Rally Loop Rides
These rides are rides Gary Campbell has mapped out and ridden. They start and end at the Delta County Fairgrounds in Hotchkiss Colorado.
Big GS Friendly 160 miles Paved/Good Gravel
The Grand Mesa is the largest flat topped mountain in the world (wikipedia) and is home to large populations of deer elk and moose. The mesa was formed by lava oozing outand flowing in a flat layer and then the underlying shale was eroded away leaving the Grand Mesa. The Utes called it Thunder Mountain because it was supposedly the home of Thunderbirds whose giant nests can bee seen on the western slope.
Head towards Paonia on 133 . In 35.9 miles a sign reads “Collbran” turn right. This is FR 265 , follow it across the mesa for 35.3 miles to the junction with the Collbran-Silt Road. Turn left. In about 6 miles you'll hit the Vega Lake Turnoff. There's a great place for lunch about 5 miles on the lake. Go past the State Park kiosk don't stop. After lunch go back and go into Collbran. The hiway takes a 90 deg right in Collbran. Immediate after the turn look for a sign “Botham”. Turn left . This is FS 121. Follow 121 for 23.6 mile to the visitors center. From here it's 44 miles back to Hotchkiss via 65 and 92.
Kebler Pass and Taylor Canyon
All Bikes 216 miles
Kebler Pass, is home to one of the largest aspen groves in the United States. This aspen grove has been tested and found to be a clonal colony. It therefor grows from a single root system and is a single living organism. This hidden leviathan is ostensibly the largest living entity in the state of Colorado and one of the largest in the world. The pass is mag chloride which is almost like pavement The Taylor River runs from Taylor Reservoir through majestic Taylor Canyon which is considered one of the most scenic canyons in all of Colorado. The canyon winds through National Forest, spectacular granite cliffs (great for rock climbing) and a dense forest. This river contains powerful waves and numerous rocks.
To get to Kebler take 133 24.5 miles. Right on CO12 39 miles over Kebler to Crested Butte . Crested Butte to Almont 18m, Almont to Taylor 25, Taylor to Gunnison 39m, Gunnison to Hotchkiss via 92 – 79m. Street bikes should turn around at Almont but GS’s can go either north at the store and loop through Spring Creek. or go south east over Cumberland Pass to Pitkin and on to to Gunnison.
DAMS and Black Canyon Nat'l PARK
All Bikes 173paved miles
This ride takes in all 3 Curecanti Dams on the Gunnison and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Nat’l Park. The park is one of the “1000 THINGS YOU MUST DO BEFORE YOU DIE” list
Take 92 South53 miles to Blue Mesa Dam (Dam 1). Turn west on Hwy 50 for 19 milesto Cimmaron and take the campground exit. Morrow Point Dam (Dam #2) is 2 miles north. Get back on Hwy 50 for 12miles to the Park Access road. At the Kiosk turn right on the East Portal Road and go into the canyon to the base of Crystal Dam. The ride down is 16% grade and lots of turns and coming back up, you get to do it again! Then ride to the Visitors Center, get enlightened and take a break. There’s a lot of scenic pullouts in the Park. It’s 76 miles back to Hotchkiss via Montrose and Delta. The Park doesn’t offer much in the way of food so we like to pick up a lunch in Hotchkiss at the City Market deli and stop at the picnic pavilion at the Cimmaron Campground.