The Walden Loop (courtesy of Greeley HD&Yamaha)

Average Rating - This road has been rated by 22 visitors


State: Colorado
Date Submitted: October 1, 2006
Submitted by: Dave and Susan Nirode
Motorcycle Road Length: 220 Miles

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

 

Photos/Videos

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Ratings/Reviews

 

Reviewed by Guest on April 3, 2011
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: 2011 yamaha
motorcycle_year: 2011
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on March 28, 2011
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Donna Franklin
motorcycle_year: 2010
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: 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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Reviewed by ROADWHORE on January 12, 2013
(1 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: ROADWHORE
motorcycle_year: 08
motorcycle_make: HD Electra Ultra
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by hpitler on August 8, 2011
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Hpitler
motorcycle_year: 2009
motorcycle_make: Harley Road King
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on March 17, 2011
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Chris
motorcycle_year: 2002
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on March 6, 2011
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Johnny
motorcycle_year: 2011
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: This is one of the nicest rides I have ever been on! Beautiful scenery and great roads.
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Reviewed by Guest on October 24, 2010
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Cb Biker
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Suzuki
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on February 7, 2010
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: The Chairman
motorcycle_year: 2009
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by turlock on April 21, 2014
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: turlock
motorcycle_year: 1998
motorcycle_make: honda valkryrie
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on August 30, 2013
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Waterman
motorcycle_year: 2006
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on June 2, 2013
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: mstaily
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Harley
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on July 26, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Bill
motorcycle_year: 2009
motorcycle_make: BMW
motorcycle_type: Other
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on July 17, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Ron Pennington
motorcycle_year: 1998
motorcycle_make: Suzuki
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on June 30, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: steve and marla
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on June 16, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Billy
motorcycle_year: 1992
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on February 21, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Doug Dempsey
motorcycle_year: 1995
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on February 13, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Infidel Talon
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: Good ride every one should also consider riding up to Red Feather Lakes.
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Reviewed by Guest on January 8, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: pat neumann
motorcycle_year: 2009
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on September 14, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Robert Anton Franken
motorcycle_year: 1994
motorcycle_make: BMW
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: This is one of our favorite routes when we are out at our place in Colorado. It is absolutely breathtaking.
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Reviewed by Guest on March 6, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Craig
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on August 27, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Ron/Keiko
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: 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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Reviewed by Guest on December 3, 2007
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Gerald Wilgus
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: 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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