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Week 6 : Del Norte - Grants

Start : Del Norte, Colorado, USA
Finish : Grants, New Mexico, USA
Dates : September 19th - 26th, 2017
Riding days : 6
Distance : 396 miles

You leave Del Norte in a south-western direction along Piños Creek. Where the pavement ends, the real climb begins. The climb to Indiana Pass, the apex of the Great Divide. A good quality curvy gravel road through thousands of colored aspens brings you higher and higher. You gain 4,038 feet of elevation in 23 miles and the top at 11,910 feet is surrounded by some of the prettiest subalpine basins. After the summit you roll up and down for a while and pass through Summitville, a former bombed-out mining site.

 
  The following miles down to the town of Platoro is possibly one of the most stunning sections of the entire Great Divide, especially in autumn when the aspens turn into a myriad of colors between yellow and red.

The little settlement of Platoro is a natural and unspoiled vacation destination nestled in the
San Juan Mountain Range. We follow the pristine waters of the Conejos River downstream ending in the town of Horca. Sprawling grasslands, forests of aspen and spruce, and tundra and rocky areas make up the surrounding landscape.
A paved main road leads you over La Manga Pass (10,230 feet) from Colorado’s Rio Grande National Forest into the Carson National Forest of New Mexico. The Manga Pass is steep in sections with gradients of 7 to 9 per cent, but the paved pass is still the easiest part of the day. The rest of the stage to Hopewell Lake is mostly undulating roads through the mountainous highlands of the Brazos Ridge and the Cisneros Park. Steep goat terrain alternates with good quality gravel downhills and narrow sandy paths through lush meadows alternate with short rocky ascents. The continuously changing landscape and stunning vistas over the Cruces Basin Wilderness more than compensate for the tough cycling.

Read more in the BROCHURE...