Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs ADV Ride

3 Days, 4 Great American River watersheds, 550 miles on a fun weekend Club Adventure ride in the Rocky Mtns to the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs pool and the Arkansas River.


JULY 26-28 2024

10,000 foot Medano Pass and the Great Sand Dunes
10,000 foot Medano Pass and the Great Sand Dunes. We do Not ride thru the Sand Dunes.


  • Arkansas River
  • Rio Grande
  • Colorado
  • South Platte
Great Sand Dunes Loop Map
Great Sand Dunes Loop Map (clickable)

Both the Pink and red options are fun and end up at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs.

  • The Majority pink Loop is the Non-Challenging portion.
  • The Majority pink and red loop is the Challenging option.
  • The club will portage your gear for the weekend.
  • The Sand Dunes Pool has great food, a Wine bar and soaking is included with the Ride.
  • The Drift-In on the Arkansas River has an excellent Bar & Grill.
  • Camping at the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs and on the Arkansas River is included.
Great Sand Dunes Adventure
Great Sand Dunes Adventure

DATE:  JULY 26-28 2024

START ADDRESS: Colorado Springs Airport, COS, CO.   

  • The Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs Adventure starts in Colorado Springs, with staging at the secure COS municipal airport.
  • If your Not local, show up on Thursday July 25 and the Club has secured discounted Lodging at the Colorado Springs Airport Radisson Hotel.

Railroad History you can ride around Pikes Peak

The Day 1 description is as follows:

We use an old Stagecoach road and 2 old Railroad lines to go around the east side of Pikes Peak to Victor & Cripple Creek and then head to the Arkansas River Valley.

Tunnel Phantom Canyon
Train Tunnel on Phantom Canyon
  • From Phantom Canyon, Canon City and the Arkansas River we head over a little known Pass to the Oak Creek Grade.
  • To the old mining towns of Westcliffe & Silvercliff in the Wet Mountain Valley.
  • From the Wet Mtn Valley you have 2 choices:
  • Over 10k foot Medano Pass and onto Medano Creek road thru the back of the Great Sand Dunes.
  • Or a No Sand loop over almost 10k foot Pass Creek Pass to La Veta Pass and around Mt. Blanca to the GSD.
  • Both of these Loop Choices will take you into the Rio Grande River Watershed.
ADV Ride
Adventure Riders








Day 2 of the GSD Hot Springs Adventure

Glamping Cabins at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs
Glamping Cabins at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs

Day 2 starts after a night of soaking and camping or glamping at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool.

The Indoor Pools at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs
The Indoor Pools at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs are a tropical paradise.
Hot Springs Pool
Hot Springs Pool
Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool
  • After enjoying the tropical atmosphere of the Indoor Hot Tubs and Beer & Wine Bar at the Sand Dunes Pool.
  • Or the Olympic size outdoor Hot Springs pool
  • There are 3 Glamping Cabins at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs, or plenty of space to pitch a tent in the clean campsites at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs.
  • After breakfast and packing up, there are 2 loop Choices on Saturday to the Drift-In campsites and Bar & Grill on the Arkansas River.
Bar at the Drift-In
Bar at the Drift-In

There is a semi-challenging loop and an easy loop on Day 2.

  • The easier loop heads into the Colorado River watershed over 4 High Mountain Passes on smooth dirt.
  • One paved pass.
  • Both loops head thru Center, in the middle of  The San Luis Valley.
  • Toward Penatante Canyon and La Garita.
  • Then over a beautiful dirt road and over 10k+ foot Canero Pass Summit to past the Storm King campsite.
  • Then you’ll down to the old Sanderson Stage Line past Old Cowtown and a summit to the oldest town in the northern San Luis Valley, Saguache.
  • For a snack and fuel.
Great Sand Dunes Loop Map
The semi Challenging loop on Day 2 is green. The easier loop is Green and Brown, and longer.

From Saguache (Sawatch) are where your 2 choices deviate.

Cucomonga Mine
Cucomonga Mine in Bonanza

The Semi Challenging (Green) loop heads over 2 track Ute Pass to the old mining area of Bonanza.

  • Explore an old mine and head over the semi-challenging Jeep road that is the built in the 1870’s Otto Mears Tollroad.
  • From the Otto Mears there is a bit if fun off-road below 14k foot Mt Shavano and the Continental Divide to our campsites at the Drift-In on the Arkansas River.
Arkansas River
Arkansas River at the Drift -In

The easier (Brown & Green) loop is more spectacular of the 2 choices.

Top of Old Monarch Pass
Top of Old Monarch Pass

The easier Loop includes 4 High Mtn Passes and a bit of pavement.

  • You’ll head from Saguache thru Villa Grove over paved almost 10k foot Poncha Pass.
  • From Mears Junction on Poncha Pass, you’d head in the dirt to the old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad line over 10k + foot Marshall Pass.
  • To the old Railroad community of Sargents, which has a Fuel station and a Bar & Grill and sits at the base of the west side of Monarch Pass.
  • From Sargents you’ll head north along Tomichi Creek to Old Monarch Pass.
  • Head up Twisty Old Monarch Pass to 12k+ foot old Monarch summit on smooth dirt.
  • Then head down paved Hwy 50 to a fun Off-road section below the Continental Divide.

If you don’t wish to camp, the club has asked that rooms be held at the Poncha Lodge in Poncha Springs.

  • Less than 3 miles for our campsite.
Camping Drift-In
Camping at the Drift-In
Camp Drift-In
Camping at the Drift-In
Drift-In on the Arkansas River
Drift-In on the Arkansas River
Bar at the Drift-In
Bar at the Drift-In

Saturday night set-up camp at the Drift-In Bar & Grill and enjoy hanging out on the Arkansas River.

  • Enjoy the camaraderie of your Like-minded enthusiasts and a Bonfire, and the included with the ride dinner.
  • Or if you don’t wish to camp, the club has rooms held and you’ve made a reservation at the Poncha Lodge.

Day 3 of the Great San Dunes Hot Springs Adventure

The ride starts on the Arkansas River outside Salida, CO. in the Heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Historical Smokestack
Historical Smokestack with the Divide in the background
  • After an included Breakfast & Coffee, we’ll head down a dirt road along the Arkansas river.
  • Cross the river and stop at the old Smokestack on the National Historic Register at Smeltertown.
  • From Smeltertown, just outside Salida you’ll have a fuel stop option.
  • Then head up dirt Ute Pass, which at one time held a hillclimb, ala Pikes Peak.
  • From Ute Pass we head across the beautiful high mountain plains to the West side of Pikes Peak.
  • Where you’ll drop down a jeep road to the the old Colorado Midland Right-of-way along the spectacular South Platte River.
  • From the South Platte you’ll take some locals only twisty dirt and pavement to Divide, CO.
  • Divide is an old Railroad town, on the Divide. Of the Arkansas and Platte Rivers.
CO Midland RR Station
CO Midland RR Station in Divide

From Divide, we’re now on the North side of Pikes Peak.

  • We’ll take twisty Trout Creek down to Woodland Park, and you can make a late lunch stop.

And now you have a choice.

  • Ride Up Pikes Peak.
  • Or up and then down Rampart Range Road to Garden of the Gods.
  • Either choice is spectacular in it’s own way.
  • Both choices will take you Old Colorado City.
  • Where you take the old Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek Railroad right of-way that is now a dirt road.
  • Thru the last few old Railroad tunnels to twisty paved Cheyenne Canyon.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods
Pikes Peak Map
Riding Up Pikes Peak is only part of the fun. Riding all the way around Pikes Peak in the dirt is even better.

pikes peak plate

Then it’s a short jaunt across town to where your truck has been securely parked at the COS airport.

  • 3 Days, 4 Major American River watersheds, 550 miles on a fun weekend Club ride in the Rocky Mountains.

More Info:

Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs Adventure

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