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Old 08-30-2011, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Murrieta, CA
5 posts, read 21,656 times
Reputation: 10

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I'm thinking about riding my motorcycle (with sidecar) to visit Denver but can't leave until October 1. I'd like to take my time and makes some stops along the way so would probably roll into town the following weekend (Oct 8). I'd like to stay at least two weeks and then head west to Carson City, NV.

I have plenty of cold weather gear but am concerned about snow. The rig is pretty stable with the sidecar but is not really setup for deep snow on the roads (no snow tire).

I'm bringing one of my dogs with me too and want to make sure he doesn't get too cold. The sidecar has a top and side windows but not insulation.

Should I be worried about snow fall in mid October? How about the mountain passes (Eisenhower)?

Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, CO
521 posts, read 718,737 times
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Our earliest ever snow in town was Sept. 13th. That will not happen this year. It's hard to predict the weather out here but you should be fine with snow that early. The ski areas up there usually start making snow around that time but big, heavy snows that early are rare but not completely unheard of.

All in all, unless there's an act of God, I think you'll be fine.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:01 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,783,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiScree View Post
Our earliest ever snow in town was Sept. 13th. That will not happen this year. It's hard to predict the weather out here but you should be fine with snow that early. The ski areas up there usually start making snow around that time but big, heavy snows that early are rare but not completely unheard of.

All in all, unless there's an act of God, I think you'll be fine.
That is incorrect. Denver had 6"+ of wet snow on Labor Day weekend in 1961 (officially it was 4.2" at Stapleton Airport, but numerous areas in south and west Denver had more). I know--I was there. I've also had to chain up towing a gooseneck trailer on Rabbit Ears pass in mid-September (with Gore Pass and Rabbit Ears closed that night due to blizzarding), seen several inches of sloppy snow in Leadville on Colorado Day (August 1st). Last year, I saw several inches of fresh snow on the peaks surrounding Creede with snow on the grass on nearby Slumgullion Pass--in mid-July! In short, heavy enough snows to screw up mountain travel are possible from Labor Day on in the mountains and September snowfall even in the lower elevations does happen occasionally. Anyone who says otherwise has likely not lived in Colorado for very long.

Last edited by jazzlover; 08-30-2011 at 05:22 PM..
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,843,783 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork29 View Post
I'm thinking about riding my motorcycle (with sidecar) to visit Denver but can't leave until October 1. I'd like to take my time and makes some stops along the way so would probably roll into town the following weekend (Oct 8). I'd like to stay at least two weeks and then head west to Carson City, NV.

I have plenty of cold weather gear but am concerned about snow. The rig is pretty stable with the sidecar but is not really setup for deep snow on the roads (no snow tire).

I'm bringing one of my dogs with me too and want to make sure he doesn't get too cold. The sidecar has a top and side windows but not insulation.

Should I be worried about snow fall in mid October? How about the mountain passes (Eisenhower)?

Thanks.
That should be a great time of year for your trip. If for some reason there are weather issues in the Colorado mountains (which is not really very likely), you could always detour South. Take a route through Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, to Carson City. Again that probably wont be necessary, but the later in October it gets, the chances would increase.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:07 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,949 posts, read 20,201,871 times
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Default Some data to help

Data

Denver - Denver Snowfall Statistics 1882-2010

Vail - Monthly Total Snowfall, VAIL, COLORADO

Breckenridge - Monthly Total Snowfall, BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, CO
521 posts, read 718,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
That is incorrect. Denver had 6"+ of wet snow on Labor Day weekend in 1961. I know--I was there. I've also had to chain up towing a gooseneck trailer on Rabbit Ears pass in mid-September (with Gore Pass and Rabbit Ears closed that night due to blizzarding), seen several inches of sloppy snow in Leadville on Colorado Day (August 1st). Last year, I saw several inches of fresh snow on the peaks surrounding Creede with snow on the grass on nearby Slumgullion Pass--in mid-July! In short, heavy enough snows to screw up mountain travel are possible from Labor Day on in the mountains and September snowfall even in the lower elevations does happen occasionally. Anyone who says otherwise has likely not lived in Colorado for very long.
LOL...Like I said...It can happen but it's rare. You really got me on that first snow date! Thanks for expanding on my school of thought.

EDIT: Check out this link for some info on early/late freezes and snows: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/awebphp/snowstat.php
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:39 PM
 
20,842 posts, read 39,059,222 times
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We had a few inches of snow on the summit of Pikes Peak in mid August. Melted quickly.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Denver
339 posts, read 1,090,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
That is incorrect. Denver had 6"+ of wet snow on Labor Day weekend in 1961
I'm sure that won't be happening anytime soon with global warming and all the heat rising from Denver...
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:34 PM
 
13,675 posts, read 13,493,126 times
Reputation: 39792
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruisingUSA View Post
I'm sure that won't be happening anytime soon with global warming and all the heat rising from Denver...
Actually, global warming can result in MORE snow, believe it or not. Kind of why Jersey has had such crazy winters lately. The temperatures have been fairly warm, but the snow has been INSANE. Several storms where we got more than 12 inches. Not sure what it's been like here though.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,345 posts, read 3,222,791 times
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October will be tricky. It's also completely unpredictable this far in advance. Denver's first snowfall actually occurred on September 3, 1961. The earliest freeze (32 degrees) was almost exactly one year later on September 8, 1962. The average first snowfall in Denver is not until October 19, but you can never base a year's forecast on ANYTHING. Not to mention, that's just for Denver. The mountains can easily begin seeing their first heavy snowfalls in September.

If you were coming out in September, I would say go for it. The earlier, the better. However, I would be wary in October. You could have beautiful weather in the 70s, but you could also run into a storm like the blizzard that smacked Denver on October 25, 1997 (21.9"). It stranded motorists all up and down I-25 and all other interstates around Denver during the evening rush hour - requiring hundreds of rescues - and killed thousands of farm animals east of Denver. I'm only 30 and it is, by far, the most ferocious blizzard I can remember. We've had much larger snowfalls since then, but that storm was something else, especially considering it occurred in October.

Either way, if your plans bring you here on your motorcycle in October, just be vigilant about weather forecasts and be sure to remember that the forecasts in Colorado can change completely from one day to the next - i.e. if you are two days out and the forecast calls for sun and 70s, don't assume the forecast will hold true the next day. Don't blame the meteorologists - they do the best they can. Colorado weather is notoriously difficult to predict. Be prepared for anything and everything.
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