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NC to CO to take on the Alpine Loop (ATV trip)

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Old 08-08-2013, 05:41 AM   #1
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NC to CO to take on the Alpine Loop (ATV trip)

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My dad and I are going to be making a roadtrip from eastern NC to Silverton, CO to ride ATVs on the Alpine Loop and surrounding areas in mid August (wish i could take my Taco on the trails but somehow I dont think 2wd will cut it out there ). I have done a fair amount of research so far on trails to ride and things to see once we get to CO (mostly from www.traildamage.com) but it never hurts to have a little more insight. So if anyone has some suggestions for trails to ride, good eats, short detours along the way, or if you just want to BS about cross country road trips and off roading then feel free to reply

Some more details...
The general (but flexible) route looks like this ... http://goo.gl/maps/fyspS ... and the whole trip is going to last about 10 days (2 days to salida, 1 day to ride the Mt Antero trail and get to Silverton, 4 or 5 days riding ATVs in the San Juans, and 2.5 days back to NC). Its going to be alot of driving but when split between 2 ppl it shouldnt be that bad. Based on what I have seen on traildamage the area north of Salida has alot to offer including trails to 14er Mt Antero, Boulder Mtn, and Grizzly lake. We had planned on spending the night in Salida, riding up Mt Antero the next morning, then making our way to Silverton to meet up with some friends from Texas to ride the Alpine Loop. Once we are there anything is fair game and we dont really have a plan yet except to do as much riding as possible lol.

Thats all I have time to put down for now but I'll post updates and pics as I go along
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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sounds like a ton of fun!

Me and the wifey just got back from a cross country road trip from AZ - KY then back through CO.

When you go through St. Louis and have a hankerin for some BBQ stop at Pappy's Smokehouse. The best ribs I've ever had.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/pappys-smokehouse-saint-louis-3

We did the alpine loop in 2 days.
Day 1 was Ouray over Engineer Pass to lake city then around the bottom to Mill Creek Campground
Day 2 was Mill Creek over Cinnamon Pass to Silverton.
Then stopped at The old hundred gold mine and took the tour. That was pretty fun.

We wanted to take the trail up to Clear Lake, but we ran out of time. Seriously anywhere you go up there will be absolutely beautiful, looking forward to see the pics!
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:55 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tips and I'll be sure to stop in for some BBQ if it times out right.

Hopefully we will be able to make it up to Clear Lake I know its on the list of trails to check out. Maybe we can do that trail and the Ophir Pass trail in the same day.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:03 AM   #4
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If your going to be riding in super high elevation and if your atvs have carbs you might want to rejet them for the trip
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhavin42 View Post

When you go through St. Louis and have a hankerin for some BBQ stop at Pappy's Smokehouse. The best ribs I've ever had.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/pappys-smokehouse-saint-louis-3
Screw that, wait till KC and hit up Oklahoma Joe's

It regularly makes national and even international "top picks" lists (It's one of Anthony Bourdain's "ten places in the world you have to eat before you die". It'd be a little out of your way since I'm assuming you're rolling through on I-70 but definitely some great BBQ.

x2 on the carb jetting, if you're gonna be riding 14ers that's a serious altitude change from what they're probably set up for.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:52 AM   #6
jlb5035 [OP] jlb5035 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyodajeff View Post
If your going to be riding in super high elevation and if your atvs have carbs you might want to rejet them for the trip
Rejetting is on the project list for this afternoon actually lol. We're also waiting until we get out there to buy gas for the ATVs. I dont have any solid proof of this but I've heard from a few ppl that the gas sold in towns at higher elevations is slightly different to help make up for the thin air.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:29 AM   #7
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You could also drill some holes in the airbox lid instead of messing with the carbs. Probably would only want to do that on a racing atv. The utilty's have built in snorkels you dont wanna bypass
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:28 PM   #8
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There is no difference in gas is the same shit.
You will be going up to 12k + on the trip. its fun on atvs but its long and beats the shit out of you. Take rain gear and lots of water and food.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:48 AM   #9
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Im back in NC now and just getting caught up to where I can make this post. The trip was a blast and well worth the expense. It took 2 days to reach Salida, CO and the drive on 50 from Canon City to Salida has alot to offer as far as scenery, camping, and fishing. After spending the night in Salida we got up the next morning and made our way to the trailhead on County road 162. There were several good places to pull of the road and unload the atvs close to the trailhead.

Mt Antero - good trail that was a little crowded but not too bad. Its an easy trail until you get close to the summit when the switchbacks get considerably steeper but it was no problem in an atv. At the end of the trail there are plenty of places to park and hike to the summit.

Baldwin Lake - Not a very difficult trail but the ride was extremely bumpy with lots of loose rock. I would recommend skipping this trail and going to Grizzly lake or another nearby trail.

These were the only 2 trails we rode in the area due to time. We made the drive from Salida to Montrose before stopping for the night to avoid driving the million dollar highway in the dark. This turned out to be a great decision because the drive from Montrose to Silverton at sunrise has to be one of the best in the world as far as Im concerned. Once in Silverton we met up with our friends from Texas and rode quite a few trails but the ones that stood out to me were

Maggie Gulch - great trail with good view of a waterfall as well as lots of mines/mining buildings
Silver Lake - probably my favorite trail we rode one because of the climb through the trees and the unique view from the lake at the top.
Cinnamon pass - offers some great views of California Gulch and Lake Como

All of the bikes performed well and rejetting the carbureted ones definitely helped. I also had to take the airbox cover off of my 600 Grizzly to give it a little more air. Of course I have attached some pictures to this post bc this thread is pretty much pointless without them.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:36 PM   #10
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Can't wait to get down to that area and run some trails. Thanks for sharing!
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