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Old 05-11-14, 03:30 PM   #1
martialman.45
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Yet another CO vacation thread

Off for the summer with my 8 year old and have intentions for a trip or two to Colorado. Still in the planning phase but here are some details so far. On a budget so can't afford to rent out a vacation condo/home for a month or more, was planning on buying an annual state park pass and camping much of the time, as well as an occasional hotel stay. Taking the tandem so much of the hills will be doable, even for an 8 year old. The main question is, what state parks have good/safe road riding access? Any other input or questions would be much appreciated.
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Old 05-11-14, 10:40 PM   #2
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Not sure of your definition of safe roads. I found motorists very well behaved when I rode in CO last year...

I used a mix of camping and cheaper hotels. Campsites I stayed at and found suitable were:

Aspen - just a short way towards Independence pass from town. Set amongst trees and next to the river.

Difficult Campground - White River National Forest - Difficult Campground

Grand Lake - Start of Trail Ridge Road is exposed with no shade as all the trees were removed due to Pine beetle infestation. So wouldn't be great if you are staying there when it is hot! Did have hot showers unlike Aspen!

Stillwater campground - STILLWATER (COLORADO), CO - Campground & Camping Details - ReserveAmerica - [NRSO]

Another option if heading through Leadville is the Leadville Hostel I had a Couples room (private room shared bathroom) for a couple of nights and found it reasonably priced and a nice place to stay... Good place to stay if considering riding the Copper Triangle. Also close to the back of Independence pass.

Climbs I hit during my Colorado portion of my trip are listed below and written up in my blog link in my signature if interested:

Grand Mesa (both sides).
Independence pass (both sides).
Copper Triangle.
Trail ridge rd (both sides).
Mt Evans.
Pikes Peak
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Old 05-11-14, 11:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Dalai, such a reply was what I was hoping for.
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Old 05-12-14, 12:29 AM   #4
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My pleasure. I was only in the State a week, so sorry I can't help more. Hopefully some locals swing through shortly and will provide more information.
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Old 05-12-14, 03:56 PM   #5
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Did you have any particular part of Colorado in mind? It's a big state. Lots of visitors like to stay near the Denver - Front Range Area or up on top of the mountains.

I live in the far western part of the state, close to Utah. There is a lot of wide open spaces over here and not as many people. I've ridden or driven many of the roads in the northwestern and southwestern part of the state. If you are thinking of coming to this part of the state I could suggest some good places to visit.

Does your child like dinosaurs? There are places around here to see dinosaur bones, tracks and quarries.
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Old 05-12-14, 05:28 PM   #6
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If you come through the Colorado Springs area there is camping at two nice State Parks. Cheyenne Mountain Park is just out of the city, south side, so good riding and routes accessible from the park. They also have nice hiking trails in the park.
To the west of Colorado Springs is Mueller State Park. Cycling here is mountain riding, so lots of hills and altitude. The park is near Cripple Creek and the gold mining district.
Lots to do (other than cycling) in the Colo Springs area that a kid would enjoy.
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Old 05-14-14, 09:55 PM   #7
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difficult campground is great one warning there have been bear problems at all aspen area campgrounds such that at certain times of the yr they ban tent camping if you plan to camp in aspen area you need to continue to check on bear situation

there are a number of NFS campgrounds on lake Dillon lots of riding in summit county

the city of Lakewood bear creek lake park has camping its a city park but as large as many state parks you have access to bear creek trail and c470 trail from the campground

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Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
Not sure of your definition of safe roads. I found motorists very well behaved when I rode in CO last year...

I used a mix of camping and cheaper hotels. Campsites I stayed at and found suitable were:

Aspen - just a short way towards Independence pass from town. Set amongst trees and next to the river.

Difficult Campground - White River National Forest - Difficult Campground

Grand Lake - Start of Trail Ridge Road is exposed with no shade as all the trees were removed due to Pine beetle infestation. So wouldn't be great if you are staying there when it is hot! Did have hot showers unlike Aspen!

Stillwater campground - STILLWATER (COLORADO), CO - Campground & Camping Details - ReserveAmerica - [NRSO]

Another option if heading through Leadville is the Leadville Hostel I had a Couples room (private room shared bathroom) for a couple of nights and found it reasonably priced and a nice place to stay... Good place to stay if considering riding the Copper Triangle. Also close to the back of Independence pass.

Climbs I hit during my Colorado portion of my trip are listed below and written up in my blog link in my signature if interested:

Grand Mesa (both sides).
Independence pass (both sides).
Copper Triangle.
Trail ridge rd (both sides).
Mt Evans.
Pikes Peak
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Old 06-03-14, 01:29 PM   #8
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Found a good deal on a hotel with kitchen in Broomfield so just booked the last week of this month. Hope to find some group rides in the area with people as slow as me.
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Old 06-03-14, 09:26 PM   #9
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Found a good deal on a hotel with kitchen in Broomfield so just booked the last week of this month. Hope to find some group rides in the area with people as slow as me.
check out dbtc.org they have 4 speed levels of rides
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Old 06-03-14, 09:59 PM   #10
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4 nights in Carbondale planned right after 4th of July - like the 8th. Wife and I will do bits of the Rio Grande Trail (a good ride for her is maybe 10 miles, but at 76.5yo that's not too bad). Also hit sections of the GW Canyon trail, a road trip out to Redstone - they have huge ice cream cones in this quaint town, and maybe tool around on our bikes. (A few years ago my keys fell out of my panniers on the mtn bike. Came back the next day and the campground caretaker had them!). Then a trip over McClure Pass because it is so pretty. Maybe a jaunt to Aspen, Maroon Belles, etc. - but SO crowded. I will pass on Independence Pass for the sake of the wife and sanity.
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Old 06-05-14, 12:25 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies everyone. By slow I'm probably riding mid category 4 level right now. Would like to ride over a hill or two on this trip too after spending a couple days at lower altitude. Also don't want to get left behind/lost trying to ride with the fast groups.
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Old 06-05-14, 01:34 PM   #12
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Regarding hills, Flagstaff is a short steep, but (relatively) low, hill close to Broomfield. Trail Ridge Road is a long, strenuous, high hill, not too far away (but far enough you'd have to drive to start it). There are plenty of others to choose from around Boulder, but I don't know the state of the roads there since the flooding.
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Old 06-05-14, 05:31 PM   #13
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Regarding hills, Flagstaff is a short steep, but (relatively) low, hill close to Broomfield. Trail Ridge Road is a long, strenuous, high hill, not too far away (but far enough you'd have to drive to start it). There are plenty of others to choose from around Boulder, but I don't know the state of the roads there since the flooding.
I used to recommend Lefthand Cyn, but after seeing it for the first time after the floods last week, I'd advise a mountain or cyclocross bike on it now. Yuck!
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