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Touring Colorado’s High Country On a Motorcycle

From majestic 14ers to the Great Sand Dunes, from Rocky Mountain National Park atop the Continental Divide to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado hosts some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the United States making it one of the most coveted destinations among motorcyclists.

Spring, summer and fall, weather permitting, come and explore colorful Colorado. The fall foliage is especially nice in Colorado’s mountains, as are the flowers of summer that blanket the meadows at the base of the great Rocky Mountains. You can see all varieties of wildlife, which make great pictures. And the people are friendly – in fact, the smaller the town, the more friendlier they are!

If you travel through Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park to Grand Lake, you can continue on Highway 40 West through a beautiful canyon along a river and a railroad track, through some quaint Colorado mountain towns, experiencing Colorado hospitality in every location. Highway 40 turns slightly north at Kremmling, and the scenery begins to become even more spectacular from the Wolford Mountain Recreational Area over Rabbit Ears Pass to Steamboat Springs. Be sure to stop and experience the views as you descend Rabbit Ears Pass into the Yampa Valley, known for its summer and winter sports, its beauty and its visitor-friendly amenities all along Highway 40. Steamboat Springs has wonderful shopping and restaurants, as well as fantastic recreational activities both summer and winter. You can visit Fish Creek Falls with only a short hike down to the river, or maybe the natural Hot Springs are more to your liking. If you come to Steamboat, you need to plan for a few days here, because you won’t want to leave. From Lake Granby to Steamboat Springs is about 80 miles – a favorite route among Colorado’s motorcyclists.

For a little longer trip (220 miles approximately) which takes you over the Continental Divide at least twice, begin in Ft. Collins, CO, west through Poudre Canyon on Highway 14 to Walden, CO. From Walden, go south on Road 125 toward Granby. In Granby, turn north on Highway 34, going past Grand Lake, up through Rocky Mountain National Park, to Estes Park. This is called the Walden Loop, as you will continue on Highway 34 from Estes Park to Loveland, through the Big Thompson Canyon, and back to Ft. Collins. Restaurants, shopping, gas and overnight accommodations aplenty can be found in Walden, Granby, Grand Lake and Estes Park. And the viewing of wildlife along this route and in the National Park will most likely include elk, deer, moose, bald eagles and big-horn sheep.

High mountain travel in Colorado in the early spring and late fall will require warm weather gear and lots of layers. It’s been known to snow on the 4th of July in these locations and others. Come prepared, but plan to take your time and enjoy the view on each of these spectacular northern Colorado routes. Come and enjoy Beautiful Colorado on your motorcycle! And view photographs of this area on my blog at

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