Colorado has paved roads to 23 summits over 10,000 feet. I thought it would be fun to string them together on a single trip. I spent considerable time figuring out how to do them with as few backtracks or duplications as possible. I would cross over some passes, but a few I‘«÷d have to go up and down the same side, just to make it all manageable in the five days I had available.
I left early Friday morning, June 24, confident I would get all 23.
The closest one to home is Cameron Pass, 10,276 feet:
Then across Willow Creek Pass.
This one doesn‘«÷t count, because it‘«÷s only 9,683 feet, but it‘«÷s a nice road and on the way to my next one ‘«Ű Miner Pass, at 10,759 feet:
I continued on to Trail Ridge Road, which tops out at 12,183 feet.
There‘«÷s no sign at its summit. Here‘«÷s a rest stop, a little lower:
Trail Ridge Road is a wonderful ride, but it‘«÷s in a park, which means there‘«÷s lots of traffic and most people are there to look at the scenery. Like Yellowstone, they‘«÷ll stop in the middle of the road if any wildlife appears. Trail Ridge Road is great, but it takes time.
Next was Berthoud Pass, at 11,307 feet:
This is a busy road but fun.
And then Mt. Evans. This road is not a pass. It just goes to the top of the mountain. It cost me $3 ‘«Ű money well spent. This is an incredible road and is the highest paved road in North America, reaching 14,264 feet.
I am pretty good at making U-turns in a small space, but there were some switchbacks where I used most of the available road, including the opposing lane. The tighter ones have no place to stop for a picture, but here‘«÷s one that did have a stopping place:
At the top, my feeling of success was mitigated by the numbers of bicyclists who had made the climb. If you get a chance, ride to the top of Mt Evans.
I skipped Loveland Pass and got a room in Dillon. They had only two rooms left because the town was full of bicyclists and their supporters. I had gone just over 400 miles in 11 hours and was exhausted. Why I thought I could cover 350-400 miles a day on some very difficult roads, I don‘«÷t know. I realized that I would have to reconsider my quest.