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
- Trip Toolbox
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.
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!!!
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."
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!"
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Nickname (optional) : Dave and Susan Nirode