After yesterdays posting I decided that I needed to include some additional information on ATV riding in Colorado for those of you who might be interested in scheduling a trip here.
I don't know if there is ever a bad time to ride in Colorado other than winters due to the snowfall, but certain seasons do pose challenges. From snowmelt in April til about July, riding is usually very good and fairly dry also. Dusty roads can be a challenge but masks and googles can make that bearable. July brings the summer monsoons and good rain gear is a must. Early mornings usually are clear and dry and if you can get in before about 1 pm, you are fine. But most people want to ride longer routes and so taking along the proper equipment is essential for a good time.
August can have a continuation of the rains in the afternoons but as you move into September and October, dry days prevail and the gorgeous Aspens begin to change colors and that is one of the most beautiful times to be here.
Riding right on up til snowfall is good and donning more and more clothes the norm to have that late season rides. Be aware that hunting seasons really take off here in October and so there are lots of ppl out in the woods trying to fill a tag for winter meat.
There are hundreds of trails open to ride on and have varying degrees of difficulty so there is something for everyone. Some of the counties in the southern part of the state boast over 500 miles of ATV and 4x4 trails. My friends often exceed 60 miles in one day but they are tired out after that too. That's a lot of bumps and rocks to go over.
There are excellent map resources in each county and the National Geographic Maps are pretty good source. Other maps printed just for certain areas have better and more reliable trail markers on them but either way, its hard to get lost if you stay on the trails. A map does help you plan a round trip so you don't cover the same ground twice.
The beetle kill forest, which I have discussed previously, poses another hazard to 4x4 traffic. That of falling trees. There are more and more of these found along the routes and a lot of people carry a chain saw so they don't get caught behind a log jam on a dead end trail. This is probably a good idea and also a good reason to let someone know where you are going and when you plan on returning. A night in the forest is probably not going to kill you but your own bed sure is better.
Carry water and emergency gear to last a day or two and if you happen to get stuck and cannot get out as planned, hunker down and have a nice campfire, laugh at the misadventure and have a good story to tell when you do get home safely. Don't panic and try and walk out in the dark but treat it as a camp out and smile. A night in the deep woods is something to be experienced and the sounds you will hear will amaze you.
So, if you are planning a trip to ATV here, let me know and I can connect you to some great people with jeeps, ATV's, maps and other gear and also point out some of the more popular rides. There are millions of acres out there to enjoy and you will find them both peaceful and wondrous.