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Discussion Starter #1
I know this is not the place for this but I wanted many eyes to see it...

I am staying in Crested Butte, Co in an upcoming trip--I just discovered that CR-12 that runs west of Crested Butte is a 30 mile well maintained gravel road. Anybody have any experience with this road? Would you recommend it for a LT two up?

Thanks in advance--and to the moderator...I'm sorry for this terrible breech in protocol.
 

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wrmoss said:
I know this is not the place for this but I wanted many eyes to see it...

I am staying in Crested Butte, Co in an upcoming trip--I just discovered that CR-12 that runs west of Crested Butte is a 30 mile well maintained gravel road. Anybody have any experience with this road? Would you recommend it for a LT two up?

Thanks in advance--and to the moderator...I'm sorry for this terrible breech in protocol.
That's Kebler Pass and I've ridden it many times (I lived in CB and Gunnison) and almost died in an avalanche just a few miles up that road in the winter while skiing some deep powder on cross country skis.

During the summer when dry it's pretty straight forward, but there are a lot of sections with fairly deep gravel and washboards along with a few switchbacks, so you won't be setting any speed records. It's not steep at all. Tons of DUST though... cough. But, a beautiful drive and doable on an LT if you keep your speed in check. I would stay off of it if wet or thunderstorms in the area. Go early in the day and you shouldn't have any weather issues. It will take about 1.5 hrs. to get to pavement and then another half hour to either Paonia or the top of McClure pass. At the north end there's a great little guest ranch/pit stop on the Crystal River - very pretty.

Paonia is nothing special, although you MUST ride the Black Canyon if you head that way, or stop in Marble if going toward Aspen. There IS a short cut from Paonia to Crawford that will save you 30 minutes that exits the east side of Paonia.

If you are not comfortable on gravel this would not be a good choice on an LT...
 

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I have to disagree about Paonia, I love Paonia: it's a great little town. No chain stores and none of the over commercialization you find in places like Crested Butte, or Aspen. A really nice hotel (Bross Hotel), great restaurant/bakery (Flying Fork), a couple of galleries, fruit stands, and wineries (Black Bridge, Stone Cottage Cellars, Alfred Eames, and Terror Creek). And a micro-brewery (Revolution Brewing). You can easily spend a day there and around.

And they love Beemers.
 

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You will love that area.The road over Kebler pass is a well maintained gravel road.Dust is the biggest issue if there is traffic (there is on the weekends).As already recommended,take 92 south over Black Canyon,that takes you back to 50.

Have fun,Robert.
 

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wrmoss said:
I know this is not the place for this but I wanted many eyes to see it...

I am staying in Crested Butte, Co in an upcoming trip--I just discovered that CR-12 that runs west of Crested Butte is a 30 mile well maintained gravel road. Anybody have any experience with this road? Would you recommend it for a LT two up?

Thanks in advance--and to the moderator...I'm sorry for this terrible breech in protocol.
I have toured on motorcycles extensively in Colorado. I am not sure I would mess with gravel roads on an LT when there so many beautiful paved roads in the mountains.
Just my 2 cents..........
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the input--I saw some great pictures from a group of six goldwings that did the trip. My plan was to use Crested Butte as a base and ride from there--thanks for the tips! We went through the Black Canyon area last year but we wanted to take our time and really explore that area this year.
 

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I have ridden it a few times on an RT and K1200RS but never the LT. Shouldn't be any significant difference but as it is gravel/dirt it is very weather dependent. I would ask around and get fresh info from a dual sport rider. They should be easy to find in Crested Butte. Keebler Pass is a great ride.
 

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A few recommendations since it seems like you're heading North.

1. Stop in Marble at the bottom of McClure pass.

2. Stop in Redstone for lunch outside on the Crystal River, or if the weather is iffy the hotel is very cool. Gas up in Basalt.

3. OR: go to the Woody Creek Tavern outside Aspen. You never know who you'll run into there, a favorite retreat from the Aspen scene for celebs and reasonable prices - for Aspen. :rolleyes: Take the back road into town instead of 82.

4. Aspen is just plain too cool for school. Mom will love the shopping. Park just about anywhere you want - even on a corner in a posted no parking zone. Don't even THINK of paying for a parking place, just muscle your way in - the cops won't ticket you as long as you're "reasonable" and not blocking someone. Very bike friendly. Spend a few days at Little Nel. Yeah, it's expensive but hey, its vacation!

5. Leaving Aspen hit the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs for lunch. Ride the slide at the Hot Springs along with several thousand of your friends on a busy day...

6. Vail is - well - like a suburb of Denver - a very expensive suburb. I had a home there for 17 years but sold it since it has become completely Californicated. Lunch outside at the Arrowhead at Vail golf course clubhouse near Edwards is excellent and open to the public although you'll have to go past a guarded gate. No big deal.

7. Up the road a bit is Minturn and Red Cliff which is funky. The road from there to Leadville is stunning, and worth a quick stroll down Main Street. The Golden Burro is great for breakfast/lunch.

8. Don't miss Independence Pass which will take you back into Aspen.

9. Cottonwood Pass is also a shortcut from CB instead of Monarch which is usually in very good condition, mostly hard packed dirt. LT worthy once again as long as it is dry...

10. Watch out for lightening - every couple of years a motorcyclist gets ZAPPED. :eek: If you limit your riding to before 2pm most days you won't get wet. Be prepared for COLD weather at altitude, it can snow at any time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow Ron--thanks for the plan! :D :thumb:
 
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