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The Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Fall Color Tour is entering its twenty-second year as it returns September 19 through the 24. The tour is self-guided. Access to daily rides requires trailering OHVs to trailheads. Interested participants can register online.

The ghost town of Vicksburg on the tail end of fall colors in 2022. Photo by Jeannette Winchell

Registration options include the $140 “Color Tour”, which provides breakfast Wednesday through Friday and dinner on Friday. The $150 “Color Tour Plus,” adds breakfast on Saturday.

The registration fee includes a Public Lands Access Pass, one event t-shirt if registered by September 9, pizza and beer at the Tuesday registration event, Friday night dinner, daily drawings with prizes from local businesses, and a photo contest with the winner announced at the Friday dinner.

The event begins with evening registration from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 19 at the “packet pick-up.” Participants will receive detailed information and any tickets needed through the week, t-shirts, and other supplies. One-on-one briefings are offered during this time to answer questions.

Each morning breakfast will be served at a location that is yet to be determined. At breakfast, participants will sign up for their choice of the available rides. The ride list will change each day.

No more than fifty riders are allowed on the same trail. There are no guides for the route and the tour is self-paced. Each route will have a volunteer as a front-riding escort to answer questions and ensure safety.

On Friday, September 22, the Buena Vista (BV) Chamber will host all participants for a catered dinner with live music. The dinner will feature giveaways, drawings, and other activities. Breakfast Wednesday through Saturday will be available at the American Legion Post 55 (338 North Railroad St, Buena Vista).

The Color Tour is hosted by the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce and operated with permits from the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Most participants ride ATVs, side-by-side UTVs, or off-road vehicles. Those in a group hoping to ride an OHV motorcycle may do so as long as they ride with the group.

Fall colors near the ghost town of Winfield. Photo by Carly Winchell.

The event trails can be ridden by an “appropriate” OHV motorcycle, such as Enduro or Motocross bikes and some Dual Sport bikes. The trails are not recommended for bikes bigger or heavier than a Suzuki DRZ 400. OHV motorcycles are not required to be street-legal.

Participants can receive 50 percent off the “OHV’ing in 14er Country” guide back from the Chamber. The guide contains maps, details of routes, safety information, and history about the locations.

It is recommended that participants dress in layers and bring rain gear to plan for changing conditions. Participants should also bring an emergency repair kit, food, water, warm clothing, an area map and guide, flashlight, and sunscreen.

According to the Chamber’s website, some OHV’s with engines that use carburetors may experience problems due to high altitude unless they are properly jetted. Fuel injected engines typically do not experience these issues if in good working order.

Colorado law requires all non-licensed vehicles using OHV trails to display a current OHV permit, which is available for purchase at Timberline Motorsports (29770 U.S .24, Buena Vista). The cost is $25.25. State permit information is available online.