Jump to content
Yamaha Tenere 700 Forum

Utah - Colorado - Wyoming BDR


Recommended Posts

I was fortunate to get out west (from the Washington DC area) to do the Utah, Colorado and Wyoming  BDRs.  Three part report here to cover them.




My riding buddy Dan (DRZ 400) and I drove the truck across a good chunk of the US, three days for me, 2200 miles, DC to Montpelier Idaho.


Saturday 20 Aug:

Morning we rode 35 mins down the road to Bear Lake and picked up Thom  (KTM 690) to commence the UT BDR (north to south – reverse direction). 



Bear Lake to Evanston, 50 miles dirt and 50 sealed. Lots of Mud. Some light rain. A good start. I think we topped out at 9003'.









Saturday afternoon, into Section 5, about 2/3 of the way down it, another 117 miles. We were to camp at Mirror Lakes but we were wet and a little cold. Passed through Bald Mountain Pass at 10,700'. A few hearty mud sections which maxed me out. Pulled off the route and ended up Heber City UT overnight. A great day.



Difficult to see but the skid plate was full of mud – had to come off to be cleaned.


Sunday 21 Aug:

And a muddy Sunday morning 99 miles and five hours. Lucky I am with Thom and Dan.  Did not get images of the offending hill (breathing too hard), but after about 75 minutes of trying to get the T700 up a muddy hill, we took a different route that had plenty of mud, but was not so steep. 


After a muddy morning we had a great afternoon starting in Soldiers Mountain to some wide open spaces (vicinity Cedar Mountains), ending the day in Green River UT overnight. 220 miles for the day.













Monday 22 Aug:

Green River to Moab (Section 3), 165 miles and about 9 hours riding. The morning followed an escarpment for about 50 miles with many wash outs from the heavy rains over the last few days. That took about 3 hours north of I70, and then we went for some very challenging mud on the south side of I70 heading into Dewey Bridge.  Those mud ruts were about three feet deep – no evidence, again I was too tired to get photos.

After this we did another 3 hours on the periphery of Arches National Park. That had numerous wash outs and elevation changes. It was a challenge for me. We were spent at the end of the day in Moab. Dan did a great job as spotter today for the best paths.

Moab had flooding two days previous and had an inch of sand in the main street – they had been clobbered.







T700 no match for a boulder



Tuesday 23 Aug:

Having a rest today due to the rain.


We went for a three hour jaunt out the Lockhart Basin route. We got 23 (of 78) miles in when we got to steps I couldn't get up. Dan got up and went 4 mins further up the track and came to more steps that were more difficult and came back. First two images are the offending steps.

Beautiful morning out the Colorado River. We then came back to Moab for lunch.










In the afternoon it was a bit hot in Moab, so we went back up the mountain on a dirt road we bypassed yesterday. We ended up just below Geyser Pass at 9800 feet and a pleasant 70 degrees. Then down to the hotel for an easy afternoon.



Wed 24 Aug:

250 miles today. Moab to Delores, route 145 that followed the Delores River through San Juan National Forest. That was 150 miles on sealed roads. Then 100 miles on the dirt and did four passes.

We did not do the Lockhart Basin loop, based on my experience the day before.  Also, we bypassed a part of Section 1 and 2 due to road closures – flooding.


End of Utah – Start of Colorado.


Ophir Pass then Hurricane Pass, Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass. Overnight at a campground Ouray CO. 10 hours of riding.


Passes were great, noting that Ophir freaked me out a bit with the drop off.  The good wheel track was on the side near the drop off – did not want to go over there!









Edited by TenereTragic700
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice, I live in Colorado and really wanted to do some of the Colorado BDR but a torn tendon in my arm has kept me off the bike since JUNE.  Likely won't be riding until next year now. Looks like a great time. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thursday 25 Aug:

Thursday 25 Aug. 128 miles, Ouray CO to Powderhorn Valley, South of Gunnison. Tom and Carol Larson ranch with a bunk house, though that is not doing it justice. Very nice place. Staying here Thursday night and also Friday due to weather Friday. The Larsons, very generous hosts.





Friday 26 Aug:

Friday 26 Aug we remain in Powderhorn CO at the ranch for the weather to pass. Dan and I got about 150 miles of riding in, including a 23 mile loop recommended by Tom (the property owner). That took us 2.25 hours. Then over the Mountains to Lake City for lunch, then Gunnison for fuel and back to Powderhorn for the night.







Saturday 27 Aug:

Saturday 27 August 171 miles. Powderhorn was 37 degrees in the morning but quickly warmed up. We started with a 10 mile loop that took about an hour. That was a good warm up. Then the day was good weather, roads and company. Went over Cathedral Pass 8,907', Waunita Pass 10,265, Cumberland Pass 12,010, Cottonwood Pass 12,226'. Dispersed camping in vicinity Buena Vista.









Sunday 28 Aug:

Sunday 28 August. 210 miles. From where we camped north of Beuna Vista, we had a 7:15am start. A great morning, and cool. Thom Bruce and Dan Farson took a more difficult 6 mile section, I took the soft option and met them after that piece. Then up over Weston Pass @ 11,920', through Mount Massive Lakes, and into Leadville CO. Then Hegerman Pass @ 11,925'. That morning section through to Gypsum was about 118 miles and took 6-7 hours. A great morning.

After lunch we planned to go from Gypsum to Steamboat Springs via an easy dirt road, but faced black clouds, lightening and a sign "this road impassable when wet" so went with a sealed road to Steamboat Springs. Hotel and BBQ dinner tonight, Dan, Thom and Kerry Bruce.

Tomorrow has us 80 miles to the end of the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route, and then into Wyoming.

I think Dan and Thom wonder why I am so fascinated by the mountains. Mt Kosciusko in Australia is 6,600' - the highest peak on the mainland. Every driveway I have been past for the last three days is above that.



















  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sunday 28 Aug (cont):



Monday 29 Aug:

Monday 29 Aug. Last 108 miles to finish off Colorado, arriving Baggs Wyoming for the start of the WY BDR. Started with the 170 mile Desert X loop, NW of Baggs. About halfway through and likely to camp. About 20 miles of hard sand and rocks, taking a few hours.










End of Colorado – Start of Wyoming.











Monday 29 Aug afternoon. 279 miles for the day. More than we planned. We completed the Desert loop, back to Baggs and the Boyer Ranch for the night. Boyer is a nice place.
















  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tuesday 30 Aug:

Tuesday 30 August, Boyer Ranch vicinity Savery WY to Laramie. 151 miles. Straight out of the Boyer Ranch onto the trail. About 120 miles of dirt today, mostly easy, with the Bridger Peak section at 11,004' being a bit tricky for me. Most of the day spent in the Routt National Forest.

This section of the BDR goes through Encampment and ends at Centennial.

From Centennial we went 27 miles off the route to Laramie to fit a new front tire to one of the bikes.

Unfortunately, Thom has to head home tomorrow, so now it will be Dan and I to finish the route.

Thanks to Thom for his nav planning ability, on the fly ability to change the plan, leading us and being (the upbeat) part of the group. Tons of coaching and advice from Thom and Dan. Very much appreciated.













Wednesday 31 Aug:

Wed 31 Aug, Laramie, back to the Wyoming BDR route at Centenial, then Elk Mountain, Medicine Bow, then Alcova. We jumped off the route at Alcova to find lodging in Casper.

All the roads were good, ranging from wide open and fast dirt, to rocky climbs. All doable enough.

261 miles for the day and about 8 hours on the bike. We did a side bar excursion up Kennaday Peak @ 10,810'. That was great.

Saw more antelope today and one male elk cross the trail.

Tomorrow is a big day, Alcova to Atlantic City. That is 148 miles with no services. In the 90s here, so an early start in order.









Thursday 1 Sep:

Thu 1 Sep. 253 miles for the day. Casper WY back to the route at Alcova. The 148 mile section Alcova to Atlantic City mostly follows the Beaver Rim, on top of the Beaver Divide. We had a 6:15am start to beat the heat and got through that section in about 5.5 hours. Met Chris from Texas and separately Bryan from Denver.

Atlantic City, a tiny place where we had lunch.

That section was 205 miles between gas stops.

Then through the Shoshone National Forest. That dumped us in Lander WY. Then overnighting in Riverton. Lots of Native American people here. Their community.

Lots of antelope today and some wild horses.

Images probably appear as lots of nothing. They do not do it justice.

Tomorrow, Riverton to Shoshoni to Ten Sleep to maybe Burgess Junction. Will be very hot. 96 to 100 f.
















  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Friday 2 Sep:

Fri 2 Sep. About 288 miles. We had a 25 mile ride, Riverton to Shoshoni to connect with the route.

Shoshoni to Ten Sleep was a 104 mile all dirt segment. First half was fast, wide dirt roads through a oil and gas lease that was a bit boring. Second half of that leg was in a fertile valley, Norwood River and Nowood River Canyon. That was pretty special.

The second leg was Ten Sleep to Burgess Junction, predominantly in the Bighorn National Forest. The area through Snowshoe pass was washed out and slow going.

We had about 9 hours of riding today.

Ended up in Sheridan overnight, 40 miles off the trail. Labor Day long weekend here, which marks the end of summer to a lot of people.

Record heat here tomorrow, but we will do the last 28 miles to the Montana border and work out how we will return to Montpelier ID, where the truck is. Also we have a route Thom worked out.

PS: Great Indian dinner tonight, in Sheridan WY - not something I would have predicted.
























  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saturday 3 Sep:

Saturday 3 Sep, to the Montana border. 296 miles today.

From Sheridan we had a 50 minute commute back up the east side of the Bighorn Mountains. While a sealed road (route 20), that was a pretty good way to start the day.

Then onto the dirt route up to the Montana border. Up and back that was less than 100 miles of good dirt roads.

We had planned to take sealed roads back to Dubois WY to pick up a route Thom Bruce developed. Could not find lodging so went to Riverton instead.

Southern trip, all sealed, was dramatic with us taking 20 down the western side of the Bighorn Mountains. Then hot and boring roads until we got to the Wind River Canyon south of Thermopolis. That was special with us descending and the Wind River next to us flowing in the opposite direction.

Then on to Riverton. Saw 100f on the bike thermometer while moving today.

Tomorrow, out to Dubois, pick up Thom's route and back to Montpelier and the truck.
















And the end of the line Wyoming – border with Montana.





End of Wyoming and the ride back to Montpelier ID (where we started)



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sunday 4 Sep:

Sun 4 Sep. 308 miles for the day.


Started with the 70 miles of sealed road Riverton to Dubois. Early morning and running into Dubois from the east we had the sunrise lighting the Painted Hills which was pretty.

In Dubois WY we turned west-ish onto a track Thom developed. That was a total of 212 miles.

We went up over the Union Peak and then down into Teton National Forest. It was busy in there with lots of people enjoying the long weekend.

After 70 miles of dirt we opted to take the sealed road to Montpelier where we left the truck. Another good day.

After loading up we drove 2 hours east to Green River WY were we overnighted on the trip home east.

3480 miles on the bike over 16 days.

Terrific scenery in this part of the US.

That is it from me.










Total for the trip:


Edited by TenereTragic700
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Thanks for taking the time to post this along with the great scenic shots.  You guys took on quite a bit and will have some great memories for sure.  Looked like heaps of fun!


"Men do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" Oliver Wendell Holmes - Mods - HDB handguards, Camel-ADV Gut guard, 1 finger clutch, The Fix pedal & Rally pipe, RR side/tail rack, RR 90nm spring & Headlight guard, Rally seat, OEM heated grips- stablemate Beta 520RS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Our Friends

Tenere across the USA

Tenere 700 Forum. We are just Tenere 700 owners and fans

Tenere700.net is not affiliated with Yamaha Motor Co and any opinions expressed on this website are solely those of ea individual author and do not represent Yamaha Motor Co or Tenere700.net .

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.