The Best Guide to Motorcycle Roads, Rides & Events

The Walden Loop (courtesy of Greeley HD&Yamaha) + ADD NEW ROUTE


2   in Colorado Colorado220 Miles

By Dave and Susan Nirode
on October 1, 2006

4.7out of 5

24 Riders rated

 Scenery

 Road Quality

 Roadside Amenities

Written Directions

Start your route in Ft. Collins and follow Rt 14 west thru Poudre River Canyon to the town of Walden, Co. In Walden turn south on Rt.125 toward Granby, CO. Numerous fuel and food stops in Granby so enjoy. Find Rt. 34 and take it north toward Grand Lake/Rocky Mtn. National Park. You will easily spend 4 to 5 hours in the park maybe more if you wish to see everything. Leave the park via Rt. 34 and go into the City of Estes Park. Rt. 34 back toward the City of Loveland will take you thru Big Thompson Canyon with its steep rock walls on both sides of road and occasional sightings of Big Horn sheep.

Scenery

Absolutely breathtaking is the only way to describe this trip. This route will take you across the Continental Divide twice at two different locations, past mountain lakes and through Poudre Canyon and along the Poudre River as well as across nearly deserted roads with little or no traffic. It is an all day trip (might be better as a two day)not only due to the distance traveled but also due to stopping for incredible views. An occasional moose, elk, deer or Bald Eagle will also cause slight delays. Take two days and enjoy the beauty. No need to rush on this trip!!!

Road Quality

The roads are great with few rough areas. May have some ice or frost on surface early in spring but after late May and early June will find them clear and dry. Snow will still be present on the ground at higher elevations so pack warm outer clothing. The section from Ft. Collins to Walden consists of approx. 70 miles of twisting winding road, in great shape, thru Poudre Canyon as well as more open sections surrounded by beautiful mountain views on both sides of road. The section from Walden to Granby is nearly deserted and open. It consists of approx. 58 miles of great road, all open and little traffic (we saw 6 cars in 58 miles on a Saturday). Section from Grandby to Estes Park is superb and takes you thru Rocky Mtn. Nat. Park. Very curvy and numerous switchbacks. Rt. 34 thru RMNP can be a little narrow in some spots but no real problem. The trip from Estes Park back to Greeley rides thru Big Thompson Canyon. Solid rock walls on both sides of road as it follows the Big Thompson River. Photo contributed by visitor in Jun 09 - "About 10 miles into Hwy 14 outside of Ft Collins. Just a beautiful canyon."

Roadside Amenities

Many stops and pull offs are provided so you can stop to enjoy the views. Lodging is available in Ft. Collins, Estes Park and Granby. Attractions include Rocky Mountain National Park as well as the city of Estes Park. Best restaurants would include Coffee Pot Inn or Elkhorn Cafe in Walden and Hunters Chop House and Estes Park Brewery in Estes Park. In Estes Park there stands the Historic Stanley Hotel (where parts of "The Shining" were filmed) and the City of Estes Park has fantastic/interesting shops and stores to browse in and many restaurants. Photo contributed by visitor in Jun 09 - "The road up to Cameron pass (elev 10,400 ft). bring some warm gear for this mountain trip - but you will not be disappointed!"

Additional Info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

Nickname (optional) : Dave and Susan Nirode

What Riders Say About this Route Add Review & Rating

By Guest
on March 18, 2011 4 out of 4 members found this review useful.

4.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2002

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Started this ride in Golden, Co. Rode up the Golden Gate Canyon road to the Peak to Peak Highway. North on the Peak to Peak to Estes Park at the entrance to Rocky Mt. N.P. Stopped for a late lunch, and wait for the rain to stop in Estes Park. Then east to Loveland for the night. Made the "loop" the next morning, stopping to photo white water kayaker in part of the Poudre River, along with alot of scenec pullouts. Overall this is a great ride, good road, beautiful scenery. What more do you need. I have ridden all over the rockies, and the western states, and recommend this ride.

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By Guest
on June 16, 2010 4 out of 4 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1992

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

Also, I'd HIGHLY recommend that people check out Larimer County Road # 27. This road runs between US 34 east of the Big Thompson Canyon and dumps off just west of Poudre Park in the Poudre Canyon. This road is MADE for bikes, I had a blas and though I was going to have to buy new floorboards for my Electra Glide by the end! The pavement on this route is in better shape than CO 14 or US 34, and the corners were almost entirely gravel free. One note of caution on this route, the corners aren't real well marked, and if you screw up you'll lauch yourself out into the cow pastures.

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By Guest
on April 3, 2011 3 out of 3 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2011

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

this route is the best ride you will find any where, my parents twin brother and my self road from wisconsin and made a point of taking this road... My parents had taken it years before

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By Guest
on March 28, 2011 3 out of 3 members found this review useful.

4.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2010

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Sport

This was a beautiful ride but longer than what most of the comments indicated. I would suggest making it a 2-day since there is so much to see. It took our group between 9-10 hours total. We met at 9 am in Denver and ended up in Estes Park at 7:00 pm.to spend the night. The route is beautiful roads are good. It does rain in the afternoon in the Rocky Mountain Park so plan to leave at a time that you will miss the afternoon storms.

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By Guest
on July 26, 2010 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

4.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2009

Motorcycle Make BMW

Motorcycle Type Other

My ride started in the Black Hawk/Central City area thus included the awesome Peak-to-Peak Hwy to Estes Park. From Estes Park, the ride took me down Hwy 34 to Loveland and then, the only low part of the ride, up US 287 to Ft. Collins - lots of traffic lights... and traffic! Once the ride headed back into the hills, up the Cache la Poudre canyon, traffic thinned out and the scenery became awesome. The farther up the canyon, the less traffic and the more grand the scenery became. The approach into Walden becomes a completely different climate zone from the Poudre canyon. The semi-arid plains of North Park - beautiful in it's own way - and dotted with antelope! Riding back down to Granby and up to Grand Lake took me back into what once was a heavily forested area, now nearly treeless thanks to our mountain pine beetles. The ride over Trail Ridge Rd. ended up being an early evening ride with the sun at my back. The scenery was absolutely spectacular! Lots of wildlife, including elk & moose, could be seen from the road. The best photo opp. was of Longs Peak. A layer of clouds above and again below the top of the mountain with the sun behind created a fabulous sight! Then on down the east side of Trail Ridge into Estes Park, south along the Peak to Peak and home. One of the best rides in Colorado!!

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By RedWing04
on February 21, 2015 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2004

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Touring

Another great route that goes through beautiful country. The description of this route is spot-on and can be done in one long day but is best done in two. Lots to see and check out. Rocky Mtn. National Park is spectacular with a good chance of seeing a lot of wildlife. North Park Inn & Suites in Walden is a motorcycle friendly motel and a good place to spend the night.

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By turlock
on April 21, 2014 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1998

Motorcycle Make honda valkryrie

Motorcycle Type Touring

There is only one reason this ride is not rated higher. As my friend from New York said when we pulled off at the first stop on Trail Ridge above 11, 000 feet "I'm scared". Not for everyone, but if you want to ride on a different planet...this ride is it.

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By Guest
on August 30, 2013 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2006

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Touring

This route is truly a beautiful ride. Poudre Canyon is a fun ride with beautiful scenery. Top this off with Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park.

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By Guest
on June 2, 2013 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Harley

Motorcycle Type Touring

Did ride in May 2013. Road was good and scenery was great, however, major weather change with severe crosswinds heading into Walden and very cold temps and snow along shoulders on Cameron Pass. Be prepared with plenty of gear if you Spring or Fall ride it.Antelope, Elk and Moose were spotted on this journey.

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By ROADWHORE
on January 12, 2013 1 out of 2 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 08

Motorcycle Make HD Electra Ultra

Motorcycle Type Touring

I have only ridden this once and we were in a bit of a hurry but I plan on riding it again ASAP but take more time next time.

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By hpitler
on August 8, 2011 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2009

Motorcycle Make Harley Road King

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

We did this ride yesterday. It was a beautiful day. We rode straight from 8 am through 3:30 with about a 30 minute stop in Granby for lunch. Instead of taking the last segment from Granby to Estes Park, drove on US 40 through Winter Park to Idaho Springs and back into Denver.

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By Guest
on March 6, 2011 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2011

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

This is one of the nicest rides I have ever been on! Beautiful scenery and great roads.

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By Guest
on October 24, 2010 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Suzuki

Motorcycle Type Touring

Live close to the Walden Loop. Love to ride it. Always spectacular views. See something different every time. Plenty of good food along the way!

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By Guest
on February 7, 2010 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2009

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

Made this run in 06 and 09. Bringing friends in 10. The ride from Omaha to Fort Collins is a nice one day. Lodging in FC area is about $120.00 per night. This is a great trip out to Walden. You'll love RCM Natl. Park. Maybe head to Steamboat. Staying anywhere near the tourist areas demands higher prices. It is what you make of it. Estes Park in July is a zoo. Too many people for me...keep riding. Wind down to Leadville area and onto Ouray and Durango for a real treat. Enjoy!

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By iminna
on September 2, 2016 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008 105th Anniversary Edition

Motorcycle Make FXDWG Harley Davidson

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

One of the best day trips in our area. Cheyenne, WY to Ft Collins CO, Poudre Canyon Rd to Walden and south to Granby then back over the mountain to Loveland and back to Cheyenne. 8 1/2 hours and 360 miles of mostly mountain road. I believe this is the best route for this ride because you ride UP the best parts of the mountains. NOTE: Be prepared to pay $20 per bike to ride thru the park between Granby and Estes Park. Great ride.

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By Guest
on July 17, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1998

Motorcycle Make Suzuki

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

I took this ride on 7/10/10 and the construction on Trail Ridge road in Rocky Mtn. National Park is complete, so no need to turn around, the road is fully paved.

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By Guest
on June 30, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

3.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

just took walden loop in june of 2010 rode into park on 34 north ridge is torn up. it is down to dirt for about 10 miles. it is in terrible shape. ride to walden worth the trip, but turn around and go back the same way. by the way the bowling alley in walden has pretty good food.....

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By Guest
on February 21, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1995

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

Have the good fortune to live within five miles of the east entrance to the Cache la Poudre canyon. This loop is as good as any ever found and that includes Tail of the Dragon and Fairbanks and back. On Highway 14 (N. College Ave) leaving the "Old Town" area which has some excellent restaurants there are a number of lower cost locally owned motels if you don't want to do the Hilton. A KOA is at the junction "Ted's Place" about 5-6 miles north out of Ft. Collins just as Highway 14 branches off at the start of the Cache la Poudre canyon. We usually take the Walden to Laramie to Ft. Collns loop as early as possible in the year and the RMNP loop after July 1. It is COLD at 14,000' even in late August. Take a long day for each loop and you will understand this incredible M/C tour or stay at the Antler Inn in Walden and enjoy a wonderful three days!

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By Guest
on February 14, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

Good ride every one should also consider riding up to Red Feather Lakes.

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By Guest
on January 9, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2009

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

Anyone have any recommendations on reasonable and quiet places to stay in Ft Collins, Walden, Granby and Loveland? Looking for a place to crash and then go. Not sure where I will land each day. I plan on taking a week to ride in from Omaha, NE to make the loop in June 2010.

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By Guest
on September 14, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1994

Motorcycle Make BMW

Motorcycle Type Touring

This is one of our favorite routes when we are out at our place in Colorado. It is absolutely breathtaking.

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By Guest
on March 6, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2005

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

We did this exact loop, it was a really nice ride. your right about the lack of traffic after Walden, just a few cars. A local bike shop Red Hill does this in reverse from Lyons, co every summer.

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By Guest
on August 27, 2008 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2005

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

We took parts of two days East – West out of Fort Collins (stayed in Granby). Rocky Mountain National Park was beautiful but very cool in early August. We saw 10 male elk grazing just off the road on top. We were not disappointed.

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By Guest
on December 4, 2007 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Did this on a tour from Illinois.
Even after Trail Ridge Road and that spectacular scenery, CO-125 provided a wonderful low-key ride through subtle scenery. Going from North to South the road follows watersheds with lots of beaver dams and meadows. Then topping a low pass the road straightens out and drops into sagebrush country on the run to Walden.
I highly recommend the River Rock Cafe in Antlers Inn. Plain good food and a relaxing place to stop.

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