Words and photos by Jeff Kerkove, Ergon Bike USA.
Personally, one of the best rides in Colorado exists just to the south of Winter Park, CO. Most riders, me included at times, are head down and full steam to get over Berthoud Pass to get that day started at Trestle Bike Park. Don't get me wrong, Trestle Bike Park is amazing! But sometimes, the sense of adventure outweighs the lift lines, berms, jumps, and park features.
Not many are aware that just off of Hwy 40 to the west while en route to Winter Park sits Jones Pass. This route was new to me until about 4 years ago. Now, I try to make room in my schedule to hit this out-n-back ride at least once a year. I didn't need to be in Winter Park until 4 PM to set up the Ergon Bike booth in the expo, so I pinged Kyle Taylor from 92Fifty Cyclery, who had the day off, to meet me at the trail head to get in a few hours on this route.
The route starts with a 45-60 minute jeep road climb right from the parking lot. Steep in spots, but manageable with the Pivot and Canyon bikes we were on. The time spent pedaling this road, puts you right on the divide, just over 12,000 ft. Winter in Colorado was long and rough in 2013/14. Signs on the hard winter are still towering in the high mountains of Colorado. The cornice still exists and blocks the jeep road access to the top of the pass, in most cases 20 feet or higher. Bikes soon became crampons and ice axes as we scaled up the wall of snow.
Have YOU done Jones? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Ideal time of day/month? What do bring? Did you cry a little, etc? Comment here and post your pics on our facebook page!