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  1. #1
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    Help with vacation plans

    I posted this in the vacation forum but have not had any luck. I figured this would be a better place.

    I am trying to plan a summer vacation out west and need some suggestions on where to go and what to do. I am from the Midwest and have only been out west a couple of times, never to bike. It will be me and my girlfriend (who is not a biker) so unfortunately I will not be able to ride the whole time. Fortunately she is ok with me riding a couple days out of the trip as long as there is something for her to do near to where I am riding (i.e. shopping, etc). We will probably be there from July 21-30th give or take a few. The rest of the time we would like to drive around a see everything that we can easily see in our short stay. The only other activities we would like to do is to whitewater raft, go trout fishing, and maybe a hike or two, so any suggestions on where to do these would also be helpful. Also, what are some must see places/parks/etc. within driving distance? Right now we plan on flying in to Denver or possibly SLC, renting a car and making a big circle as we travel to different locations. I picked Denver because it seemed to be fairly close to a lot of stuff, fairly cheap flights for me, and also because I have a friend in Fort Collins that I would like to see. We plan on camping half the time as long as the weather is good and staying in hotels the rest. As far as biking, I would really like to ride Moab 1 day, maybe 2 unless everyone thinks it would be too hot. I would like to ride the whole enchilada and try to do slickrock with the girlfriend since I hear it is not extremely difficult. Iím open to suggestions as to where else to ride. I would really like some DH or AM type riding with great views. No XC type riding as we have plenty of that here. I also donít want to do any long epic rides that would take up a full day. Iíve heard a lot about Fruita so thatís a good possibility as well. I was also thinking about maybe Winter Park for some DH. Again, Iíve never been out here so Iím just looking for your opinions and suggestions. Keep in mind that Iím a fairly advanced rider but since I will be by myself I would like to ride somewhere where there will be other riders. I look forward to hearing your suggestions so I can start putting together a route for our trip.

  2. #2
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Fly to Denver.

    Drive to Crested Butte. You can thank me later.

    Moab is too hot.

  3. #3
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    Aspen

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    Funny, before reading the two replies I was thinking two things:

    - Spend your time between Crested Butte and Aspen.
    - Spend your time in the Durango area with a couple days in Moab.

  5. #5
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    I would pick a region like CB and not drive all over the place. There is way too much to see in colorado in a week or so and spending half the time driving all over the place will get old really quick.

  6. #6
    killin clear creek
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    Ditto on CB... beautiful zone down there, aspen sucks though.

    3rd week july... moab will be like the 3 ring of hell.
    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    How about we take the "let it burn approach" with the rotting cesspool of the Denver metro?

  7. #7
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    So Moab wouldn't even be worth 1 day? Maybe try to ride slickrock early in the morning? What type of riding is there in Crested Butte? Would it be worth spending most of our trip there?

  8. #8
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    Quote Originally Posted by daniel240
    So Moab wouldn't even be worth 1 day? Maybe try to ride slickrock early in the morning? What type of riding is there in Crested Butte? Would it be worth spending most of our trip there?
    If you did the Whole Enchilada, the top part would be fine, but you'll be hot lower. Don't plan on taking the GF on slickrock. It is an "easy" trail for riders with a little bit of experience, but the whole thing is REALLY steep climbs followed by REALLY steep descents and falls on slickrock remove skin worse than anything you've ever seen. Trust me, it's not worth it to bring a beginner, let alone a beginner girlfriend.

    I think Winter Park is a good place to hit up if you want to do some DH. The trails there range from beginner friendly jumps, drops and berms to some pretty advanced "flow style DH" riding. Tresle DH is the only "DH course style" trail they have though. If you want more traditional DH, Keystone or Sol Vista are better choices. Keystone has great shopping nearby (Downtown Breckenridge and an outlet mall in Silverthorn) so that might be a good GF friendly choice.

    Crested Butte is awesome and very beautiful. Another choice might be Steamboat Springs--especially if you plan on hitting Winter Park or Sol Vista.

  9. #9
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    take your girl to steamboat. stay at the steamboat grand (large pool and super nice). killer place, lots to do. check out the strawberry hotsprings (only go at night). decent trails on the ski hill, killer rides in surrounding area, hiking, great town with decent bars, frisbee golf, rodeo, tubing down the yampa, fishing. lots of great hikes in the area. she can drop you off at top of buff pass and you can ride all the way back to town on killer s.t. and meet her at backcountry provisions for lunch (its all downhill).

    this is one of two places we go every summer. CB is the other. However, CB has the epic all day rides, with significanlty less non biking things to do. CB might be the best in the world for s.t. but they are long with big climbs at altitude.

    go to steamboat.

  10. #10
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    Do Moab another time.

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel240
    So Moab wouldn't even be worth 1 day? Maybe try to ride slickrock early in the morning? What type of riding is there in Crested Butte? Would it be worth spending most of our trip there?
    Moab is not only hotter than holy heck in July, it's hell and gone from anywhere else you'd want to be that time of year. Go there in April or May, September or October.

    I think Steamboat was a super good suggestion. My town Salida would not be bad either, we have some art galleries and we have hot springs near by, but certainly not nearly as much none-mountain-biker-girl stuff to do as Steamboat. Or Durango.

    I also second the suggestion of just picking one place and going there. Colorado is big, and you often can't just drive a straight line from one place to another. You could spend all damned day going from one place to another. Pick one, or maybe pick two places that are close to each other, like less than two hours (hint: use Mapquest to get driving time from one place to another, looking at a map might tell you how far they are from each other, but won't always tell you how long it takes).

    Just put Moab out of your mind for now. It's not a summer place unless you just want to drive around with the A/C on. The high rockies are paradise in July. Moab is more like hell in July. Go to paradise, check out hell some other time.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  11. #11
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    Thanks for the tips, I guess I will put Moab off for another time. Steamboat Springs looks like a great option activity and location wise since I plan on spending the first day in Fort Collins. So I'm assuming the trails on the ski hill at Steamboat are DH trails with lift access? Also where are the best surrounding trails to ride? I still havent decided if I'm bringing my own bike or renting. I have a 6'' AM bike that I would bring but it may not be worth the trouble if I can rent. I wouldnt be able to use it for DH either.

  12. #12
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    Steamboat was very anti DH mountain biking for many years. In fact, they wouldn't let you on the gondola if you had armor supposedly. That changed last year and they are working with the forest circus to build some real trails--however, I doubt anything good will be open this summer. It's worth contacting them and seeing what their build schedule looks like. As otheres have said, there are several shuttle "all mountainish" trails around town that are considered "epic" though.

    Sol Vista is about an hour and 20 minutes from the 'boat so I would suggest scratching your DH itch there. The hill is short (my GPS says 750 feet), but you can get in 20+ runs in a day. I would describe the trails as "racer oriented" since they aren't crazy technical (crazy jumps though) and they have some really nice machine built trails too. They have a great rental fleet of high end DH bikes too (Yeti, Commencal, Santa Cruz). Just make sure that there aren't any races going on when you're thinking about hitting it up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Fly to Denver.

    Drive to Crested Butte. You can thank me later.

    Moab is too hot.

    Ding Ding Ding,

    Epic rides, check
    Lift access riding, check
    Whitewater rafting, check
    Fishing, check
    Hikes, check
    Sunny bluebird days with cool evenings, check
    Pitas in paradise, check

    Love it!

  14. #14
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    Steamboat is a decent suggestion... however Crested Butte will blow it to holy hell out of the water in 2 areas:

    1) Scenery
    2) Riding

    Don't get me wrong - I love me some Steamboat... but for the Colorado Rocky Mountain High it isn't even in the same universe as Crested Butte.

  15. #15
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    He speaks the truth!!

    I went to visit a friend in crested butte and it took me 4 years to leave.

    You will be blown away by the scenery and the riding.


    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Steamboat is a decent suggestion... however Crested Butte will blow it to holy hell out of the water in 2 areas:

    1) Scenery
    2) Riding

    Don't get me wrong - I love me some Steamboat... but for the Colorado Rocky Mountain High it isn't even in the same universe as Crested Butte.

  16. #16
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    Ok now you all have me thinking CB is the place to go. Will there be enough there to keep us busy for a week? I'm thinking maybe spend 4-5 days there and a couple more somewhere else on the way back to Denver. Ive been researching the trails there and I'm blown away at how many miles of trail they have. The hardest part will be choosing which ones to ride. Are there any must ride trails there? I'm sorry for all the questions, this is becoming more difficult than I thought it would be.

  17. #17
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    The town culture is not to be missed. CEE BEE
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  18. #18
    Kaj
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    Go to CB stay for 4 days. come back way of Winter Park and ride some more there. however after CB all other places may kinda suck. not really suck, they'll still rule but in comparison, they won't rule as much.

    steamboat is great riding, I always have fun riding there, but it's not CB.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by daniel240
    Are there any must ride trails there?
    Google "401 Trail Crested Butte"

    Git your GF to drive you up past Gothic as far as the car can make it (I've had to hike over snowfields near Schofield Pass over July 4th weekend to get to the trailhead, other years its been dry the whole way up), explain that her driving you up there will let you enjoy more time with her later on....

    Keep telling her "Wildflower Capital of the World!," until you come across some of the fields, it's hard to describe.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by daniel240
    Ok now you all have me thinking CB is the place to go. Will there be enough there to keep us busy for a week?
    401
    uppers, lowers (for fun after one of the bigger rides)
    teocoli ridge
    Strand hill
    Reno-flag-bear-deadmans
    Doctors park
    Hartman rocks

    Each of those are about a FULL DAY of riding.
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  21. #21
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    oh, and Bear will put the largest grin on your face... you won't be able to wipe that off for a long time.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebum
    However, CB has the epic all day rides, with significanlty less non biking things to do.
    Clearly you've never spent more than a day in Crested Butte.

    Between hiking, fishing, rafting, kayaking, and hanging out in town, I'm pretty sure anyone can find things to do in CB for 4-5 days. Sure, there's no shopping, but I don't think that's what he's looking for.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan
    Clearly you've never spent more than a day in Crested Butte.

    Between hiking, fishing, rafting, kayaking, and hanging out in town, I'm pretty sure anyone can find things to do in CB for 4-5 days. Sure, there's no shopping, but I don't think that's what he's looking for.

    biking is always my main objective when in CB, and there is a crap load of driving to get to non private river/fishing access. Steamboat has tubing right through town, and bars right on the Yampa. In the hot days of July, I like having water VERY close.

    CB= non family biking annual pilgramage (best in the state west, US, world) Its that good!
    SB= top three biking destination in the state, disquised as family trip. There are some sick rides in SB if you sniff around a bit.

    OP- I cant believe we're debating which one is better. i personnaly feel for bringing the girl that doesn't ride, go to steamboat. plus its significantly closer to Ft. Collins.

  24. #24
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebum
    biking is always my main objective when in CB, and there is a crap load of driving to get to non private river/fishing access. Steamboat has tubing right through town, and bars right on the Yampa. In the hot days of July, I like having water VERY close.
    There are no hot days in Crested Butte. And I suppose if you consider 15 minutes a "crap load of driving"...

    CB= non family biking annual pilgramage (best in the state west, US, world) Its that good!
    SB= top three biking destination in the state, disquised as family trip. There are some sick rides in SB if you sniff around a bit.
    We could argue the SB in the top-3 thing, but that's like arguing what kind of beer is best. If the OP's girl isn't interested in seeing/hiking in things such as this, then maybe SB is a better call.


  25. #25
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    Thank you all for your responses, its helping out a lot. I don't think it will be too hard to please my girlfriend. She has never been to the western half of the US in her life. Probably never seen a real mountain. Anyway I think you all have me convinced, Crested Butte it is. Only problem for me is going to be choosing which trails to ride and which trails not to ride. It sounds like there are a ton of favorites. I'm going to try to get my GF to start riding with me before we go out there so maybe she can go on a few rides with me. That way I can get more riding in. She is very in shape, works out/runs everyday she just doesnt ride bikes. Only times Ive got her to ride with me she complains her butt hurts in 5 min. Anyway like I said earlier, I'd like to maybe fish for 1/2 a day and go white water rafting another and it looks like we can do both of those things at or near CB. Other than that I will try to get as much riding in as I can. I was checking out rental prices on bikes and they seemed to be pretty decent although it would be nice to bring my bike. That way it would be much easier to do short rides whenever I want. Is the downhill section with the lift separate from the rest of the trails? Could I rent a DH bike for 1 day and cover most of the DH stuff? I assume and AM bike would be good for most everything else right?

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