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Old 05-03-2016, 02:41 PM   #1
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Crossing Colorado in June - which east to west route?

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.

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

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.

4. Or - any other suggestions would be welcomed!

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 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.

Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:16 PM   #2
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What size RV will you have?

We're partial to Hwy 50 or 160 across Colorado. It just depends what you want to see and do. June will still be kind of early for vacationing families - July to mid-August is the prime time so I think you'll be o.k. in finding campgrounds.

Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park has become a zoo although it's nice to see. Being so close to Denver and other big cities it gets very crowded and campsites are hard to come by.

Where in Utah are you planning to visit? It seems like you'll be doing some unnecessary driving if coming into Colorado then going down to Utah and then up to Wyoming. Can you route to head south to the Utah parks first, then into Colorado, then Wyoming?
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:27 PM   #3
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irene67; twogypsies , is looking for your coach info in a signature line, he missed the 37' motor home, in the text of your post. .

To set up a signature line , click the " Quick Links " drop box below your welcome message, then click " Edit Signature " type in your coach info and click " save " at the bottom of the page. The info will automatically appear below your posts as mine does below this one; and you wont have to re-type it every time you post.
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:52 AM   #4
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Living in CO for many years and now UT my recommendations would not
to take I-70 with a RV.

If you wish to go up to RMNP then I would go North on I-25 to Loveland then
go West to RMNP. After you visit the park and will be moving westward I would go North to WY and take 80 West down into Utah.
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gazingm42 View Post
Living in CO for many years and now UT my recommendations would not
to take I-70 with a RV.

If you wish to go up to RMNP then I would go North on I-25 to Loveland then
go West to RMNP. After you visit the park and will be moving westward I would go North to WY and take 80 West down into Utah.

Can I ask why - Traffic/crowds? Or the hills/grades?

thanks!
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
irene67; twogypsies , is looking for your coach info in a signature line, he missed the 37' motor home, in the text of your post. .

To set up a signature line , click the " Quick Links " drop box below your welcome message, then click " Edit Signature " type in your coach info and click " save " at the bottom of the page. The info will automatically appear below your posts as mine does below this one; and you wont have to re-type it every time you post.
Thank you! I just did that - not showing up....maybe it takes a little while to update.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:21 AM   #7
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Watch the weather. We hit a pretty heavy snow the 2nd week of June one year coming out of the Eisenhower tunnel traveling east to west. We were on a bike at the time and certainly weren't dressed for it. I was literally reaching over the windshield to wipe off the accumulation. It definitely added to the pucker factor, but luckily we found a hotel pretty quickly.
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Old 05-07-2016, 02:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irene67 View Post
Can I ask why - Traffic/crowds? Or the hills/grades?

thanks!
Based on experience the grade over the hill on both sides of the tunnel
is not kind to RV travelers. I have had issues years ago coming back
down the back side of the tunnel toward Utah. When the wind picked up
and made if very difficult. While wind is not uncommon in WY and have
never had issues on I-80 as I have experienced on I-70

In the 2nd week in June you can still experience at the higher elevations
of I-70.

You will need to travel in elevation on I-80 about 3000 feet less. As I recall the highest elevation on I-70 in WY is about 8500 ft. While I-70
in CO is over 11,000 ft.
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:59 AM   #9
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Its really a question only you can answer, depending on your preferences and priorities.
If you're driving across the country to see Colorado, I wouldn't route you into Wy before you've seen Colorado.
Any E-W route through Co will involve some steep up & down.
First decide how important it is to you to see RMNP, cause that kind of dictates your other options. RMNP forces you to the northern route or requires back tracking to the south. Trail Ridge Rd to the other side of the park may not be open yet in early June and its not an easy drive for a novice in the mountains.
Unless RMNP is your top priority, I would stick to either I-70 with lots of side trips off of I-70 along the way; or US 50 or US 160. If you're headed north to the Tetons & Yellowstone next, it may not make sense to go so far south for the US 160 route. It really comes down to what you want to see, how far out of your way will you go just to see a certain area. Those 3 routes (70, 50, 160) are all easy drives in good summer weather conditions. But all 3 also involve some steep sections.
Although its true that we sometimes get summer snow storms, we usually know well in advance when a storm is approaching, the snow only falls on the high passes over 10,000 ft, and the snow is gone in 4 hrs when the sun comes back out. so it usually just means stopping for the night before going over a pass, to let the storm move through.
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:09 AM   #10
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160 is the way! With the exception of the Alamosa area, it is the more scenic and relaxing route. It has many campgrounds and nice small towns along the way.
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:59 AM   #11
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160 is the way! With the exception of the Alamosa area, it is the more scenic and relaxing route. It has many campgrounds and nice small towns along the way.
Thank you! I was just spending some time researching this morning and I think 160 does sound perfect for us. Plus then we can go right into Utah to Moab which looks fairly simple.

And relaxation, small towns, beautiful scenery and many campgrounds sounds absolutely PERFECT.
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:06 PM   #12
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Option 3 is best. I live in Durango - nice KOA just east of town on US160. Lots of ways to get here, but scenic if you coming across on I-70 would be turn off at Limon on US24 to Colorado Springs. Stay on US24 to Buena Vista then head south to 160 on 285. Take the short cut at Center over to Del Norte then 160 west. Lots of good NFS camp grounds west of there over Wolf Creek to Pagosa and Durango. All good road. In Durango be sure to drive north on US 550 to see Red Mountain Pass (not in the RV ) The train is fun too. From Durango headed west you have lots of options like Arches, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, or my favorite Brice and Zion. Zion would be great as they are fully ADA. Be sure to consider Monument Valley in NM as a route too.

Hope this helps
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:20 PM   #13
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When I've gone to Colorado from Illinois I normally take 80 across Nebraska, that way you about Denver.

We're going in that direction in late August but skipping Rocky Mountain National Park on our way to Yellowstone. Instead I'm looking at taking 90 across South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore and then on to Yellowstone and Teton. From there were not sure if we'll go south into Utah or head it to the west coast.
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:34 PM   #14
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My vote is for highway 160 across Co. Pagosa springs has the hot springs baths and the narrow gage RR out of Durango to Silverton, very scenic and remote. Just before Wolf creek pass you can take a side trip up to Creede. It's an old mining community and also very scenic with an RV park on the banks of the Rio Grand headwaters.
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