Ark Valley - Taylor Park Loop - 8/15/14 version
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The Ark Valley - Taylor Park Loop is a dual sport ride that starts in the Upper Arkansas River Valley and winds its way west to Taylor Park and returns to the start. The route includes Old Monarch Pass, Black Sage Pass, Waunita Pass, Cumberland Pass, and Cottonwood Pass.
The loop is on paved and dirt County Roads and more difficult USFS and BLM dirt roads. In the Arkansas Valley, the route avoids highways 285 and 50 as much as possible, opting for minor paved and dirt backroads. The total riding mileage is about 140 miles.
Lunch is available at several places: Frenchy's in Tincup (recommended), the restaurant across from the Taylor Park Trading Post, and the marina on the south end of Taylor Park Reservoir.
The Taylor Park Trading Post has groceries, snack food, some hardware, maps, hunting and fishing licenses, and fuel - gasoline, diesel, propane.
The map clip shows the loop. Click the map to see a larger jpg version and right-click and save detailed map for a larger, more detailed jpg map.
Latitude 40 publishes this map and it's the perfect reference to plan with and carry on your ride. It shows every road mentioned in the loop description, plus all the nearby roads and attractions that you may want to visit. You can follow my route description and the map to see every turn, intersection, and nearby roads and trails. The map is made of plastic and practically indestructable. You can buy the map on-line from Latitude 40 for about $12 plus shipping. The ONLY drawback is the map will not 'take' highlighter markup - the ink rubs off or smears. This is a common problem with all plastic maps I have used.
Use EXPO dry erase markers to mark on the plastic maps. All other markers/highliters wipe off. The EXPO markers have a chemical which bonds to the plastic. Mark the map and let it dry for 4-5 hours before handling. You can still wipe off the marks with a wet cloth, but it ain't easy.
Google "EXPO markers city of hope" to get the pink ones you can see through. The yellow (very hard to find) may work for you also. Also search Amazon. Experiment on a corner of the map to see what you like best.
Another dry erase board marker just released by EXPO is the Expo Neon Bullet Tip Dry Erase Markers sold in packs of five colors at Walmart ($7.75), Office Depot ($10), and Amazon ($6.70). The five colors include pink, yellow, and orange which go on light enough to see through easily. The other two colors, blue and green are too dark for my taste. The markers have a new style tip which I found easy to get too wet, so I resorted to spotting the tip with a tissue before drawing. Overnight drying was necessary because the ink is very wet going on.
The Map-Legs spreadsheet shows mileages for short legs of the loop. As noted elsewhere, I've not yet ridden and logged the entire loop.The different legs of the loop are color-coded to help me keep track of them. I color-code in this order: red-blue-green. Some legs are very short and don't show up well on this small map.
Confidentially, I've never ridden this entire loop all in one go. Over the years, I've ridden different legs and once rode about 3/4ths of the loop at once. In the fall of 2012, I decided to put the loop together for a ride and spent about a week finding all the back roads in the Arkansas River Valley. Just about the time I had it all together, we got snow in the high country and I had to call off the ride. As a result, the tracks shown on the map are mixed - actually-ridden tracks and those drawn-in with TOPO. I'll update the map and spreadsheet when all the routes are actual. And I'll post a link for the gpx file.
NOTE: ClaytonW of Texas and a few riding friends rode the loop in August, 2014
and he sent me the gpx file of their ride. <--- Right-click and save.
DIRECTIONS: Start at the intersection of US Highway 50 and County Road 140 (aka Airport Road). Ride west on CR140.
A YouTube video will be added when weather permits riding.
Places to know about, along the route and nearby:
Frenchy's, Tincup 970-641-4565, open 7:30-4 (later if customers present), B,L,D. No gas.
Silver Plume General Store, Pitkin 970-641-3866, store open 8-6 daily, gas/snacks. Grill open for bkfst/lunch. Closed Sunday am for church. http://silverplumegeneralstore.com and new http://silverplumegeneralstore.com/grill
St Elmo General Store 719-395-2117, open 8-6 daily. No gas.
Taylor Park Marina 970-641-2922, open daily 7-11 bkfst, 11-4 lunch. Gas for boats only. http://www.taylorparkmarina.com
Taylor Park Trading Post 970-641-2555, General Store, Gift Shop, Rental Cabins, Full hook-up RV sites & Restaurant. Store open daily 8-8. 24hour-gas. http://www.taylorparktradingpost.com/index.html
Tomichi Creek Trading Post, Sargents 970-641-0674, store and restaurant open Sun-Thu 11-2:30, Fri-Sat 11-7:30. 24hour-gas. http://tomichicreektradingpost.com
See Dual Sport Riding in Central Colorado for information about other areas and rides.
Lily Mine Rd
Lily Mine Rd
Lily Mine Rd
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