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  1. #1
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    New question here. The most scenic regions to ride?

    Hi there!

    I'm just trying to figure out where to stop for a ride when we visit CO later this year and have also started a thread in the "Western Slope" forum.

    What do you think are the most scenic mountain ranges outside the wilderness areas?
    These regions don't necessarily have to offer trails easy enough to ride the whole ascent. We would be willing to carry our bikes for up to 6500 ft as long as it's worth the view and the descent.

    Thanks in advance!
    Dave

    ================================================== ================================================== =====================

    Here is a short summary of your recommendations (with the one's from the "Western Slope" forum). Might be useful for the next one with the same question.

    General tips


    Specific tips


    More information



    Image from sangres.com
    Last edited by AlpineTrailhunter; 05-24-2010 at 11:43 AM.

  2. #2
    zrm
    zrm is offline
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    Almost anywhere in Colorado is scenic in it's own way, just different flavors. Not sure if you're serious about the 6561' part but if you are, that doesn't get you very far into the mountains in Colorado.

  3. #3
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    I'd recommend any of the Colorado Trail from Kenosha Pass to Tennessee Pass. Some right good riding and high country goodness in there... and Miner's Creek trail to keep you honest.

  4. #4
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    Colorado Trail outside lake city. Plenty of bike carrying to be had and INCREDIBLE views

  5. #5
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    Many thanks for your replies! The Colorado Trail seems to be worth some investigation!

    @zrm:
    Ah, yes. It might be a bit funny that I wrote about exaclty 6561'.
    I just copied the equivalend of 2000 m into the post. Would have been better to write around 6500'. One feet more or less does not really matter.
    Apart from that I'm serious about it! That's how we do it in the Alps because it offers us so many more trails to ride! And it makes alpine destinations possible that you can't reach otherwise:



    So you mean 6500' would not suffice? I just thought it would be enough because all the 14ers I have been reading about so far have less elevation gain.
    But it won't be a problem to carry a bit more, as long as we don't do it on a daily basis. My back would need extra vacation otherwise!

  6. #6
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    If you like that kind of riding: Barr Trail down from Pikes Peak into Colorado Springs. Very scenic top.

    Shoot me a message when you are headed out here. Would be fun to meet Landsleute.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  7. #7
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    If you're willing to travel around Colorado a bit, I'd recommend trails in these areas:

    Crested Butte
    Durango/Telluride
    Salida (Monarch Crest)

  8. #8
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    If you want trails like that might I recommend biking Mt. Elbert? PM IndecentExposure or GotDirt for the skinny.

  9. #9
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    Unfortunately, Coloradoís most scenic ride wonít rival that of the Mettelhorn Ė especially since we canít include wilderness or national parks. That being said, Colorado has some amazing riding. I havenít ridden all of the suggestions above (yet), but I have visited most of them and would second these recommendations.

    I know you asked about Colorado, but I hope you consider riding around the Moab area as well. Itís far from being a high alpine environment, yet it has some spectacular scenery that you wonít find in the Alps.

  10. #10
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    Why would anyone want to carry their bike up 6000'? I don't even like carrying my bike up the stairs from the basement. Thinking about installing a lift system.

  11. #11
    t.i.t.s.ceo/FR amoeba rep
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka
    Why would anyone want to carry their bike up 6000'? I don't even like carrying my bike up the stairs from the basement. Thinking about installing a lift system.
    So one could do this!


    Sorry Terry! Full story here:
    Mt Elbert Goes Free!
    I'm a cowboy on a steel horse i ride!

    the blog

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaba Klaus
    If you like that kind of riding: Barr Trail down from Pikes Peak into Colorado Springs. Very scenic top.

    Shoot me a message when you are headed out here. Would be fun to meet Landsleute.
    Yes, for sure! I have also stumbled upon your posts in the IBC. Do you still long for German chocolate?

  13. #13
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    Yup, the Mt. Elbert thread has been one of the first I had found when I started to look for alpine tours. But I have to admit, that I have got the impression solobkr has expressed above. At least concerning the easier 14ers that are allowed to ride. It's very interesting to read about this from a local who probably knows the Alps, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by solobkr
    Unfortunately, Colorado’s most scenic ride won’t rival that of the Mettelhorn – especially since we can’t include wilderness or national parks
    Are there any efforts made to open wilderness areas for bikers? I only know that IMBA does not question this restriction for the existing wilderness areas.

    BTW, I have not expected anyone to recognize the Mettelhorn!
    Here are some more photos from Valais if you like the photo I had posted.


    Quote Originally Posted by solobkr
    I know you asked about Colorado, but I hope you consider riding around the Moab area as well. It’s far from being a high alpine environment, yet it has some spectacular scenery that you won’t find in the Alps.
    Moab will be one of our primary destination indeed! To be honest, Utah has been our main inspiration for this trip.
    We just split up the tour research. That's why I'm concentrating on CO. My friend Claude is responsible for UT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka
    Why would anyone want to carry their bike up 6000'? I don't even like carrying my bike up the stairs from the basement. Thinking about installing a lift system.
    A lift would be a great alternative. Though I'm still struggling with some minor logistic problems concerning my portable lift invention. It just does not want to fit into my backpack!
    Last edited by AlpineTrailhunter; 05-12-2010 at 04:02 PM.

  14. #14
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    Thanks a lot for all of your recommendations! Should be enough for some rainy days to study maps and trails databases.

    Do you also have a tip concerning digital and paper maps? I have only downloaded some maps from TopoQuest respectively the Libre Map Project so far.

  15. #15
    master lurker
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlpineTrailhunter
    Here are some more photos from Valais if you like the photo I had posted.[/COLOR]
    Um...those are some sick photos!

  16. #16
    ridin dirtay
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlpineTrailhunter
    Here are some more photos from Valais if you like the photo I had posted.[/COLOR]
    Dude, WOW


    Must
    go
    2
    switzerland

    Check this thread for a close to Denver alpine ride along the CDT.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    Dude, WOW




    Check this thread for a close to Denver alpine ride along the CDT.

    I'm still pissed about that ride. Biked and hiked up to 13,250 ft and had to hike it back down, no downhill biking.Lost

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    Must
    go
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    switzerland
    You would certainly like the Valais! The landscape is fantastic and the riding quite varied, ranging from fine alpine tours to bike park action.

    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    Check this thread for a close to Denver alpine ride along the CDT.
    Seems to be a long, fast downhill. We prefer the combination with some more steeper and technical sections. Must have been fun nevertheless!
    And I'm still surprised at those ice free, mellow summits and rolling hills on that height, that make it possible to get up there that easily. Our 13ers and 14ers are all covered by ice ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    I'm still pissed about that ride. Biked and hiked up to 13,250 ft and had to hike it back down, no downhill biking.
    Ouch, that must have hurt!
    Last edited by AlpineTrailhunter; 05-13-2010 at 04:57 AM.

  19. #19
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlpineTrailhunter

    And I'm still surprised at those ice free, mellow summits and rolling hills on that height, that make it possible to get up there that easily.
    Man... you sure know how to hit a guy's ego.

  20. #20
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    Oops, sorry! That has not been my intention!
    It's just that the requirements here are much more difficult because of glaciers, firn ice and the like. This is how the 14ers look like at home (in the summer):




  21. #21
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlpineTrailhunter
    Oops, sorry! That has not been my intention!
    It's just that the requirements here are much more difficult because of glaciers, firn ice and the like. This is how the 14ers look like at home (in the summer):
    Now you're just bragging.

  22. #22
    skillz to pay billz
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    6581' will get you to Limon. aim higher.

  23. #23
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    No, no ... nothing to brag about. I have not even been on any 14er, yet. Just on a 13er.
    But that's one point I like about CO already! Perhaps we can find a nice 14er and break our personal mtb-altitude-record.

  24. #24
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    I'm not a current resident of Colorado but I used to live there and rode over the entire state. I still go back a couple of times per year to ride the scenic epic rides. I have also ridden in Switzerland and in Austria near the Rhein Valley. The riding is different I would say. Colorado is more known for long alpine rides that go easily 60-100km with 2-3km of climbing over the long haul. All singletrack. The mountains are tall but they are worn down and less dramatic than the alps. The starting point elevation is 7-9,000 feet. So the mountains from plains to peak are the same as in europe or even relatively shorter. They are older than in Europe, though, I believe. So erosion, wind, water, ice has worn them down. They also were formed by platetectonic upheaval rather than cut out by glaciers (note this is all being pulled from memory and my arse so I am probably wrong about some details) so you don't get alot of the sharp, dramatic peaks.

    I was amazed at the amount of doubletrack in Europe. To get to a 6-9k technical singletrack downhill, it seemed like we rode forever on established doubletrack hiking trails. It was a bit of disappointment because I was looking for "colorado style riding." However, once I realized that the differences make it all so special (CO to UT to the Alps to Sicily, etc) I quit trying to make Europe into what I wanted and enjoyed it.

    Hopefully you can leave certain expectations behind and enjoy Colorado for what it is and isn't. I guarantee that you will love it and want more.

    Don't get me wrong, though, there are moments of technical high glory and some of the folks here can certainly educate you on those. But even the 14ers are kind of stand alone mountains. They are not grouped in tight, tight clusters like the alps. If you were on top of many of them, you can see around quite easily for a hundred miles versus seeing tons of equal peaks all around you (like in your pictures from Valais). The vastness is what is great about colorado. The drama is the great thing about the alps.

    I'm hoping to go back to Switzerland soon to explore some more singletrack. I know that I only touched the tip of the "glacier." There are surely hidden gems all over Europe.

  25. #25
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    Limon? I have only found a town named Limon south east of Denver.

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