On The Road - Looking for Best Route from Orange County, CA to Boulder, Co
Right now I'm out on the road, stopping in Orange for a festival, plans are coming together and it looks like Boulder is the next destination. I plan on leaving shortly after the festival ends on Monday so it would be nice to get an idea of which direction to start in. There is no rush of time, as always the smoother the ride, the better. I know highway stretches will be inevitable but I'm really looking for some insight into how to cross the desert areas and which spots to be really cautious on.
If anyone has ever done a portion or all of this route, please let me know of your experience, it is much appreciated!
I have crossed the high Rocky Mountains in Colorado a few times with a loaded bike and it is very tough. Unless you are ready to hit 11,000 ft and up with 4,000 ft. climbs where the weather can reach extremes, you should consider going through Arizona, New Mexcio, north from Santa Fe, up through the San Luis Valley in southern CO. Then cross La Veta Pass on the east side of the valley and follow Interstate 25 through frontage roads and bike paths up the front range.
As for the New Mexico and Arizona portion of the ride, I am not experienced, but I do know for a fact that the mountains passes are lower in elevation and warmer down there.
find a way to get to Bishop Ca, go through Tonapa to Caliente to Cedar City to Kanabe to Page to Cortez. go through Durango and Pagossa Springs and over the divide at Wolf Creek Pass. this is similar to the RAAM race in '93, i think. then the San Luis Valley north to the Arkansas river and east to the front range at Colorado Springs. then it's north to Boulder. i'm sure there are better ways if you look hard enough, but the weather will, most likely not be a factor starting in late June or the beginning of July. works on a motorcycle! minimum traffic.
Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 06-05-12 at 09:48 AM.
Thanks for the advice, but after much map staring, I couldn't find any friendly routes through the desert, most of them have those dreaded 70~mile stretches with nothing in between. I've decided to head north, which I'm actually really excited about, I've barely seen any of Norcal and I'm a nature fanatic. I'm in Riverside tonight, coming from Orange, and tomorrow I'll head into the hills directly North of me for some camping. Sweet riding!
Nice choice, that desert looks brutal. A route you could take from the north if you wanted to avoid Wyoming is coming into Colorado via highway 40. There's BLM land all over the place out there by the Utah border, in most cases you could just pull off the highway onto a dirt road and sleep. Here's a pic 3 miles into Utah along highway 40 of a campsite I had once...
Originally Posted by aecoocea
If you were coming from Salt Lake City, you could get over to Park City or Heber fairly easily and get onto highway 40. There is a medium climb that tops out at around 8,000 ft called Daniel's Pass south of Heber. Then the road is flat and rolling all the way into Colorado. Just keep following highway 40, which will take you through Craig and Steamboat Springs. You'll encounter another medium climb that tops out at about 9600 ft called Rabbit Ears Pass just after Steamboat. There is national forest land all over the place up there on the pass where you can freely camp. Highway 40 will take you down into Granby, where you can either take a left on highway 34 (the famous Trail Ridge Road) for a spectacular ride, though it does go over 12,000 ft. Or you can keep following highway 40 and go into Winter Park and over Berthoud Pass, which tops at around 11,300 ft and has an amazing shoulder. I would recommend taking Berthoud, as Trail Ridge Road can be very crowded with no room to ride during the summer.
After Berthoud Pass, you can just follow frontage roads all along interstate 70, taking you into Golden. At Golden you can ride 20 or so miles north into Boulder. Hope you get this message in due course, and happy riding!