In general the roads were very quiet with limited traffic. The hills and bumps kept any cars that were passing to a slow pace. (Not a single ATV vehicle spotted all day too!)
On FS 505 there is a river crossing that was fairly deep but not too swift (June 21, 2020). Rose is 5’0″ and the water came up to her mid thigh. A couple of bike campers were attempting to cross at the same time and we had a blast challenging each other to see who might be able to ride it across. One of the bike campers tried but the silt in the center got too thick and he had to stop and unclip. It was a fun adventure that didn’t feel too scary when you have a bunch of people cheering you on.
The gravel portion on Sugarloaf is lovely: very few cars, smooth road, gradual climb, and aspen trees all along the way. (Could be a great ride in the fall when the leaves change.)
FS 505 (the turn off from Caribou at the top of the first climb) had lots of big muddy, mucky puddles that spanned the whole trail. You could ride through them but they were fairly deep and very muddy…
The portion of Switzerland trail that we rode on was hard on the body. Lots of bumps and bigger rocks. It would have been more tolerable on bike with shocks or wider tires!
Do this ride if you want some steep/challenging climbing, some adventure on forest service trails and some technical rocky descents all in just 32 miles. And it’s close to the cute and funky town of Nederland.
The final portion of the ascent on Caribou Rd. is steep. We looked down at our Wahoo’s at one point and we saw at least 17.5%. Know that you are almost at the top when you start seeing those grades!
CR 128W (the turnoff from 72) had a hand made sign that says “no thru traffic”. The road is public. We think the community just doesn’t want a ton of cars cutting through their neighborhood.
There is really no places to stop and refuel or use the bathroom along the way, so just be prepared as usual.
We parked at the Nederland RTD Park-and-Ride. No bathrooms there, but there are businesses nearby like Salto Coffee Works (for coffee, water and bathrooms) and Tin Shed Sports.