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  1. #1
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    Lodging/Riding Suggestions for CO Trip

    Short notice, but I am thinking about heading out to CO from SoCal next week for a bit of riding, hiking, and exploring. I have the summer off and other plans fell through.

    Looks like Durango would be first up as it seems to be the first thing I'd hit coming from SoCal.

    I have crappy lungs, but can ride 20-30 miles. Multi-day riding maybe stick to ~15. More of an XC rider. I have a Salsa Spearfish. It is FS, but about as minimal suspension as you get. My other bike is a rigid SS.

    Cheap hotels are preferred. A comfy bed and some AC after a ride is nice, but I also have no issue sleeping in the back mid my Element.

    Also, I'd like to eventually make my way over to Boulder. It has been high on my bucket list of towns to visit. So, recommendations to get me from Durango to Boulder in a week or week and a half or so would be awesome.

  2. #2
    I ride with tools
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    Ride Durango for a coupla days. Drive over to Cortez and hit Phil's World, such an awesome trail. Ride Gunnison / Crested Butte for a coupla days. Get shuttle from Poncha Springs to Monarch Pass and ride Monarch Crest and Rainbow Trail. Then drive home. Boulder and the Front Range will be a big disappointment.

  3. #3
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    actually, depending on how you come into colorado, Fruita would be the first thing you'd hit, exit 19 off I-70.

    but i realize you would be coming from the south. as said, ride in Cortez, that is awesome.

    i think you should ride in Fruita anyway. if you do, you can camp at 18 rd amongst the trails, or get a room at the Balanced Rock motel or H motel. we have a lot of different and awesome riding.

  4. #4
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    You'll be able to ride plenty on the Fish and SS. I currently have the exact same lineup. 2012 Fish2 and rigid/ss On One Scandal 29er. Definately hit Fruita/GJ but it's getting hot here, so spending time in Durango, Crested Butte, Telluride is a good idea. Boulder is a cool.town and supposedly has good riding nearby. I was just visiting my parents nearby there this weekend but as usual didn't have my bike with. They live very close to Heil and Hall areas.

  5. #5
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    Durango sure isn't cheap. Cheap rooms are $180 per night. Ouch. I was in Sedona over Thanksgiving and again during Spring Break and found a decent Inn for $70 a night. Hampton Inn in most places is ~$100. It better be good.

    Fruita looks hotter than the surface of the sun. I live at the beach it is usually ~75 during the summer. 105 may kill me.

    I have heard of Telluride. Never Crested Butte, but after doing research it seems quite popular. Resort town. Is there regular lodging for a cheap dirty mountain biker? Looks like 401 trail is the one to hit?

  6. #6
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    I own a place in Durango that we sometime rent. Big, new, kitted out, perfectly located, and cheaper than any hotel -outside of the hostel- in town. PM sent.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeThePlanet View Post
    Durango sure isn't cheap. Cheap rooms are $180 per night. Ouch. I was in Sedona over Thanksgiving and again during Spring Break and found a decent Inn for $70 a night. Hampton Inn in most places is ~$100. It better be good.

    Fruita looks hotter than the surface of the sun. I live at the beach it is usually ~75 during the summer. 105 may kill me.

    I have heard of Telluride. Never Crested Butte, but after doing research it seems quite popular. Resort town. Is there regular lodging for a cheap dirty mountain biker? Looks like 401 trail is the one to hit?
    For CB you could probably find a decent place on the cheap in Gunnison, about 45 mins away but close to other riding like Hartman rocks. Almont is half way between the two and has cabins that have got to be semi cheap. Also check VRBO for condo rentals in Mt Crested Butte.

  8. #8
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    I'll start by saying I'm not from Colorado, but I spend almost all my vacation days there every summer and winter.

    So this is my opinion: As others have stated, stay on the west side of the state, as I found the front range to be disappointing after riding the western side. The rides on the front range are still great, and better then what I have at home, but the western side is better.

    I've been to most of the well known areas on the western side, and I find myself coming back to Crested Butte every year. In fact, we are heading out that way again soon. I've found cheapish condo rentals up on the resort mountain and I've camped a lot up gothic rd. You'll have a blast there and would have to spend weeks there to get bored. The town itself is awesome. If you want to stay in Gunnison, there is also the Hartman Rocks system, and that's a blast, too. If you could swing it though (or want to camp), I'd recommend staying in CB.

    Durango is also a great area, and town. I just prefer crested butte because most of the trails you can access from town with out having to use a car. My last bit of advice, I was not a fan of Hermosa Creek in Durango... but everything else was fun.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    For CB you could probably find a decent place on the cheap in Gunnison, about 45 mins away but close to other riding like Hartman rocks...
    If you're interested in affordable lodgings in Gunnison, go to the KOA and ask KOA Dave about renting one of the little cabins he has. I think they are pretty affordable compared to a motel. And it's one of the nicest KOAs I've ever seen. Also you can totally ride Hartman right from there.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  10. #10
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    What is VRBO?

    KOA must be nicer in CO. In CA they are the crappiest places I have ever seen. Often times just big parking lots off the freeway. No trees. Don't even know how they are called campgrounds. Walmart parking lots are better, at least they are free. But, I'll check it out based off a recommendation. Thanks.

    Thanks for all of the tips. I have been wanting to go to CO for years. Funny, I never heard of Crested Butte until checking here, but sounds like a spot to check. What about Telluride?

    I am going to visit my dad in NorCal on the way back. If I come back the top part of the state it looks like I can hit Park City on the way to NorCal. That could be fun, too.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeThePlanet View Post
    What is VRBO?

    KOA must be nicer in CO. In CA they are the crappiest places I have ever seen. Often times just big parking lots off the freeway. No trees...
    There are some crappy KOAs in this part of the west too, but the Gunnison one is really super super nice. Green grass, huge trees, ponds with big trout in them, quiet, well away from the highway and close to some of the best trails in CO (meaning Hartman).

    I only have this one picture that I can find from there, this was taken in what they call the annex, which is tent camping only, from when I was there last August for the 24 hours in the sage (which Dave runs right out of the KOA).



    It's seriously really nice, and Dave is a rock star. Great host, funny man, friendly and helpful.

    EDIT: VRBO == Vacation Rentals By Owner
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  12. #12
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    Having been raised in Colorado, living there for the better part of 48 years, and having lived in Vail, Grand Junction, Boulder, Breckenridge, Steamboat, Leadville, and Durango, I can say that there is no bad place to ride in the state. Each location has different attributes, from the dry desert to lush valleys to high alpine chunk at 13,000+ feet, there is something for everyone. For sheer variability, Durango has them all beat. Despite what a previous peter said, you can ride 100+ miles of world class single track from any point in the town of Durango, and be in red-rock desert conditions to high alpine meadows without ever having to get in your car. If you do want to get in the care, Phil's is 35 minutes west, COA (Canyon of the Ancients, which is ok riding but among 700-1000 year old cliff dwellings, which make it a one-of-a-kind ride) an hour west, Road Apple and Alien Run 50 minutes south, and the high sections of the Colorado Trail 45 minutes north. That said, you'll find amazing trails in almost every place you go. Here's more places to look at, all of which have amazing riding: Salida, Carbondale, Steamboat, Eagle, Vail/Beaver Creek, Buffalo Creek, Breckenridge/Summit County, Sourdough north of Nederland, and the numerous county and city parks along the Front Range west of Boulder and Denver.

    Skip camping in KOA's or other private "campgrounds" and enjoy the many Forest Service and BLM campgrounds or better yet, the almost limitless free dispersed camp spots. In other words, drive up a forest service or county road, and camp along the creek, the ridge, in the trees next to that big meadow, etc, that you see. If there are any camping restrictions, you'll see the signs stating them.

    BTW, Telluride has a limited amount of good riding from town as well as ok lift serviced riding. It's a spectacular location but it's also expensive. It's on the way from Durango (2 hours with Phil's World located along the way) to Fruita, but you'd most likely want to go this route for a decent tour of the state: Durango => Gunny/CB => Salida => Denver via Buffalo Creek or a Jeffco Parks trail (many to chose from) => Boulder => Summit County (Bakers or Peaks Trail) => Vail or Eagle (followed by a soak in the Glenwood hot springs) = Grand Junction/Fruita (you'll want to ride here in the early morning or eventing when the heat is down). Obviously you could add a lot more depending on time.

    If you want a really good tour of the state, you can join us on this trip we are doing on the last week of August. We may still have a spot: Colorado Trail Summer 2014: An invitation

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post
    having been raised in colorado, living there for the better part of 48 years, and having lived in vail, grand junction, boulder, breckenridge, steamboat, leadville, and durango, i can say that there is no bad place to ride in the state. Each location has different attributes, from the dry desert to lush valleys to high alpine chunk at 13,000+ feet, there is something for everyone. For sheer variability, durango has them all beat ...
    qft
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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