HIGH ALPINE GRAVEL
JULY 24, 2021
WINTER PARK, CO
Gravel riding may be a pancake-flat affair in Texas, or a rolling-hill thing in Kansas or Nebraska. But here in Colorado we do things a little differently…
The ‘short’ route of Crooked Gravel will be a full day of riding, with a big mountain climb in the Arapaho National Forest coming almost right off the bat. Race your buddies on the two timed segments or just settle in at a comfortable pace. There is no one right way to Roll Massif.
All riders from both routes roll out together at 7:30 a.m.
The first timed segment, Crooked Creek Climb, starts at just past 8 miles and tops out just shy of 10,000 feet 4.5 miles later. Up there, stop at the first aid station to refresh and regroup.
Then it’s time for miles and miles of smiles as we cruise down rough forest roads that give way to wide-open, smooth-running dirt roads that you’ll swear are smoother than pavement.
At Williams Fork Reservoir we’ll hop back on pavement and head towards Hot Sulphur Springs through a slot canyon. There is a second aid station just before Hot Sulphur Springs. Take on some sustenance here, because the fearsome Cottonwood Pass lies ahead! Okay, it’s not fearsome. It’s actually really pretty, smothered with an aspen grove over the top. But it is annoyingly steep. And it is a timed segment.
With that work done, you are homeward bound.
See the two maps below for more detail. You can download the GPX file from the RideWithGPS map.
Afternoon thunderstorms are a frequent summer occurrence along the mountains. In order to avoid lightening strikes, don’t be the tallest object around or stand under tall objects. Move to higher ground in the event of a flash flood. Rain gear can help prevent hypothermia, a drop in body temperature that can happen even in summertime.
As people move into wildlife habitat, animal encounters occur more frequently. Click here to learn more about how to deal with wildlife on the trail/Gravel roads.
Please note: Route is subject to change pending permits and road conditions.