Go to Colorado. It takes two days each way to get there and back. There is no way going through Kansas and eastern Colorado does not suck. BUT, great once you get past Denver.
Do this ride, put together by Colorado residents in 2002. They knew what they were talking about.
BMW Motorcycle Club of Colorado Presents
The "Best of Colorado" Gypsy Ride
General Information The BMW Motorcycle Club of Colorado is sponsoring its
first "Best of Colorado" Gypsy Ride scheduled in the early fall of 2002.
The idea for this ride began as a suggestion by a number of riders visiting
Colorado during 2001, and is patterned after a gypsy ride lead by the BMW
M/C Club of Colorado to the MOA National Rally in Redmond, Oregon in 2001.
The Best of Colorado Gypsy Ride consists of a four-day three-night rolling
ride of 1,000-1,500 miles on Colorado's best two-lane roads, 75% of which
are designated scenic byways. The ride is very loosely organized, begins on
Thursday, September 12, and ends on Sunday, September 15. The route starts
in Denver, ends in Estes Park, and passes through a number of National Parks
and Monuments. Riders can meet up with others anywhere along the route, and
alternate short-cut routes are available for more leisurely paced riders.
Ride Highlights Highlights along the ride include:
*Traverse 19 different passes totaling 198,375 feet in elevation
*Cross eight of Colorado's nine major mountain ranges (Gore, Medicine Bow,
Sawitch, Elk, San Juan, Uncompahgre Plateau, Grand Mesa, La Garita)
*Cross the Continental Divide 6 times
*Opportunity to visit three National Parks and one National Monument
*Scenic views of nearly every one of Colorado's 53 peaks rising above 14,000
*Stay three nights at two different historic towns with hot springs pools
*Pass through many historic mountain towns
*Motels and campgrounds readily available
*Daily mileage ranges from 197 to 403 miles, depending upon optional route
Registration and Fee There is no fee to participate. However,
participants must register so that the organizers can keep an approximate
count of expected participants as well as to receive a route itinerary via
E-mail. In addition, participants should plan to pay entrance fees into the
various National Parks and Monuments along the route. Annual National Park
passes are particularly useful for this ride. To register, send your name,
address, telephone number, and e-mail address, clearly marked for the "Best
of Colorado" Ride, to the BMWMCC, PO Box 45, Littleton, CO 80160, or via
e-mail at www.coloradobeemers.com
Approximate Itinerary (all riders free to choose alternate
Thur Sep 12
Depart the Country Kitchen restaurant, 714 Golden Ridge Rd, Golden Colorado.
Arrive earlier for breakfast and rider's meeting. South on Hwys 40, 26 and
8 to Hwy 285, south on Hwy 285 over Kenosha Pass (10,001'), Red Hill Pass
(9,993') and Trout Creek Pass (9,346') to Johnson Village (122 miles). Stop
for coffee/facilities/fuel at Johnson Village.
Depart Johnson Village, south on Hwy 24 through Arkansas River Valley
Springs, over Poncha Pass (9,010') to Saguache, then west on Hwy 114 over
(10,149') to Hwy 50, west on Hwy 50 to Gunnison. Stop in Gunnison for lunch,
(132 miles). Shorter option: From Poncha Springs, west on Hwy 50 over
(11,312') to Gunnison, saves 51 miles - just as pretty but heavy traffic.
Depart Gunnison, west on Hwy 50 57 miles past the Blue mesa Reservoir to Hwy
on Hwy 347 6 miles to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (entrance
touring the Park, return to Hwy 50, continue west to Hwy 550, south on Hwy
550 to Ouray.
Stop for the evening (124 miles).
Arrive in Ouray for the evening. Motels are readily available. Ride
headquarters is the KOA
Campground on the right side of the highway as you enter town from the
north. Camping is
reserved for the group in a large grassy area under the name of BMW M/C of
CO. The fee
will be divided among the campers, should be less than $10 per night, and is
payable to the
ride leader after arrival. Cabins are also available for reservation
directly with the
campground (970-325-4736). Hot tub available. Motels are readily available
in the town of
Ouray. Total miles range from 327 to 378. Group dinner in town optional.
springs pool also available. Evening riders'meeting to review options for
the next day.
Fri Sep 13
Depart campground for long ride option consisting of a 403-mile
counter-clockwise loop of
the San Juans on Hwy 550 (nationally famous Million Dollar Highway) south
Mountain Pass (11,008') and Molas Divide (10,910'), Hwy 160 east over Wolf
(10,850'), Hwy149 north over Spring Creek Pass (10,901') and Slumgullian
50 west to Montrose, then Hwy 550 south returning to the campground for the
Planned stops for coffee/fuel/facilities/sightseeing include Silverton,
Durango, Lake City,
and Montrose. Lunch is planned in Pagosa Springs. Group dinner in town
hot springs pool also available. Evening riders' meeting to review options
for the next day.
Depart campground for short ride option consisting of a 240-mile clockwise
loop of the San
Juans with a 70 mile optional side-trip to Mesa Verde National Park on Hwy
famous Million Dollar Highway) south over Red Mountain Pass (11,008') and
(10,910'), Hwy 160 west to Cortez, Hwy 145 north over Lizard head Pass
Placerville, Hwy 62 east over Dallas Divide (8,970') to Ridgeway, then Hwy
returning to the campground for the evening. Planned stops for coffee/fuel/
sightseeing include Silverton, Dolores, and Telluride. The 70-mile
round-trip optional visit
to mesa Verde National Park requires an entrance fee and relatively
climbing in order to reach the ruins. Lunch will be in Durango. Group
dinner in town
optional. Public hot springs pool also available. Evening riders' meeting
to review options
for the next day.
Sat Sep 14
Depart campground on Hwy 550 north to Ridgeway, Hwy 62 west over Dallas
(8,970') to Placerville, Hwy145 west to Vancorum, Hwy 141 north to
Whitewater, Hwy 50
north to grand Junction, Hwy 340 west and north through the Colorado
(fee area) to Fruita, then I-70 east to Hwy 65 at Exit 49. The short ride
option (294 miles
total) continues east on I-70 past Glenwood Springs to Rock Gardens
campground just south
of I-70 at No Name Exit 119. The long ride option (387 miles total)
continues on Hwy 65
south over the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway (10,500'), Hwy 92 east to Hotchkiss,
Hwy 133 east
over McClure Pass (8,755') to Carbondale, Hwy 82 north to Glenwood springs,
I-70 east to
Rock Gardens campground just south of I-70 at No Name Exit 119. There are
also two other
shorter more direct routes between Ouray and Glenwood Springs if desired.
along route for coffee/fuel/ facilities include Uravan, Whitewater, and
Hotchkiss. Lunch is
planned for either Grand Junction or Fruita. Motels are readily available
Springs. Ride headquarters is the Rock Gardens campground at Exit 119
reserved in the
name of BMW M/C of CO. Group dinner in town optional (there is an
restaurant near the train station!). An evening raft trip for the group is
also available through
the campground proprietors! Public hot springs pool also available.
Evening riders' meeting
to review options for the next day.
Sun Sep 15
Depart for the long ride option (295 miles) on I-70 west to Glenwood
Springs, Hwy 82
south through Aspen over Independence Pass (12,095'), then Hwy 24 north
Leadville over Tennessee Pass (10,242') to I-70, west on I-70 to Wolcott at
Depart for the short ride option (197 miles) on I-70 east to Wolcott at Exit
Long and short ride option groups meet in Wolcott for lunch.
Depart Wolcott, Hwy 131 north to Tonopas, Hwy 134 west over Gore Pass
(9,527') to Hwy
40, Hwy 40 east and south to Granby, Hwy 34 north through Rocky Mountain
(fee area) over Milner Pass (10,758'), Fall River Pass (11,786') and Trail
Ridge Road High
Point (12,183') to Estes Park. Ride concludes with a group dinner in Estes
stops along route for coffee/fuel/facilities include Aspen, Leadville,
Kremmling, and Granby.
You will not be sorry.
I did it in 2002, 2007, 2010, and 2016, with some different variations, depending on how much time I had.