Favorite Ride — Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Naturalist Enos A. Mills, regarded as the father of Rocky Mountain National Park, homesteaded this web page adjacent to Colorado Highway 7 in 1885. Story and images by John Aronson.

Peak to Peak Scenic Byway: Fifty-5 miles of Colorado Bliss.

The Entrance Variety of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains was undoubtedly created for the advantage of motorcyclists, while it’s been a lot more than 40 million yrs given that tectonic forces elevated these substantial peaks. Like the siren’s track to a sailor at sea, I’m determined to investigate this sublime elevated landscape shut to my property alongside the urban corridor that incorporates Denver and Boulder, Colorado. An hour from my driveway is the 55-mile Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, recognized by the point out of Colorado in 1918. A mecca for motorcyclists, the Byway is just two lanes and it follows the trails at first forged by Indigenous Us residents, fur traders and later miners in research of gold and other treasured metals.

Favorite Ride - Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Map by Bill Tipton (Compartmaps.com)

My Peak to Peak day ride begins where by U.S. Highway 6 satisfies Colorado Freeway 119 in the vicinity of the previous mining settlement of Black Hawk, Colorado. Hungry riders will find designated motorcycle parking at The Previous Shot. Close by is the gold rush town of Central Town, exactly where the downtown storefronts have been restored to emulate their 19th-century origins. Most silver and gold prospecting in Central City and Black Hawk is now accomplished in a bevy of lawful gambling casinos. I only want to twist the throttle of my 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer and head north. Leaving civilization driving, the elevation climbs and the sights get greater all over just about every bend in the street. There are a few hairpins, but this segment of the Byway characteristics straight sections joined by roomy turns with just the suitable total of camber.

Favorite Ride - Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
The Central Town Fire Section has served the group given that the times of bucket brigades.

My approach is to continue to be on the pavement, but I experience past various filth roads intersecting the byway that guide to trailheads and campgrounds in the Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forests. I have only traveled 19 miles from Black Hawk, but my priorities include things like stopping for a freshly baked croissant at the New Moon Bakery & Cafe in the funky village of Nederland. There is loads of parking on this working day, but in March the streets are jammed throughout the common “Frozen Lifeless Guy Days” pageant. Search it up. Nearby are the Eldora Mountain Resort and the Caribou Ranch where by Elton John, Joe Walsh and a lengthy record of other artists slash tracks in the recording studio there. However, a hearth destroyed the recording studio in 1985.

Favorite Ride — Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Started in 1859, the gold hurry town of Central City was once regarded the “Richest Square Mile On Earth.”

From Nederland, the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway continues onto Colorado Freeway 72, soaring to 9,450 ft above sea stage. Even though the tarmac up here ought to endure the ice and snow of wintertime, there are no frost heaves or bumps to upset my Tiger’s suspension by a sequence of ideal radius turns that ramble past the former gold mining settlement of Ward. Nearby is the entrance highway to the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, which has sights of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, access to quite a few campgrounds and is a well-liked desired destination for canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

Favorite Ride — Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Just north of the town of Black Hawk, riders can fulfill their starvation at The Past Shot roadside restaurant.

As a common rule, the air temperatures are decreased at increased altitudes, so when it is a sizzling summer day in the towns of Colorado’s Entrance Vary, riders head to the mountains in which there could possibly be in the vicinity of fantastic riding weather conditions. Of study course, mountain riding in superior elevations indicates quickly changing weather conditions conditions are often achievable. When I’m not looking at the highway ahead, I discover significant dim clouds changing my excellent blue skies. Afternoon rainstorms in Colorado are typical through the summer months months. Stopping to don my rain gear, I meet Mark aboard his Honda Gold Wing F6B towing a trailer and his wife Kim using her CanAm Spyder. Commencing in their dwelling point out of West Virginia, they have been midway as a result of a 6,000-mile journey to all of the reduced 48 states. Soon soon after we section strategies, it starts to pour down rain. My trip as a result of the cloudburst lasts only 15 minutes, and happily I stay dry still all the lifeless bugs have been washed from my windscreen! Hunting back, the intensity of driving via a unexpected storm manufactured me sense more related to my machine and the street beneath its wheels.

Favorite Ride — Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Mark and Kim integrated the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway on their ride to all of the reduced 48 states.

I comply with the byway onto the freshly paved asphalt of Colorado Highway 7 that rolls earlier the compact vacation resort city of Allenspark. The town was when the web site of international ski jumping competitions and is in the vicinity of the Wild Basin entrance to Rocky Mountain Countrywide Park. This is a superior put to quit and just take in the landscapes, but on my ride the afternoon clouds obscure the summits of 13,911-foot Mount Meeker and 14,259-foot Longs Peak.

Favorite Ride — Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
The creator poses near the intersection of Colorado Highway 72 and Colorado Freeway 7.

Fortunately for me, the tarmac has dried out and there’s really small rain-induced gravel or targeted visitors to impede my Triumph’s development as a result of a collection of attractive S turns down into Estes Park at the northern stop of the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway. There may be extra well-known roads, but this a person has all the attributes riders crave, including great vistas related by ribbons of sleek pavement that are perfect for leaning by means of an unlimited provide of corners. There’s quite small cross targeted traffic, no targeted visitors lights and I only bear in mind two stop signs! While the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway is only 55 miles prolonged, approach to commit most of your day exploring its charms. All through my mid-week experience, I estimate that there was a person motorcycle to just about every 3 or four vehicles I saw on the highway! From Estes Park, Peak to Peak working day riders can conveniently return to metropolitan Denver, Boulder or Ft. Collins. Estes Park is also a well-liked gateway to Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park and has plentiful diversions for motorcyclists hunting for fantastic grub, tenting and motels. The historic Stanley Resort in Estes Park was opened in 1909 by the steam car or truck pioneer, Freelan Oscar Stanley. The hotel is rumored to be haunted and was the inspiration for author Stephen King’s “The Shining.” Even nevertheless I don’t consider in ghosts, I decide to head for home…. 

Favorite Ride — Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Hunting west from Colorado Freeway 7, the see of Mt. Meeker’s summit is obscured by clouds.

Beloved Experience: Peak to Peak Scenic Byway Photograph Gallery: