The Trail Ridge Road over the Rockies

posted in: Motorcycling, Outdoors, Travel | 8

Just as spending time by the Pacific Ocean was very important to me while we were on our North American road trip, spending time in the mountains was equally as important. Living in Lincolnshire as we do, we are not blessed with a mountainous landscape from our bedroom window, and having fallen in love with the Alps (read about Obergurgl) last year, we wanted to make sure we allowed plenty of time in our schedule to be up high. It made sense, then, that we visited the hugely popular Rocky Mountain National Park and rode over the famous Trail Ridge Road.

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountains National Park

Riding the Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountains National Park.

Despite the fact that we had a destination road in our sights on this particular day, it should be said that we experienced no poor riding in this part of the United States. The roads and the scenery are simply wonderful between Denver and along the Rockies north through the State. Once we were around the big city we had a glorious ride through the Colorado countryside that matched up to all our other riding in this part of the USA – if you’re ever wondering where you could go on a road trip, make it Colorado. I’m in love; I need to go back. Take me back!

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountains National Park

View from the Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountains National Park.

We reached a little mountain town called Nederland where we just about got into a café in a converted train carriage before the heavens opened in almighty fashion and turned the parking lot into a paddling pool. We took our time over breakfast bagels and coffee, chatting about how much the town reminded us of those little Alpine towns in Austria. Sitting out the storm was the right move, as we left the road was already drying out thanks to the heat of the sun, and we continued on our way through the beautiful scenery to the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountains National Park

Riding the Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountains National Park.

The Trail Ridge Road is a 42-mile highway that crosses the Rocky Mountains. It goes right over the top of the mountain range; 12 miles of the route is above 11,500 feet and the summit is something over 12,000 feet. Not quite as winding or high altitude as Pike’s Peak, but still very high in the sky and right in amongst the snow. Having the opportunity to see the world from this angle is very special indeed.

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountains National Park

Plenty of snow up here.

The road is very popular although being a week day we weren’t subject to the very long lines of cars we had heard are common place here, and were able to park without difficulty in the turnouts and viewpoints along the route. You can see from the photos of us riding that we didn’t get stuck behind anyone, which was nice! We spotted some great wildlife while we were in the mountains including a yellow bellied marmot hanging out with some big horn sheep at one of the viewpoints, rabbits, deer, chipmunks and some other rodent sized creatures that we couldn’t identify.

Yellow Bellied Marmot, Rocky Mountains National Park

A Yellow Bellied Marmot. Cute! 

Big Horn Sheep in the Rocky Mountains National Park

Big Horn Sheep.

Unfortunately, as we headed out of the National Park we got caught in a rain storm – 9 degrees Celsius and sideways rain makes for a very cold ride, but thankfully it only lasted about 20 minutes and we were able to dry out as we rode through some more awesome scenery and lots of little ski towns en-route to our lodgings for the night. We stayed in a really lovely mountain town called Steamboat Springs, where we were surrounded by mountains and spent our evening mooching around the various outdoors shops and eating simple food in a diner. The town had a relaxed vibe to it that I’d like to experience again some time.

After the train in Colorado

After the rain in Colorado.

See All the Posts > Our #Zartusacan Road Trip

8 Responses

  1. Lakes Mum

    I went through the Rockies on a train in 1990 and that was pretty awesome but looks even better on a bike! #WeekendBlogShare

  2. Shybiker

    Gorgeous place, lovely pictures. Like you, my home is flat so seeing mountains is a big deal for me. I need to travel upstate or to Pennsylvania to begin to see them. But those are nothing compared to these beauties!

    • Splodz

      The Rocky Mountains really are special. We pretty much followed them all the way up to Jasper and Banff, and loved every minute of our time in their presence.

  3. Lutheranliar

    Wow! What a trip! Good for you. Most Americans haven’t made it to Rocky Mountain National Park. (I have, but it was when I was, like, 10.) You’ve inspired me to go back. Thank you! #weekendblogshare

  4. Sam and Veren

    We also road tripped through Colorado (though in a car, not a bike!) and absolutely loved it. The scenery is gorgeous, and your photos really transported me back!!

    • Splodz

      Glad to have helped take you back to your memories 🙂 I’d love to go back to Colorado and see more – maybe in a car next time. I reckon I could spend a couple of months easily in the State.

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