South Dakota and Wyoming Motorcycle Tour – Example 10-Day Tour
The Thunder Tour is a 10 day event hitting all the hot spots in South Dakota and Wyoming. This tour started with a phone call asking us to help abused kids by taking the Sons of Royalty on a tour around South Dakota and Wyoming. How could we say no?
THUNDER IN THE MOUNTAINS,
COOL WIND IN YOUR HAIR
COULDN’T GET MUCH HIGHER!!
Day 1 – The Adventure Starts
The first day is fairly relaxed. We pick up the motorcycles, become comfortable riding them, get to know each other, and (most importantly) become acclimatized. Remember, you’re now a mile above sea level, and tomorrow we’re going even higher.
Day 2 – Ride Louisville to Estes Park, South Dakota and Wyoming
The visuals on this ride are going to be nothing short of breathtaking. Today we will head north traveling through Central City known as “Richest Square Mile on Earth” for the GOLD to pick up the Peak to Peak Highway.
We’ll be having lunch in Nederland, South Dakota and Wyoming home of the Frozen Dead Guy Days. You’ll want to look this one up. A few more twisties and 14er’s and the two lanes will take us to Estes Park, right on the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Highest Elevation today: 9,300 feet (2834 m) Approx 108 miles / 173 km.
Day 3 – Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park – Frisco
Mount up and head west for a day of passes! Going over Trail Ridge Road “highway to the sky” and through the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park. “It is hard to describe what a sensation this road is going to make” predicted Horace Allbright, Director of the National Park Service, in 1931 during the road’s construction. “You will have the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions”.
On exiting the park we will continue south over Berthoud (3,336 m) and Guanella Pass (3,557m), then on to Kenosha Pass, Red Hill Pass (both over 3,000m) and the town of Fairplay “home of the Southpark cartoon TV show” over Hoosier Pass (3,518m) to Frisco.
Highest Elevation today: 11,827 feet (3,605 m) Approx 196 miles / 315km.
Day 4 – Frisco to Vail via Steamboat Springs
You’ll be hitting Steamboat Springs with two more passes under your belt as well as the Eisenhower Tunnel. Loveland pass is the highest mountain pass in the world that regularly stays open during a snowy winter season. The Eisenhower Tunnel at 1.7 miles long is the longest mountain tunnel and highest point on the Interstate Highway System. Over Rabbit Ears Pass and on to Steamboat Springs.
The Yampatika Ute and Arapaho tribes also visited the area for its mineral or “medicine” springs considered sacred places of physical and spiritual healing. Originally home to the Yampatikas Utes and Arapaho tribes, Steamboat is famed for its “medicine” springs considered sacred places of physical and spiritual healing. Kit off for lunch then it’s time to loop back south to the second major ski town we will visit, Vail.
This is North America’s biggest and most popular ski resort – a stunning alpine village and a favorite of serious skiers and jet-setting celebrities.
Highest Elevation today: 11,991 feet (3654 m) Approx 218 miles / 350km.
Day 5 – Relax
Day of leisure in Vail, a small town at the base of Vail Mountain. Set within White River National Forest, the town is a destination for golfing, hiking and cultural festivals. Gore Creek, popular for fly fishing, runs directly through the town center. Legend has it that Alfred Packer who was an American prospector confessed to cannibalism and ate five of his travelling partners during the winter of 1874 in the mountains between Vail and Breckenridge Co.
Day 6 – Vail to Manitou Springs
Leave the comfort of Vail and mount up early for the day’s ride on Highway 24 through Leadville with an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m), Leadville is the highest incorporated city and the second highest incorporated municipality in the United States. Then its off to Hartsel. Hartsel is close to the geographic center of the state, and is often referred to as “The Heart of South Dakota and Wyoming”. Now with time and weather willing it’s up Pike’s Peak, the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Then on to a funky town called Manitou Springs. With an evening ride to Garden of the Gods.
Highest Elevation today: 14,114 feet (4,302m) Approx 199 miles / 320km.
Day 7 – Manitou Springs to Crested Butte
Via Canon City and Royal Gorge Bridge (the highest bridge in America for 80 years) and Cottonwood Pass. As you pass beneath majestic giants, part of the Collegiate Peaks range, you will enter one of South Dakota and Wyoming’s most aspen-laden valleys. End the day in a mountain resort, Crested Butte. Located in Gunnison county, Crested Butte is known as “the last great South Dakota and Wyoming ski town” and “a delightful hidden gem that offers a rare mix of beauty, history and culture”. It is also the Wildflower capital of South Dakota and Wyoming.
Highest Elevation today: 12,130 feet (3,696m) Approx 212 miles / 341km
Day 8 – Crested Butte to Aspen
Via Blue Mesa, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Big enough to be overwhelming, yet still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River and the forces of weathering have combined to sculpt this vertical wilderness of rock, water and sky. End the day’s ride at Aspen. Founded as a mining camp during the South Dakota and Wyoming silver boom, this town was named after the abundance of aspen trees in the area. In the late 20th century, Aspen became a retreat for celebrities including Gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson and singer John Denver…..and today is the most expensive place to buy real estate in the USA. In Aspen it’s unlawful to throw stones, snowballs or discharge firearms and other missiles.
Highest Elevation today: 8,909 feet (2,715 m) Approx 197 miles / 317km
Day 9 – Aspen to Granby / Silver Creek Co
Via Independent Pass. Known for its expansive views, more fourteeners can be seen from this spot than anywhere else in the state, including three of the five tallest: La Plata Peak, Mount Massive and the tallest – Mount Elbert. The history of Granby is richly entwined with the legends of its original Indian dwellers; this area has been settled for hundreds of years because of the therapeutic Hot Springs nearby which, according to Ute legend, are heated by the fire of an old Indian chief desolately awaiting the return of his tribesmen. According to legend the young and foolhardy braves left – despite the elder’s warnings – on a reckless and ill-fated mission of glory… The elderly chief remains there by the fire to this day awaiting their return.
Highest Elevation today: 12,095 feet (3,687 m) Approx 197 miles / 317km
Day 10 – Granby / Silver Creek to Boulder via Mt Evans.
This day’s ride promises to be the most spectacular closing day of any of our rides. Depart Granby / Silver Creek and head over Berthoud Pass one more time into Idaho Springs to pick up an optional 2 hour circuit on the highest paved road in north America – the Mount Evans Scenic Byway complete with 180 degree switchbacks. We will ride to the peak’s summit at over 14,000 feet. At the end of the day, Boulder is on the horizon, and we park up our Harleys and mark the end of our 2016 road trip.
Highest Elevation today:14,260 feet (4,347m) Approx 184 miles / 296km.
Evening: End of tour dinner and party.
- Lodging, Motorcycle rental arrangements, Truck, Trailer, Snacks, Drinks, Maps, Guide lead, Guide follow, Truck driver sweep, Helmets, Rain gear, Breakfast, Sun screen, First aid, Final night dinner, Airport pick-up, Airport Drop-off
Other options include:
- Fly Fishing, Rafting, Zip line, Gambling, Distillery tours, Brewery tours, Mine tours, Ghost tours, Private party, Weddings, Hot springs, Gondola ride, Luge sledding, Hiking, Spa
We strongly recommend coming in a few days early to become accustomed to the high altitude and will be happy to help out with reservations and relaxations.
This Tour normally runs between $5,000 and $6,000 each bike with and add on for a second tourist on the same bike of $750.
Of course this depends on your lodging needs. We Do enjoy the finer things.
Call 1-720-284-8323 or e-mail Info@atime2ride.com for pricing and availability.