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Byron65 01-22-2019 02:21 PM

Colorado Mountain weather in Late June
 
Planning my first trip out west 3 Rd week of June. Rode in Smokie Mountain ranges but not the Sierras & Rockies of Colorado. Be traveling thru Wolf Creek pass, Red mountain pass & Monarch pass & a couple others along that route I can't remember. Are snow chances at this time normal? Guessing temps probably in 30s at 9,000 - 11,0000 ft. Any tips beside warm clothing?

Jinx 01-22-2019 02:30 PM

Yes. Specially on the north side of the mountains. I've be to Crater Lake in Or. in mid July and there was still feet of snow on the ground. Mount Evens in Co.
closes after Labor day due to weather.

crownfire 01-22-2019 04:02 PM

It can snow in the high country in June, but it's not likely. Just watch the weather and stay flexible. I worked in north central Colorado for two summers. Lived at 9000 feet and worked above that. I can't remember any snow on us, but it can happen any month of the year up high. A great area and you will have a blast.

Randy Hawes 01-22-2019 09:00 PM

Byron, I was on the Ouray-Durango-Wolf Creek portion June, 2016. Oh, YES!!!

I did not have to deal with any ice on the road, but there was some on the shoulders. I was very surprised to see enough snowboarders at Wolf Creek that the lifts were working.

DesertRat 01-23-2019 07:21 AM

All of these passes are in my back yard, been over them many, many times in both a car and motorcycle. In late June there is an incredibly small chance of hitting a snow storm. If it does happen the chance of it sticking on the roads is very, very remote. Wolf Creek, Coal Bank, Molas, and Red Mountain passes are all in the 11,000 foot range. You should have no problem what so ever riding your Wing over them. However, depending on what time of the day you pass over them the temperatures could be pretty nippy. I would suggest a medium jacket and a pair of warm gloves even if you have heated grips. The biggest challenge is thunderstorms in the afternoon. Between Durango and Ouray, also known as the Million Dollar highway, if a violent thunderstorm strikes the run off from the short intense rain will dislodge rocks that will cascade down onto the roads, some bigger than basketballs. Red Mountain pass is the most treacherous especially on the Ouray side. You need to time your ride on the Million Dollar highway to get past it before 2-3 PM. Message me your plans and maybe we can meet up in Durango which is 45 miles from my home. Breakfast in Durango would be ideal because that would put you over the Million Dollar highway in the early afternoon. Would also recommend visiting the Black Canyon outside of Montrose, Colorado. The most frustrating thing will be the RV's that poke along on these passes but the good thing is they slow you down to take in the views.

T-Cat 01-23-2019 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron65 (Post 2181357)
Planning my first trip out west 3 Rd week of June. Rode in Smokie Mountain ranges but not the Sierras & Rockies of Colorado. Be traveling thru Wolf Creek pass, Red mountain pass & Monarch pass & a couple others along that route I can't remember. Are snow chances at this time normal? Guessing temps probably in 30s at 9,000 - 11,0000 ft. Any tips beside warm clothing?

Here's a link that provides typical monthly temps & weather conditions for Colorado - just click on a town name to get the info for that area.

https://www.usclimatedata.com/climat...ed-states/3175

Byron65 01-23-2019 01:06 PM

Thanks for all reply so far. Good to know about the approximate timing of possible storms on Red mountain pass. Does same hold true on most other passes? From Illinois & allowing 2 weeks for trip. Also going to ride the Royal Gorge train & possibly the Durango to Silverton train. From what I've read it's best to ride south to North on Red mountain pass for first timers since you're on inside lane against mountain on most of route.

Sportznut1 01-23-2019 03:27 PM

I was there in early June last year and the weather was beautiful!

Of course the fires weren't so beautiful. Fortunately we were able to dodge them for the most part.

Unless there is ice on the highway I would not be concerned about riding the outside lane. It was a non-issue.
very scenic and lots of places to pull off for pictures.

I also really enjoyed Highway 145 from Cortez up to Telluride.

There is a nice little store with a big porch and gas pumps on the south end of town in Rico. Owner does a good job of keeping it clean. Good place for a snack, fill up and a butt break.

I enjoyed a meal at Handlebars in Silverton. The owner rides and his family did a great job. I really liked the chili.

Some great rides in the area, enjoy!

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

T-Cat 01-23-2019 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron65 (Post 2181541)
Thanks for all reply so far. Good to know about the approximate timing of possible storms on Red mountain pass. Does same hold true on most other passes? From Illinois & allowing 2 weeks for trip. Also going to ride the Royal Gorge train & possibly the Durango to Silverton train. From what I've read it's best to ride south to North on Red mountain pass for first timers since you're on inside lane against mountain on most of route.

June shouldn't be bad for storms - the Colorado "Monsoon" season typically runs from July to September - this is when afternoon storms can be more prevalent.

Here's a some video links I found that may be of interest to you.

Durango to Silverton - motorcycle ride
https://youtu.be/Gg9YAyd91GA

Million Dollar Highway - motorcycle ride
https://youtu.be/gbuy1Aw-fdQ

Durango / Silverton Railroad
https://youtu.be/kc-G0bzH7ZI

Monsoon info
https://www.9news.com/video/weather/...oon/73-8182106

DesertRat 01-24-2019 06:43 AM

Agree with Sportznut1 regarding the direction you go on Red Mountain pass. The road is a narrow two lane so you are talking about maybe 15 feet of difference from the edge. Besides if you go off in some spots you will starve to death before you hit bottom. From your original post it sounded like you will be going east to west coming through the San Luis valley then over Wolf Creek pass. You will be traveling on US 160 all the way to Durango then north on US 550 to Montrose. If you take what I term the Grand Loop which is to head west at Ridgway then south to Telluride and back down to Durango that will take you very close to Telluride, a short side trip, then over Lizard Head pass and through Rico. That loop is about 217 miles long to get you back to where you started in Durango. I have done the Grand Loop many times with many friends on motorcycles every fall to see the fall colors.

Regarding the Durango to Silverton railroad. After my original experience on it many decades ago I now recommend traveling on it from Durango to Silverton just one way, up to Silverton then riding the bus back to Durango. Both ways takes around 8 hours on the train which makes for a long day.

Regarding thunderstorms on the other passes the same risk exists but the geography is not so dangerous because those passes are more wide open than Red Mountain. You will still get wet or pummeled with hail or struck by lightening. These mountains in southwest Colorado are large enough to create their own weather.

Just a heads up about Wolf Creek. There has been a massive die off of the blue spruce in that area. It is sad to see and certainly detracts from the sights. An alternative route to Durango is to go through Alamosa to Antonito, Colorado then over the Cumbres pass to Chama, New Mexico. This ride is just as spectacular as Wolf Creek and much less traveled by tourists. You can then swing up to Pagosa Springs, Colorado on US 84. You will be paralleling the Cumbres narrow gauge railroad much of the way from Antonito to Chama. This railroad is an alternative scenic railroad to the Durango Silverton railroad. Both are remnants of the old Denver Rio Grande railroad.

Hope this helps.


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