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Seattle, WA from Sacramento, CA by way of Boulder, Co


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Hey guys and gals,

I could use some suggestions. I'm planning to visit my friend up in Seattle this year, but I want go through Boulder Colorado (where I have a couple other friends).


I'm looking for a good route and I'm wondering if my route is decent (see tiny url below).


I don't want to be on the super slab the entire way, some is ok/needed. I'm on an R1200RT, so no off roads please. :-) No camping either (ya, ya, I know). I'm fine with cheap motels or even a comfy couch.


Here are my goals:

* See pretty stuff.

* Find some twisties

* See pretty stuff.

* Not an iron butt. 8/hrs a day is plenty.

* Two nights in/near Yellowstone.

* See pretty stuff.

* Must be in Seattle June 24-26


Here's rough draft so far and could use some help in converting from super slab to more interesting routes.



I marked each destination to keep my day ride 6-8 hours or so and to help me track how many days I'll be gone. In Seattle, I would be in the same place all 3 nights.


I'm looking forward to reading your suggestions on "must see" or "use this route instead".




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What a wonderful ride ... I did a bit of it last year and hope to get west again this year




West from Boulder to Nederland on 119 to Nederland

North to Estes Park (stop for lunch at the Hotel)

Through Rocky Mountain National Park and down through Grand Lake

At Granby - go west of 40 to Steamboat Springs

Head north on CO 129 and into Wyoming along the Snake River


When you get to Baggs - either head north to I80 and into to Rock Springs ... or


Try to work out a route from Baggs to US191 near the CO WY border and take 191 into Rock Springs. This is a wonderful road with great vistas and undulating sweepers ... be careful though as it is "open range" and there is livestock.


If you decide to go 80, then go through Rock Springs to 191 south and take a little side trip to Flaming Gorge ...


From Rock Springs ride north to Jackson Hole and the Tetons.


If you do stay with the route through Cheyenne - then get INTO the Black Hills instead of skirting them ... really pretty country.


Have a great, safe, ride ... what a treat!

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On US-50 west of Austin, take NV-722. It rejoins US-50 at Austin. You'll get 15 miles of twisties and scenery out of it, followed by another little stretch of valley floor that really is on a lonely road, as US-50 used to be.


In Utah take the exit for UT-72 (I think you need to use exit 86 and UT-76 to do this) and proceed to Loa. Then take UT-24 to Hanksville, and take UT-95 to Blanding.


If you have time, add an out and back from UT-24 on UT-12, from Torrey to Escalante and back to Torrey. Allow about 3 hours for the round trip. (Alternatively, drop down on I-15 and come back through Zion and Bryce NPs to Torrey, via UT-12.)


Once you make Blanding, proceed to Durango. If you have time, allow half a day to a day at Mesa Verde NP. From Durango go north on US-550 to US-50, then CO-92 through Crawford/Hotchkiss. Then take CO-65 back to I-70.


From Boulder, I would try to include CO-14 Ft. Collins to Walden. Then work your to Cody or Red Lodge. Once there, you want to ride WY-296 the Chief Joseph Hwy from WY-120 to US-212 and US-212 from Red Lodge to Cooke City.


Also be sure to ride from Jackson to Yellowstone for your Teton views. My two favorite spots in Yellowstone are Mammoth and West Thumb. Wildlife is plentiful on US-212 entering the park on northeast, around Grant and Lake Villages, at Mammoth, and on the exit to West Yellowstone as shown on your map.


Your route leaving Yellowstone on 287/191 is very nice. Saw a nice bear up there with Just Jean and dhanson on the way to the John Day Unrally.


Drop off of I-90 at Missoula and pick up US-93 S to US-12 (Lolo Pass). Take that to Kooskia. From there either return to your route, or if you have time, go through the Hells Canyon area from Lewiston/Clarkston. Take 129/3 to Enterprise, then work your way to Halfway if you like on paved, but narrow, rough and remote forest roads (Wallowa Mtn Loop 39)


Lodging in the Yellowstone/Teton/Red Lodge/West Yellowstone area is expensive and should be reserved ahead.

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I would highly recommend Rte.212 out of Billings, MT (Beartooth Pass). Looks like you just missed it on your route. It comes into the NE entrance of Yellowstone and is one of the prettiest rides in the country.



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Hey Mitch,


That sounds like a great ride! My wife and I are considering taking a very similar ride next year. My friend just went to Yellowstone last year in a car. He warned me that the buffalo's really stare down the motorcyclists. He said it looked scary. I wouldn't know what the actual danger is because I haven't done it yet.


Also, I just wanted to say hello. You met my wife and I at the Trader Joe's in Folsom a couple months back. We should still go for a ride sometime.



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We had to turn back in Teddy Roosevelt NP due to bison on the road. In Yellowstone it can be a bit scary, but there is much more traffic. The cars will be pushing through, and I just stay close to a car (it will be a traffic jam anyway if they are near the road). Never heard of an actual attack on a moto, but I wouldn't want to be the first one. The bison are used to the traffic. It works out with a little good judgment. You may see them a little closer than you would like though. Less than 3-4 feet is a little scary, but very possible (BTDT twice now). Have your pillion keep her camera at the ready. Set it for action (fast shutter, image stabilization on).


The thing to remember is that thousands of bikes a day go through the park w/o incident. Sometimes that thought is your only comfort.

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That is about as intense as my buddy made it sound like. He said there were a few guys on GS's huddling close to the rear of his car. He said he could see the bison "sizing them up". Sounds like a humbling experience. Can't wait!



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I should add, that the only places in the park that I routinely and predictably see them very near the road are near Lake and Grant Villages, around Yellowstone Lake, and maybe just to the north of the lake for a ways. Mostly within a few miles of Lake Village, and in Lake Village.


You will surely see them on US 212 coming in from the Beartooth and Cooke City, and as well on the West Yellowstone exit, but I have never seen them right up on the road in those areas. So, I guess what I am saying is that if you want to avoid close encounters with them, stay away from Lake. That said, I usually prefer that route myself, despite the bison.

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Thanks for all the great suggestions so far.



Those roads look pretty good. I'd rather have more pretty stuff than counting miles & states. One question, Route 129 looks like it's missing pavement?? http://tinyurl.com/4hpy8tw This google maps street view. This website also listed it as decommissioned. http://www.mesalek.com/colo/r120-139.html#129 Can you confirm it's paved? Google has me turning around even if I force 129.


With ElevenFifty's input, I cut out Nebraska and the Dakota's (they were state checklists anyways - another excuse for another ride another day) and added the Tetons. I'll look, but I'm not sure there's a place for me to rest my bones before I can get to Flaming Gorge.


Twisties: That's putting me too far south. I'm planning to do a southern states ride and this will be part of it. I really like Zion and Bryce canyons. I figure, on my first day, I iron butt ride it to SLC and then start slowing down..maybe.


RPG: Thanks! Changed. See updated map. I think this is what you're talking about.


Ryan: Hey ya. Maybe you two can join me? This lowers my chances of being target by 50%. LOL. Hope you two are well. Yes, lets ride. I'm still complaining 45 is too cold to ride. ;)


All: I'll keep an eye out. I'm assuming to can huddle up to/hide behind another car/truck.


Keep the suggestions coming. I appreciate them all.


Updated rough draft route: http://tinyurl.com/6hljvd9





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In Utah take UT-35 Francis/Woodland via Hanna and back to US-40 at Duschene.


In Colorado your route from US-40 to I-70 can be improved. The route you choose is not bad, but you can add Douglas Pass if you take CO-139 S. at Rangely. It's a decent pass, though not in the top class. There are other options to the east, such as Berthoud Pass on US-40, or going through Rocky Mtn NP (slow but if you never have, a must).


In WY Pinedale may be a good place to stay. Check availability as I think the oil and gas boom may be back on there in the form of natural gas development. Last time it hit boom stage things got crazy.


In Wyoming, at the junction of the Chief Joseph (WY-296) with US-212 add an out and back to Red Lodge over the Beartooth. You can not possibly come that close and skip the Beartooth. It would be unthinkable. This is easily one of the most spectacular moto roads in the lower 48. I think an hour and a half would do it. By the way, in Montana, the speed limit is 70 on the pass. FWIW that means that for most of the pass there is no real speed limit.

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"By the way, in Montana, the speed limit is 70 on the pass."

Yep, but on the Beartooth you better stop a few times to view the scenery. There riding and viewing do not mix well.

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Dewayne Harkov

I love 50 east, be sure to stop in small towns along the way. Cool stuffed animals in grocery store in Eureka, Nv where you wouldn't expect it. Best Kung Pao, I swear, at the Sands Restaurant/Motel in East Rock Springs. Ride the "gray lines" on your map and stay off slab as much as possible and it'll be great. Check out this link: http://www.motorcycleroads.com/ and you can plan as much as you can. Enjoy!!

Must See:

Beartooth Pass

Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

Hell's canyon

Lolo Pass Hwy 12


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"Those roads look pretty good. I'd rather have more pretty stuff than counting miles & states. One question, Route 129 looks like it's missing pavement?? http://tinyurl.com/4hpy8tw This google maps street view. This website also listed it as decommissioned. http://www.mesalek.com/colo/r120-139.html#129 Can you confirm it's paved? Google has me turning around even if I force 129"


I haven't ridden 129 ... I came into Steamboat Springs from the west on 40 out of Vernal UT. I advised 129 for three reasons -

- appears it is a 'lost highway' ... my favorite category

- it joins 191 south of Flaming Gorge ... too pretty to miss

- 191 is a hoot!


I've now spent some time with Google Earth looking at 129 and I would ride it ... looks okay to me but I defer to local knowledge. Taking 40 to Vernal and then north on 191 would be good as well.



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Duane n Oregon

Your route from Seattle, WA to K Falls, OR is really boring. I will try to attach a route suggestion that takes you near Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and then some amazing scenic routes, including Crater Lake. I know it adds miles and time, but maybe you shorten it a bit and/or add miles to your last day. It would be sad to miss these sights! Also, Central Oregon is awesome, but don't take Hwy 97. That is a very boring ride. The views of mountains are still nice, but boring road!


If things change and you need a place to stay in Portland, get ahold of me.



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At Klamath Falls stay on the west side of the lake, not up 97. This rides back in at Fort Klamath then onto Crater Lake. A much nicer alternative to Highway 97.


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