Lemon – 26.9 miles/2178ft Elev, 1.5-2.5hr
Vallecito – 39.4 miles/3006ft Elev, 2-3.5hr
These from town standards start east on County Road 240, Florida Rd, going east toward the Florida and Pine River valleys. The ride has some sweeping vistas in and out of the Pine forests. The road has a good shoulder for the first part then varies from good to none with some rough patches of pavement. The first 3 miles of the ride climbs Edgemont hill to the Florida river and consistently rolls and climbs another 9 miles to Helen’s Store corner.
Keeping left on CR 243 takes riders up a steep 3-mile climb, 10%+ at times, to Lemon Dam. The pavement ends and many riders turn around here but the gravel road continues on for a few more miles and is rideable for a confident rider. The return route back to Durango takes advantage of all the climbing accomplished with a couple punchy climbs before the long drop down from Edgemont.
Keeping right on CR 240 at Helen’s store takes you up a short climb before dropping into the Pine River Valley and CR 501. Use caution as the stop sign at CR501 comes up quickly and it can be gravelly/slick as you approach then turn left. The road rolls though some beautiful country before reaching Vallecito Dam and Reservoir. A good turnaround point is at the top of the dam by turning left on CR 603 once you see the dam on your left. The return trip rolls easily back down CR 510 before turning left on CR 240 and the long climb back to Helen’s store. From there it is generally downhill with a couple of punchers before the final descent from Edgemont.
- Adding a Half Valley ride to the Lemon ride is a nice distance addition.
- To add more climbing and distance to the Vallecito ride you can add the Lemon climb outbound or inbound and/or follow CR 501 all the way to the north end of Vallecito Reservoir before turning around.