We did this La Veta Gravel ride on the way back to Denver from Trinidad, CO. The drive on the Highway of Legends was lovely, and the bike ride was the perfect distance to break up the drive.
The scenery on this La Veta Gravel Loop just doesn’t get any better. We biked towards snow-capped mountains, saw some of the stone wall rock formations that are famous in the area, and had amazing views of wide open ranch land.
A small herd of 5 or so antelope bounded across the forest road within feet of us. It was so cool! (If only we had gotten a video of that!!)
The descending road turns into an unmaintained forest road, and it was just the right amount of technical challenge- rugged and rocky, sometimes a little rutted, but not sketchy or too steep at all.
Bear Creek road had pretty chunky/loose gravel that will slow you down a bit and will require you to stay highly alert.
In addition, we had a good 15-20 mph head wind on that road all the way back into town, which made for some pretty f*@king hard miles.
Do this ride if you are in La Veta, CO and you want to do some serious climbing on remote gravel roads with spectacular mountain scenery.
No public bathrooms at the High School where we started or anywhere along the route. There are some cafes and coffee shops on Main Street if you need bathrooms or fuel before you head out.
The first and major climb on this route is only about 5 miles long and the majority of it is a gradual 4%, but the last half-mile is a real doozy with grades of 10-20% on loose and sandy gravel.
It might look like all the climbing is over after mile 6.5, but don’t be fooled. The climb at mile 16 is also challenging and it is helpful to be mentally prepared for it.
Country Road 363 is an unmaintained forest road (and maybe a private road?) and while will we had great conditions, it appears it had been quite muddy at some point. I would be wary of doing this route if it had rained or snowed recently.
We parked in the public parking lot for the Le Veta High School between Main Street and Birch Street.