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Cat Herder
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some advice on weather/routing as I pass through Colorado in early April.

I'll be coming from SLC, and taking 40 across towards Kremmling and dropping south, maybe heading towards Colorado Springs. Bad idea? I kind of want to see Pikes Peak as I pass through...always been a childhood dream to drive/ride up that road.

Any roads I should see while in the area, or steer clear of because of weather. I don't mind wet roads or weather...I just don't want to see ice.

Any advice or ideas would be awesome. You guys know this area best, so I thought I should consult you.

Thanks!
 

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Cat Herder
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Discussion Starter #3
I sent you a note on ADV. Keep a watch on the weather systems as you plan. Try to make it between storms systems.
Yeah, I just saw your post earlier this evening.

So, pretty much...watch the weather? I can do that.

Are there around roads that are better than others?
 

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Lots of good roads through the middle of the state. Just not sure about some of the passes that early in the season. If you are coming across 40, you can drop down 13 from Craig to Rifle - ok road, but a lot of dry high desert scenery. Better, head to Steamboat and drop down 131 through Oak Creek and Toponas. If there haven't been any recent storms, take 134 East over Gore Pass (one of my favorites), then drop down through Kremmling. If Gore pass does not look good, stay on 131 to Wolcott. If there have been recent storms, just stay on 40 to Kremmling and take 9 south Silverthorne.

If the weather gods favor you, 24 from Vail to Leadville and down the Arkansas River Valley is a beautiful ride. Then stay on 24 over to Pikes Peak.

Highway 9 from Silverthorne down to Highway 24 should be good as well. Both 24 and 9 south of I-70 are kept pretty clear with the winter sports traffic and should be in good shape.

You should still be able to avoid the interstate and get some good riding in.
 

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Cat Herder
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Discussion Starter #5
Now that is the type of intel I am looking for! Thank you Motornutt. Keep it coming everyone if you have any other ideas.

My final destination isn't Pikes Peak, but just a place I'd like to see along the way. I'll probably find a good place to rest nearby before possibly attempting a SS1000 across Kansas. Three seperate people have mentioned that going through Kansas as quickly and straightforward as possible would be the best idea.

Motornutt, I'll definitely use your suggestions and look at the routing tonight. I'll see which way would be do-able for me, and make some backups incase of weather.

Thanks again!
 

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I've motorcycled all those roads motormutt mentioned and don't think you're gonna get any better advise than his. Just make sure you're prepared for very cold and possibly wet weather.
 

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Cowboys aint easy to love
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Contact MtnAdventureRider (Big John), if he doesn't respond to your post on his own. From his posts, I'd guess he lives near Colorado Springs, but he knows his whole state. April is kind of early for high mountain road or trail events in Colorado...
 

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Cat Herder
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Discussion Starter #8
I've motorcycled all those roads motormutt mentioned and don't think you're gonna get any better advise than his. Just make sure you're prepared for very cold and possibly wet weather.
I live near Seattle...I'm prepared for cold and wet weather. :fineprint:

Contact MtnAdventureRider (Big John), if he doesn't respond to your post on his own. From his posts, I'd guess he lives near Colorado Springs, but he knows his whole state. April is kind of early for high mountain road or trail events in Colorado...
I shall do that. He has a ride around Colorado sometime in April, doesn't he? I need to see when that is. I'll be having to come back a week or two after I pass through. Not sure if I'm going to take the same route coming back as going.

I have a few weeks to plan that out.

Again, thanks to everyone for your advice.
 

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It will be damn cold riding. Hell even in the summer it can be cold riding over some of those passes. And keep in mind that March and April are a couple of the snowiest months in Colorado so storms are likely.


I'm looking for some advice on weather/routing as I pass through Colorado in early April.

I'll be coming from SLC, and taking 40 across towards Kremmling and dropping south, maybe heading towards Colorado Springs. Bad idea? I kind of want to see Pikes Peak as I pass through...always been a childhood dream to drive/ride up that road.

Any roads I should see while in the area, or steer clear of because of weather. I don't mind wet roads or weather...I just don't want to see ice.

Any advice or ideas would be awesome. You guys know this area best, so I thought I should consult you.

Thanks!
 

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All the info is correct. But you can do it, espcially if you have a couple extra days to wait out the weather. Plan to stop early for the night. Things ice up quickly before the sun goes down. Many of the passes will still be closed due to snow. Plan some alternate routes in case the roads are bad. (Its just started snowing). Anyway, you can go to steamboat, then decide if you want to head to Kremmling, and Dillion, or instead head to Meeker and Glenwood Springs. Depending on the road conditions at the time. Or if a winter storm is here, just bypass the high country entirely and head down through Eastern Utah. There will also be gravel on the roads, so be careful for that. The Stroms often are predictable. When they hit the highcountry they track South down through New Mexico, or north across I-80. So be flexible enough to decide at the last minute to head in the opposite direction. The few days or week befoer your departure, you will get much better info, just more accurate info is available.
 

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Cat Herder
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
It will be damn cold riding. Hell even in the summer it can be cold riding over some of those passes. And keep in mind that March and April are a couple of the snowiest months in Colorado so storms are likely.
What is "damn cold". It varies from person to person. I'll ride for short periods in the low 20's. I can ride for hours in the 30's. 40's are no sweat.

I would not want to try that road in April at all, let alone on a bike.
What road? 40?

Are there any others you'd suggest to keep me out of the ice?

All the info is correct. But you can do it, espcially if you have a couple extra days to wait out the weather. Plan to stop early for the night. Things ice up quickly before the sun goes down. Many of the passes will still be closed due to snow. Plan some alternate routes in case the roads are bad. (Its just started snowing). Anyway, you can go to steamboat, then decide if you want to head to Kremmling, and Dillion, or instead head to Meeker and Glenwood Springs. Depending on the road conditions at the time. Or if a winter storm is here, just bypass the high country entirely and head down through Eastern Utah. There will also be gravel on the roads, so be careful for that. The Stroms often are predictable. When they hit the highcountry they track South down through New Mexico, or north across I-80. So be flexible enough to decide at the last minute to head in the opposite direction. The few days or week befoer your departure, you will get much better info, just more accurate info is available.
Thanks. I guess I'll just make a few different paths and decide when I leave SLC. I'm only planning to ride across CO in one day or so and find a nice place to bed down before heading into Kansas.
 

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Damn Cold

Well after 3 days at almost 70 degrees we got a foot of snow in Denver today (more at my place on the west side of town) and the current temp is 21 degrees. The high today was reached right after midnight at 36 degrees. And this is down in the city and so of course it is much colder up in the mountains. However as is typically the case when Denver gets a big dump it is an "upslope" event and the mountains didn't get as much out of this particular storm. And it is supposed to be 50 again by Sunday and 60 by Monday. Just an indication of how the weather can change on a dime here.

Obviously the later in spring you get the less the chance for these kinds of major dumps, but I have encountered falling snow in the Colorado high country in every month of the year. Like everyone else said watch the weather closely and be flexible. And if you are going to attempt some passes try to do it later in the day after things warm up a bit. Even in the middle of summer it can easily be in the teens or twenties at those elevations in the early morning. I did a ride in July last year where I crossed Berthoud Pass about 7:30 or 8:00 AM and it was friggin' cold. Tolerable but not comfortable. And that was July.

 

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"I'm prepared for cold and wet weather."

What you may not be prepared for though is the miracle of evaporation here in the wonderful state of Colorado. Just something to be aware of.
 

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Cat Herder
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Discussion Starter #15
"I'm prepared for cold and wet weather."

What you may not be prepared for though is the miracle of evaporation here in the wonderful state of Colorado. Just something to be aware of.
As in...humidity? I used to live in VA, and traveled quite a few times to southern Ontario in the summer months. I'm fine with humidity.

Something came up at work, so it looks like my trip is postponed anyway.

Thanks for the advice anyway, everyone. I'll put it to use someday.
 

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+1 on March-April being the snowiest months. What you have to watch out for is quick dumps of snow, example: just a few days ago Denver was hit with about 10 inches of snow with most of it coming down in just two hours or so.

I don't want to scare you into not going, but just be aware that in the high country snow is much more prevalent.
 

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As in the lack of humidity. If you get wet at all, it's going to dry very quickly an in the process of doing so, make you pretty chilly.


As in...humidity? I used to live in VA, and traveled quite a few times to southern Ontario in the summer months. I'm fine with humidity.

Something came up at work, so it looks like my trip is postponed anyway.

Thanks for the advice anyway, everyone. I'll put it to use someday.
 

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I've ridden the Pike's Peak Highway to the summit house many times but never that early in the year. The web sight says the road is open year round depneding on weather so It's worth a shot; especially on a clear day, you can see forever up there.
 

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This is why we are careful this time of year and watch the weather closely

This has been repeated several times the last few weeks, with sunny and warm weather in between. It is typical March/April weather in Colorado:

http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=136007&catid=339



+1 on March-April being the snowiest months. What you have to watch out for is quick dumps of snow, example: just a few days ago Denver was hit with about 10 inches of snow with most of it coming down in just two hours or so.

I don't want to scare you into not going, but just be aware that in the high country snow is much more prevalent.
 

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Cat Herder
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Discussion Starter #20
Something came up at work, so it looks like my trip is postponed anyway.

Thanks for the advice anyway, everyone. I'll put it to use someday.
It's okay, guys. Issues at work have prevented me from going on this trip for now. It may be scrubbed for a while, as the whole reason for me going was for an event next weekend. That's no longer possible, as I have to work all of next week, and getting to VA in under two days doesn't sound like fun to me right now.

I'll be sure to make it through there sometime, hopefully later this summer.
 
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