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If anyone has plans to come ride the high country in Colorado this spring/early summer, you might want to call and check on conditions before you head out. We have been getting some epic snow storms in the mountains this year. Here is a video taken last week of Red Mountain Pass (US 550) that connects Ouray and Silverton. This is a main highway that is typically kept open year round without much issue. Not the case this year. Much of the high country looks very much the same. Will likely make for a shortened riding season this summer as this much snow will likely keep many trails closed much later than normal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=1_H_D-BoyF0
 
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For those with plans to head to Taylor Park, here is what it looks like in St. Elmo, at the east end of Tincup Pass.
 

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that's alot !!!!
more than we got up here,
gonna be a late start to spring riding !
 

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Oh well, I guess Tomichi and Pearl Pass will probably both be off the trail list this year Bob. With that much snowpack going across the top of Tellurium may be out too?
 

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Oh well, I guess Tomichi and Pearl Pass will probably both be out off the trail list this year Bob. With that much snowpack going across the top of Tellurium may be out too?
Have to see how the rest of this spring plays out. The high country is expected to possibly get another 1-2 feet of snow today/tomorrow. Don't know when you are coming out, but the way things are looking right now, I would guess mid to late July for most of the passes to be open. Several times I've seen Tincup Pass still snowed in during the July 4 week. I've also seen it go from snowed in, impassible, to open in 6 days. As for Tellurium, good luck. One of our favorite rides up there, and still have yet to make it to the top, much less complete the loop. Thought we were going to make it our last trip to TP, but got near the top and had a real ugly thunder storm blowing in. Turned around and high tailed it down to a lower elevation and some cover. Picture of where we stopped and turned back, and heading for cover. Can't see how black the clouds really were, with lightning, rain and hail heading towards us.
 

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Attempting to go up from the east side several years ago. Almost made it....
 

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Utah will be the same, most the higher trails will be snow bound till late June into July this year. BUT there will be lots of great riding at lower levels so come on out and ride!
 

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Oh well, I guess Tomichi and Pearl Pass will probably both be out off the trail list this year Bob. With that much snowpack going across the top of Tellurium may be out too?
Have to see how the rest of this spring plays out. The high country is expected to possibly get another 1-2 feet of snow today/tomorrow. Don't know when you are coming out, but the way things are looking right now, I would guess mid to late July for most of the passes to be open. Several times I've seen Tincup Pass still snowed in during the July 4 week. I've also seen it go from snowed in, impassible, to open in 6 days. As for Tellurium, good luck. One of our favorite rides up there, and still have yet to make it to the top, much less complete the loop. Thought we were going to make it our last trip to TP, but got near the top and had a real ugly thunder storm blowing in. Turned around and high tailed it down to a lower elevation and some cover. Picture of where we stopped and turned back, and heading for cover. Can't see how black the clouds really were, with lightning, rain and hail heading towards us.
I guess we have been lucky. I believe you recommended it to me when we first started coming out there. We've done the Tellurium loop 3 or 4 times I think. Usually in mid to late July. That trail down the talus slope of the backside is sketchy even under the best conditions. VERY narrow and leaning to the downhill side. :eek
Even in light snow years there's always been a small snow bank right before the summit and beside a sheer drop with nowhere to turn around and very little room to get around it. It'll definitely get your heart pumping for sure! The storms can sneak up on you fast up there too in just a few minutes. One time we were on the top just hanging out taking a break and some pics with the sun shining and within a matter of minutes a dark cloud with heavy snow/hail came across the ridge behind us. We only had a few minutes to make a hasty descent down that narrow talus trail to keep from getting stranded on top! Very exhilarating but kinda hairy lol.
 

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Attempting to go up from the east side several years ago. Almost made it....
Yep, I think that's the place I'm talking about. Right up above where those old mine openings are. It gets very narrow with a sheer drop right before the top about where the snow bank is.
 

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Early July is when we always head up there.
 

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Yeah, I thought you usually went a couple weeks earlier than we do. We have always try to avoid the 4th crowd and time it to get there the weekend after the 4th or later. Came in August couple years but seems our original plan of just after 4th worked out better. We had considered coming earlier this year like maybe the last part of June but with the extra snow was afraid the passes may still be blocked.
 

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I've ridden the western side of Tellurium at least 3 times. Their is a huge difference between the first and last time I rode it. The last time I rode the western loop was in the fall of 2015 and it was very tipsy and very narrow to say the least. I'm amazed its still open, I doubt I ride it again. Last fall we rode to the top from the east side and then came back down.

We always plan our trips to the high country mid to late July for heavy snowfall reasons. Pearl and Mosquito Pass are usually some of the last ones to open. Tincup Pass is kinda funny, because many years jeepers end up shoveling it open so you can make the loop from Tincup to St. Elmo, Hancock and back over Cumberland. Snow fall has been down the last few years, so I'm sure this is going to be welcome for the locals.
 
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My understanding is that Tomichi is closed indefinitely because of a huge rock slide with no plans to fix it. Anyone heard anything different?
I know we're getting off topic here but have any of you guys ridden the trails out of Pitkin up around Gold Creek toward the Fossil Ridge Wilderness or whatever its called? That's one section we've never taken time to do and was wondering if its worth taking a day to do? It'll take a long full day from where we camp.
 

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My understanding is that Tomichi is closed indefinitely because of a huge rock slide with no plans to fix it. Anyone heard anything different?
I know we're getting off topic here but have any of you guys ridden the trails out of Pitkin up around Gold Creek toward the Fossil Ridge Wilderness or whatever its called? That's one section we've never taken time to do and was wondering if its worth taking a day to do? It'll take a long full day from where we camp.
Its a shame Tomichi Pass and the Alpine Tunnel trail going up the Palisades are closed. I'm afraid the longer they stay closed, the more likely they'll remain closed. A great loop but several miles was to ride from the town of Tincup over Tincup Pass to St Elmo, then over Hancock, Tomichi through Whitepine then Black Sage Pass, Waunita Pass to Pitkin, back over Cumberland to Tincup. With Tomichi Closed it makes that loop impossible now.

I've ridden from 3 Rivers Resort in Almont(west side) along the Fossil Ridge Wilderness area. Its fun riding, not overly scenic, or well used. The day we rode we saw a fairly large herd of elk. By looking at the maps it might be possible to get from Pitkin to the west side of the Fossil Ridge Wilderness but very complicated. We rode west into BLM land and ended up on the outskirts of Gunnison. We turned around once we reached pavement, because we didn't want to ride anything that could be illegal. Gold Creek is on the east side of the Fossil Ridge Wilderness and their is a network of roads and trails that can be accessed from Pitkin, those trails will peter out just south of terrible mountain. I haven't ridden the trails directly north of Pitkin very much.
 

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Thanks Ransom. I've had my eye on that section down around Pitkin and White Pine for quite a while now but still haven't ridden any of it. I may check it out this year if it fits the schedule. Its become a tradition to ride over to Aspen one day and then the St. Elmo/Hancock/Cumberland loop another. By the time we cover the other old familiar passes and ridges it gets hard to work in new exploring. We would really like to go up on Antero and White and then stay overnight at Baldwin Lake to fish a little… and then there's Pearl and Cement Creek and Alpine and Tellurium and Napoleon on and on... So many trails and never enough time lol. :grin
 

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Sorry Bob, we've hijacked your thread. I'm getting excited already. Can't wait to get back in the big mountains. We're heading out in the morning for an overnight in our mountains to look for some elk sheds. I'll be daydreaming about the Rockies all weekend. :grin
 

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Sorry Bob, we've hijacked your thread. I'm getting excited already. Can't wait to get back in the big mountains. We're heading out in the morning for an overnight in our mountains to look for some elk sheds. I'll be daydreaming about the Rockies all weekend. :grin
No worries. :) Looking forward to getting back over to Taylor Park as well. Haven't been for the last two years because of Cottonwood Pass being closed. Didn't want to drive over Monarch Pass, down into Gunnison, and then backtrack up to Taylor. Made for a good excuse to head to the Black Hills last summer instead. :grin
 
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