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Old Fall River Road

Intermediate
 4.4 (5)

Gravel ride in the famous Rocky Mountain National Park climbing 3000 vertical feet to the Alpine Visitors Center.


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Map Key

9.2

Miles

14.8

KM

Doubletrack

11,791' 3,594 m

High

8,610' 2,624 m

Low

3,181' 970 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Views

Need to Know

Park in any open space once you turn off US-34 (Lawn Lake Trailhead, Alluvial Fan Trailheads, or last in Endovalley). Suggest parking in Lawn Lake to give you about 2 miles of warm up before the climb.

Description

Old Fall River is a legendary, one-way, dirt road build in 1921 as the first route for vehicles up to the summit of the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park. There are two basic cycling seasons: summer and early Fall before the snow moves in.

Summer season usually opens July 4 and closes (to vehicles) in mid-October. You don't really want to ride this road during "normal summer hours" because of the amount of cars driven by very nervous tourists. Plan to ride it on a full moon night (lights off) up to the visitor center and back down via paved US-34—the downhill is as fun as the climb! Remember that when the road is open to cars, it is ONE WAY only.

Off season normally starts when the road closes to cars in early October. This is the best MTB/Gravel time to ride as it's open both ways. Fall is best, but know you may hit snow and/or mud (spring is okay in late June, but every year is different).

Also, the wind. It never stops blowing. If you feel a breeze in the treeline, above treeline it will be whaling 40 plus mph—just be prepared with extra layers. By mid November, there is too much snow to ride without some hike-a-bike, but it's still fun if you're willing.

When the road closes to cars in October, the hiking traffic up the first 3-4 miles can be crowded on weekends. Just keep that in mind as you fly back down (suggest a loud bell).

Contacts

Shared By:

wade metzler

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#5956

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#551

in Colorado

#5,956

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Check-Ins

Jun 20, 2020
Cory Beekman
Epic ride. 20mi
Jun 15, 2020
agent-ochre
Recorded 3,104' of climbing :-) Saw a few elk and a deer, but nothing else. 20.4mi — 3h 38m