Is there any better place in the USA to ride than Colorado?

Lucky bastard! Better hope President Whoever doesn't close all that land down :)

Say, My wife and I plan on going to the XDB spodefest near Colorado Springs in Aug, is a spark arrester required?


'00 YZ426

Yeah and I hope president Whatever doesn't get replaced by president douch bag who is supposedly even more of a nature natzy (sp?).

Yes, you are required to have a spark arrester in Colorado. That's about the only thing the forest ranger checks for other than an OHV sticker.


Yesterday (Sunday) I went for a ride by myself. Everyone I know had plans for the weekend. But that's OK, I wanted to find an area in Rampart I enjoyed a couple of years ago and haven't been able to find since. One thing I've discovered about riding by myself. Just like on a mountain, I DON'T STOP. I basically rode hard for 4 hours without stopping. Except for frequent map stops (1 or 2 minutes max) and a 15-minute brake for food and orientation (I was a little lost). Man! I'm beat!

Anyway, as I was driving home from Rampart with a stupid grin on my face, three quarters of which was from the elation of my ride, the other one quarter was actually a grimace since I was so tired, I had this thought:

Is there any better place in the USA to ride than Colorado?

Granted, Colorado riding in the winter isn't that great. You can do some MX tracks or travel to Grand Junction in the winter but it's chilly. Other states have good riding all year long. I also realize that there are some awesome riding spots in the US.

But what state has more to offer than Colorado? Plus, Colorado hasn't restricted motorcycles as much as other states (yet). You can easily plate a bike and ride anywhere. You can even get a 2 stroke plated easily.

Here is just a sample of what you can ride in Colorado:

1) Rampart Range/ Woodland Park - OHV single track and 4wd roads. Zillions of miles of trails developed by the forest service for OHV's. 7000 feet to 9500 feet. This area has everything. High speed 4wd trails with big-ass water bars. Yesterday I found a place with water bars 5 or 6 feet high! NO KIDDING! It was like being on a motocross track. Single track galore. Some of the trails are like doing slalom on skis. Right and Left and Right banked turns, 2nd gear, for about as long as you can stand it. It's a total scream! It would probably take a week of full day riding to ride every single track trail in this area. If this was the only place left on earth to ride, I could deal with it.

2) Grand Junction - OHV trails and BLM land. Some of the single track we have ridden is totally buff and skirts canyon rims. Exposure? Yes, but it’s awesome. You can also ride in the bookcliffs area. Only locals know how much riding you can do back there. It goes all the way to Utah. In that area you can find ghost towns and even wild horses.

3) Crested Butte - Is there a better place to trail ride than Crested Butte? It is known to mountain bikers all over the world as the premo #1 riding area. But many and most of the trails were actually developed by motorcycles! We are talking tight, slow, muddy, rooty, nasty, steep, NARROW and more river, not stream but RIVER, crossings than you could ever imagine. Without a good map here, you are screwed. Your bike better be running good too. If you brake down, you might be 40 miles from help in some pretty harsh terrain. The views are un-describable. Better go lean on your jetting. Extra gas is nice too. Oh and by the way, it WILL rain in the afternoon and you WILL get drenched. But you will already be wet from the river crossings anyway.

4) Salida – An unknown riding spot for mountain bikers and motorcycles. The Rainbow trail (I haven't done it yet on the motorcycle) is a 120 miles trail that gets pretty remote. Yes, 120 miles of premo single track. I'll bet you don't see too many people on this trail. I don't even know if there is a place half way to get gas.

5) Riding near Denver - within 1 hours drive (or ride on the dual sport bike) we have some amazing 4wd roads. I could take you on a ride that you would swear was right out of The Sound of Music. There are so many 4wd roads from the mining days that many aren't even mapped. Rocky, steep hills aren't uncommon and the views are breathtaking. Go a little further out of Denver and you can take a 4wd road up to 14000 feet (Mt. Bross).

6) Ouray/Telluride - South West Colorado has the most beautiful scenery in the state. 4wd roads galore. Some go to 13,200 feet. This is the best place anywhere for a dual sport bike. You can ride high mountain passes during the day and stay in a different town every night. Did I mention high altitude and river crossings seem to go hand in hand? Be prepared to get wet. I've been to the top of Imogine pass in my 4wd (and mountain bike) and I still say the top of Imogine is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. The San Juan mountains are the most rugged mountain range in Colorado and from the top of Imogine, you can see the world.

7) Steamboat - Single track, single track, single track. OHV trails have been cut near Steamboat Lake for your riding pleasure. The locals know all the good stuff though and it isn't on the map. If you aren't careful, you could get lost in Wyoming and no one would never find your body.

8) Buena Vista area - This area, known as the Collegiate peaks area, has a very high concentration of 4wd roads that used to be mining roads. It also has the highest concentration of 14000 feet peaks in the state. You could ride different 4wd trails here for days. From here you can also access the nastiest, rockiest trail I've been on: The Timberline Trail. 1st gear riding for hours and hours. Jake hated that trail on his XR600.

9) Taylor Park reservoir - Not too far from Crested Butte. Known to be a premo motorcycle area. I've not yet ridden here. Too many trails, not enough time.

These areas only scratch the surface of our Colorado riding. For every area I’ve described there are two or three more that we don’t know about. Some of the areas in Colorado are very remote and no one even goes there to explore. But mining roads litter the state and are just waiting to be explored.

How remote? About once a year a private airplane crashes in some remote Colorado area and it can take years before the plane is found. Some of these areas are where we ride!

The GPS I bought is turning out to be a good investment for me. I’m directionally impaired (get disoriented easily) so it’s nice to be able to pull that sucker out and determine exactly on a map where the hell I am.

I know other states have great riding. But as far as diversity, volume and scenery, is there a better place than here?

I can't make this claim world wide though. I'll bet Fernando in Chili or Alexandre in Brazil can put my remote riding stories to shame.


Hey Brian,

I don't think you know how good you got it!! Out here in the "flat lands" (out west of chicago) we have to drive a couple of hours to ride in a (one) single place to pay to ride for the day. I would trade ya places any day! :)


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