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2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

STAFF BLOG

Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure Tour
Story: Jubal Brown
Photos: Randall Paetzold

ADV Tour Vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTlCJEbuHMk

Fall is descending on the Aspen forests' of Colorado- and the cool, crisp air perfectly complimented the Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure Tour. As Round 14 of the AMA Yamaha Super Tenere Adventure Riding Series, the three day Autumn Hot Springs Tour also served as the fourth event of the Summer put on by Exit Tours M/C. Once again, the Exit Tours crew outdid themselves.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

Adventure Bike enthusiasts from all over the Country converged on the sleepy town of Buena Vista, Colorado Friday afternoon. Mountain Tech Motorsports (the local Beta dealer), was kind enough to open their doors to visitors who needed to park trucks and trailers and to pick up last minute moto provisions. Best of all, participants were able to drop off their luggage and bags at Mountain Tech Motorsports to be couriered to all of the overnight stops.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

A swimsuit was as important as a helmet on the Autumn Hot Springs Adventure, as riders were treated to a different deluxe hot springs on each of the three overnight stays of the tour. After dropping everything off, Andrew and I made the short trek up to Cottonwood Hot Springs for the first soak of the Tour.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

Forty ADV bikes were lined up in a big single-file row along the hot springs. There were a number of 1200GS BMWs, a few 990 KTMs, a small KLR Kult, various examples of the Triumph Tiger 800 and 1200 XCs, and Andrew and I's Big Twin/Happy Trail Products F800GS’s. Riders from Washington, to Tennessee and even Canada all congregated under a big tent and enjoyed bench racing and a delicious taco buffet. After dinner, everyone enjoyed the relaxing Cottonwood Hot Springs. With the temperatures of the multiple pools ranging from tepid to torrid; there was something for everybody.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

Bright and early the next morning, Andrew and I hit the road with Sean Barr of Mountain Tech Motorsports. Riding a Yamaha Super Tenere, Sean created the entire route for the Hot Springs Adventure. It did not take long to leave the pavement behind and hit some great dirt roads. Right off the bat, Sean took us on a twisty, single-lane dirt road through some small water crossings to the top of our first 11, 000ft+ mountain pass.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

The first thing that struck us was the elevation of the ride. We left Cottonwood Hot Springs at over 8000 feet and just climbed from there. It was surreal seeing 14, 000ft. peaks next to you instead of towering over you! The Hot Springs Adventure Tour crossed Weston, Hoosier, Boreas, Kenosha, Guanella, Loveland, and Ute Passes and then followed the Colorado River Road through Glenwood Canyon to the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge. Our total on the clock for the first day was 325-miles.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

We spent the night at Glenwood Hot Springs Pool & Lodge. Built in 1888, Glenwood is the world’s largest hot springs pool. Around the turn of the century, it became world-renowned as a healing wonder set in a mountain paradise. During WWII the hot springs and hotel were used exclusively as a U.S. Naval Convalescent Hospital.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

 The next morning, riders again saddled up just after sunup. The groves of Aspens were already starting to turn color as we rode past. Winter comes early in these parts, and speckles of yellow and orange dotted the roadside. From the Glenwood Hot Springs, we continued on to Aspen, one of the iconic mountain ski towns of the world. Then ‘first’ “best part” of Day 2 began as we tackled 12, 095ft Independence Pass. It is the second-highest paved pass in Colorado and is home of one of the most spectacular stretches of road in the state. The road is winding and steep with a constant 6.5% gradient, including tight switchbacks on each approach. The road narrows to one lane at several points along the way, and only inches separate motorists from certain death over steep drop-offs and sheer cliffs.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

The next morning, riders again saddled up just after sunup. The groves of Aspens were already starting to turn color as we rode past. Winter comes early in these parts, and speckles of yellow and orange dotted the roadside. From the Glenwood Hot Springs, we continued on to Aspen, one of the iconic mountain ski towns of the world. Then ‘first’ “best part” of Day 2 began as we tackled 12, 095ft Independence Pass. It is the second-highest paved pass in Colorado and is home of one of the most spectacular stretches of road in the state. The road is winding and steep with a constant 6.5% gradient, including tight switchbacks on each approach. The road narrows to one lane at several points along the way, and only inches separate motorists from certain death over steep drop-offs and sheer cliffs.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

After that, we did our best Valentino Rossi impressions up paved Cottonwood Pass, and practiced for Pikes Peak on dirt Cumberland Pass. Finally, we skirted the La Garita Wilderness Area and arrived at the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool. 375 miles on the trail had all the riders ready for a relaxing soak at the pool and a good night sleep at the Inn of the Rio Grande in Alamosa, Colorado.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

Day 3 started with a special tour of the steam engine facilities at the San Luis & Rio Grande's Railroad facility in Alamosa with a tour led by General Manager Matt Abbey. From there, we proceeded on our own iron over La Veta Pass, over the Wet Mountains to Canon City, through breathtaking Phantom Canyon to Victor and then to the historic gambling mecca of Cripple Creek before following dirt roads back to Buena Vista. This was the “shortest” day at 250-miles, but everyone had smiles on their weary faces as we returned to Mountain Tech Motorsports on Monday afternoon for a delicious BBQ.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

The terrain we covered over the three days varied from slickrock canyons with red dirt and junipers to high mountain views above treeline overlooking pine forest. This ride really made us appreciate what the mountains of Colorado have to offer! Exit Tours M/C created a fantastic route that really put the ADV in Adventure Bike. The riding surface varied from paved canyon twisties to the less traveled single-lane dirt fire roads. Our Big Twin/Happy Trail Products F800GS’s were more that up to the challenge and tore through the terrain with ease and comfort. We were stoked!

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

The Tour crossed 16 mountain passes and covered 975-miles in three days. Of the 40 participants, the oldest rider was Jan Key, 74 years young, who rode a Suzuki V-Strom with his wife as a passenger the whole way. The youngest was none other than our own video-talent Andrew Kane at 20-years old. Six wives participated free of charge, with three following the route in rental cars and the other three winning the Iron Buns award as passengers. There were no injuries and no major crashes; in fact, the only casualty was one flat tire.

2013 Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure

The Rocky Mountain Hot Springs Adventure Tour was one of the standout events of the season for us! It took us through almost 1, 000 miles of one of the most spectacular riding areas of the Country. The “High Adventure, No Hassles” approach included plenty of riding on asphalt, gravel and two-track routes mapped by local experts and the camaraderie of like-minded enthusiasts. The event was a hit thanks to Exit Tours M/C, Fly Racing, Vurboffroad.com, Wiseco, Enduro Spec Suspension, Mountain Tech Motorsports, Leo Vince, Acerbis, and Rocky Mountain Jeep Rentals. The only thing missing was you! Want to be there next year? Check out www.coloradodualsport.com for info on next year’s events.

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X-Roads of the Rockies Dual Sport

X- Roads of the Rockies Dual Sport Ride.
August 18-19 2018

Tour 3

2 Days of Epic Dual Sport riding around the Arkansas River & the Rio Grande and Colorado River headwaters. This ride starts at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds.

This Dual Sport ride is Limited to 75 riders so as to keep with USFS Guidelines, keep the groups manageable and so we can all have an enjoyable experience without a large crowd.

We recommend leaving early and keeping stops to a minimum. You leave when you wish, ride at your own pace, and we do not ride in large groups. We also highly recommend you come with a friend and be responsible for each other all through the day. We must insist everyone leave the Fairgrounds by 9 am so we are not out looking for riders in the dark.

Routes should be negotiable by competent riders on over 600cc or factory Dual Sport models. Though we discourage KLR 650s or Adventure bikes.

South-east of Buena Vista, CO.

Day 1 will cover over 125 miles of challenging terrain with Less than 15% pavement. Be prepared for a few rocks. Elevations up to 12,000 feet. 2 gas stops on the route and snacks and meals will be available at the Gas Stops.

Rocks, challenging uphills, downhills, 2 track, singletrack, old mines and outstanding vista’s are just a few of the caveats on this ride over the Continental Divide.


Example Only

Day 2 will take you on 2 track and dirt roads, past old mines and up and over the divide to the opposite side of the mountains you rode the previous day.

The Day 2 route will be approximately 125-140 miles at elevations from 7,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level . This year the Loop will include some challenging fun Singletrack and steeper hills than previous years. 1 possible alternate Gas stop on Day 2 where we will portage your fuel can to if you need it. The Gas stop at Lunch on Day 2 we will portage your fuel can and provide Lunch and Beverages.

Bailouts to short-cuts and extra Singletrack are available both Days.


Example Only

Summer rain clouds on the Continental Divide
Photo Credit R ! Series

Enjoy and share the camaraderie of like-minded enthusiast’s at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds on Friday evening with Dinner and beverages included with you Signing-up.

Club Membership is included with your entry for 2018 X-Roads of the Rockies.

This adventure is for Club Members and all expenses are shared. A portion of any profits will be distributed to Chaffee County Search & Rescue and the Blue Ribbon Coalition. Roll Charts are included with the shared expense but may be purchased separately if you cannot make the ride date.

Donate to the BRC

Expense averaged group cost for the Ride includes 2 days of roll charts , GPS Tracks, Dinner & Beverages Friday night. Fuel and Lunch available at stops along the way on Saturday, Lunch & Beverages included on the trail on Sunday. Fuel Portage, 4 nights camping, a Finisher pin, T- Shirt, Free coffee and breakfast available at the Fairgrounds both mornings. Over 250 miles of epic Dual Sport riding you can’t follow on a map for only $260.00.

We use PayPal as the only option to make it easy to sign -up.  (You do not have to be a PayPal subscriber to use PayPal)

Event Sign up link

Team Dixie Dual Sport made it out from Florida and Georgia in 2013

Team Dixie Dual Sports

You are responsible for a Colorado OHV sticker, Fuel and fuel in a DOT Container, spark arrestor, street legality in your state of residence and liability insurance for your motorcycle. We do not inspect any motorcycles. It is your responsibility to be legal.

Directions

Salida, Colorado is located on Hwy 50 in the Heart of the Rockies. The Chaffee County Fairgrounds are located 5 miles West of town @ 10165 C.R. 120, Salida, Colorado 81201 just Northeast of the Hwy 50 and Hwy 285 intersection at Poncha Springs.

X- Roads of the Rockies Dual Sport Ride. August 18-19 2018.
Chaffee County Fairgrounds, Salida, CO.

Our goal is to promote our sport.

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Roll Charts

Roll Charts are available for purchase for all 2014 Exit Tours Motorcycle Club routes

• Roll Charts are $75.00/ Day - Singletrack, Dual Sport or Adventure Tour
• Our roll charts come cut to size on one continuous roll of folded paper ready to be rolled onto your roll chart holder.
• At this time we do not offer a ‘route book’ style chart but if demand made it necessary….
• Send an email to us and state which day or days you would like to purchase and we will make arrangements for you to pay on Paypal.
• 2014 Roll charts will be available by each Club ride date.
• A limited quantity of 2013 Dual Sport Roll Charts are still available for either long or short loops.

Example Routes:

Example Routes

For more info: Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 719-207-1189

For 2014 Exit Tours Motorcycle Club rides are shared group expense rides for members only.

There is no qualifying or probation period to become an Exit Tours Motorcycle Club member and there are no required meetings or work days associated with your membership — just join and ride!

We use Paypal to make it quick and easy to sign-up. (You do NOT have to be a Paypal subscriber to use Paypal)

Sign Up

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