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  1. #1
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    Need Help Planning Trip To Colorado In May

    I plan on spending May 12th-24th riding trails in Colorado. I will be driving from Michigan, traveling in on 76 into Denver. I was told many trails will be snow covered still in early May. I was given the advice to head straight for Fruita, then Moab UT, then Durango CO to avoid snow covered trails.

    Will trails still be snow covered in May?

    What would be your ideal trip if you had 2 weeks to spend between Colorado and Moab, UT?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Lastly, I will add that I am a bit of a planning fanatic, master excel spreadsheet, gps route, etc. I believe the rest of my trip should work out well, just looking for advice in CO/UT because of snow.

  2. #2
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    I'm by no means a Colorado expert but have been to the places in Colorado you mentioned. I've been to Fruita the last weekend in April the last couple years and I can't foresee snow being an issue there in May. As far as Durango, I haven't followed their snowfall totals this year but I've been there in July and had snow at higher elevations. ** On your way to Durango, make sure you swing by Cortez and ride at Phil's World **which is hands down my favorite trail system I've ever ridden.

    I've never been there and I'd guess that snow could possibly be an issue but there is supposedly some epic riding over at Crested Butte so you might want to look into that.

  3. #3
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    Great, thanks for the advice! I will make sure to look into linking Cortez and Phil's World

  4. #4
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    It sounds like a good plan. You should be able to ride some trails in the Durango area, like Horse Gulch, Test Tracks, Twin Buttes, Animas Mountain (when do the reopen from the wildlife closure?) and lower sections of the Colorado Trail. If we don't get much in the way of Spring snows, there is a good chance a few intermediate elevation rides, like High Point and Jones Creek will be ridable. Phils World is a day as is Sand Canyon; you shouldn't run out of things to ride.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  5. #5
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    Sounds like a good plan, I agree that the Fruita/ Grand Junction trails will be plenty dry in may. You might look at the Western Rim trail in Rabbit Valley, close to Fruita. With 3 to 4 separate riding areas around GJ you will have plenty of trails. You are also close enough to try the trails in Moab. The high country will be either snowy or wet that time of year, maybe Durango?

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone! I have added a day at Curt Gowdy, Hall Ranch, and Buffalo Creek, before heading to Grand Junction/Fruita for 4 days, Moab for 4 days, then Durango for 2. After that I am headed to Arizona and off with the rest of my trip.

    Thank you again to everyone for the great advice.

  7. #7
    zrm
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    Although there's a lot of variability in the weather, Fruita and Moab can be starting to get hot - into the 90s - that time of year. Or it could be cold and wet. Or it could be perfect. I've ridden in mid May there many times though, and wanted to head for the higher ground to get away from the heat. (I'm a mtn dweller and not very heat tolerant though.) The four corners area (Cortez) is usually not as hot as Moab/Fruita if that is an issue.

    Durango is usually delightful that time of year although the higher trails are still usually snowed in. I've done the Iron Horse race (Memorial weekend) and been snow on so you never know.

    That time of year you can ride most of the Front Range open space parks and places like Buffalo Creek mtn bike area. There is actually a lot of quality riding in the Front Range.

    Depending on snowpack (it's on track for a near record year in a lot of CO) and weather, the lower elevation trails that get sun around the mtn towns like Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Winter Park, etc, may just be starting to open up then - or they may be still snowed in. Exceptions are places like Salida and Gunnison which are lower elevation and don't get much precipitation. There are great trails around those two places that are almost certain to be snow free that time of year.

  8. #8
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    It'll be the end of high season in Fruita/GJ and Moab, so be prepared to hunt for campsites and/or motel rooms on weekends. Durango will be good to go below 8000' which is about everything you can ride from town (including the Dry Fork/Colorado Trail loop -and the Grandview Trails (beyond Horse Gulch) re-open April 15th). Here's a map: Trails 2000 | Trails Be aware that the spring storms that can occur can/will bring high winds, extensive dust, serious mud, and some cold temps, so keep an eye on the weather and adjust your trip accordingly. When in Durango and one of the occasional spring storms rolls through, you can drive 45-55 minutes south to ride Alien Run and/or Road Apple in NM -or 35 minutes to Phil's World and 60 minutes to Canyon of the Ancients (worth it just for the fact that you'll be riding in the midst of dozens of Anasazi ruins) on either side of Cortez. Also a bit of unsolicited spam: I occasionally rent out my house (2 bed plus garage to keep/work on bikes) in town, just 2 blocks from the Horse Gulch trailhead and 5 blocks from downtown. Cheaper than a motel especially considering that you get a kitchen, washer/dryer, and a place to store and work on your gear. PM me if you are interested...

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