderstorms.

Estes Park is touristy, expensive, and crowded. You might try spending a night or two in the Loveland/ Fort Collins area, and either ride out Hwy 34 from Loveland through Big Thompson Canyon (road follows the river, mostly continuous uphill, but not terribly steep) or go up northwest from Fort Collins through the Cache de la Poudre canyon, think it's Hwy 14. I'm not familiar with them really, but evidently, Fort Collins has some pretty decent bike trails running north and south that you can get some riding in on as well. Check out the roads that go back by Horsetooth Reservoir and down to Carter Lake, fairly scenic there, too.
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Old 05-08-09, 10:55 PM   #4
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On the east side, Loveland area is good, Horsetooth Res, Carter Lake - make a loop of Rist Canyon (steep and car-free!) and Stove Prairie, or loop Stove Prairie over to Cache de la Poudre - which is actually not that awesome of a ride, a little too much traffic. Farther West, though, it's nicer. Off of Big Thompson Cyn, go northwest at Drake on Devils Gulch Road through Glen Haven and into Estes - much nicer than Hwy 34(=Big Thompson), Hwy 36 out of Estes carries too much traffic, but Hwy 7 over to Lyons is excellent. From Estes, you can take Hwy 7 to Hwy 72, the Peak to Peak highway - that's all good (makes a long ride if you do it from Estes.) There is a lot of good riding out of BOulder and Golden too, that incorporate the Peak to Peak. LEfthand Canyon, Golden Gate Canyon, Coal Creek Canyon - can all be strung together for loops of various lengths and lots of climbing.

Look up the "Golden Triangle" (edit It's COPPER triangle)- it's a supported ride, but the loop is very simple to self-support - start at Vail or Copper, go either direction, there are enough stores to get food and water.

Pretty much all the divide passes are good - basing out of Frisco or Dillon, you can ride Loveland Pass, Vail Pass, the Copper Triangle.

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Old 05-09-09, 06:33 AM   #5
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Winter Park to Estes Park??? Help!
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Old 05-09-09, 10:37 AM   #6
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to be clear the poudre canyon doesnt link up with trail ridge and making a route of the two requires some significant backtracking through stove prairie/buckhorn/masonville (unless theres a paved connection up there that i'm not aware of).

vallygirl just cited like all of my regular rides
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Old 05-09-09, 10:38 AM   #7
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whats the golden triangle though? are you talking about the copper triangle?
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Old 05-09-09, 03:49 PM   #8
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whats the golden triangle though? are you talking about the copper triangle?
Oops, yes, Copper Triangle - was just talking to someone last night about Golden Triangle - which is a ride in Canada!
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Old 05-10-09, 08:51 AM   #9
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There is of the Grand Loop.
Golden/Lyons/Estes Pk/Trail Ridge Rd/Grandby/Berthoud Pass/Idaho Spgs/Golden
~200miles 15K' vertical.
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Old 05-10-09, 12:27 PM   #10
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I find Highway 14 in Poudre Canyon to be really dangerous from a traffic perspective. No shoulder, lots of campers and crazy drivers.
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Old 05-16-09, 08:36 AM   #11
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The TV this morning said there is 15 to 22 feet of snow on portions of Trail Ridge. They hope to have it plowed by Memorial Day weekend.
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Old 05-16-09, 09:09 AM   #12
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Also:

http://www.fortcollinsnow.com/articl...ntProfile=1054
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Old 05-16-09, 05:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
The TV this morning said there is 15 to 22 feet of snow on portions of Trail Ridge. They hope to have it plowed by Memorial Day weekend.
And the relevance of that much snow to cycling is the melting and freezing across the roadway. Esp. if you're up there early a.m. be extremely cautious.
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