Bike tour/Utah and Colorado (Summer 2022)

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Planning page for our hot summer bike tour in Utah and Colorado!

Other links and resources:

TODOs

  • Coordinate bike box pickup between Carter and Ana
  • Get fuel in SLC
  • Pack bikes

Day -1 ✈️: Seattle → Salt Lake City[edit]

Thursday July 28, 2022

Stay
Doubletree Salt Lake City Downtown [DONE]

Itinerary:

  • Flight from SEA @ 6:20pm → SLC @ 9:20pm

Resources:

Day 0: Salt Lake City[edit]

Friday July 29, 2022

Stay
Doubletree Salt Lake City Downtown [DONE]

Resources:

Checklist for the day
  • Buy white gas (evo Salt Lake City is a MSR retailer and they are only a 10 minute walk from the hotel)
  • Assemble bicycles and get packed/ready to go
  • Test ride bicycles to ensure we're ready to go

Day 1: 🚲 Salt Lake City → Kamas (Knotty Pine)[edit]

Saturday July 30, 2022

Stay
Knotty Pine Resort is a private RV park w/ swimming pool [DONE]
Mileage
~65mi 6200ft or ~61mi and 7100ft
Food
breakfast: several options on the way out of SLC, one in the mountain a few closer to town, most open at 8am; lunch: Five5seeds in Park City; dinner: camping dinner #1
Weather
Hot (35/23 -> 31/12C).
Notes
Lodging is paid in advance plus one thing of firewood which should be included! There is a pool, hot tub, water and WiFi and probably even power for our phones.

Alternative Lodging:

  • Yellow Pine Campground (33 sites; all first come, first served; vault toilets, no water; $20)
  • Shingle Creek is also first-come/first-served and is 3mi down the road from Yellow Pine (21 other sites)
  • Should be all National Forest land so dispersed camping should be an option
  • The Saturday is fully booked at the nearest campground (Soapstone) so it might be worth thinking about staying at Knotty Pine instead.

Route options:

  1. The first option goes North and is a little longer, involves about 350m less climbing, but has 12 miles on what appears to be hard pack on Jeremy Ranch Road. Should be doable.
  2. The second option is up Big Cottonwood Canyon and is all paved but will be a bit higher altitude.

Day 2: 🚲 Kamas (Knotty Pine) → Starvation State Park[edit]

Sunday July 31, 2022

Stay
Starvation State Park, Rabbit Gulch West Loop Site #5 (primitive campground w/ no water; but right on the lake; pre-paid) [DONE]
Mileage
~62mi and ~4000ft
Food
breakfast: light camping breakfast #1; lunch: Hanna Hilton Cafe and Bar (~30mi); dinner: camping dinner #2
Weather
~33/17C
Stops
Pick up beer at the Hanna General Store
Alternatives lodging
  • Starvation State Park seems to have lots of availability
  • Alternative: Strawberry River Bed and Breakfast in Duchesne (or a best western)
  • [DONE] save/print the reservation
  • There seem to be some FCFS campgrounds at Rabbit Gulch and elsewhere within Starvation.

Day 3: 🚲 Starvation → Vernal[edit]

Monday August 1, 2022

Stay
Dinosaurland KOA (which has pool and minigolf) [DONE]
Mileage
most direct is 67.4mi (1700ft but mostly down) but lots of highway; alternative w/ almost no highway is 73mi and 2700ft
Food
  • Breakfast: Cowan's Cafe in Duchesne seems like the place but is likely closed Sunday+Monday; alternative could be Betos Mexican Food (open at 6am); and should be great.
  • Lunch Frontier Grill in Roosevelt (~35mi); alternative is Rocky's or Burger King. Many options!);
  • Dinner: Vernal Brewing Company (open until 9pm) or the slightly lower-key Dinosaur Brew House
Weather
Likely Hot (~34/18C)
Itinerary
  • Breakfast and lunch on the road
  • Arrival in Vernal by 4pm so we can stop by the Utah Field House (dinosaur museum/state park which is apparently good!) [open 9-5 every day]
  • Drop off bags and check in at KOA in Vernal (>2mi from the center of town)
  • Dinner in Vernal
Alternative lodgings
  • A bunch of hotels in Vernal

Day 4: 🚲 Vernal → Kenney Resevoir[edit]

Tuesday August 2, 2022

Stay
Kenny Reservoir [1] (FCFS and $8.00 but the person one the phone said there's one free camp spot we can use "at the wildlife viewing area past the campground and the Jesus is coming rock", right by the water; will likely also shave a few miles off the long next day) [DONE]
Mileage
no highway option #1 is 81mi and 5800 ft (10mi on gravel but it looks OK on this Youtube video); most direct on US-40 is 68mi 2100ft; some alt routes take us south of US-40 and might be worth mapping in advance
Food
breakfast: recommendation for Betty's Cafe in Vernal (open at 6am); lunch: lunch in dinosaur; dinner: camping dinner #3
Weather
Hot (highs of 31/16°C)
Stops
  • Early breakfast in Vernal on the way out
  • Dinosaur National Monument!
    • Stop at the Quarry Exhibit Hall at Dinosaur National Monument
    • Take the 0.5mi hike to see petroglyphs at the Swelter Shelter near the QEH
  • Lunch in Jensen (pretty close to coming back from the monument) or in Dinosaur (40mi from the start)
  • Pick up beer and/or drinks for two nights + lunch of the next day at store in Rangeley
Notes
  • We'll cross from Utah into Colorado
  • the more attractive route goes south along 45, changes to old bonanza hwy and crosses along a little unpaved road but it might be a little too long?
  • Alternative route going into Bonanza and then Stanton seems doable. It's only 6-7mi more.
  • One idea is to visit Fantasy Canyon along the way but it would probably add 15mi (so like 85mi instead of 67).
Alternative places to stay
Notes
  • "For more information on Kenney Reservoir ... contact the water district at (970) 675-5055."
  • Map of Kenney Reservoir

Day 5: 🚲 Kenney Resevoir → Rifle State Park[edit]

Wednesday August 3, 2022

Stay
Rifle State Park (Site 45 Lakeview) [DONE]
Mileage
best route is 91mi and 4700ft; route w/ stop in Meeker is 93mi and 4800ft but nearly all highway; both include 10km of dirt toward the end which is avoidable if we go almost all the way into Rifle instead of turning early
Food
breakfast: camping breakfast #2; lunch: on the road #1; dinner: camping dinner: #4
Weather
Hot (>28/13C).

Alternatives:

  • Elkhaven Lodge is in a better place but it's $300 and minimum 2nights. We could call?
  • Trail and Hitch RVpark and Tiny Home Hotel has a sauna and wifi and $15 tent spots (Available); sadly, tinyhomes are only available for a 2-night stay. It's only (54mi from kenney) but it sets up a killer 100mi day for the last day assuming we stay in Glenwood Springs.

Day 6: 🚲 Rifle State Park → Wolcott BLM Campground[edit]

Thursday August 4, 2022

Stay
Wolcott BLM Campground (no reservations; FCFS; $10)
Mileage
leg 1 is 15mi and 750ft; leg 2 is 42.4mi and 2300ft
Food
breakfast: light camping breakfast #3; lunch: restaurant in Glenwood Springs; dinner: camping dinner #5
Weather
Hot (>34/22C).

Resources:

Itinerary:

  • Leg 1: 15mi from campground to New Castle
  • Bus: from New Castle to Glenwood Springs
    • Bus from New Castle to to Glenwood Springs on Hogback Rifle route which leaves New Castle 6th and Main 40 minutes after each hour and also 10 minutes after 7am, 8am, 5pm, and 6pm.
    • Not all bus stops take bikes but there is a [page about this here] and a map of bike stops here so I think we need to go from the stop on 6th and Main in New Castle to the Park & Ride in Glenwood springs.
    • Loading bikes is either a two-bike rack which is the same as metro or a complicated 4-bike rack which is actually two racks and we should load them to the driver side first and then the passanger side.
  • Pool in Glenwood Springs Hot Springs (open 8am-9pm; kinda pricey at $~39)
  • Leg 2: 40 mi to Wolcott BLM campground

Alternative places to stay:

  • Gypsum Campground (BLM)
  • Stay in a Best Western (or similar) in Eagle. Kinda expensive for what it is, honestly

Resources:

It's hard to do given the 100 mi to Breckenridge but It would be nice to stay in Glenwood Springs for the night since there's a hot spring there but it sets up a pretty rough day.

Glenwood resources:

  • If we stay in glenwood, there is a "resort" with camping sites although they are quite expensive ($67) so a hotel might be easier.
  • Hotels in Glenwood Springs are werdly expensive. the "best" hotel is a 3-star Hotel Denver is that is like $250 for the night.

Day 7: 🚲 Wolcott BLM Campground → Breckenridge[edit]

Friday August 5, 2022

Stay
Mileage
60.5mi and 5000ft
Food
breakfast: light camping breakfast #4; lunch: something in the road (a few options); dinner in Breckenridge w/ family
Weather
Hot (>30C).
  • The first thing with emma is 5-9pm so it would be good to arrive as close to 5pm as possible. if we do 100 we'll want to be rolling by like 6am.
  • Option a: if we stay in glenwood, it's a little under 100 mi into breckenridge (and 5.6k feet of climbing. Basically the first 80 seems like a gradual river valley climb).. it's possible and it's the last day so might be OK?
  • If we stay in Eagle or Wolcott it would be just 70 or 60 mi into breckenridge the next day.
  • M has a faculty meeting at 9-10AM.

Resources:

Day 7+1: Wedding![edit]

Stay
Mileage
Food
breakfast?; lunch ?; dinner ?
Weather
Hot (>30C).

Day 7+2: 🚌 Breckenridge → Denver[edit]

Stay
[TODO]
Food
breakfast?; lunch ?; dinner ?
Weather
Hot (>30C).

Itinerary:

  • [TODO] bus ticket (buy tickets)
  • 4:20pm: Meow Wolf Convergence Station (tickets are in Google Pay) [arrive 10min early]
  • 7pm: Dinner reservations at Uchi Denver at the counter (award winning sushi joint with a vegetarian tasting menu)
  • Epic Mountain Express seems to give a discount: "Book reservations at least 48 hours prior to travel. Reservations made the same day of travel are subject to a $5/per person fee. Accepting reservations through 10/31/2022"

Vail/DIA times: 7:00 am / 9:15 am 8:30 am / 10:45 am 10:00 am / 12:15 pm 11:30 am / 1:45 pm 3:00 pm / 5:15 pm

Day 7+3: ✈️ Denver → Seattle[edit]

Weather
Hot (>30C).

Places to visit[edit]

Things to remember[edit]

For future trips:

  • Mika got sun hives. High altitude + sun requires sun sleeves and a lot more sunscreens. We went through 2.5 containers and that was not enough.
  • >85 miles at this temp is hard.
  • All campsites were great! The secret spot at Kenny didn't have a toilet, so we went to the normal site. The Rifle Gap campground was incredibly well managed and clean.
  • Just about the right amount of food. Maybe a little less hot chocolate/tea.
  • Gumbo was a great new camp recipe!
  • Highway 40 between Jensen and Dinosaur was ok. Other parts can be a little too busy and stressful (e.g., by Rabbit Gulch).
  • Dirt roads are almost always hard for Mika.
  • Maybe 3 pairs of underwear for 7 days for Mika.