Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A ride to Lilly Lake on the Peak to Peak Highway

Note: This posting is also located on examiner.com. So what's the difference?  I get paid per # of hits on that site, so if you feel like helping my fuel budget, read the article there instead:  LINK,  Thanks!

Beautifully sunny and clear skies for us in Colorado today, with forecasted highs in the high 40s and low 50s.  I rode out of my home neighborhood around 10:20 AM and due to this late start, decided to see how road conditions were on the Peak to Peak Highway.

I took the E-470 Tollway to bypass the Denver Metro Area to the north and then took US287 to CO7 which after a slow transit through Boulder, got me into the foothills to the SE of Nederland.  The road becomes CO119 or Boulder Canyon Rd at this point.  This is quite a nice motorcycling road which 18 miles later dumps you at the town of Nederland, home of the "Frozen Dead Guy"  Lots of twists and turns and while there was some sand/gravel in the center portion of the lanes, it was not too bad.  I didn't encounter any snow or ice the whole day, just wet patches of road where snow was melting across the roadway.

I took CO72 north out of Nederland and was at this point starting my ride on the Peak to Peak highway.  While scenic, the real views of the mountains are not evident on this road.  Lots of forests on both sides of this nicely paved highway and curves, lots and lots of curves to keep you smiling until you reach the road's junction with CO7.

I turned left or North on CO7 and soon enough I was rewarded with my first view of snow-capped mountain peaks.

The view somewhere south of Allenspark
Mount Meeker is the first massive snow-capped mountain one sees along this stretch of the Peak to Peak Highway.  Here's some pictures I took of it as I neared the small settlement of Allenspark.

 Getting closer to Allenspark and Mount Meeker

 Mount Meeker 

The view of Mount Meeker from the northern edge of Allenspark

After cruising through Allenspark, CO7 leads one northwards and you soon leave Mount Meeker behind.  However, you then get view of Longs Peak as you pass Meeker Park which is located a few miles south of Lilly Lake.

 Longs Peak


Continuing on, I soon was at Lilly Lake and pulled over into its parking lot to get the following pictures of the lake the mountain across the highway from the Lake.

Far as I can tell, unnamed mountain across the highway from Lilly Lake

 Lilly Lake

 It was 1:36 PM at this point and time for me to start heading back home.  I turned south out of the Lilly Lake parking lot and retraced my route on CO7.  On the way south, I stopped by the Saint Malo Retreat Center to take these pictures.

The small church of St. Malo, that's Mount Meeker in the background

 A statue of Saint Malo on a small hill near the church

 The Twin Sisters in the distance

After this point of the day, it was non-stop riding on CO7, traversing the twist and turns of the St Vrain Canyon Road which leads one to the town of Lyons.  From Lyons, I took US36 southbound until I reached the People's Republic of Boulder.

After a few miles of city traffic, I took CO7 east towards Lafayette and from there it was south on US287 to the Northwest Parkway portion of the E-470 super slab.  It was getting near rush hour and I really didn't want to deal with Denver traffic.  It was worth it to pay the tolls and there were not too many cars on the slab and Natasha was purring as we cruised along at 60 mph!

I got home with no incidents, a bit tired from the riding which ended up being perhaps 7 hours in the saddle and covering around 180 miles of road.  Not too bad.  Great day for a ride, hope you had a chance to ride as well.

Update: Added the below pics from my own camera, all the above pictures were taken with my wife's Nikon D500.


Oz said...

What a great ride. I love that area in the summer, never been there in the winter. Nederland is a great town. I love the picture of St. Malo, Mt. Meeker, and Natasha. Thanks for the report.

I read it on the examiner, but wanted to post here.

redlegsrides said...

OZ, my fuel budget and I thank you for reading the article on the examiner site! : )

Glad you liked the picture, came out pretty good.

Mike said...

Very nice ride report and photos. I really like your header photo too. The mountains around you are spectacular! It really adds to the "eye candy" effect with Natasha in the foreground. Thank you.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

I followed your instructions and posted my response on the Examiner.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Chris said...

The first picture is my favorite. Very nice!

redlegsrides said...

Mike, thanks for reading this stuff and your kind words.

Jack, thanks for commenting on examiner.com, it's apparently one of the factors that determine their payment. Please give my regards to the lovely Leslie...I'll be publishing my ride to Georgetown, CO "then and now" soon.

Chris, glad you like the picture....today was too warm for the Ural though, went with the Beemer for errands.

redlegsrides said...

two more pictures added.