profile Image

Posted By

By PhilMills (2 McR Points) on Aug 06, 2017

Creator : PhilMills
Motorcycle Type : Sport - Touring

I'm a local and this is one of my regular rides. I think the route writeup misses a couple of key things that a visitor to the area should be aware of:
1) Trail Ridge Road (US34 between Granby and Estes Park) deserves to be called out by name. It is the highest continuous paved road in the US, topping out above 11,000'.
2) It's also effectively a toll road - about $20 to buy a RMNP day pass.
3) If you start in Ft. Collins, you're gaining ~7,000' in a two hour time span - be prepared for altitude.
4) You should expect epic thunderstorms coming up anywhere from noon to 5p in that area. You ABSOLUTELY DO NOT want to be above treeline (~10,000') when that comes through. The chances that you are going to be a lightning bolt's best path to ground is VERY high.
5) Expect a snow storm on Trail Ridge anywhere in the first month after it opens for the season (around Memorial Day) and be advised that early/late in the season this road is frequently closed due to weather conditions.

That said, this is a beautiful ride. The US 34 stretch is best done early in the day to avoid the HUGE amount of summer tourist traffic that floods Rocky Mountain National Park.

3 riders found this road review useful.