The surface of this ride was fantastic. When we did this ride, there were very few washboards and the dirt roads were fairly tacky from a recent rain.
If you want to get a decent amount of miles in and get into meditative space on the bike, then this ride is for you. It is a ride where you can just spin the pedals and enjoy being outside in Colorado. There was so little car traffic that there were more cows than cars.
Although 60 miles is a significant distance on a gravel bike, this route has very little difficulty. There is not a ton of elevation gain (we can't even remember any single sustained climb) and there is nothing technical about the terrain.
We came across a pack of 10+ loose dogs that were fairly aggressive. Luckily a car came by, honked and scared the dogs back onto their property but it was definitely not a fun scene. Always be prepared for loose dogs when riding in rural Colorado,. A few tricks are to squirt them with water from your bottle, carry an air horn or pepper spray, or shout very loudly.
There was one short section (less than a mile) that was on the busy highway 50 (at approximately mile 31.5). The shoulder was plenty wide but after being in a tranquil space, it was a bit jarring.
We have found that a lot of rides East of 1-25 start to all look the same. This one had the traditional characteristics of an East of I-25 route: rural farmland, brown grasses, flat roads. We have grown to appreciate the wide open space but it still isn't our favorite with all the other views that Colorado has to offer.
Do this ride if it is "mud season" in western Colorado and you are looking for a warm place to ride some gravel miles in the early spring.
We parked and started/finished this ride from at South Mesa Elementary School.
There are absolutely no services on this route. Bring everything you need to be self-sufficient including plenty of nutrition and water.
I'd be reluctant to do this ride by myself because it is quite isolated and feels like your in the middle of nowhere. This is a great ride to do with a small group of people.
We did this ride one day after rain but we imagine that this same ride can get dusty in drier times. There were some larger size gravel pieces in a few sections but nothing to worry about.
We would only recommend doing this ride in the early Spring or Fall when high temps are below 80º. High heat and exposure would make this both uncomfortable and/or dangerous. In the Spring, we found it a perfect place to go when higher elevation is still under some snow and Denver was cooler and more wet.
If you are looking for camping in the area, we stayed at Lake Pueblo State Park which was a short distance away from the start of the ride.
Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.