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Old 05-09-2016, 02:39 PM   #15
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Im with Yoda on his track. 160 as he mentioned once done in South Fork, Pagosa Springs, Durango area Mesa Verde would be on my list, Monument Valley is not too far south out of the way but depending on route across could mean an extra 200 miles since you are heading north. Then head north up to Moab. You can spend some time there pretty much as long as you wanted in Moab, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP both Needles and Island in the Sky districts, Dead Horse Point State Park all have some wheel chair accessibility (Needles district has little in that way but might be worth the drive for the scenery. The Schaefer trail down from Island in the Sky is 4x4 but easy peasy a high clearance car can make it puts you back in Moab when done. Then up to 70 to 6 to Price (has a nice prehistoric Museum) and Salt Lake City then your choice to get to Yellowstone, southern or western entrance depending on route taken. A side way to get to Price would be take 70 west across the Swell to highway 10. 70 will take you up the San Rafael Reef and across San Rafael Swell. Some of the best eyeball busting scenery around anywhere. Hwy 10 will get you to Price it just starts on the other side of the Swell and then sort of diagonals back across the Swell so it probably adds 30 or so miles to get to Price but the scenery is worth it you can take the Moore cutoff at exit 116 I think it is that will save 10 miles good road and scenic as well. The Reef is steep climb up to get up but you are on I 70 so it is good road but worth it

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Old 05-10-2016, 02:44 PM   #16
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Take 160 across. Great things to see in Pagosa springs, Durango, Mesa Verde, Cortez. You can turn north from there and head up to Moab, Arches NP and Canyonland NP. ALL worth a couple days exploration.

Roads are good. Will be busy so make reservations, it is high season.

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Old 05-10-2016, 07:51 PM   #17
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Definitely the southern route via Pagosa Springs, Durango, Silverton, Ouray. Beautiful country!
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Old 05-14-2016, 01:18 AM   #18
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Another vote for 160. We made the trip from NE Ohio back in 2006. We hit all the spots mentioned by Larrikin. Our first stop was Pikes Peak. After Moab/Arches we went to Bryce and Zion, then to Grand Canyon (both north and south rims) before heading back east. It was a month long trip. Can't wait to hit all the spots again, now that we have more time. Have a great trip!!!
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:12 AM   #19
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We've done i70 multiple times with our Navion pulling a Wrangler. Doable, but not much oomph going up the passes. In early June, we've had snow in the passes about half the time. RMNP hasn't been crowded in June when we visited, we think it's a good time to visit. Colorado state parks are great, a little pricy, the National Forest Campgrounds are great too...but more limited to the rig size. Jealous...we're not heading west til the fall. Enjoy!
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:52 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by irene67 View Post
We are planning a cross country trip in June (yeah....4 weeks from now). But I should use the word "planning" lightly. We are GOING, but we have few actual "plans". We have a 37' MH and are pulling a 4WD toad.

What we want to do is set up a tentative route and then just play a lot of it by ear. If we like an area, we may stay longer, if not, we will move on.

We are starting in PA - quickly running through IN, MO, KS (just quick overnights) and then slowing down once we hit the mountains.

We are not planning on seeing ALL of every state. And we have 3 kids, one of which is in a wheelchair. We are mostly just planning on finding a NICE place to camp and then take our toad for day trips.

So the option:

1.. I 70 and hit Rocky Mtn park? - the fact that we would be by Denver and I am sure that area is very popular isn't a plus. We MUCH prefer quiet and remote.

There are many discussions on RMNP and Denver - we seldom do more than Drive through Estes, as it is just too crowded. BUT it is interesting and Beautiful - if you wanted something out of the way on the east side look into Lyons they have a small city park on the way to Estes that is right on the River and in town, if you call you might just get a spot - and it might meet your needs - quiet and in the mountains with beautiful drives and Hikes.

2. Or do we take 50 across the center of the state?

As you will read in the long post I am into coming into Denver/Golden - this will get you into the middle of the state allowing you to see more. JMHO

3. Or go south and see the San Juan forest area/Durango? Which, in the research I have done, looks like a really pretty area.

Again - IMHO - Durango is too crowded - but head to Lake City - Ouray - Telluride - you will be rewarded (Silverton also but check on the stories of Rt 550) just up the Road is Crested Butte, and it will meet many of your expectations.

4. Or - any other suggestions would be welcomed! - see long post at the end.

Things to consider - how popular are each of these areas, meaning how hard will it be to find a nice campground along the way without reservations.

We have never made reservations, but we will try to be smart in the "seasons" the state parks are awesome in Colorado but good luck on the weekends, Sunday through Thursday then find something on the edges or Boondock.

We do have the Mountain directory but choosing a "less hazardous" route would be a benefit considering this is our first MH trip.

Our next stop after CO is Utah and we will be going north then up to the Yellowstone.

When you are getting ready for Utah (HOT in the summer) post again - IMHO it is a shoulder season state, unless at altitude.

Here is a LONG post I did on another Forum,

Here you go from an older post;

In my first dozen plus trips to Colorado I usually traveled to RMNP and Colorado Springs. Having spent most of my life either on the left coast or the right coast I actually only did the touristy drive through when going from one coast to the other. I never really was able to spend much time just being immersed in the culture or the people and land of the state. Having seen the Coors commercials I was under the impression that Golden was a town located deep in the Rockies – not just 15 minutes from downtown Denver, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered this. In the 90’s my son was invited to Vail for a July 4th sports tournament, so we visited every summer while he was in College, arriving in Vail from, Colorado Springs – Albuquerque – and Salt Lake – Denver – Giving me an opportunity to learn a little about the state and the many drives/areas it offers, this started to Open my eyes, exposing me to the many attractions and so much more about the state. Then when my son moved there in 2002 and I discovered that I had only scratched the surface and would spend the next 5 years learning more about the state.

With my truth in a very limited -knowledge, on the state of Colorado I will move forward with my personal suggestions for a week (Or month) or two in Colorado – a sort of 7-17 days to see the state. You need to Understand that I believe this is one of the last great Wild Places in the US, and is IMHO a National Park, once you hit the Foothills. You need to set aside twice the time you think if you really want to, enjoy, see, touch, Love this state the way it deserves. If you take the time, you will return again and again – Discovering that it has just so many surprises – all of which just continue to amaze me.

So let’s start at the obvious spot, Denver/ Golden – you could start with a tour of the Coors brewery catch dinner in the town and then have a great walk along Clear Creek, you will need a little planning to get a site in the CG (Clear Creek CG) as it has now been Discovered and is normally FULL. (an option is JeffCoFairgrounds). Because I have 4 Granddaughters in Colorado and this is the closest CG I am slightly biased as to how great it is. It is within walking distance of – restaurants/Main Street – Community Center – Library – Coors – Downtown Golden.

Peak to Peak drive is the next thing I would insist that you experience – for me I would base camp in Golden and make this drive a couple of times, or make the loop across Trail Ridge and Berthoud Pass – not a drive for the faint of heart (In the RV) as both offer switch backs and areas free from guard rails on some very impressive grades to get over and down from these Passes.(the reason for the base camp is to allow a couple of good drives. (Peak to Peak and Trail Ridge) Along with these drives are an unlimited number of areas to take great hikes – just do a quick search and you will not be disappointed, almost every jurisdiction will have dedicated Open Space areas with great trails /hikes.

Most people will start in Rocky Mountain NP – I am sure most are aware of the Pine Beetle Kill – it has decimated the beautiful green forest of RMNP – making it a very different trip from what it was just 5-6 years ago. Still it is RMNP and it does have some very impressive natural features and hikes to offer. IMHO Estes is (the east side of the park – where most visit) just not that attractive in the tourist season. (a personal Bias as I tend to go where and when the crowds are not) The Camp Grounds leave much to be desired and the town is much too crowded for my personal taste. With that said I love to visit and spend time on the other side of the park – WEST- at Grand Lake a smaller town with still a sort of quaint feel about it, much more family oriented and not nearly as crowded. The drive from one side of the park to the other over Trail Ridge is not to be missed – the many hiking areas away from the crowds are many and varied – from Longs Peaks- 14,000’+ to many of the hikes to lesser known peaks and lakes, more than enough to spend the entire trip on and only scratch the surface. ( if you were to drive over Trail Ridge you could make a quick run to The Steamboat area –Lakes –Town - State Parks – just lots to see and do in this area then just head down to Dillon and pick up there)

Leaving Golden I would head out Rt 6, driving along Clear Creek to Idaho Springs and the entrance onto I-70 going through the tunnel (actually a number of tunnels – 6?) and getting off on at Rt 91 and heading to Leadville, Highest incorporated Town in the US 10,000’and home of Quincy's Steak House for a Leadville dinner. Turquoise Lake, 4X4 trails, historic town, and base for a day trip over Independence Pass and a dash to Maroon Bells in Aspen. This trip is good anytime the pass is open but is truly spectacular in the last week of September when the Aspen turn GOLD. (this is taken in the Toad or TV as it is a restricted length road)

From Leadville down to Buena Vista – home of the Arkansas River Rafting adventures – great in the early summer with the snow melt. If you have missed the rafting at its peak, not to worry, as the trails and drives in the Collegiate Peaks are again very special, you can get all the way over to Crested Butte – a very neat little ski town – by 4X4 or gravel road. (Home of Bud Light commercials and Crystal Mill)

Just a note here – the beetle kill is starting to leave its mark in this part of the state – so my advice is to see it NOW, before it changes forever.

If you are into crossing National Parks off a list then the next destination would be Great Sand Dunes NP, this could be a Toad drive or a stop but unless you just love sand in your shoes you see most of it pretty quickly.

Now for some difficult decisions – Gunnison area – Lake City – Ouray – Silverton – Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP – Gunnison Lake – Fly Fishing Hikes and 4X4 trails that are hard to believe if you have the time all of the afore mentioned areas are special. Gunnison is the center geographically, and will allow you to resupply, Lake City – wild – beautiful – isolated – 4x4 trails – Ouray – must see – the Alps in Colorado – hot Springs – Hikes Drives – Silverton – the middle of the San Juan’s – many of the 4x4 trails will bring you here – just a great area – Black Canyon – Surprising! – must see – on and on as you travel in this area. Notice I have left out mesa Verde and Durango, so you certainly should/could include these, as both are interesting, just – for me again Durango is too Large/crowded – mesa Verde is IMHO more of a to be included in Utah, and can be seen in a later time of year when the rest of Colorado is immersed in Winter.

Lake City – Just a special little town that still has a western charm that is hard to match – 4X4 trails to die for – hikes – lakes – 14ers – fish – Creede and on and on – it is just located in something close to an unspoiled paradise. JMHO.

Ouray or Ridgeview SP – would be the logical base camp choice – central location – hot springs – CG – Near Silverton – more trails – Telluride just over the mountain – Hikes -- 4X4 trails just a great location and neat little town/area

Silverton – in the middle of it all – if you are really into the back country this might just be for you – they have CG’s in town but you can easily Boondock in the NF – train – 4X4 trails – quaint – beautiful – but isolated.

Now if the weather is really cool you can always bounce over to Utah and warm up if it’s great and if you need more Colorado head up to Delta and Rt 133, catch Marble and Redstone before getting back on I-70 two interesting areas with neat little histories. If you did not get over to Maroon Bells catch it now – this is a great treat that I will never visit too often.

Now if you are headed west just follow the route into Moab – if you are headed back to Denver just take I-70 back – the over and under highway along the Colorado River just East of Glenwood Springs is considered one of the most beautiful parts on the Interstate Highway system and it will head through Vail and right back into Denver – If you can remember to get off at the exit (exit 243) just east of Idaho Springs you can take Rt 6 back to Rt 58 into the City.

The other Option, if you are headed South is to head down to Mesa Verde NP/Cortez by using Rt 145 or through Silverton Rt 550 to Durango and over (Note that 550 is a road that some love and other just think everyone should stay off -- I’ll drive it every time I have a chance but google it to see pictures)

The other popular option is to head to Utah – either from Grand Junction (Colorado Monument) or 141 or 90 over to Rt 191 – if you take I-70 try to remember to get off at exit 214 then follow Rt 128 into Moab –just a Special Drive.

Well that’ my welcome to Colorado Loop – just to drive it and only “see” most of it would take the week and just not be fair but if you really push, it can get you into the state so you return Often to Hike – Bike – Drive, many of the wild and Beautiful areas that are offered. Or you can take your time spending weeks in every location and still return to discover more adventures.

Hope this helps to get your interest up for Colorado.


Note: this is just a Taste of Colorado - we have left out Steamboat - Vernal - and so much of the Rockies that just make it special - but you will return again and again discovering more on every trip.
Arnold, MD - and - Superior, CO
2005 Travel Supreme 42DS04
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:32 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by NRF View Post
Definitely the southern route via Pagosa Springs, Durango, Silverton, Ouray. Beautiful country!
Beautiful area. A little comedy here, but you can see part of the road up and into the Pagosa Springs area.

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Old 05-15-2016, 04:08 PM   #22
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Some of my experiences are in this trip report:

6 weeks on the road - Visiting Colorado

Don't miss the Durango - Silverton RR,

Mesa Verde is magical.

Our stay at Priest Gulch Rv Campground, on CO 145 between Cortez and Telluride, was one of our best camping experiences.
Home - Priest Gulch Campground, RV Park, and Cabins
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:39 AM   #23
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I've lived in Colorado since 1981 (born and raised in Illinois), first four years in Grand Junction, and in Denver since then.

I side with the folks who are telling you to go the southern route (Rt. 160). You will not regret it. Wolf Creek Pass is spectacular, Pagosa Springs is gorgeous, and the Durango/Cortez area has something for everyone, from high alpine scenery to red rock canyons to Ancestral Puebloan ruins (Mesa Verde National Park will do all it can to accommodate someone in a wheelchair). Don't forget the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railway departing from the small town of Antonito and traveling to Chama, New Mexico. If you saw the Indiana Jones, Holy Grail movie, you saw a chase scene involving a steam engine train at the beginning of the movie. That's the Cumbres & Toltec RR. Not as famous as the Durango & Silverton train, but still very beautiful (I've done both trains).

I live within an hour of Rocky Mountain National Park and it is beautiful. But it is crowded, it's tough to get a campground reservation unless you plan months in advance, and I'd never go over Trail Ridge Road (the east/west road across the park) in my coach. I've driven it countless times in a car or truck and it's an adventure in a regular vehicle. Even if you're a great driver, you have to put up with all the foolish drivers in a place where you need to be pretty careful.

You won't regret doing Route 160.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:16 AM   #24
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From another Coloradan-the southwest is spectacular! Lived in Denver for 30 yrs. and now on the "Other side of the Divide". Stay off of I70 You have already seen interstates! Other routes that have already been mentioned are worth the drive. Unless you are experienced with mountain driving, Wolf Creek Pass can be memorable and not for the best reason ! Don't do it in the MH. Take the toad. Then it will be spectacular and memorable.
All the other sites that have already been mentioned are more than worth seeing. Colorado is an experience in itself. Enjoy it and you will never be sorry. I'll wave as I see you drive by. Lynn
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:25 AM   #25
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As others said there are some beautiful sites in CO. Check the weather - there's a huge storm moving through right now and certainly still snowing up high. I highly recommend La Mesa campground in Cortez. There's also a camper friendly walmart there. There's an excellent campground in Montrose. Fruita has a free dump station. Grand Junction has lots of shopping, rv stores and good rv parks

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