U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-06-2011, 12:56 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,043,493 times
Reputation: 2623

Advertisements

The Dunraven Inn resides at the original entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. In some respects a more impressive entrance than the main one today, slightly to the north, although that with a fine panorama of mountain peaks at the entrance stations. As previously alluded to, this original entrance has been long abandoned, and but a hiking trail now. There is a minor dirt road initially, leading just beyond to a few private residences at the Park's boundary. But they control the steel gate closing the road to any other vehicles to what is but their driveway. From this gate less than 1/4 mile to the Park is an easement along this road for visitors to reach RMNP, but from this gate one is effectively within the Park, with its rules, which preclude motorized vehicles, bicycles and dogs. Signs denote the edge of the Park proper, and from there it really is a trail. This trail parallels the Big Thompson River as it cascades down from its meanderings in Moraine Park. That large meadow is but a short distance beyond.

The prohibition against bicycles or other vehicles on Park trails is surely a good one, although not exactly uniformly applied. RMNP allows, even encourages, the use of horses within the Park. They invariably stick to the trails, usually in long lines of tourists, the poor horses plodding along nose to butt. The result is not only a lot of horse sh*t that hikers have to continually dodge, but worse a lot of damage to the trails, in erosion, etc. that would not happen otherwise.

But back to the old entrance, and how best to get into the Park. If on foot, the original entrance from Dunraven Inn is the best way to enter RMNP from Highway 66, at which point this the shortest distance between that road and Bear Lake Road in the Park. As said, the trail will lead one directly to Moraine Park. One obstacle, if driving to that trailhead, is the Park has made no provision for parking, and effectively about the only available is that restaurant's small parking lot. During the day it may not matter, but they do a good dinner business every evening of the year, and amply fill the lot, which is, of course, their own.

If wishing to get a bicycle from Highway 66 to Bear Lake Road, there may be a better alternative. The YMCA owns a large plot of land in this area. In fact it reaches nearly to the Swiftcurrent Lodge, that residing next the Dunraven Inn. Just across the river in fact, as the property divide is the Big Thompson River. If following this river a short distance upstream one will discover the confluence with it and Glacier Creek. Glacier Creek is a quite clear river which flows down from the vicinity of Bear Lake. I'm fairly certain of YMCA property to the Big Thompson, and certain of it to Glacier Creek. The significance of this is that Bear Lake Road parallels Glacier Creek, and downstream from one picnic area is directly adjacent.

One would, or should, have permission from the YMCA, but they have a number of trails on their property. Some of which lead to the edge of Glacier Creek. There is indeed even a bridge across from one, but with a bicycle there still problematic in entering the Park much as if the old entrance. Just upriver, where Bear Lake Road is just across, might prove more suitable, if necessity of fording the river. There are also some access driveways on the far side in places, and as these dirt roads and not trails, bikes probably okay.

Determining the best egress might take some exploration.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-06-2011, 02:38 PM
ndk ndk started this thread
 
Location: Estes Park
68 posts, read 270,056 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
The Dunraven Inn resides at the original entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. In some respects a more impressive entrance than the main one today, slightly to the north, although that with a fine panorama of mountain peaks at the entrance stations.
I had no idea what a legacy I'd stumbled on. There's absolutely nothing at the site to give any hint of the history, other than a thoroughly sunbleached sign advertising some long-gone cabins when you're turning around and leaving. But that's hardly rare in Estes Park, with its hundred-plus years of tourism.

I guess they moved the entrance solely for that big Upper Beaver Meadows vista. It's understandable, but it's a lot more vertical and horizontal displacement than the old one. Wish they'd kept both.

Quote:
The prohibition against bicycles or other vehicles on Park trails is surely a good one, although not exactly uniformly applied. RMNP allows, even encourages, the use of horses within the Park. They invariably stick to the trails, usually in long lines of tourists, the poor horses plodding along nose to butt. The result is not only a lot of horse sh*t that hikers have to continually dodge, but worse a lot of damage to the trails, in erosion, etc. that would not happen otherwise.
The prohibition on bicycles and pets is fantastic. I have memories of hikes near Waterton Canyon when I lived in Denver where I'd nearly get taken out by weekend warriors several times an hour. I don't begrudge them their play, but I think separate trails is a good idea.

I'm not exactly in favor of the horses on the trails in the heavily hiked parts of the park either. I think it's fantastic in the National Forests. There are some really deep ruts worn between Beaver Meadows and Moraine Park, and yes, the... used hay can be quite deep during some parts of the year. I fear this cow is a little too sacred to be gored, though, as it were.

Quote:
There is indeed even a bridge across from one, but with a bicycle there still problematic in entering the Park much as if the old entrance. Just upriver, where Bear Lake Road is just across, might prove more suitable, if necessity of fording the river. There are also some access driveways on the far side in places, and as these dirt roads and not trails, bikes probably okay.

Determining the best egress might take some exploration.
I admire your imagination and local knowledge here, very much so, but I'm pretty sure fording Glacier Creek with a 55lb electric bike(and 20lbs of batteries) is something even I wouldn't try.

But asking the YMCA if they've got any suggestions is a great idea. I'll probably phone them up, but don't expect to volunteer much information about the Mountainside Drive expedition.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2011, 08:29 PM
ndk ndk started this thread
 
Location: Estes Park
68 posts, read 270,056 times
Reputation: 61
Default Made it to Glacier Gorge

Electric Bicycle to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)-mills-lake-winter-001.jpg

25 miles with 2400ft of gross elevation change(one way) and 1700ft of net elevation change("), and the machine held up just fine. If only I could hike like that.

In all seriousness, though, this is with the old battery. As soon as you get past the first switchback coming out of Hollowell Park, the road levels out dramatically all the way up to Bear Lake. It becomes easy at that point, even on 36 tired volts. I'll still upgrade to 48v for the climb prior to that, but 36v was enough after all. Recharging took 2 hours and 35 minutes on a 5A charger, which means I had about 35% of the battery left. I'm quite surprised by that, but I'll take it...

Because I was paranoid about the battery giving out, I pedaled as hard as I could the whole way up. Barely had enough left in me to hike, but heck, while I was there...

Electric Bicycle to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)-mills-lake-winter-003.jpg

Why not pick an easy trail and enjoy it? The base got deeper on the way up.

Electric Bicycle to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)-mills-lake-winter-027.jpg

Made it to Mills Lake and was feeling pretty boss, having pedaled all the way to the trailhead first. Then a pair of true adventurers passed me on their way down, having started at 6:00AM, scaled Longs Peak, and snowboarded down it.

Oh well. Next expedition I'll start earlier and aim for Black Lake, and I plan to be cool enough to snowboard Longs in my next lifetime.

Electric Bicycle to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)-mills-lake-winter-029.jpg

I didn't see anyone else wearing these, with most people in standard snowshoes(or sneakers, a Hawaiian t-shirt, and a location veeeeery close to the trailhead) but I wanted to call them out. They're a bunch of spikes that you can lace around your existing hiking boot using a rubber frame for attachment. As long as you're working on packed snow, it's brilliant -- like velcro for slush and ice. Highly, highly recommended.

Electric Bicycle to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)-mills-lake-winter-059.jpg

Someone's awake early.

Electric Bicycle to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)-mills-lake-winter-081.jpg

Got out just in time, as the storms really rolled in. I can't tell you how thankful I was for that assistance coming up the hills from Moraine Park to the entrance station on the way home. The entire trip, hike and noodling around included, took just over 5 hours. About a quarter of that was spent on two wheels, and it was fun, although I learned coasting home that my Asolos have very good ventilation. Frozen toes...

Since interest seems to have waned, and I achieved my original goal, this will probably be my last update. But I couldn't be happier with these results, and I'll be riding electric bikes to the trails for a lifetime to come.

p.s. I start building the bike for my wife in a couple weeks. The cruiser she wants to mod is sold out basically everywhere we look, and I'll take advantage of a business trip to Vancouver to pick up the e-bike kit there and save on a little shipping. Look forward to to the day I can stop flyin'...
p.p.s. Thanks for taking the time to read. Attention is the modern world's most valuable commodity.

Last edited by ndk; 04-09-2011 at 09:36 PM.. Reason: p.p.p.s.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-10-2011, 10:46 AM
 
Location: CO
2,591 posts, read 6,005,482 times
Reputation: 3407
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndk View Post
. . .
Made it to Mills Lake and was feeling pretty boss, having pedaled all the way to the trailhead first. Then a pair of true adventurers passed me on their way down, having started at 6:00AM, scaled Longs Peak, and snowboarded down it. . . .
Amazing, isn't it, the folks you meet on Colorado trails.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-29-2011, 03:15 PM
ndk ndk started this thread
 
Location: Estes Park
68 posts, read 270,056 times
Reputation: 61
I've been continuing to use my electric bike all over Estes Valley and RMNP even though it's the summer and there are shuttles available. It's just, quite frankly, a very enjoyable and healthy way to get around. My wife loves hers too. And, now, the New York Times is discovering the joys of electric biking in Switzerland:


The Swiss Alps on an Electric Bicycle - NYTimes.com

I wish Colorado had the vision to follow suit and make an industry out of this in-state, but even Boulder and the Roaring Fork Valley have started banning electric bicycles from trails. The only city I know of that's electric bike friendly is Breckenridge.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:57 PM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top