January 2008

Preface - North to South Tour 2008

01/01/2008 03:42:20 by Administrator

Starting to plan of our next cycling adventure with SeeMore. We are still in the planning stage, so this entry will be updated. We plan to start in Edmonton Alberta near the end of June. Here is what is in store:

NORTH TO SOUTH TOUR (Adventure Cycling's Great Park Tour + more!)

The Canadian parks, with their wide road shoulders, provide excellent cycling conditions, though motorist traffic during the tourist season is heavy. Jasper, Alberta, a busy tourist center in the heart of Jasper National Park, is one of the five Canadian Parks the route traverses. Almost immediately after leaving town, we will be treated by scenery: glacial lakes, dramatic waterfalls, piercingly steep mountains covered with glaciers, and a tremendous variety of wildlife. Stops will be frequent just to marvel at the beauty. As we head south over several passes through the parks, we will take the time to go to Lake Louise and Banff. After 230 miles of amazing vistas, we'll leave Kootenay National Park and descend steeply into the town of Radium Hot Springs, stopping for an enjoyable soak in the soothing hot mineral pools. From Radium Hot Springs southward to Elko, the western side of the Rockies will find us following the Columbia and Kootenay river systems. At Elko, the route turns east over the Continental Divide through a series of small mining communities (Fernie and Sparwood which we visited in 2006). Then we will stay, again, in Waterton Lakes National Park. After the border crossing into the United States at Chief Mountain we will enter Glacier National Park in Montana, hopefully crossing the Divide back to the western side on the spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Highway. We missed Going-to-the-Sun Highway on our 2006 tour because of forest fires, so hopefully we will be successful this time. Then our route mainly follows river valleys bracketed by mountain ranges all the way into Missoula.

After Missoula, we will be cycling through the small Montana towns of Stevensville, Hamilon, Darby, Wisdom, Jackson, Dillion, Sheridan, Virginia City and Ennis. until we come to Yellowstone National Park.

After Yellowstone, we visit the Grand Tetons, then continue cycling towards Rawlings Wyoming. We will enter Colorado on Route 125, which will lead us to Walden Colorado, then Route 14; where we will find open grazing land and national forest lands heading into Kremmling. There is heavy summer tourist activity from Hot Sulpher Springs to Granby, the southern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Next, Estes Park to Georgetown - this area is the playground for surrounding communities on the Front Range.

We also might try Mt. Evans Auto Road which is the highest paved road in the United States.

After Mt. Evans we will head towards Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. South of Fairplay, the route becomes more rural and traverses the high, open land of South Park. After crossing Trout Creek Pass, the route drops into the Arkansas River Valley near Buena Vista. The western slope of the Colorado Rocky Mountains is old mining country, from Salida all the way into Durango. Around Dolores, the mountains give way to the dry, open Four Corners region, highlighted by Mesa Verde National Park. Durango is the southern terminus of the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the only remaining regularly scheduled narrow-gauge passenger train.

.....then turn south down the west side of New Mexico and finishing in Mexico in search for that ultimate margarita.