Polaris Slingshot Colorado Driving Laws Updated

Polaris Slingshot Rentals

Polaris Slingshot Colorado Driving Laws Updated

The Polaris Slingshot is sometimes called a three-wheeled motorcycle or a reverse trike, as its design places two wheels up front and one in the rear. Driving a Slingshot is an experience in itself, but driving a Slingshot over the scenic mountain roads near Vail, Colorado, is an unforgettable adventure. Here at Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals (RMAR), we offer Polaris Slingshot rentals so that you can get the thrill of being behind the wheel in this vehicle that has an incredibly unique design.

Updated Colorado laws make driving the Polaris Slingshot even more accessible, so read on to find out more about the Slingshot driving experience and about where to drive a Slingshot near Vail.

The Polaris Slingshot and Colorado Law

Great news: As of April 2017, Colorado no longer requires a motorcycle endorsement to drive a Slingshot. Now anyone who meets the legal requirements for driving a car can also drive a Slingshot. This change makes Slingshot driving more accessible for a wider group of people who want to give it a try on exciting mountain roads near Vail with Slingshot rentals from RMAR.

A bit of background: When Polaris introduced the Slingshot in 2014, drivers were required to have a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate the Slingshot. Because the Slingshot has three wheels, some states have chosen to continue requiring a motorcycle endorsement. But many states are now choosing to license the Slingshot as a car because it handles more like a car than a motorcycle. Colorado originally required drivers to have a motorcycle endorsement in order to drive a Slingshot, but as of April 2017, Colorado drivers only need a driver’s license to take a Slingshot out on the open road.

In Colorado, drivers and passengers under the age of 18 are still required to wear a helmet when in a Slingshot, in accordance with Colorado’s motorcycle helmet law. Drivers and passengers over the age of 18 are not required to wear helmets when in a Slingshot—though RMAR has helmets available for those who would like to wear them.

The Polaris Slingshot Experience

The Polaris Slingshot is known for its low-to-the-ground ride and for its powerful acceleration. It also features a side-by-side, driver-passenger experience and an open cockpit that doesn’t have any doors. When driving a Slingshot on the mountain passes and rolling terrain near Vail, this set-up lets drivers and passengers take in cinematic mountain views and breathe in refreshing high-country air.

The Polaris Slingshot is also an ace vehicle for driving on winding mountain roads. Because it’s lightweight but doesn’t have overwhelming power, it accelerates nicely through corners and curves. The Slingshot’s body shape gives drivers and passengers the sense of being safe and enclosed while also being incredibly low to the ground.

As Polaris sums up the Slingshot experience

  • Insanely low
  • Absurdly powerful
  • No doors
  • No roof
  • No regrets

Polaris Slingshot Rental and Vail Slingshot Driving

Now that Slingshot driving is even more accessible to Colorado drivers, we’re excited to share the experience by offering Vail Slingshot rentals. It’s possible to drive a Slingshot right out the RMAR adventure rental location in Eagle-Vail and have the day trip of a lifetime.

Summit County Driving Tour: This driving tour goes through Colorado’s Eagle, Lake, and Summit Counties, and it shows off the best of Summit County’s scenic terrain with views of Lake Dillon, several of Colorado’s fourteeners, and a good balance of less-traveled mountain roads and popular destinations. Fun, turn-heavy roads offer incredible appeal for Slingshot drivers who want to know what this vehicle’s cornering and acceleration is all about.

Independence Pass Driving Tour: The Indy Pass Loop showcases Colorado history and classic mountain roads. Colorado’s Independence Pass is only open during the summer season, and this iconic loop winds through scenic mountain terrain and goes up and over several mountain passes. The towns of Leadville, Aspen, and Glenwood Springs are among Colorado’s not-to-miss summer destinations, and it’s possible to visit all three in a day with this adventurous itinerary. The Independence Pass driving tour is epic, simply put, and Slingshot drivers will revel in this experience for years to come.

Ready to go? Find out more here: Slingshot rentals from Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals. Or give us a call today to reserve: (970) 471-8491.

Drivers must be 16 with approved endorsements. Under 18 must have drivers license present upon rental. Credit Card and Deposit will be taken upon reservation.

Paddle Boarding Colorado

Best Paddle Boarding Locations in Colorado

paddle boarding colorado

The sport of Paddle Boarding has been the fastest growing sport in the United States over the past 5 years. Disc Golf is the only sport that even rivals its speed of growth. With so many options in Colorado to take your Paddle Board, we thought we should assemble our top paddle boarding locations by category.

Best Family Friendly Paddle Boarding: Avon’s Nottingham Lake.

Open only to Paddle Boards and Paddle Boats, the entire lake acts as a no wake zone making this small lake the ideal setting to not only learn how to Paddle Board but to also take the kids out on the water. With a max depth of 15 feet, the water temperature is slightly warmer than most bodies of water in the high country. Nottingham Lake is also surrounded by a massive park that offers swim beaches, beach volleyball courts, outdoor grilling areas, and a brand new amphitheater. There is free parking around the lake and you can visit our map to learn where to go.

Best River Paddle Boarding: Upper Colorado River – Rancho del Rio to State Bridge.

Yes. This section of river is becoming grossly overused by the many fisherman, tour operators, and influx of river enthusiast but the Rancho to State Bridge stretch is still the best run for Paddle Boards looking to get out on a river. The only rapids are easy-to-navigate Class l’s with a few, more challenging Class ll’s at high water. The put ins and take outs are easy to manage and the entire trip is about four miles. This stretch of river offers great scenery and is also a favorite among locals for wildlife viewing – Bald Eagles are a common site on this section of river. There is free parking available at Rancho but there is a small fee to pay for parking at the take out at State Bridge. Both Rancho and State Bridge offer concession food options and on weekends, State Bridge is a happening place with live concerts at their outdoor concert venue.

Best Advanced Open Water Paddle Boarding: Lake Dillon / Dillon Reservoir.

With massive views of the Ptarmigan Range, Ten Mile Range, and two of Colorado’s most iconic 14er’s – Grays and Torreys, you really can’t beat a day out on Dillon Reservoir. The reservoir is one of the larger bodies of water in the state of Colorado and as such, you are best advised to plan your route before heading out. On our map page, we have detailed the preferred route to take set forth by the Frisco Marina. Beginning at the Frisco Marina, you work your way along the shoreline and around the many islands that act as a protective barrier to the waves and powerboats out in the channel. This body of water is almost always cold which is why we don’t recommend it as a family paddle boarding option and it is also prone to high winds which can make your return trip very difficult. Lake Dillon is best used in the early mornings as the winds tend to pick up around 11 a.m. The Frisco Marina offers free parking along with a launching point specifically for paddle boards and kayaks. The Marina tiki bar is a great spot for lunch or end of day cocktails.

Tagert Hut Review: Winter

Tagert Hut Review: Winter

A portion of the RMAR team set out on an expedition to the Tagert Hut as a way to ring in the 2016 New Year. If the idea of a “Hut Trip” is new to you, you should know that “Hut Trips” are the types of trips that people come out of the woodworks for. They are the epitome of what a true Colorado Adventure can and should be. You plan your food rations well in advance, you pack for all types of weather conditions, you carefully consider what you need to bring vs what you want to bring while keeping a watchful eye on the weight of your pack. You will question your physical conditioning every waking hour leading up to the trip and you will constantly debate whether or not to snowshoe in or use your AT or XC set-up. You will find yourself researching new avalanche equipment, GPS equipment, and you may even find yourself researching and purchasing a handful of new maps. You will do all of this for what will in the end be nothing more than a quick 24 hour out and back expedition…. Unless you’re setting off on a true hut-to-hut trip.

Having sleep accommodation’s for 6 (or a very cozy 7), The Tagert Hut is one of the smaller huts in the Braun Hut System. It is located south of Aspen on Montezuma Road (Pearl Pass) and is just 20 yards away from the Green-Wilson Hut. In the summer time, you can park right at the trail head if you are choosing to hike to the hut but in the winter, the main road is closed about 2 miles from the actual trail head. In the winter months it is about a 7 mile jaunt from the winter parking location to the front door of the hut. The majority of the hike is on a consistent grade and really isn’t too bad by most standards here in the high country. Where the trip becomes a little more difficult is after you cross the bridge leading into the switchbacks. At this point, you are only about ¾ of a mile away from the hut but the pitch is enough to make you want to turn back and go home. In the winter, we found that the trail is basically hard packed until you reach the switchbacks. A few of us didn’t even wear our snowshoes until we reached the switchbacks because the trail was so packed down from day use. At the end of the day, it took our slowest group member about 4 hours to make it to the hut and that included many breaks for photos, lunch, and even a long chat with a local from Aspen who was taking his fat tire snow bike for a day ride.

One of the more surprising items to note is that the trail really is not as exposed as other reports claim it to be. We were expecting to be in extreme avalanche country the entire way based on what others had written but in reality, there are really only 4-5 big areas to look out for and they are up towards the top of the hike. Most of the trip included very large, steep mountains on both sides of the trail with very obvious avalanche chute outcroppings but the chances of the slides making their way to you while on the trail would seem unlikely as they would have to cross a very deep river basin first. However, that being said, as you get closer to the top, there are a few spots where you need to pay attention to your surroundings because you will be crossing some very exposed areas. So, the danger is there but it is not the entire way – maybe a just half of the way.

The Tagert Hut being smaller than most, it did not offer the super cool wood burning cooking stoves that you find at Jackal Hut and others but what the hut lacked in creature comforts, it made up for in sound construction. The Tagert hut is probably the best hut I have ever experienced when it comes to insulation – there was not one draft coming into that building. In fact, just after dinner, we had to kill the wood stove. It was just too hot inside. We didn’t relight the woodstove until the morning and it was mainly to help prep the cabin for the next guest. Speaking of dinner, We pre-made a Brunswick Stew and vacuumed sealed individual rations. It made for easy clean-up which is important on a guys trip. We also made Jell-O Shots and shared them with the group that was over at the Green-Wilson Hut. For breakfast we had pre-made Scottish eggs with gravy.

Normally when I participate in hut trips, I try to keep the group together and work as team for safety reasons while ascending/descending on the trail. In the case of this trip, the weather and snow conditions were so perfect that the descent became more of a free-for-all. Some of us left on downhill skis and others went at their own pace on their cross-country set-ups and a few of us slowly meandered our way down on our snowshoes. It took about 1 hour for the slowest person in our group to make it back down to the car.

For being the first hut trip of the season for us, I thought the trip to Tagert Hut was a success. We got lucky on weather and avalanche conditions. Even though each of us had a shovel, probe, and transceiver, I question how truly ready were to use them. If you’re going to Tagert in the winter months, I would also warn you that the propane line that is feeding the table top stove is a little finicky when the temperature drops below 15. If you would like to see a detailed map of the route we took, please visit our Colorado map and find “Tagert Hut” under the Trails Menu. Trails > Huts > Tagert Hut.

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Top 3 places to ride Snowmobiles and Timbersleds in 2016

Top 3 places to ride Snowmobiles and Timbersleds in 2016.

Wondering where to go ride in Colorado? We already know that on New Years Day any place with the name “Vail” in the title is going to be super busy and this includes Vail Pass Colorado. So where can you go with your Snowmobiles and Snow Bikes (Timbersleds) to avoid the heavy crowds on New Years Day and throughout the 2016 winter season? After careful consideration, we have compiled a list from our own experiences over the past 15 years.

#1. Sylvan Lakes Colorado

Located just west of Vail and South East of Eagle and known as a popular summer destination for paddle boarders, campers, and travelers looking to take the back roads to Aspen, the Sylvan Lake Region offers enough open space to keep you exploring for days. Most of the area is comprised of rolling hills, thick forest, and high alpine terrain with a few steep pitches to be weary of. There is even a canyon of sorts that cuts through the middle. The region is a popular destination for a few local riders but is far enough away from the front range of Colorado to keep the masses from charging the snow in full force.  One disadvantage of the Sylvan Lakes Region is its distance from any gas or service stations. Those of you on TImbersleds will want to top off your spare tank before heading out and for those of you with snowmobiles, you will want to have a spare can in your truck. The town of Eagle is known for having the worst cell phone and internet coverage in Eagle County and by the time you reach your destination at Sylvan Lake, you will be officially off-the-grid so plan accordingly with GPS devices, maps and always let others know that you will be in the area and when.

#2. Montezuma Colorado

You can’t go wrong with Montezuma. Though it is a small open space to ride through, it just isn’t on most people’s radar. Lets face it, if you’re from the front range of Colorado and spent a few hours in skier traffic, you’re probably not willing to make the U-turn off the highway to double-back through Keystone and up to Montezuma – you most likely already have your plans in place for either Vail Pass or Rabbit Ears Pass. For those of you in Vail, it may just look like too far of a drive and why would you take an extra hour to get there when you can just pull off on the pass? Well, it’s for those two reasons that make Montezuma one of my top choices. Much like Sylvan Lakes, it stays relatively quiet no matter the time of season. The one down side is that even though the area is big in terms of square acres, the available space to ride is really only enough to keep you occupied for about a day. Most of the riding is through narrow valleys and the mountain peaks are too steep to climb which can also make the region a high avalanche risk so you must check the conditions before heading out. Just like the Sylvan Lake Region you will be completely off-the-grid by the time you pass Keystone and your last chance for gas is in the town of Keystone. There used to be a general store in Montezuma where you could purchase food rations and fuel but we’re sorry to say that the shop closed down a few years ago.  As for scenery, you really can’t beat having two of Colorado’s most popular 14ers (Grays and Torrey’s) as your backdrop.

#3. South Glenwood Springs

I actually discovered this area on a cross country skiing trip. We were spending the day up behind Ski Sunlight and in the distance I could hear the sounds of Braap Braaaap Braaaaaap. Once I returned home I immediately looked at the White River National Forest Open Space Map and sure enough the region is designated for recreational motor vehicle use. It’s an open and relatively flat area of land which is great for those of you heading out on a snow bike (timbersled) for the first time or for those of you who really want a chance to open up the throttle on an RMK800. The hardest part about the region is just getting to it. Navigating the slow roads of Glenwood Springs you need to get on 4 Mile Road (117) at the south end of town. If you miss the cut-off you will have to circle back in often times heavy Pitkin County traffic. Once you get on 4 Mile Road you just need to pay attention as there is a split right before Ski Sunlight. Take the split and you will loop around the ski area on the north side. As you head up the road you will see people parked along the road. DO NOT park too early on the road – the designated open space does not begin until you reach the main parking area a few miles up. The parked cars you see early on are either out cross country skiing or breaking the forest rules thereby eventually ruining it for the rest of us. Please always follow the forest service guidelines so we can keep our open spaces, open. Once you find the main entrance, you will see powder fields in every direction. Again, you will be off-the-grid at this point so have a map ready but you will quickly learn why this location is worth the drive.

If you’re looking to head out into any of these regions, be sure to give us a call so that we can get you set up with your equipment early in the morning thereby giving you plenty of time to get to your chosen location. If you are going to any of these regions, or heck, any region at all in Colorado, we highly recommend that you bring proper avalanche safety gear, extra fuel, food, water, maps, and proper attire – always avoid cotton.

Braaaaaaapy 2016 everyone and we look forward to seeing you out in the snow.

Timbersled Review

Timbersled Review : From a Greenhorn

ap·pre·hen·sive

Adjective

  1. 1. anxious or fearful that something bad or unpleasant will happen.

Source: Google – When is Google ever wrong?

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Apprehensive is a good word to describe the start to my day. Not only was I about to ride a 2016 KTM500 with a Timbersled Mountain Horse Short Track for the first time, I was also going to have to do it with only a few random years of Dirt Biking under my belt. My dirt bike expeditions have mostly consisted of riding a Sherpa 250 through the mountain back roads on multi-day camping trips; completely different riding style than being on a KTM 500 in the snow. Beyond sporting a “Greenhorn” status, I was also a bit fearful of breaking the new toys on day 1. Apprehension aside, I woke up with a choice; go take my chances on a Timbersled or stay at home and take my chances with a sick wife (She had a cold)… So, like any good husband, I packed up my gear, checked my life insurance policy and bolted for the door.

We arrived at the Colorado, Vail Pass Recreation area around 9:30am. Our goal was to get home in time to watch the Broncos because to be honest, we at Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals have our priorities. The Parking area for sleds was almost full due to the new snow, blue skies, and the fact that the U.S. Forest Service hadn’t yet started to charge for parking; living in an area where the local ski resort charges $30 to park makes any chance at doing something fun with free parking a big upsell.

Once the machines were unloaded, we chose who should ride what. Spencer, being a long time snowmobile guide thought it best for me to start on the Polaris RMK800 Pro Snowmobile until we were far enough out to where he could make a proper judgement call; that the terrain was suitable for a newbie. So. With that. My day on the KTM 500 Timbersled began.

First things first. The beauty of Vail Pass is that unlike the local Colorado Ski Resorts, Vail Pass is not covered in “slow zone” signs, “hazard” sticks and “no fun zones.” The U.S. Forest Service has their rules on Vail Pass and as long as you respect their wishes, you basically have your own mountain region to explore and explore we did. In fact, aside from allowing me to do a Timbersled Review, one of our main reasons for choosing today of all days to ride was so that we could check snow depths and make sure Vail Pass Colorado was ready to ride – so we explored every inch.

I’ve guided my fair share of hut trips, rafts, backpacking expeditions etc but those are all on foot and/or water and are based more on survival tactics – not mechanics. In the end, I’m just a computer geek with an art background so I needed some learning put on me. Spencer gave me a full run through no differently than he would for a client. After the initial review of how everything works, the first thing that stood out to me was the reason behind using the Rekluse Cluth System. This is an aftermarket system that essentially alleviates the need to shift using the clutch on the handlebars. Instead, you just let off the gas when you’re ready to click through the gears. This little addition makes all the difference in the world to a novice rider; you instantly remove one more item that you have to think about. Beyond the clutch, what also stood out was the stability of the machine. The Timbersled Mountain Horse Short track is just wide enough to keep the bike upright with very little effort and once you’re in motion, you barely notice that you are riding a dirt bike.

We rode around on some pack/slightly packed trails just so I could get a hang of the machine and learn how it handles. Again, my experience is on smaller 250’s so the size of the KTM 500 took some getting used to; much taller the Sherpa 250. After a few out and backs, I was feeling fairly confident. We started to venture off into the powder fields on Vail Pass and begin our day of depth inspections.

When I first mentioned these Timbersleds to others who have knowledge in the rental industry, the first response was always “oh, I’ve seen those, they don’t look like they will handle powder at all” or “Seems like they would just sink.” Those people have since been proven to be clueless. These 2016 KTM 500’s with the Timbersled setups  float through the powder and the ease of use makes them so much more fun for a novice rider in comparison to a snowmobile in the powder. I personally was surprised at how easy it was to turn them in the powder even though I admittedly had to bail a few times. However, once I got the hang of it; the turning, the balance, and the overall control of the bike was more user-friendly to an unskilled rider than a snowmobile could ever hope to be. Don’t, get me wrong, I love snowmobiles but I think these are the future of back country travel. It’s even worth noting the agile maneuverability that they offered through the tight trees and around hazards such as exposed rocks and stumps. The real trick was learning when to be aggressive on the bike – steep climbs require you to throttle down and go for it. 2nd and 3rd gears were my bread-and-butter for climbing while being in a standing position – I’m not sure if that is correct but it seemed to work. The other issue to note is the point in time when the bike begins to dip on you. Every once in a while I would feel the bike begin to sink on the front ski and it felt as though I was sure to fall over. However, with just a quick turn of the throttle, the bike rights itself instantly going from a surefire falling over, getting stuck situation to being on plane and moving over the surface again.

All-in-all. The Timbersled took about 15-20 minutes to really get the hang of and after that, you’re off and cruising. The bikes look intimidating or as a friend recently said on facebook, “slight terrifying” but in actuality, they are anything but. I’m looking forward to getting my wife on one who has even less experience than I do when it comes to riding dirt bikes but I believe that she will get the hang of it just as quickly as I’m sure most anyone would who truly wants to give it a go.

The day ended about an hour after we had planned but thankfully the Denver Broncos were already beating the Chicago Bears. We also had to spend a few minutes and explain to all of the passerby’s what this machine was that they had never seen before – it gave us instant street cred…

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