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Davis Mountains Classic Professional Review and Guide
"This spectacular tour follows a course known locally only as the Scenic Loop. The Scenic Loop provides one of the most dramatic and challenging bicycle routes in Texas. Virtually the entire ride takes place at an altitude higher than a mile, with views toward some of the state's highest mountain peaks. A 2-mile side road on Mount Locke leading to the McDonald Observatory ends at the highest point on Texas highways. The ride passes through countryside containing all the variety west Texas has to offer. This is a tour of beautiful vistas that include mountain passes, deep canyons, open range, and hilly pastures. Abundant wildlife is in evidence throughout the year, and wild boars are used to having these roads to themselves. Riders on this course should be fully self-sufficient for food and spare parts. Terrain: first half is mountainous; second half is flat to slightly rolling. Road: two-lane state roads have shoulders up to the McDonald Observatory but no shoulders thereafter. Past the observatory, traffic is very light. This can be a very isolated route."
--Andy White, Best Bike Rides in Texas (The Globe Pequot Press).
the first section of the road from ft. davis to the mcdonald observatory has a shoulder and the road conditions are excellent. there is a gradual climb through limpia canyon with a steeper more sustained climb near the observatory peak. after the observatory entrance the road is less traveled and features more descents and climbs. if you are looking for a shorter version of the ride just go to the observatory and back (approx. 26 miles). plan your trip when there is a star party and add that to your trip. davis is over 5000 ft. elevation so the weather is usually dry and more pleasant that other texas destinations but i suggest october as a good month to go. good places to stay are either at davis mountains state park, camping or at the lodge. or...the limpia hotel in town. the best place to eat is the limpia hotel dining room. you can also eat at the dry bean or at indian lodge in the state park.
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