Ramble Ride (Day 3 of 4: Hohnholz Lakes to Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp)

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Jelm, Colorado
Date Published:
September 28, 2019
Gravel Ratio:
85% G / 15% P
Difficulty Rating:
Enjoyability Rating:
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An amazing combination of a large heard of antelope bounding through a field of Buffalo!

The first climb of the day is perfect in my opinion- it is about 11 miles with a gradual, average grade of about 4%. It is a smooth and fast non-technical dirt surface with very little car traffic.

Almost all of the road surfaces on this route through the Poudre Wilderness Area are in great condition. (What made the day hard was the overall amount of elevation gain over the duration of the ride!)

COKE!! (the coca-cola kind) This ride was powered by Coke for me and I couldn’t have been more happy with the aid stations the Ramble Ride provided today. (Without some support, this ride would have been challenging to bring enough water and food.) Besides the tiny town of Rustic, there is just not a lot of services in the Poudre Wilderness Area.)


Dust from cars and trucks driving by (particularly on the section along Pingree Road)! My eyes and lungs were done with that situation by the end of the day. (If you want a few less cars on the road with you, I recommend trying this route on a week-day.)It got a little lonely out there today. (Although it was admittedly my own fault- I got in a groove on the first climb, got ahead of the other riders, then stayed ahead until about mile 50 of 64.)

Do this ride if you like to climb A LOT of elevation on beautiful dirt roads. (7,000+ feet of climbing in 63 miles is NO joke!!)

Other Notes:

We camped at the Sky Ranch Lutheran Campground and there were showers!! A definite plus at the end of a long, hot, sweaty and dusty day.

As part of my contract with Ramble Rides, I agreed that I wouldn’t share a GPX file of the route. By clicking on the route map at the top of this page, you can still see the route on my Strava profile.

We started this ride from the Hohnholz Lakes Campground. There are outhouse-type bathrooms at the site (however there was no toilet paper in them when we were there.)

Go to Day 1 of the Ramble Ride
Go to Day 2 of the Ramble Ride
Go to Day 4 of the Ramble Ride

Driving Directions

Route Contributor

Laura Karpinski

I got a bike as a young child and quickly set off making trips up and down the driveway then loops around my neighborhood, but I fell away from the joy of cycling as more and more of my free time was occupied by ballet training (around age 10). It wasn’t until I gave up my professional dancing career and moved to Colorado in 2000 that I began cycling seriously.

From infancy, and well into my late 20’s, I suffered from exercise-induced asthma and was afraid of cardio activities that made me wheeze. If my asthma was triggered by an intense activity, I was advised to stop immediately and use an inhaler.

I was into yoga and Pilates back in 2000 (Still am today!), so when one of my friends suggested we go to a spin/yoga class (30 min of spin, followed by 30 min of yoga), I was game to at least try something new. Even though I had trouble breathing in the classes, the safety of an indoor spin class gave be the ability to choose how hard to push myself, and at just 30 min, I slowly learned to tolerate the stress on my lungs. The fact that the spinning was followed by yoga gave me space to work with calming my thoughts and my head which said: “I can’t do this!”. As I got stronger and more confident and my cardio endurance increased, my asthma problems became less and less, and therefore, my willingness to try more adventurous and strenuous activities increased! I went from seeing cyclists biking up Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO and thinking, “they are crazy!”, to, “that looks kind of fun and I wonder if I can do that?”. And then I bought a bike, joined a club and tried biking up that mountain! My Asthma is nearly non-existent and I have been hooked on outdoor biking ever since.

I currently live in downtown Denver and have been car-free for about 10 years, typically biking 7,000+ miles a year between commuting, road riding and gravel bike adventuring. I have been a member of Naked Women’s Racing Team, and Colorado Women’s Cycling Project.

I teach Pilates and Yoga for a living and have been doing it for over 15 years. Just this year, I went out on my own and began a private-practice Pilates Studio called Align.Move.Breathe. I am a self-proclaimed “body nerd”, constantly reading, attending continuing education workshops and learning as much as I can about movement, bio-mechanics, alignment, anatomy and Ideokenesis.
I love to teach my clients how to relax and have fun with all movement, as well as have new and positive experiences with their bodies while gaining strength and flexibility in body, mind, and spirit. I strongly believe in both Pilates and Yoga as safe, supportive, and healing practices which can profoundly transform one’s every-day life!
If you are in the Denver area and interested in the intersection of biking and Pilates or Yoga, contact me at align.move.breathe@gmail.com.

Laura’s favorite Gravel Route: There are so many great rides it is REALLY hard to decide, but if there was one ride I would do over and over, it would be Four Mile Canyon and Switzerland Trail to Sugarloaf. It’s quiet, beautiful, challenging and fun!

Laura’s Gravel Bike: Rodeo Adventure Lab's Titanium Flaanimal 5.0 custom build with SRAM Force AXS 1x12 mullet (10-50 cassette) and Panaracer GravelKing SK+ 700×38C tires.

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