On this Longmont gravel route there is lots of water (little lakes and reservoirs), and Long’s peak is often in the distance, all of which makes for lovely scenery.
Seeing and hearing the beautiful song of our favorite Colorado bird for the first time this season, the Western Meadowlark. (This means Spring IS nearly here – YAY!)
During this uncertain and difficult time of the coronavirus outbreak, getting outside in remote places, being with nature and having time to do a moving meditation on the bike felt incredibly grounding and good to our spirits. (I think gravel roads were made for “social distancing”!)
The first quarter of this Longmont gravel route definitely has some messy and loose gravel with bumpy washboard sections. It wasn’t bad- just slowed the pace and was slightly uncomfortable.
Also in these first 10 miles, some of the farms seem old and run down. It could have just been be the time of year, when things are brown and dingy but the animals seemed to understand the smell of nearby Greeley (where animal processing plants are in abundance).
There were two very busy street crossings (both crossing 287) where we had to wait a good minute or two to find a gap to “frogger” across. Please be patient and cautious when crossing here!
Do this ride if the foothills/mountains are snowy or the high country is still quite cold and you want to do a ride with a good amount of relatively easy gravel.
There are no services along this route. Bring enough fuel and hydration with you to keep you going for 40 miles. (We like Skratch products like their hydration drink mix and their sports energy chews.)
This route seemed perfect to do on a 50º winter/early spring day. There is little shade and lots of exposure so it might not be so fun on hot days.
Yellowstone and Vermillion Road were our favorite roads on this route with terrific surfaces, and particularly lovely scenery. If you are building your own route in this area, those would be top of the list to include.
We started this route from the Jim Hamm Nature Area which has a small parking lot and bathrooms. (Bathrooms only open from April-October BTW.)