Trails and Gulches of Idaho Springs

So I'm starting to hit the trails around Idaho Springs, an annual ritual it seems. Yesterday I went up Trail Creek Road (Clear Creek County Road 136) by the Phoenix Mine. Today, I'll try Spring Gulch Road (Clear Creek County Road 130). Still a lot of snow, ice, and mud. I'm just trying to reconnect the roads/trails in my mind. When it gets bad, I turn around. Also, I have to meet Jen for lunch in Morrison at 1:00 pm.

Update: Today, I hit the following roads:

  • Spring Gulch Road (Clear Creek County Road 130)

  • Ute Creek Road (Clear Creek County Road 118)

  • Cascade Creek Road (Clear Creek County Road 116)

First, I hit Spring Gulch Road (130). In theory, this connects with Trail Creek Road (136), but I turned back as it was to snowy/muddy. But I talked to some people, and they said that it does connect with Trail Creek Road (136), but I'm thinking I will try it again when it dries up a bit.

On Ute Creek Road (118), I rode up it for a distance, but didn't really feel like it went very far. I must have missed the connection going south down to Cascade Creek Road (116).

I made it up Cascade Creek Road (116) only a short distance, as it was still snowy and muddy.


Posted by Rob Kiser on April 8, 2021 at 9:54 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

St Mary's Glacier

Today (4/5/2021) was warm and sunny so I took the opportunity to run up to Alice/St Mary's Glacier. This is the first time I've made it up there there year. Last time I tried was in March and there was snow over the road so I turned back.

Today, I went up York Gulch Road a good distance. I stopped and took photos of some of the glory holes I passed on the way up. Then back to Fall River Road and up to Silver Lake. So, I was glad that I was able to ride all of the way up to the top of Fall River Road. No snow in the forecast. Woohoo!


Posted by Rob Kiser on April 5, 2021 at 8:29 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Squaw Pass

Today, I'm going to try to make Squaw Pass. Last time I tried, it was covered in snow, and I'm not riding over snow. So, we'll try it again today, as the temp is now in the 60's.

My route today will be a loop up County Road 65 over Squaw Pass to Echo Lake, down to Idaho Springs, and back via I70. Map says it's 59 miles. 1 hour 44 minutes. Looks like a high today in Idaho Springs of 65F.

So, I did this loop...Squaw Pass down into Idaho Springs. Was going to eat lunch at Carl's Jr, but the woman just stared at me, like she didn't even want to say "what can I get for you?" So, I just turned around and walked out. Rode to Evergreen, and hit up Walmart for some Easter goodies for when Jen and Cody come up. Get back to the house in time for their 2:00pm goat walk.

Jen and Cody show up and join me as the goats feast on the green grass sprouts coming up after the snows of March melted. After the goat walk, we divied up the Easter goodies. Then, Jen and Cody left, and I went for another ride on the motorcycle. This time, took North Turkey Creek to South Turkey Creek to Hilldale Drive to City View Drive and down to Pleasant Park to Deer Creek, then down to Deer Creek Canyon Park. Then, back up Deer Creek Canyon, to South Turkey Creek, to North Turkey Creek.

Then, I fed the animals, and went for the 3rd ride for the day. This time, North Turkey Creek to Jefferson County Hwy 73 to Shadow Mountain and down to Willow Creek.

Pass Bagger 2021:
x Berthoud Pass (11,306 ft above MSL) - 4/3/2021
x Loveland Pass (11,991 ft above MSL) - 4/3/2021
x Hoosier Pass - (11,542 ft above MSL) - 4/3/2021
x Kenosha Pass - (9,997 ft above MSL) - 4/3/2021
x Squaw Pass - (9,790 ft above MSL) - 4/4/2021


Posted by Rob Kiser on April 4, 2021 at 11:00 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Today's Ride

I just can't begin to explain what March was like. They're saying now that it was the 2nd snowiest March in recorded history for Denver/the state of Colorado. But March is behind us now (today is 4/3/2021) and there is no snow in the forecast. Thank you Jesus!

So, today, I decided I'd get up and start pass-bagging. Like...go hit some mountain passes on the Africa Twin. Today, it looks like I rode roughly 206 miles.

Basically, rode to Evergreen / Idaho Springs / Empire / Berthoud Pass / Trail Head for Jones Pass (Too muddy/snowy to consider) / Loveland Pass / Montezuma / Arapahoe Basin / Breckenridge / Hoosier Pass / Fairplay / Jefferson / Kenosha Pass / Grant / Bailey / Aspen Park / Home. Roughly 206 miles today. Temperature was in the 60's/70's. Essentially, I was just saying "goodbye, see 'ya" to the winter of 2020-2021. They tried to say that March was the snowiest on record for Colorado. But then, they remembered 2003. When we got 6 feet of snow and I drove to the airport and flew to SF to escape the blizzard and the neighbors dug trenches between their houses. So, 2021 turned out to be the 2nd snowiest March for Colorado in recorded history. Christ. But yes, now that it's April, I'm riding again, biatches. Life is too short. There's no snow in the forecast? Then I'm riding. Hang on. It's going to get bumpy.

Pass Bagger 2021:
x Berthoud Pass (11,306 ft above MSL) - 4/3/2021
x Loveland Pass (11,991 ft above MSL) - 4/3/2021
x Hoosier Pass - (11,542 ft above MSL) - 4/3/2021
x Kenosha Pass - (9,997 ft above MSL) - 4/3/2021

I will admit that I was always surprised at the amount of snow at the passes today. Like, there's much more snow at the higher elevations. Who knew? (My house is 7,470 ft above MSL).

I couldn't wait to get riding, as I thought I might not live through March.


Posted by Rob Kiser on April 3, 2021 at 8:14 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Mountain Passes

Colorado Mountain Passes.

Boreas Pass - Closed. Open June through October. Dirt road from Como to Breckenridge. Elevation: 11,493' above MSL.

Webster Pass - Closed. Dirt road across continental divide above Montezuma. Open July/August. Elevation: 12,103' above MSL.

Jones Pass - Closed. Dirt road across the Continental divide southwest of Berthoud Pass. Elevation: 12,454' above MSL.

Argentine Pass - Closed. Rough dirt/rock road up the east side of the continental divide. Generally open July - September. From the East, Argentine Pass can only be accessed through a rough 4×4 road. It takes between one and two hours to reach the summit from Georgetown. Elevation 13,207' above MSL.

Shrine Pass - Closed. Dirt road between Red Cliff and Vail Pass. Generally open July - September. Elevation 11,094 above MSL.

Guanella Pass - Closed - Scheduled to open May 28, 2021. Elevation: 11,670' above MSL.

Loveland Pass - Open year round. Paved road from Loveland to Arapahoe Basin. Elevation: 11,990' above MSL.

Kenosha Pass - Open year round. Paved road on Highway 285 between Jefferson and Grant. Elevation: 10,000' above MSL.

Hoosier Pass - Open year round. Paved road on Colorado Highway 9 between Fairplay and Breckenridge. Elevation: 11,542' above MSL.

Berthoud Pass - Open year round. Paved road across the continental divide between Empire and Winter Park. Elevation: 11,306' above MSL.

Milner Pass - Trail Ridge Road. ClosedGenerally open from Memorial Day to October. Paved road across the continental divide in Rocky Mountain National Park. Elevation: 10,759' above MSL.

Ute Pass(Grand County) - Runs between Parshall, Colorado and Silverthorne, Colorado.

Independence Pass - Closed. Generally open from Memorial Day to October. Paved road between Aspen and Twin Lakes.

Vail Pass


Posted by Rob Kiser on April 3, 2021 at 11:43 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

NFSR 211 - Matukat Road (aka Goose Creek Road)

Today, I tried to ride the length of NFSR 211, but I was not successful. The NFSR 211 begins just west of Deckers, and I rode it from there, for 15 miles south and west. The warmest it got I think was 64F. But the last few miles were still snowed in somewhat, and very muddy, so I turned back. It looks like the dirt road continues for 9 more miles, before it emerges 18 miles south of Tarryall Reservoir, and 35 miles south of Jefferson, Park County, CO.

Matukat Road (aka Goose Creek Road)
(Jefferson County)
Status: Open
Length: 24.4 miles
Highest Elevation: 8841 feet
Duration: About 1 hour
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Nearest Town: Deckers
Nearest Town w/ Services: Deckers
Official Road Name: 211
Management Agency: Pike National Forest
District: South Platte, South Park Ranger Districts
Highlight: Matukat Road (aka Goose Creek Road)

Goose Creek Road is an easily accessible trail for all vehicles that offers access to recreational trails and the Cheesman Reservoir. It provides a scenic drive through part of the area that was burned in the Hayman Fire of 2002.

Technical Rating: ( EASY )
1. North Trailhead (0 mi)
The north trailhead is on the south side of Deckers Road/CR 126.

There is a brown road sign pointing that the following are also down NFSR 211:
Cheesman Lake
Flying G Ranch
JVL Valley Ranch
Directions to Trailhead
Trailhead Coordinates:

Starting Point: Deckers
North Trailhead

From Deckers, CO, at the intersection of CR 126 and Colorado 67, go west on CR 126 for 2.7 miles and turn south onto NFSR 211.
From Buffalo Creek, CO at the intersection of Pine Valley Rd/SW Platte River Rd/CR 126, go south on CR 126 for 12.7 miles and turn south onto NFSR 211.

South Trailhead

From Jefferson, CO, travel south on CR 77 for 34.6 miles.
From Florrisant, CO, travel west on US-24E for 5.7 miles to turn north on Terryall Rd/CR 77. Continue on Terryall Rd/CR 77 for 6.9 miles.

The trailhead will be on the northeast side of the road and marked as NFSR 211 or Matukat Road.


Posted by Rob Kiser on April 2, 2021 at 7:06 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Colorado Springs


Posted by Rob Kiser on March 31, 2021 at 2:04 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

March 2021

I would like to point out that, in March, I started riding my motorcycle. It was warm enough that I would go for rides and I'd go up until I got to a patch of snow, and then I'd turn around. I did this riding up around Idaho Springs, Alice/St Mary's Glacier, Oh My God Road, Black Hawk, Central City, etc. But I was out riding, ready for the summer to begin. And then the snows came. I'm not sure when my last motorcycle ride was, but it was some time before the blizzard of 2021 that hit us over the weekend of March 12th. So, I'd say that I didn't ride my motorcycle from the 12-28th of March due to the heavy snows we got in that time period.

Today was the first time that I even felt comfortable trying to ride my Africa Twin up the driveway. There was a little bit of snow/ice that I had to ride over, but the knobbies did a fine job of getting me across the icy/snowy part of the driveway that I had to cross. Then, after that, I was hell bent for leather and rode all day until it was solidly dark. I took 285 south to Pine Junction, then south through Pine on Pine Valley Road (Jefferson County Road 126) south through Pine, to Jefferson County Road 211 to Cheesman Lake. But the lake is closed. You can't get anywhere near it, really. So then, I went back to County Road 211 and kept going west, basically trying to connect to Wellington Lake. So I took 211 to Stoney Pass Road (County Road 560), but then it got to where the road was covered in snow/ice (FR545), so I turned back.

At some point, I met up with two other guys on bikes. One was on an 800 cc twin cylinder KTM, (Dave I think), and the other was on a KLR 650. So, I rode back with them. Basically back up Pine Valley Road (126) back to Southwest Platte River Road (96) to South Foxton Road (97). Then, up south Foxton Road (97) to Running Deer Road. This is the only part I'd never been on, I'm pretty sure. So Running Deer Road, left on Black Bear Lane, then right onto Broken Arrow Drive. Then, this brings us to Pleasant Park Road, which I'm very familiar with, and right on Pleasant Park Road, until we T off at Deer Creek Road. We exchange phone numbers, they go right, I go left. But I got Dave's phone number so hopefully I'll get to ride with them again.

So, I rode for several hours. Much of the day. Then to Walmart to get a new cable for the iphone since the cable I was using seemed to have failed. Now, I have a new cigarette lighter to USB adapter that lights up to indicate it's working. Also, a new USB to iPhone cable so now I have power to both the Garmin Montana and the iPhone 6S while I'm riding. I still need to get some more chain lube, but I did manage to lube the chain in the parking lot. So glad I got in a good ride for today, as more snow comes tonight and the high tomorrow is 26 F. Ugh.


Posted by Rob Kiser on March 29, 2021 at 8:17 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink