Lots of riders seek authenticity on their rides. Areas and landscapes that conjure some sort of nostalgia, winding roads that satisfy the crave to turn, and food and drinks along the way that prompt laughs and guaranteed memories. Being based in Fort Collins, we wanted to begin this series of some of our favorite rides in Colorado with an itinerary that hits close to our home of Northern Colorado.
If we’re starting around Old Town Fort Collins, make your way west to Horsetooth Reservoir. One of the main bodies of water in Northern Colorado, the reservoir itself is stunning– and makes for an amazing ride up hills and around the winding red clay-rock landscapes. From here, head towards Ted’s Place through Bellevue. Ted’s place is the stop right before hopping on Highway 14, also known as Poudre Canyon Highway. The Poudre
Canyon drive is one no one can forget. The powerful Poudre River carved a narrow path through sweeping walls of granite, shiest, and gneiss rock. Wind erosion has gifted the canyon with amazing rock formations atop the granite walls. The canyon road will lead you to our first and one of our favorite spots in all of Colorado, the Mishawaka Amphitheater.
After your night in Pingree, or any of the surrounding camping spots (there’s
countless along Highway 14), we’re going to further make our way to Steamboat, known for its champagne powder, it also has some of the best roads in the US.
Staying west on Highway 14, there are a number of general stores, cabins, and fuel stations along the way. Trading Post Resort is one of our favorite stops, a little cabin off the side of the road that can take care of any of your hunger or thirst needs.
Cameron Pass is a great place to stop and enjoy the views and mountainscapes. Popular for its backcountry ski accessibility, the Cameron Peaks are reminiscent of the European alps with its bare, exposed ridges. Furthering Cameron, our next stop will be in the town of Walden. Feel free to spend the night here as the Canyon drive can be a rather tiring one.
We recommend a night at the Stockman Bar where Coors Banquet is priced appropriately. Good times and great vibes in that bar.
Riding from Walden to Steamboat is a great stretch of road. Nearing the Yampa valley, some of the views are easily the best in Colorado. There aren’t too many stops for fuel or food from Walden to Steamboat, so make sure you’re prepared.
Once in Steamboat, there are numerous great bars and food spots. O'neill's is a great place to grab a cold one, while the Yampa Valley Sandwich Co. is one of our personal favorite bites to eat. Nearby activities include Strawberry Hot Springs and checking out the nearby Yampa Valley for great camping. Camping in the Yampa Valley can range from 30 minutes to an hour depending on where you actually end up, but prepare yourself for an amazing sunrise and morning view.
This is where this route segment comes to an end. Our next guide will be on the Hotchkiss loops, stay tuned.