In the winter it's different. The road on the west side is only open for 11 miles; less than that on the east side. The backcountry is buried in snow. The animals are elusive. In other words, a perfect time for locals to go.
I put on my snowshoes at the road closure. From here, people can ski, walk or snowshoe on the road, which usually closes in September or October and won't open until mid-June at the earliest. When the snow melts in the spring, all the bikes come out.
The road winds along the creek and underneath jagged peaks.