Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs Adventure

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Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs Adventure Ride

JULY 21-23 2023  Friday to Sunday

A 3 Day, 500+ mile Adventure Ride

Colorado Springs to the Great Sand Dunes, to the Arkansas River

Arrive in Colorado Springs on Thursday July 20.

From the Colorado Springs Airport (COS) ride to the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs and the Arkansas River.

  • Over Spectacular little traveled passes, fantastic old Railroad lines and smooth dirt roads.
  • Secure truck parking is available, as the ride stages from the Colorado Springs Airport long-term parking lot.
  • Discounted Lodging is available at the COS Radisson Airport Hotel for Thursday and Sunday nights.
  • 2 loops are available on Days 1 & 2. Challenging or Easy.
  • Day 3 options include riding through the Garden of the Gods or riding up Pikes Peak.
GSD Adventure
GREAT SAND DUNES HOT SPRINGS ADVENTURE

3 Day Adventure Ride to the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs and the Arkansas River.

  • The Great Sand Dunes Loop is a spectacular 3 Day 500+ mile Adventure loop, that doesn’t just take you down the Highway to get there.
  • Day 1 the loop visits old mining towns, railroad stops and takes little used dirt roads on a circuitous route from the Colorado Springs Airport to overnight at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs.
  • On Day 1 there is a Challenging route over a 10k Medano foot pass, into the back of the Sand Dunes.
  • Or you could ride an easier Alternate loop from Silvercliffe and avoid Medano Pass entirely. Ride over Pass Creek Pass and La Veta Passes and avoid the sand all-together.
  • On Day 2 ride over 4 Passes on a semi Challenging off-road loop to the Big Bend of the Arkansas River.
  • Or on Day 2 ride over 5 passes on a easier loop. (2 passes paved) to the river via the Highest Pass on Hwy 50.
  • The easier loop is longer and possibly more scenic.
  • Camping is included at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs on Friday, as is soaking or swimming in the pools. Glamping cabins are available.
  • Saturday Camping is included at the Drift-In Bar & Grill, right on the Arkansas River. Or you could grab a hotel room in Salida.
Getting closer to the sand dunes
Sand Dunes Jeep road
  • On Day 2 both loops end up at a private campground on the Big Bend of the Arkansas River.
  • Where you can Camp at the Drift-In Bar & Grill, or if you choose, stay in a hotel room in Salida.
  • Day 3 is Off-road from Salida, around the back side (Westside) of Pikes Peak, off-road to the old railroad line in Elevenmile Canyon and along the South Platte River.
  • Offroad down Rampart Range road to Old Colorado City
  • Day 3 you have option of riding through the Garden of the Gods or riding up Pikes Peak
Oak Creek Grade on the back way to the GSD
Smooth Dirt Roads

These are Epic routes on little known Passes you would not do on your own.

  • You have the option to Camp both nights, or stay in a Glamping Cabin at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs, and to stay in a hotel Saturday night in Salida.
  • Or camp at a private campground right on the Arkansas River.

Ride your Motorcycle through a little known National Park and enjoy:

  • No Crowds
  • No hassle
  • No Stop Lights
  • Hot Springs on Day 1
  • Tent camping or a Glamping Cabin
  • Camping on the Arkansas river on Day 2
  • Gear Portage (Tent, cot, sleeping bag, ice chest)
  • Good food and High Adventure with like-minded enthusiasts.
  • Bar & restaurant on site at both camping locales.
  • The Club will also transport a community Ice Chest, BBQ, Grill and Utensils
  • Secure Truck parking at the Colorado Springs Airport ($8/day x 3 days)
Great Sand Dunes Loop Map
Great Sand Dunes Loop Map (Clickable)

On Day 1, from the Colorado Springs Airport, ride your Adventure motorcycle around Pikes Peak on spectacular Adventure bike suitable route.

On old railroad lines to a Gold mine near the old mining town of Cripple Creek, then down another outstanding old Railroad line in a canyon to Canon City, to over a Pass to the Oak Creek Grade to the old mining town of Silvercliffe.

Medano Pass from Cripple on the old Railroad line
Arrow to Medano Pass, in the Sangre de Cristo range from Cripple Creek behind Pike Peak

From Silvercliffe, ride down the Wet Mtn Valley to over 10k foot Medano Pass to the Great Sand Dunes Jeep Road.

Through 9 Creek crossings on Medano Creek, to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and then to the Sand Dunes Hot Springs.

Or on the Alternate easier route, By-pass the Sand, and ride over dirt Pass Creek Pass to La Veta Pass and around Mt. Blanca on pavement to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Then onto the Sand Dunes Hot Springs.

GSD Medano creek
Great Sand Dunes Medano Creek crossing
GSD POOL
Sand Dunes Hot Springs pool (Sand Dunes in the background of photo)

Camp, Soak and eat & drink at the restaurant at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs on Day 1.

Indoor Pool at the GSD Hot Springs
Indoor Pool at the GSD Hot Springs
Pass Creek Pass summit sign
Pass Creek Pass Summit is on the alternate route
Sand Dunes and Medano Pass
Sand Dunes and Medano Pass

On the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs Adventure Ride, we do Not ride into the Dunes.

  • We Ride around the back of the Great Sand Dunes on a Jeep Road from 10,000 Foot Medano Pass.
  • The Great Sand Dunes are a National Monument, and you cannot ride in the Dunes.
  • Instead, we ride over the 2-track pass and around the back of Dunes on a sandy Jeep road, visit the Great Sand Dunes, and then ride to the Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool.
GSD indoor pool
One of the Sand Dunes indoor pools
Glamping Cabins at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs
Glamping Cabins at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs

 

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Oak Creek Grade
Oak Creek Grade on the back way down to Silvercliffe. Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background.
Entering the Great Sand Dunes National Park from the east side
Entering the Great Sand Dunes National Park from Medano Pass

At the completeion of Day 1

  • Camping and soaking at the Hot Springs is included.
  • The Club will portage your gear so that you may ride unencumbered.
  • 3 Glamping Cabins are available for rent at the Sand Dunes Pool

Day 2 ride to Salida on a creative route over 4 mountain passes, all in the dirt.

  • Ride old toll-roads and old rail lines.
  • Dinner is included on Saturday Night and we’ll spend the night in Salida.
  • Camping is Included at the Drift-In on the Arkansas River.
  • Day 2 there are 2 options. Challenging or easier and longer.

Day 3 ride in the dirt from Salida the back way into 11 Mile Canyon on the South Platte River.

  • Then ride down Rampart Range road from Woodland Park to Garden of the Gods.
  • Ride up Pikes Peak if your game, or return to where our trucks have been securely parked at the Colorado Springs Airport.
  • Your choice of 2 loops on all 3 days, that are both fun Adventure bike suitable dirt roads and pavement.

WHAT IS INCLUDED ON THIS ADVENTURE RIDE TO THE GREAT SAND DUNES HOT SPRINGS ?

  • GPS Tracks of a spectacular route you would not do on your own
  • Ride with GPS Club membership
  • Exit Tours MC Club Membership
  • Camping & Soaking at the Sand Dines Hot Springs Pool Friday night
  • Camping on the Arkansas River Saturday Night
  • Campfires
  • Camaraderie of Like-minded individuals
  • Gear portage so you may ride unencumbered
  • Chase truck
  • Local support
  • Breakfast Saturday Morning
  • Dinner Saturday night in Salida
  • Breakfast Sunday Morning
  • T-shirt
  • Stickers
  • Finisher Pin
Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool
Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool

From Colorado Springs the Loop to the Great Sand Dunes entails:

Day 1

    1. Staging in long term parking at the secure Colorado Springs Airport
    2. Stagecoach road to the old Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek & Victor old railroad right-of-way.
    3. Gold Camp Road to the Cripple Creek & Victor gold mine.
    4. Victor Pass
    5. Victor
    6. Phantom Canyon old railroad right-of-way
    7. Canon City
    8. Oak Creek Grade
    9. Westcliffe & Fuel
    10. Wet Mountain Valley
    11. Medano Pass
    12. Medano Jeep road
    13. The Great Sand Dunes National Park
    14. Sand Dunes Hot Springs
    15. OR, on the Easier Loop that avoids the Sand and Medano Pass:
    16. Pass Creek Pass
    17. La Veta Pass
    18. The Great Sand Dunes National Park
    19. Sand Dunes Hot Springs
The Otto Mears toll-road built in the 1870s
The Otto Mears toll-road was built in the 1870’s, on Saturday’s challenging route

Day 2 Route Includes:

  1. Town of Center & fuel
  2. La Garita
  3. Canero Pass
  4. Sanderson Stagecoach road
  5. Saguache & fuel
  6. Ute Pass
  7. Bonanza
  8. Otto Mears Toll-road
  9. Silvercreek
  10. Shirley Townsite
  11. Mears Junction
  12. Poncha Pass
  13. Big Bend of the Arkansas River
  14. OR, on the longer, easier loop:
  15. Canero Pass
  16. Sanderson Stagecoach road
  17. Saguache & fuel
  18. Poncha Pass
  19. Mears Junction
  20. Marshall Pass old railroad right-of-way
  21. Sargents
  22. Old Monarch Pass
  23. Monarch Summit
  24. Big Bend of the Arkansas River
South Platte River in 11 Mile Cyn
South Platte River in 11 Mile Canyon

Day 3 Route Includes:

  1. Ute Trial from Salida
  2. Hwy 9
  3. Dirt roads west of Pikes Peak
  4. Jeep road to 11 Mile Canyon
  5. 11 Mile Canyon old railroad right-of-way
  6. South Platte River
  7. Dirt Back roads from Florissant
  8. Hwy 24 old railroad right-of-way
  9. Divide
  10. Woodland Park old railroad right-of-way
  11. Rampart Range Road
  12. Garden of the Gods or Pikes Peak
  13. Cheyenne Canyon old railroad right-of-way

Additional Loop Descriptions:

  • Day 1 ride over scenic and a virtually unknown area from behind Pikes Peak on utterly spectacular old Railroad Right-of-ways towards Canon City and Westcliffe.
  • To 10,000 foot Medano Pass through the Sangre de Cristo wilderness from the east side into the back of the Great Sand Dunes.
  • There are 9 creek crossing on Medano Pass before you get to the back of the Sand Dunes. The road out is a sandy jeep road few people traverse.
  • On the Easier loop, avoid Medano Pass and ride up Pass Creek Pass to La Veta Pass, around Mt. Blanca on the pavement to the Great Sand Dunes National Park (Toll required on the easier route to the GSD NP)
Sand Dunes at Dusk
Sand Dunes at Dusk
  • On Day 2 Enjoy a fun lightly traveled mainly off-road loop through the Rio Grande river headwaters.
  • Over Canero Pass, a short jaunt on an old Barlow & Sanderson Stagecoach route, past the Hoagland Stage Stop at Old Cowtown to the old town of Saguache in the northern San Luis Valley.
  • Then climb up little known old Ute Pass, through the Bonanza mining district and over the built in the 1870’s Otto Mears Toll-road, to Sivercreek , then below Mt. Shavano and down to the Big Bend of the Arkansas River.
  • On the Easier route, avoid the Otto Mears Tollroad, and ride over paved Poncha Pass to the old railroad grade over the Continental Divide which is Marshall Pass.
  • Stop in the old railroad town of Sargents for fuel and food
  • Ride over twisty old Monarch Pass at over 12,000 foot
  • Ride below Mt. Shavano to the Big Bend of the Arkansas River
Drift-In on the Arkansas River
Drift-In on the Arkansas River
  • Or you have the option to Camp, Dine & drink at the Drift-In on the Arkansas River Saturday Night.
  • Day 3 on the way back to Colorado Springs from Salida, we’ll take a very creative route with as many dirt roads as possible around the backside of Pikes Peak.
  • Ride down dirt Rampart Range to Garden of the Gods, where you can decide if your game to ride up Pikes Peak or call it a day and head to the trucks.
  • Fuel and snack stops are available about every 80 miles each day.
Glamping Cabins at the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs
Glamping Cabins at the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs
  • The club has reserved the 3 glamping cabins at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs, where lodging is on you.
  • See the Sign-Up page to rent a Glamping Cabin.
  • Tent camping at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool included with the ride.
  • Soaking in the Hot Springs Pool is also included.
Medano Pass from the East side
Medano Pass from the East side

Alternate route descriptions:

Off-Road tires are required to ride over Medano Pass and into the back of the Sand Dunes.

  • The Challenging routes on this ride are suitable for a large Adventure bike with off-road tires and a rider with some skills.
  • If you don’t show up with off-road tires, or are concerned with your sand riding skills, choose the alternate route.
  • You can skip Medano Pass, and ride towards the town of Gardener.
  • Where you’ll turn right and head in the dirt over Pass Creek Pass to paved La Veta Pass.
  • Then ride down La Veta Pass and around Mt. Blanca on the pavement and approach the Great Sand Dunes from the south vs the east as the Medano Pass section of the route does.
  • From the Great Sand Dunes it all pavement to the Sand Dunes Hot Springs to end Day 1
  • Day 2 there is an Alternate route that avoids semi difficult sections on Ute Pass and the Otto Mears Toll road.
  • These Alternate easier routes make this ride suitable for Novice riders or Pan American Harley’s.

Please see these Links for more Info and photos of the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs Adventure :

GSD INFO:

advtours.com/great-sand-dunes-info/

PHOTOS:

2022 Googe Share File Photos of the Great Sand Dunes Adventure

Sand Dunes Recreation, Natural Hot Artesian Water

SAND DUNES POOL

drift in bar

DRIFT-IN RIVERSIDE BAR & GRILL

 

Indoor Pool at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs
Indoor Pool at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs
Outdoor Hot Springs fed pool at thebSand Dunes Hot Springs
Outdoor Hot Springs fed pool at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs
Medano Creek at the Great Sand Dunes National Park
Medano Creek at the Great Sand Dunes National Park
Beer & Wine bar at the GSD Hot Springs Pool
Beer & Wine bar at the GSD Hot Springs Pool
Glamping Cabinsat the GSD Hot Springs Pool
Glamping Cabins at the GSD Hot Springs Pool
Entering the Great Sand Dunes National Park from the east side
Entering the Great Sand Dunes National Park from the east side
Rampart Range Road down to the Garden of the Gods
Rampart Range Road down to the Garden of the Gods
Great Sand Dunes looking north from the Sand Dunes Lodge
Great Sand Dunes looking north from the Sand Dunes Lodge

Otto Mears Toll-road
Otto Mears Toll-road on a Honda CRFL 1000

GSD Adventure on Facebook
Great Sand Dunes Adventure Ride on Facebook

 

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