I recently returned from a 2 week trip to Colorado that included visits to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Badlands and Yellowstone National Parks. The primary motivation for the ride was to go to Grand Junction, CO for the How the West Was Won endurance rally, and I took advantage of some time off to meander my way back home to western Washington via Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana and Idaho. It was a great trip with mixed weather. The first few post-rally days were spent dodging some strong storms in eastern Colorado and western Nebraska - I think Colorado received record breaking size hail and tornado activity.
I had never heard of Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP. I saw it near US-50 in Central Colorado and decided to detour for a visit. All I can say is WOW! It is worth the trip if you find yourself nearby on a ride. I had also never been to Badlands NP and really enjoyed that scenery. Yellowstone was, as always, amazing, and I saw my first black bear in the park.
All-in-all, over 6,200 miles over 12 days and a million new memories.
Here are all the bikes lined up at the start of the rally.
One example of the many bonus locations available during the rally.
A fantastic view from the Libby Flats Observation area in southern Wyoming.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - go in the afternoon because morning light makes pictures difficult.
The high point of the trip - Monarch Pass.
Badlands National Park after a day dodging storms. The weather significantly improved after crossing the South Dakota border!
Mmmm, curves...I believe I reduced tire life by at least 1,000 miles. This is US-14 going through the Bighorn National Forest. The sign is required reading for vehicles towing a trailer - for motorcycles it is just entertaining
And Yellowstone was absolutely perfect!
Here's a link to more pictures from my trip.