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Wanted to share some of my pics from my recent trip to Southwest Colorado. I hauled my little toy hauler out there and was riding a 2007 Yamaha WR450 along with my buddies on KLR650s. Started in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and made our way through Ouray and ended in Silverton. Just an exceptional trip with some of the best weather I could ask for.

The ride up HWY 550 (million dollar per mile to pave) from Ouray to Silverton, was some of the scariest pavement ive ever ridden, but was incredible. I dont know how that road even exists, much less stay open. Rock fall closes sections daily.

Notable off road stuff:

Medano Pass in the Sand Dunes- Hardest riding Ive ever done. Deep, loose sand that eats jeeps. Must maintain speed or crash. Really glad we started the trip here as it helped my confidence a lot the rest of the trip.

Black Bear Pass, Imogene Pass, Ophir Pass- Seriously sketchy, high elevation loose rock climbs. Even did a hard variation on Black Bear where we literally rode up a waterfall. The atmosphere and traction is what imagine riding on the moon/mars is like. About as easy the breathe too haha

Rode up to Crystal Lake, and took the small "trail" up above the lake. Spectacular spot.

Hope you all enjoy the pics. Wish I could upload more of them and in HD
 

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Did you have any secret desire to climb that sand dune on the bike? :D
 

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Did you have any secret desire to climb that sand dune on the bike? :D
From a far I did, but once I rode in real sand, that desire quickly faded. Sand riding consists of full throttle with your ass on the fender and front wheel going 2 foot in any direction. I would love to try a bike with paddle tires. We did climb them on foot and it sucked haha
 

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Thanks for posting the pics! I've said it many times here and I'll say it again; it's nice to live in Colorado!
Glad you enjoyed them. Colorado is a hell of a place, would definitely take me some time to get use to the winters, but the dry summer air is just amazing. Colorado Springs is in a great location to access everything too
 

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Looks like a gorgeous place to ride. We have nice mountains in NC, but nothing like that.
 

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Looks like a gorgeous place to ride. We have nice mountains in NC, but nothing like that.
Ive grown up all my life riding in the south east and riding out there is just on a whole different level. Not necessarily more difficult (other then deep sand, that shits hard) but atmosphere is so different and the consequences of f*ing up go up greatly on the passes. Saw a bmw that someone lost down a 350 ft cliff, a lot different situation then loosing a bike into the Georgia woods haha. And the altitude really takes a toll, not only on you, but the bike too. Cant wait to get back in a few years, but I think we are going to explore Tennessee,Virginia and Kentucky this year.
 

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never thought I'd see Medano pass mentioned here, I'm originally from Westcliffe, just north of there. It will eat jeeps, it almost ate mine a few times. We used to sneak over that pass and climb the sand dunes on the Sangre side. Looks fun!
 

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never thought I'd see Medano pass mentioned here, I'm originally from Westcliffe, just north of there. It will eat jeeps, it almost ate mine a few times. We used to sneak over that pass and climb the sand dunes on the Sangre side. Looks fun!
I just saw this. It certainly tested every bit off skill I have on a bike. I wouldnt suggest anyone trying it unless you are seriously ready. Im glad someone posted on this thread, it's great to look back a year later. Full throttle in 10in deep sand is an unforgettable experience, I think I still have arm pump >:)
 

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I need to get out more -- city life / pavement riding is slowly killing my soul :)
Tell me about it dude, Atlanta traffic alone makes this city unbearable. My family's little cabin, track days/racing, and the occasional adventure are all that keep me sane. This trip to Colorado last year was so needed and seriously recharged my spirit. Hauling a camper across country will beat ones ass tho, especially when you are on a schedule with so little time. 2 weeks went by in a flash, I want to find a way to take a month next time I do it. And bring the hypermotard >:)
 

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From a far I did, but once I rode in real sand, that desire quickly faded. Sand riding consists of full throttle with your ass on the fender and front wheel going 2 foot in any direction. I would love to try a bike with paddle tires. We did climb them on foot and it sucked haha
I hear ya, sand riding sucks on regular knobbies, and riding in gravel sucks too for that matter!

Last year we went to Colorado and drop from ouray to telluride through Imogene pass, Colorado is so freakin beautiful. Unfortunately didn’t make it to crystal lake however
 
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