Day Trip Rides

Motorcycle Day Trips

These rides are a great getaway that can be done in a day, usually 4-8 hours with lunch and bio breaks, and site seeing that are a little further from Denver. These are great tours through canyons and mountain passes that will take you through beautiful valleys and mountain peaks. Take a day to unwind and enjoy the vast beauty of Colorado.

Cottonwood Pass Via Silverthorn and return Via Fairplay, CO

Another Spring time (or anytime) day trip ride is to head up I-70 W, over the Continental Divide through the famous Eisenhower Tunnel and down into Silverthorn, CO.  Continue from Silverthorn on I-70 W to CO-91 S, Fremont Pass (elevation 11,318 ft), which is also called “Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway”. CO-91 S will go down to US-24 W and into Buena Vista, CO. In Buena Vista, pick up Co Rd 209 up to the summit of Cottonwood Pass at 12,126 ft. Continue on Co Rd 209 and turn into Co Rd 742. I did this part of ride earlier this year as a three day tour to Gunnison, it was a great ride then and when the trees are in Fall colors, it is simply amazing! Stay on Co Rd 742 and it turns into CO-135 S which will run into Gunnison, CO. In Gunnison you pick up US-50 E and it goes over Monarch Pass (11,312 ft) into Poncha Springs. In Poncha Springs you pick up US-285 N, go over beautiful Kenosah Pass (10,000 ft)and back down to the Denver Metro, Lakewood area.

Cottonwood Pass Day Trip – Fall 2020
Buena Vista to Cottonwood Pass – Fall 2020

Be sure to check out the Cottonwood Pass to Gunnison videos on the Day Trip Video’s Page!

Cripple Creek, Victor Colorado, Woodland Park and Deckers

Spring and fall are my favorite times to ride here in Colorado! The temperatures are comfortable, plenty of sunshine, and this year, not much precipitation to worry about. This ride took us from the Denver Metro area to the beautiful fall mountains, through quiet little towns, and the weather was perfect, in the mid to upper 70’s.

You can click on the link below the displayed map to get the full details of the route. Basically we headed South on HWY 285 to Pine, CO and turned left onto Co Rd 126 (Pine Valley Rd) toward Deckers. At Deckers we stayed on CO-67-S to Woodland Park and made a right onto US-24 W. US-24 took us into Divide and we made a left onto CO-67-S, again, and we enjoyed a very beautiful ride to one of Colorado’s Gambling towns, Cripple Creek. Besides gambling, there are a couple great places to visit in the area, like Molly Kathleen Mine, the Museum/Visitor Center, and an Old Fashion train ride.From Cripple Creep we continued on to Victor, which is just a cool Old Western Town that has a lot of mining history. We completed the loop on Co-81 back to CO-67 to US-24 through Woodland Park and down to Manitou Springs, CO where we had lunch at Rudy’s. Manitou Springs is another great little town with a lot of things to do, check it out if you have the time.

Fall Ride to Cripple Creek and Victor Colorado
Deckers to Woodland Park

Be sure to check out the great video’s I posted in the Touring Video’s page!

Twin Lakes, Independence Pass and Aspen in the Fall

Riding mountain passes is one of my favorite things to do, the only thing that can make it better is riding mountain passes in the Fall Season! Here is a great day trip that takes about 7 hours in the saddle and has plenty of eye popping colors of the season.

Independence Pass_Fall Colors_2020

Lakewood to Independence Pass:

Lakewood to Independence Pass Summit

Aspen to Lakewood:

Aspen to Lakewood_via Glenwood Canyon

You can see the whole route in the first picture, with Rever, but Google Maps has already closed the pass for the season (actually closes early November). There is construction for rock mitigation going on and there are full closures scheduled between now and seasonal close, so be sure to check the website before you head up there. Check out these websites for status and information about the Independence pass: https://www.codot.gov/projects/archived-project-sites/SH82/independence-pass/independence-pass-travel-information.html OR https://www.independencepass.org/hwy-82-status.

Independence Pass-Fall-2020 (videos)

Basic Directions:

Hwy 285 S to Johnson Village

Turn right onto Hwy 24 W through Buena Vista

Continue on Hwy 24 W to Hwy 82 W, turn left

Hwy 82 W will take you through Twin Lakes, Over the Independence Pass, into Aspen and all the way to Glenwood Springs/Glenwood Canyon on I-70 E.

Be sure to click on the link above to check out the stunning videos from this ride and then leave me a comment and don’t forget to “follow me” so you get updates when I add a new post.

Poudre Canyon and Cameron Pass

From the Lakewood/Denver area up to Fort Collins is a short ride up I-25. In Fort Collins you will make a few jots through the city and make your way to HWY-14 which will take you up the Poudre Canyon. Mishawaka Inn is a great place to stop for food and entertainment in Poudre Canyon. Continue up HWY-14 and you will enjoy beautiful scenery, rivers and mountain views until you reach the top of Cameron Pass (10,276 feet)! Stop for a while and take in the fresh, crisp, clean air of the Rocky Mountains! Now continue down HWY-14 and you will end up in Walden, CO, another great place to stop for lunch and take a break. When you leave Walden, you’ll pick up HWY-125 all the way to Granby, CO. In Granby you’ll catch HWY-40 that will take you through Winter Park, CO and over Berthoud Pass (11,315 feet) where there are plenty of places to stop for photo ops. Continue down HWY-40 and you’ll hook up to I-70 East which will take you back down to the Lakewood/Denver area.

Poudre Canyon and Cameron Pass

 

Four Pass Fall Season Day Ride:

This is a ride I usually do with the HOG Chapter I ride with, The Denver Chapter HOG (DCH)! They are a great bunch of fun loving, Harley loving, Motorcycle Touring Enthusiasts, like me, and we always have a great time viewing the beautiful Colorado fall colors together.

From Golden, CO

I-70 W to Georgetown to Guanella Pass Rd (381)

Over Guanella Pass to 285 south (right)

Over Kenosha Pass to Fairplay, CO to Hwy 9 (right)

Over Hoosier Pass

Through Breckenridge, CO to Swan Mountain Road in Frisco, CO (around the East side of Dillon Reservoir) and to Hwy 6 (right)

Stay on Hwy 6 and go Over Loveland Pass to I-70 east back to Golden

 

4 Pass Fall Colors (Map may display different)

4 Pass Fall Colors Videos

We just did this ride and I will be posting some pictures and video on the Touring Videos page. The only variation to the ride we just went on was we went down Hwy 285 S to Kenosha Pass and the last part was over Guanella Pass to 285 N back up to Golden.

This is just a very small sample of the many tours I’ve taken in Colorado. I will show you routes that are close to Denver along the Rocky Mountain Front Range, I’ll show you places Up North, Down South, East and West that will just fill your senses!

Have you ever ridden your motorcycle over a 10, 11, 12,000 ft pass before? How about a 14,000 + ft pass? Let me tell you, there is nothing like reaching the summit of one and seeing the view to be had! Ears are popping, the air is thin, and the temperature will be chilled, but you will feel like you’re on top of the world!

I will be adding rides for

Horse Tooth Reservoir and Carter Lake

Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods

Canyon City and Bishops Castle

Mount Evans and Pikes Peak

Rocky Mountain National Park

I will take you on rides to the top of Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak that are over 14,000 ft above sea level, and I will take you to the beautiful valleys below so you can experience the vast beauty of Colorado like I do. Well, I’ll do the best I can to make you feel like you’ve been there, but in order to really experience and enjoy Colorado you’re going to just have to come out here and visit!

There is a lot more to come! Check back soon and check back often!

Be Safe, Have Fun and Ride On!

Short Shot

Touring Texas

Texas Tour

Where is the best place to take a motorcycle road trip in the middle of summer? Texas! Texas? Why Texas? In the middle of summer?

Why Texas?

Okay, Texas is really hot and really humid and you might think your tires are melting to the asphalt while riding, but there are plenty of things to do and places to go where you can beat the heat and enjoy what Texas has to offer!

I have family in Texas, that’s why I go there, but I have found that the state has more to offer than I thought and my family is happy to point it out. I have been to Texas many, many times and I have a great time when I’m there, so I’m going to share a little bit of my experiences, places and things I’ve done to show that Texas is a great Summer Touring Destination!

The Plan

There are plenty of way’s to get to central Texas, I’ve taken a lot of them, but this time I’m planning on scoring more challenge coins, so I’m taking a new route.

Day 1 – Denver to Amarillo

Denver, CO to Amarillo, TX

If you’d like the turn by turn directions of this route just click on the above link to open the Google map route.

This route is a little out of the way so I am able to catch a couple challenge coins on the way down. I decided not to go to the first coin stop, Texhoma Harley Davidson in Sunray, TX, because when I stopped for a late snack and gas in Stratford, TX, I decided to double check the dealership location. I was concerned because I was not able to find the dealership on the GPS. I double checked and finally asked the cashier to verify, it did not have a phone number listed anymore. Well, it’s 20+ miles in the wrong direction and will add another 45 minutes to my day, I’m gonna take a pass on this one.

My next stop was at Tripp’s Harley Davidson in Amarillo, TX. This was a fairly short leg, just a couple hours, but it’s only a twist of the throttle and I’m at the hotel for the night. I did score a challenge coin and a poker chip, so it was worth the trip!

Tripp’s Harley Davidson, Amarillo, TX

 

Well, Now that I’ve got my prize for the day, I got checked into my stop for the night at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Amarillo West. The pool and hot tub are open, the room was clean, the bed was comfy, the breakfast hot and a very friendly and accommodating staff! I would recommend this hotel as a great value and comfort for just over $100. Worth every penny after a long hot day of riding!

 

 

 

Day 2 – Amarillo to Lampasas

Day 2 takes me to Wichita Falls, TX and Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (DFW) for Harley Davidson dealership challenge coins, then on to my destination stop, Historic Lampasas, TX.

Amarillo, TX to Lampasas, TX

To be totally honest, I did not realize that the Red River Harley Davidson was on my route to DFW until I saw the sign as I flew by it on the highway! I caught a glimpse of the sign just in time to make the exit ramp. I’m glad I hit this dealership because they have the coolest statue!

Red River Harley Davidson in Wichita, TX
Red River HD and Me

And if that’s not cool enough, they have the only challenge coin (that they know of) that has an inscription on the edge of the coin…in Latin!  This is the inscription, “si vis pacem sicut equitare”, which translates to “if you want the peace as he ride”, my interpretation, “If you want peace, then Ride”, the dealership gave me the translation as “If you want peace, prepare to ride”, which translates back to “Si vis pacem, para equitare”, either way, this is my new phrase.

So, after the well welcome surprise stop at Red River, I was off to DFW as my last stop before my final destination. Just so you know that I know, I know there are many Harley dealerships in the Dallas area, but I also knew it was gonna be git’n hot’r than armadilla road kill at high noon! So, Anyway, I decided that I did not want to get stuck in rush hour traffic in Dallas and made the choice to hit the dealership with the quickest and easiest escape.

Fort Worth Harley Davidson

Well, I narrowly escaped rush hour, traffic was git’n heavy and it was git’n hot! It was only about 2 1/2 hours to Lampasas, according to Google maps, but I think I shaved a little time because I heard my family was waiting to take me out to dinner, there was no time to waste!

Here is my take for the trip down to my destination:

Approximate time 15 hrs and distance 950 miles.

How to Stay Cool In Texas

I Spent a total of 12 days in Texas, it didn’t rain, NOT A DROP, the whole time I was there. It was upper 90’s to Low 100’s and HUMID! As soon as I stepped outside of air conditioning, I would start sweating profusely! It was obvious, I needed to find ways to stay outside AND stay cool!

Swimming Pool

Hancock Springs in Lampasas, TX

Hancock Springs in Lampasas, TX

Hancock Springs in Lampasas, TX

Swimming Beach

There are many beaches in TX to take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico and cool of.

Corpus Christi, TX

Fishing

There are plenty of options for fishing in Texas, from fresh water lakes to Deep Sea Fishing! I went out on the Gulf Coast with my brother for my first time! It was a great experience and I look forward to doing it again. It was an 8 hour fishing trip, the day after a hurricane went through, and the seas were a bit rough but what an experience!

Deep Sea Headquarters-Port Aransas, TX
Port Aransas, TX

My brother is a great cook to begin with, but man, let me tell you, he served up a feast of fish from our day at sea that was to die for! The Trigger Fish and Shark were my favorite!

Mouth watering fish feast!

Caverns

I had no idea there were caverns in Texas until somebody suggested going to one while I was visiting. Caverns stay cool all year long and are a great way to beat the heat in Texas. Unfortunately I did not get the chance to check out a Texas cavern, but here is sight that show many to choose from. https://www.traveltexas.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventure/caves-caverns/

Amusement/Water Parks

I have been to Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio before, and it was a ton of fun, though I did not get to an amusement/water park this visit, there are several parks in Texas where you can cool off and have a great time in the summer heat! Here’s a link with several suggestions: https://www.traveltexas.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventure/caves-caverns/

More for My Collection

I did take another day to travel around and pick up some more challenge coins for my collection. Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned before, not all dealerships carry dealership coins, so I had to make do, but it was a great day of riding just the same!

Texas Coin Run Route
Javelina Harley Davidson
Caliente Harley Davidson
Alamo City Harley Davidson
Cowboys Alamo City Harley Davidson
Gruene Harley Davidson

The Spoils

It was a hot day of riding once it high noon, tripple digits, but it was a great day of riding!

Headed Home

I stayed in the same hotel that I stayed at on the way down, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Amarillo. I’d recommend this hotel to anyone passing through Amarillo for a very clean, very comfortable, and very friendly night sleep! Oh, and not to mention, they have  a great breakfast, pool and hot tub to help re-energize for the road ahead.

Headed Home
Trip Milage
Final Odometer Miles!
My Collection

Texas Tour Recap

I go to Texas to visit to visit family living there, would I choose to go there in the middle of the summer for a ride otherwise? Probably not, but there are plenty of things to do, places to go, and ways to have fun and stay cool in the Texas summer sun. Not to mention, if you’re on tour and visiting Harley stores, there a whole bunch in Texas you can stop at! Try to find time to visit a cavern so you can tell me how cool that was. Take a day to go deep sea fishing! And if you go to an amusement / water park, don’t eat before you you ride the roller coaster!

As usual, I planned the trip, reserved hotels, and mapped the routes and stops using all the resources available on this website. And, if you need any gear or supplies for the trip, you can also use the Amazon link from this site to get everything you need.

It was a great trip but I’m happy to be back in Colorado!

Questions, Comments, and Feedback are more than welcome, they are requested!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed taking the journey with me!

As Always,

Be Safe, Have Fun and Ride On!

Short Shot