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Hello everyone :)

You may have seen my post earlier in the year about travelling out West to ride. My wife and I had decided to go to Oregon but plans have changed and we will find ourselves flying in to Denver on September 19 and flying out of Denver on October 2. We have our plane tickets purchased, a minivan reserved... and all we need now is a plan!

We are coming from the East coast and have never been out West to ride before. I am an advanced rider (both endurance and technical) and my wife is an intermediate rider (less endurance, less technical skills but rides advanced trails).

Once we arrive in Denver, the plan will be to work our way West to Moab and then back to Denver. I was thinking of trying to form a loop so we don't see all of the same stuff on the way out and back. If it is worth it, we could also head North or South from Denver also. We are looking to ride most days but not every day. We are open to trying most any trail however we would like to see the best that CO and UT has to offer within our driving range. We will not have means to shuttle (ourselves.. but we can hire a service if recommended) so most of our rides will have to be loops or out and back.

I am looking for suggestions on rides that can't be missed, sights that have to be seen, experiences that have to be had, campgrounds (preferably with showers), food, books, maps.. and any other suggestions that will help make this a great trip. I would also like to be educated about the weather for Mid Sept and what elevations to stay in/out of.

Yes I have used and will continue to use the search feature. Suggestions for making this trip one to remember are welcome and appreciated. Thank you :thumbsup:
 

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I think your idea to do a loop is a good one. I've traveled and skied a lot in those states, but done no cycling, so can't offer specific advice about the riding spots.

Even with good conditioning, you'll likely find the altitude saps your endurance at first. Take time to acclimate and stay hydrated. The air is dry as well as thin. I did a ski trip to Keystone about 10 years ago. The house we rented was at 10,000 feet elevation, and I'd wake up in the middle of the night panting. Denver is just under a mile high. You might consider doing your loop to hit lower elevation spots first, finishing up in the high country.

It may be too hot to hit some of the more desert climate low elevation spots. On the other hand, the end of September will definitely be fall in the high country.

Have fun.
 

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ok, here goes.

1buffalo creek outside of denver. great singletrack lots of camping opportunity.
2kenosha pass. out and back
3monarch crest
4trail 401 in crested butte
5a trail in durango
6ups and lps and porcupine in moab lots of camping
7sovereign singletrack moab camp at up the creek campground in moab
8new dead horse point state park trail. camp in park
9your choice of the classic moab rides camp on sand flats.
10st mary's loop in loma near fruita, co.
11peak to peak trail between frisco and breckenridge. out and back(suggested) or do the 12uphill on the paved bike path that parallels it.
bergen peak in Evergreen, and/or alderfer/twin sisters. camp chief hosa.

That is a loop down hwy 285 from denver to salida, hwy 50 to gunnison,
then crested butte,
continuing on 50 to montrose then south to durango, west on 160 then
191 north to moab.
scenic route along the river to cisco, then I 70 back to denver.

This is all just off the top of my head, please forgive typos and misstatements.
All of these trails can be easily googled and maps available.
Any questions, ask away!
 

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stumpyrider said:
ok, here goes.

1buffalo creek outside of denver. great singletrack lots of camping opportunity.
2kenosha pass. out and back
3monarch crest
4trail 401 in crested butte
5a trail in durango
6ups and lps and porcupine in moab lots of camping
7sovereign singletrack moab camp at up the creek campground in moab
8new dead horse point state park trail. camp in park
9your choice of the classic moab rides camp on sand flats.
10st mary's loop in loma near fruita, co.
11peak to peak trail between frisco and breckenridge. out and back(suggested) or do the 12uphill on the paved bike path that parallels it.
bergen peak in Evergreen, and/or alderfer/twin sisters. camp chief hosa.

That is a loop down hwy 285 from denver to salida, hwy 50 to gunnison,
then crested butte,
continuing on 50 to montrose then south to durango, west on 160 then
191 north to moab.
scenic route along the river to cisco, then I 70 back to denver.

This is all just off the top of my head, please forgive typos and misstatements.
All of these trails can be easily googled and maps available.
Any questions, ask away!
Ditto to Stumpy's itinerary except skip Sovereign in Moab for another day in Fruita/Grand Junction. Shuttle the Ribbon or ride the 18 road trails.

Might consider stopping off in Vail on the way back to Denver and doing a ride or two there.
 

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After further thought as i was grocery shopping, and way too much coffee, i decided to clarify and addend the itinerary I put out there.

By buffalo creek I meant the portion of the colorado trail heading west-ish out of the Pine area.

By Kenosha Pass I meant the portion of the colorado trail heading west-ish from the summit of Kenosha pass, heading towards Georgia Pass. This may be late in the season to ride all the way up Georgia Pass, might merit investigation prior to riding.

I mentioned Monarch Crest enthusiastically because I love it, but that also merits investigation as to the seasonality of it. If you can ride it, ride it. It is universally considered to be on the top rides anywhere.

Ups denotes Upper porcupine singletrack, lps is lower porcupine singletrack. They are
relatively new, and technical mostly downhill riotous fun. consider bailing out instead of doing the continuation, the classic porcupine trail.

Being from the coast. you gotta consider altitude. Getting on a plane at sea level
and riding hard above tree line the next day or so is gonna alter your experience.(although skiers do it all the time, which always amazes me). The itinerary could be juggled around to take altitude into account. Moab is about 4800 ft, denver 5280,
and it goes up from there.
 
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