Motorcycle Roads, Routes, Rides
The U.S. offers a wide array of rides, from snow-peaked mountains, beach-view routes, open farm country, big cities, small towns… you name it! The state of Colorado contains some of the most beautiful motorcycle destinations in the U.S. With breathtaking roads through the rocky mountains, semi-arid desert regions, and the Sand Dunes National Monument, you won’t run out of places to explore. One of the most awe-inspiring rides is the Peak to Peak Highway, which should only be attempted in the hottest part of summer due to the cold temperatures at high altitude.
The Peak to Peak Highway is located in the Rocky Mountain National Forest, less than an hour’s drive from the Denver metro area. This 88 kilometre drive, which takes around 80 minutes in decent weather, offers an unparalleled view of the Continental Divide and the surrounding timberline. You can take side trips down gravel roads, leading to mountain top lakes, trail heads, camping, and ghost towns. This is Colorado’s oldest scenic highyway, established in 1918.
The road may be a little sandy in the spring, but it’s usually well-maintained. Along the route, you’ll spot many high country animals, such as marmots and elk. On my last visit, I was lucky enough to catch a group of baby elk “sledding” down the last patch of snow in their sunny clearing.
This route involves quite a bit of climbing, so make sure your bike has enough power to carry you, your gear, passenger if applicable, and still how enough left to climb. Even in summer, you can easily hit a freezing cold storm, so be sure to pack rain gear and warm clothes. If you are renting a bike, make sure it is tuned for high altitude; if you are bringing your own bike from Australia, make an appointment at dealer location nearby to have it tuned for the altitude.
Also keep in mind the effect the altitude will have on you; make sure to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water. With a little preparation, this scenic trip through the Colorado Mountains will be one of the best rides of your life. The mountains, the snow peaks, the native wildlife… it’s well worth the trip.