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-   -   Toughest Road Climbs in Colorado? (http://www.bikeforums.net/mountain-plains/767761-toughest-road-climbs-colorado.html)

Looper1477 11-09-11 10:48 PM

And besides ----on Evans you get to find out how your body responds at extreme altitudes in a strenuous physical situation. A luxury to get to go that far north of 12,000 on paved roads.

Looper1477 11-09-11 10:54 PM

You are right that the descent, whether back down to Estes Park or to Grand Lake makes it totally worth while, as long as you beat all the afternoon tourist traffic!!

A fun ride me and some friends did once was leave from Boulder and go up Left Hand Canyon to Route 7, then right to Estes Park and then finish at the top of TRR. I think it was 66 miles or so and about 9k of climbing.

Looper1477 11-09-11 10:55 PM

Definitely looks worth doing---and looks like more climbing in less mileage than Evans = steeper which = harder I presume!!

v.i.n.t.a.g.e 12-06-11 04:19 PM

Little known, tough climb beginning right in the middle of the NW Denver suburbs: Start in the Five Parks subdivision near the intersection of Highway 72 and Indiana Street in Arvada where there is a public parking lot in the commercial area. Head west on 86th Parkway which becomes Highway 72 after crossing Indiana St. Continue west/northwest 11 miles, entering Coal Creek Canyon, and then turn left on Gap/Twin Spruce Road. Take Gap/TS 8 miles to Panorama Point in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. The start is at 5600, the end is around 9500 and there are only a very few short 1/8 mile descents near the end of the 19 miles. There are sections approaching 18% on Gap Road. You get about 4000 feet of climbing. From here you can turn around and retrace your ride, or, to make a great loop, go 1/2 mile past Panorama Point to Mountain Base Road and turn left. Go about 1.5 miles on Mountain Base to Golden Gate Canyon and head east about 21 miles to Golden. When Golden Gate Canyon road ends at Highway 93, turn north on Highway 93 to 58th Avenue. Go east on 58th to Easley Road, north on Easley to 64th, east on 64th to Quaker, north on Quaker to Leyden Road, east on Leyden to Indiana, and north on Indiana to 86th Parkway to close the loop.

Do this ride early on a weekend morning or in the middle of the day during the week, to avoid traffic in Coal Creek Canyon.

Rangerover 01-08-12 12:53 PM

been thru wolf creek pass in a truck & plan on trying it lol its beautiful in the fall

RobertHurst 01-22-12 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by v.i.n.t.a.g.e (Post 13570996)
Little known, tough climb beginning right in the middle of the NW Denver suburbs: Start in the Five Parks subdivision near the intersection of Highway 72 and Indiana Street in Arvada where there is a public parking lot in the commercial area. Head west on 86th Parkway which becomes Highway 72 after crossing Indiana St. Continue west/northwest 11 miles, entering Coal Creek Canyon, and then turn left on Gap/Twin Spruce Road. Take Gap/TS 8 miles to Panorama Point in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. The start is at 5600, the end is around 9500 and there are only a very few short 1/8 mile descents near the end of the 19 miles. There are sections approaching 18% on Gap Road. You get about 4000 feet of climbing. From here you can turn around and retrace your ride, or, to make a great loop, go 1/2 mile past Panorama Point to Mountain Base Road and turn left. Go about 1.5 miles on Mountain Base to Golden Gate Canyon and head east about 21 miles to Golden. When Golden Gate Canyon road ends at Highway 93, turn north on Highway 93 to 58th Avenue. Go east on 58th to Easley Road, north on Easley to 64th, east on 64th to Quaker, north on Quaker to Leyden Road, east on Leyden to Indiana, and north on Indiana to 86th Parkway to close the loop.

Do this ride early on a weekend morning or in the middle of the day during the week, to avoid traffic in Coal Creek Canyon.

Thanks for reminding me of that Gap Rd./Twin Spruce. I once had a job up there on (?) Lytle Dowdle and I rode from Cap Hill one day. Brutal. That gets steep. But is it paved all the way? The job, btw, was digging out a septic tank.

RobertHurst 01-22-12 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gbiker (Post 13219599)
Toughest I've done so far:

Golden Gate Canyon
Cottonwood Pass from BV
Evans from Echo Lake

I'm hoping to do Grand Mesa's north side and maybe Trail Ridge Road soon. Slumgullion Pass out of Lake City looks pretty steep. I may also try Magnolia Road. Any others?

IMO other than maybe Pikes Peak and Evans the toughest road climb is Guanella Pass from Georgetown. Long, steep, few breaks, altitude.

craigcraigcraig 01-23-12 09:37 AM

Sunshine canyon out of boulder gets up to 23%.not as long as others though.

v.i.n.t.a.g.e 01-23-12 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertHurst (Post 13752104)
Thanks for reminding me of that Gap Rd./Twin Spruce. I once had a job up there on (?) Lytle Dowdle and I rode from Cap Hill one day. Brutal. That gets steep. But is it paved all the way? The job, btw, was digging out a septic tank.

They have paved Gap/Twin Spruce from Highway 72 all the way to the entrance to Golden Gate Canyon State Park. There is still a 2-3 mile stretch of dirt road to get to Mountain Base Road, but it is very well maintained. I see plenty of road riders up there these days and any road tire is fine. They spray Mag Chloride on it in the summer to keep the dust down and it gets to be as smooth as pavement. It is sloppy when wet though.

pablosnazzy 02-05-12 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eofelis (Post 13219665)
.....

I'd like to ride Douglas Pass sometime.

egad...i get tired and need to stop and rest driving up that road....

CritEastwood 03-02-12 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pablosnazzy (Post 13813607)
egad...i get tired and need to stop and rest driving up that road....

It's supposed to be done on a 2:1 ratio singlespeed MTB from Hay Canyon, looped back around on FOI from the top.

Then again, I wouldn't expect any neu-OTE people to know this.

grahny 04-21-12 06:16 PM

Squaw pass to Evans. "Tough" is relative to altitude and distance I think. A 32mi climb going over 14,000 ft, with a gain of 7,000+ ft, at an altitude where oxygen is at 50%, I would consider 'tough'.

Shimagnolo 04-21-12 07:59 PM

Mt Evans is ~60%.
You need to go to ~19000 to get down to 50%.
Calculator: http://www.altitude.org/air_pressure.php

grahny 04-21-12 10:12 PM

What if you have enough lung damage that they only work at 90%? :)

celticfrost 04-23-12 10:22 AM

Speaking of Mt. Evans: does anyone know if it's been repaved recently?

I thought that I read, overheard or dreamt about it being repaved. The spine rattling descent is the worst part about Evans, IMO and a fresh layer of tarmac would work wonders.

Shimagnolo 04-23-12 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by celticfrost (Post 14134246)
Speaking of Mt. Evans: does anyone know if it's been repaved recently?

I thought that I read, overheard or dreamt about it being repaved. The spine rattling descent is the worst part about Evans, IMO and a fresh layer of tarmac would work wonders.

Last I heard on road work was that last year they canceled planned repairs. Hopefully, they do them this year. I knew of a guy who came around a turn on the descent and hit a pothole that pinch-flatted both tires. I've seen holes in the pavement where you could look down into a void as big as a football.

Beware if you do it on a weekday, check with the Clear Creek ranger station to see if it is open. One one occasion I climbed from Idaho Springs to Echo Lake, only to find the road closed at Echo Lake.

denvertrout 05-10-12 08:20 PM

Last time i did Evans the downhill was horrible. Couple of years back though.

Shimagnolo 05-11-12 08:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denvertrout (Post 14208151)
Last time i did Evans the downhill was horrible. Couple of years back though.

What you need is a car waiting at the top with a full-suspension mtn bike to swap for the road bike you used for the climb.:thumb:

DataJunkie 05-16-12 02:51 PM

It was terrible last year as well.

denvertrout 05-17-12 07:02 AM

I will take you up on the offer of the mountain bike ride down :) The cracks in the road beat me up for sure.

Looper1477 05-21-12 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shimagnolo (Post 14134284)
Last I heard on road work was that last year they canceled planned repairs. Hopefully, they do them this year. I knew of a guy who came around a turn on the descent and hit a pothole that pinch-flatted both tires. I've seen holes in the pavement where you could look down into a void as big as a football.

Beware if you do it on a weekday, check with the Clear Creek ranger station to see if it is open. One one occasion I climbed from Idaho Springs to Echo Lake, only to find the road closed at Echo Lake.



I suppose, depending upon weather and willingness to encounter a ranger, closed is a relative term!!

2005trek1200 06-15-12 07:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigcraigcraig (Post 13755532)
Sunshine canyon out of boulder gets up to 23%.not as long as others though.

+1, What really kills on Sunshine are the sustained sections of ~14-15%, cant power up them like Flagstaff, have to spin, grind. or die

DataJunkie 06-20-12 09:22 PM

I missed the hill climb on Sunshine this year. However, the hill climb up Guanella pass was a wonderful replacement. Nowhere near as steep but the new road is wonderful.

squatchy 09-30-12 08:12 PM

I just rode Pikes peak today. I was really on tired legs from riding all out for 62 miles yesterday. I wasn't able to get to the top. I bonked. It was super cold and windy and I was really underdressed. That plus riding on dead legs made it to hard to get er done for me today. It's a pilot programe and today was the last day. Maybe they will allow bikes up there next year

Dalai 05-02-13 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Looper1477 (Post 14254290)
I suppose, depending upon weather and willingness to encounter a ranger, closed is a relative term!!

What are the ramifications if caught above the road closure on a bike? I've organised and already booked my flight for a three week riding holiday CA / CO and AZ , but only recently discovered the road is closed labor day weekend. I will be in CO mid September...


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