SingleTrack trail ride, Dualsport Adventure and Adventure M/C Hot Springs Tour in the Heart of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountain SingleTrack July 19-21 2013 Sargents, CO
Rocky Mountain Dual Sport Adventure August 9-11 2013 Salida, CO
Autumn Hot Springs Adventure Tour September 6-9 2013 Buena Vista, CO
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Updated March 22 2013
August 9th-11th 2013 Salida, Colorado 90% Dirt 100% Fun Open to all AMA Members with a Street Legal Dual Sport Motorcycle
August 9-11 2013 starting at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds in Salida,CO.
2 track above the tree line near Bonanza, Colorado
The Rocky Mountain Dual Sport Adventure starts and finishes each day at the County Fairgrounds in Salida, Colorado and follows the headwaters of the Rio Grande and Arkansas rivers for over 500 miles.
Recent photo of the Otto Mears Toll-road built in the 1869. The Historic Toll-road connects the San Luis Valley and the Arkansas River valley over 11,000 foot mountains. The rugged 11 mile path thru scenic forests is only accessible to the very adventurous.
The 535 mile Colorado 2 Day Dual Sport Adventure is a serious ride, not meant for those who aren’t serious about riding. The adventure will take you over mountain passes over 4 mountain ranges. The Sangre De Cristo, the Northern San Juan's, the Sawatch & the Collegiate Peaks and the Mosquito Range.
A photo of Marshall Pass from 1899. In 1881, the narrow-gauge Rio Grande railroad became the first railroad to cross the Continental Divide when it breached Marshall Pass and entered mineral rich Gunnison County.
But if you want to ride in the Rocky Mountains, over mountain passes, hundreds of miles of awesome 2 track, where you’ll experience spectacular mountain scenery, then this is the ride for you.
Old miners cabin on Breakneck Pass. Located in the Fairplay area of South Park , Breakneck & Brown's Pass is a difficult 4WD route which offers beautiful historic scenery along the southern flank of Sheep Mountain just east of Horseshoe Mountain. With the alternates available the route can be tailored to challenge all skill levels.
Railroad tunnels from the late 1800's north of Buena Vista. Built in 1887 by the Colorado Midland Railroad, which was a serious competitor to the Rio Grande RR in conquering the Great Divide and constructing the first transcontinental standard gauge railroad through Colorado. Spectacular views are guaranteed, as are fun dirt roads, climbs and descents, fast and slow sections, aspen trees and ten mountain passes over 10,000 feet.
A few of the pass signs on the Rocky Mountain Dual Sport Adventure. Centered on the spine of the high Rockies, these passes are among the densest concentration of high peaks in North America. Many of the peaks in the Rocky Mountain have broad treeless summits consisting of loose talus which gradually drop off to slopes covered with sub-alpine forests and a wide base a few thousand feet below.
We can also guarantee more than a few rocks, epic trails through the forest and a few water crossings. Loops for all skill levels will be offered.
Cottonwood Pass. One of the few passes over the Collegiate peaks. Cottonwood pass crosses the Continental Divide west of Buena Vista and leads to Taylor Park. Navigation by Roll Chart: GPS Tracks Available 70 Rider Limit Entry Deadline July 12, 2013
Old miners cabin along the trail in Bonanza on Day 1. Bonanza boomed between 1880 and 1888. Silver, copper, lead and zinc were found and 1,500 mining claims came into existence. We follow the old mining roads once traveled – where you’ll see old mines, historical buildings and remnants of old time mining equipment.
$325 Donation Includes: Colorado OHV sticker, Proven Roll Charts, GPS tracks, Maps, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches on the trail, Saturday night dinner and a quality T-shirt. Outriders and support vehicles. Free camping is included and the use of the fairground's showers, water and restrooms. A swimming pass at the Salida Hot Springs Pool is also included with your Donation. Don't forget your swimming trunks.
Net Proceeds Help Support: Chaffee County Search & Rescue and COHVCO
Link to Lodging Info: Link to Chaffee County Visitors Guide in Adobe Flash:
Click on the 2012 logo below for a Ride Report by Jason Heller:
Downtown Salida. Continental Divide in the background.
Request a hard copy of the Chaffee County visitors guide by clicking on Now This Is Colorado:
Link to visitors guide
Sign-up shed at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds Directions: Salida, CO is located approximately 3 hours southwest of Denver on Hwy 50. The Chaffee County Fairgrounds are located 5 miles west of town @ 10165 C.R. 120, Salida, Colorado, 81201 just northeast of Hwy 50 and the Poncha Springs Hwy 50/285 intersection. Chaffee County Fairgrounds 10165 County Road 120 Salida, CO 81201
Fairgrounds set-up. Continental Divide in the background.
View from Mosquito Pass looking west. The town of Leadville is in the distance and Mt. Elbert, the tallest peak in Colorado is the background. Mosquito Pass is the highest pass road in America, is of High historical significance and has awesome alpine views. Mosquito Pass connects Alma Junction to Leadville over a historic wagon route at 13,186 feet above sea level.
Leadville is the highest incorporated city and the second highest incorporated municipality in the United States. By 1880, Leadville was one of the world's largest silver camps, with a population of over 40,000. Now it is home to about 2,600 people.
Leadville is a former silver mining town that lies near the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The city preserved many historic structures and sites from Leadville's dynamic mining era in the Leadville Historic District. It has been over 150 years since the 'tip of the iceberg' of one of the world's richest ore-bodies was discovered.
The old Leadville Power Plant. In the late 19th century, Leadville was the second most populous city in Colorado, after Denver.
Old Railroad Right of Way in the the Leadville Historic District. Designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1961, the Leadville National Historic Landmark District includes 67 mines in the mining district east of the city. The district is credited with producing over 2.9 million troy ounces of gold, 240 million troy ounces of silver, 1 million short tons of lead, 785 thousand short tons of zinc, and 53 thousand short tons of copper.
Quotes from participants of the Colorado 2 Day Dual Sport Adventure on August 11-12 2012: __________________________________ "Now That was an EPIC ride"
Jack Walton Tomichi Creek Trading Post _______________________________ "That was the best ride I've ever been on"
Jason Heller Midland Powersports _______________________________
"Holy Sh*t, look at those fuc*ing Rocks"
Howard Du Bois AMA Life Member _______________________________
"Thanks for putting together a great weekend of riding, we had a blast!!!!"
Lauren Breedlove, RN Tuscon, Arizona
_______________________________ Click the Photo Gallery link for Photos of the 2012 Dual Sport Adventure:
David Diaz on Hayden Pass on Sat. August 11, 2012
North London Mine on 13,000+ ft Mosquito Pass east of Leadville
Sign board at the North London Mine on Mosquito Pass
Sign board at the London Mill on Mosquito Pass
Below are a few of the locations on the Colorado 2 Day AMA Rocky Mountain Dual Sport Adventure. All with interesting connector routes minimizing pavement and Spectacular views.
Marshall Pass and the Continental Divide. Though the Silver panic of 1893 reduced the price of silver and marked the end of mining camps around Monarch Pass, the railroad over Marshall pass survived until 1955 by carrying coal from the mines near Crested Butte.
Marshall Pass map from 1895. Day 1 of the Dual Sport Adventure Travels over Marshall Pass to Sargents, at the base of both Monarch and Marshall Passes. Sargents served as the hub of the D&RG Railroad and a supply center for mining & ranching in the rich silver camps of White Pine, North Star and the Tomichi Valley in the late 1800's.
We pass thru the LD Ranch Turquoise Allotment on Day 1. Supposedly Villa Grove Turquoise was some of the finest Turquoise to ever come out of American soil. First mentioned in 1893, it is currently not actively mined. The largest dig site in the area is difficult to mine because it fills with water from a nearby spring. This prehistoric area’s largest production occurred during the 1930s through the 1950s. Many Zuni and Navajo cluster-style jewelry designs (pre-1960) were made using this turquoise.
Day One: Big Horn Sheep Canyon; Salida River Loop; Arkansas River; Hayden Creek Pass; Bonanza; Poison Gulch; Saguache; Chicago Mine; Otto Mears Toll Road; Marshall Pass; Old Monarch Pass; Taylor Mountain; Mount Shavano and the Big Bend of the Arkansas River.
Rocky downhill (Photo Credit Todd Gowen)
Day Two: Smeltertown; Aspen Ridge; Four Mile; Ruby Mountain; Chalk Cliffs; St. Elmo; Tin Cup; Taylor Park; Cottonwood Pass; Buena Vista; Midland Railroad Tunnels and old Right Of Way; Granite; Lost Canyon; Weston Pass; Breakneck Pass; Mosquito Pass; Leadville Mining District; Leadville; The Castles; Aspen Ridge; Ute Trail and Salida.
Smeltertown smokestack in the Arkansas River valley north of Salida. National Historic Monument on Day 2 of the Dual Sport Adventure
We can guarantee more than a few rocks, epic trails through the forest and a water crossing or two. View from the Otto Mears Tollroad.
Big Bend of the Arkansas River near Salida, Continental Divide in the background.
The Castles on Trout Creek Pass east of Buena Vista.
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Averages & Records in °F for Salida, Colorado in August:
Avg. Low Avg. High Record Low Record High Avg. Precip 47° 81° 31° ('68) 95° ('04) 1.55"
• The most precipitation on average occurs in August.
BRIEF ROUTE DESCRIPTION Day One
View from Old Monarch Pass Overview Of Saturday
The first day we will be riding in the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range, the North San Juan Mountains and the southern end of the Collegiate Peaks in South Central Colorado.
Hayden Pass before the Rock Garden. Hayden Pass is the only way thru the northern Sangre De Cristo Wilderness area from the Arkansas River drainage to the Rio Grande River drainage.
We will start from the Chaffee County fairgrounds, head down Hwy 50 into the Arkansas River Canyon, north to a neat power-line road headed east behind Wellsville to Howard. Take a dirt road along the Arkansas river, cross Valle bridge over the Arkansas River and then travel southwest over 10,000 foot Hayden Creek Pass, go through Villa Grove to Bonanza and head southwest from there to the Town of Saguache (Sawatch) for fuel.
Desert looking terrain near Saguache and Hwy 114 From Saguache we head north back thru Bonanza on a different epic road than we came in on, up and over to the Chicago Mine, down to the valley floor, back up and over the Northern San Juans to the old Otto Mears Toll-road, and then left, west again, up and over Marshall Pass to Sargents for another fuel stop.
Old mining structures on Alder Creek on Day 1 in the northern San Luis Valley near Bonanza.
Old mining road up Taylor Gulch near Monarch pass
We’ll then head north up and over Old Monarch Pass to Hwy 50, down past Monarch Ski area on Hwy 50 where we will turn left on a County Road (CR) where we’ll make a counterclockwise loop up to Taylor Mountain and head back to Hwy 50.
Old Mine buildings near Taylor Gulch
After riding over 7 passes over 10,000 feet, we will turn left onto another county road and ride below 14,000 ft Mount Shavano, where we’ll come down a washout road near the local MX track where we could do a few laps. Last we'll head into the town of Poncha Springs, stop for fuel and head east back to the Fairgrounds. 235 miles. With a 157 mile short loop option. Several shorter options will be available in 2013.
Brief Description of Day Two
Day 2 will start from the fairgrounds near Poncha Springs where we’ll head north to River Road along the Arkansas River and then stop by the old Smeltertown smokestack. From the smokestack we will head up Ute Trail road to Aspen Ridge.
Buena Vista on a summer evening
From Aspen Ridge we'll drop down a trail to Ruby Mountain and the Arkansas River again. From there we take a dirt road to Hwy 24 to Johnson Village, fuel up, head north towards Buena Vista, but then veer west, then South and then west again past the Chalk Cliffs to St Elmo and up and over Tincup Pass.
From Tincup we take a shorcut through Taylor Park through several water crossing, then head east up and over Cottonwood Pass.
Water crossing near Taylor Park between Tincup and Cottonwood passes
After a enjoying the view from the top of Cottonwood Pass, it's mostly twisty pavement downhill to Buena Vista. We'll stop for food & fuel, then head north through the Midland Railroad tunnels and up the old Railroad right of way along the Arkansas river.
From the Numbers rafting taking out we'll head towards Granite, then northeast toward Weston Pass from Granite, then east over Weston Pass, up a dirt road north to Breakneck Pass, next we'll thread our way along the east side of the Mosquito Range to 13,000 foot Mosquito Pass headed west toward Leadville.
Once we decend off of Mosquito Pass, we'll take a tour of the old Leadville Mining District.
The Little Johnny mine is at the far eastern section of Leadville, just as you come off of Mosquito pass. It was owned by the James Brown, husband to the Unsinkable Molly Brown. It is an interesting relic because of its well preserved state. From the metal grate covering the mine entrance (the hoisting structure has long since vanished), to the tracks that went into the mill, to the ore shoots on the west side (not visible in photo) which would have dumped ore into railroad cars. Mosquito Pass is in the background of the photo.
After more food and fuel in Leadville we'll take a few long cuts in the dirt toward Granite, jump on the old Midland ROW thru the tunnels, head east up through the trails of the 4-Mile OHV area, cross Hwy 24 on Trout Creek Pass, take a sandwash back toward Aspen ridge and then down twisty, tight Old Ute mining wagon trail to end back in Salida behind Spiral Mountain.
Derry Placer Ranch southwest of Leadville. Gold was discovered here in the 1860s and dredged until 1913, and again between 1916 and 1924. Land dredging continued until 1950. Today, a few remaining buildings stand in the middle of mine tailings. Day 2 is 311 Miles over 3 passes over 11,000 feet. One pass over 13,000 feet. Several shorter interesting route options will be available for both days in 2013.
Novice and Old timers please read this on Optional Loops:
Day 1 You'll have the option of avoiding Bighorn Sheep Canyon and rocky Hayden Pass and also be able to avoid Poncha Creek by riding up the Marshall Pass Railroad Right of way. This will make the Day one alternate about 30 miles shorter at 200 miles. You also will have the option of bailing out at the old town site of Shirley, which would then make day one about 120 miles.
On Day 2you'll have the option of avoiding rocky Tin Cup pass & Cottonwood pass and heading strait up toward Weston and Mosquito Pass. You'll also avoid Breakneck and Browns pass. This will make the ride not only about 60 miles shorter but faster as Tincup, Breakneck and Browns are pretty slow going. You should then be able to do a neat 25 mile loop around Turquoise lake, 5 miles of off-road and 20 miles of curvey pavement.This will make the Day 2 alternate about 260 miles. We'll also offer a shorter, straighter option at the end of day 2 that's still fun but easier than the full loop. Or on Day 2if your whipped after Day 1 or just want to leave late we'll have a fun loop around the Aspen Ridge and 4 Mile OHV area of about 90 miles.
There are options to jump on the pavement and head back to the fairgrounds along the entire route and these options can be clearly marked on the ride map.
There will be Roll Charts and GPS tracks available for all of the alternate loops.
Salida Railroad history is on here because we cross the railroad tracks multiple times on the Dual Sport Adventure. And we like trains. Click on logo to link:
Full steam ahead west of Salida in the 1930's
For a thorough description of the Dual Sport Route please see this link:
Meadow in the North San Juan Mountains near Villla Grove, Colorado
Old Monarch Pass
Though this Video Depict's a race amongst friends, it is used only for an overview of Old Monarch Pass. We are Not racing up Old Monarch Pass.
Link to AMA Membership
Big horn sheep on the highway in Colorado
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