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Old 05-12-2017, 05:11 AM   #1
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Southern Colorado Suggestions

We're planning another trip out west and are thinking we would like to see more of Colorado. We've been to RMNP but understand the lower part of the state has a lot to offer. We would be coming off I-80 somewhere west of North Platte, NE and down to Colorado Springs. We also want to make our way to Utah so we can drive scenic route 12. So any suggestions as to the best way to exit Colorado and get to 12 would be appreciated.

We will do this trip right after Labor Day and have 2 months or more.
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smlranger View Post
We're planning another trip out west and are thinking we would like to

see more of Colorado. We've been to RMNP but understand the

lower part of the state has a lot to offer. We would be

coming off I-80 somewhere west of North Platte, NE and down to

Colorado Springs. We also want to make our way

to Utah so we can drive scenic

route 12. So any suggestions as to the best way to exit Colorado and get to 12 would be appreciated.

We will do this trip right after Labor Day and have 2 months or more.
Great time to be in Colorado,

Take a look at coming into Golden to start the Trip,

Out RT 6 to I-70 to RT 91 to Leadville

While there catch Independence Pass to Aspen - Maroon Bells for a Day trip in the Toad (RT 82 is length restricted so in the toad)

Down to the Collegiates/Buena Vista - great day drives hikes back into the Mountains.

On down to RT 50 to Gunnison - on to Ouray/Silverton/Telluride/Lake City - This is the area I think you are looking for.

Hang around here till the Aspen Change - https://lynn.smugmug.com/Travel/Colo...pens/i-tsVRkXg - worth the wait.

Then slide down to Mesa Verde via RT 145 this is the easy way to get over to RT 12 - but might as well see a few things on the way - Monument Valley - Page - Lake Powell - Antelope Canyon - Zion - Bryce - Kodachrome - Escalante - RT 12 - Capitol Reef - Goblins.

Then back to I-70 which way now?

Head on over to Moab to complete the Loop and catch RT 128 along the Colorado River, not to mention Arches and Canyonlands, while it's cooler.

That's the way we go - done it a few times, can't wait to do it again.

Hope this is of some help,
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:16 AM   #3
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We have done most of this in parts (we loved our 5 weeks last summer in the CO high country) but if I were you, I would make a loop - the campgrounds I show are where we have stayed. Start by going south to Pueblo then US-50 west & US-285/24 to Buena Vista (Snowy Peaks). Back down to US-50 west to Gunnison (Mesa Campground). Then US-50 west to Montrose (Centennial RV Park) or further south to the Ridgeway or Ouray area. Then CO-62 & 145 south to Cortez (Cortez Mesa Verde KOA). I would not go over US-550 to Durango but some do. From Mesa Verde head east to Durango (KOA or Alpen Rose). From here on east we have not camped until Pueblo but I will look at Pagosa Springs and Crede for our next trip that way. For more details of our trip last year (campgrounds, routes, activities and restaurants) which we started in Grand junction, feel free to check my blog posts beginning on days 13 & 14 - https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?bl...1;src=postname
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:57 AM   #4
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Nothing more to add to Busskipper's plan-he covered it all. I've done most of that trip just not all at once. Lots of awesome stuff to see and do. Have fun.
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Old 05-13-2017, 03:31 PM   #5
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Busskiper has has a great routing. If you like to hike take a look a Lower Calf Creek Falls on Utah 12.
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Old 05-13-2017, 04:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions. It seems Buskipper's routing is a favorite but I do have a couple of questions:

1. We drove thru Denver once and really don't want to do it again if avoidable. Is there some real scenic advantage to staying on I70 west bound to 91 and going down to Leadville....vs...the other route suggested of coming from Pueblo on US50 to Buena Vista?

2. In any case, once we leave Mesa Verde area heading west, looks like I would have a couple of choices to get over to 12 at Torrey. One would be to take 491 over to 191. Once there, either north to Moab (we've been there once) then up to I70 and back down to 12....or.....south on 191 to Blanding, then take 95 up to 24 to 12.

I guess the route north up to Moab let's us visit Arches which we did not visit when we came thru there on the way to Monument Valley several years ago.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:42 AM   #7
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My thoughts on answers to your questions- 1) no scenic advantage in my mind. Before you head toward HWY 50 you might want to drive the toad up Pike's Peak (Colorado Springs area)if you have never done it. Also while is that area you could check out Royal Gorge down past Canon City. Great scenery is never far away in Colorado. 2) Have not done the trip you ask about. I have visited both places just not on the same trip so I haven't made that drive.

Good luck and enjoy the mountain air!!!
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:17 AM   #8
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Check out Creede & Mineral County - Colorado Vacations, Colorado Adventures
Be sure to read recreation and activities tab. For such a small town the list of things to see and do is amazing. Just a few of the more unique attractions this summer: National small print show, Silver chef competition, Burro race, Woodcarvers rendevous, Headwaters music festival, ATV rodeo, rock and mineral show, balloon festival, rodeos, gravity derby and more. The neat thing is most activities and events are FREE! And you typically get front row positions - non of the huge crowds as in bigger cities. And for the RV there is Mountain Views RV Park and Resort - check it out at http://www.mountainviewsrv.com/
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:14 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions. It seems Buskipper's routing is a favorite but I do have a couple of questions:

1. We drove thru Denver once and really don't want to do it again if avoidable. Is there some real scenic advantage to staying on I70 west bound to 91 and going down to Leadville....vs...the other route suggested of coming from Pueblo on US50 to Buena Vista?

Both work - I understand your concern - timing on I-70 is critical but I'll take it over I-66 out of DC any day of the week -(Did 66 last weekend and I feel your PAIN) - for me the Granddaughters live towards Boulder so Denver works for me - Also to start any trip into the Mountains of Colorado on RT 6 out of Golden is just Perfect for ME.

2. In any case, once we leave Mesa Verde area heading west, looks like I would have a couple of choices to get over to 12 at Torrey. One would be to take 491 over to 191. Once there, either north to Moab (we've been there once) then up to I70 and back down to 12....or.....south on 191 to Blanding, then take 95 up to 24 to 12.

[COLOR="Blue"]Think you have it with 491 - in addition to RT 12 be sure to Catch RT 128 out of Moab along the Colorado - My welcome to Utah drive - Again Just ME.
I guess the route north up to Moab let's us visit Arches which we did not visit when we came thru there on the way to Monument Valley several years ago.[/QUOTE]

Sounds Like a great trip, You are driving I'm suggesting.

Best of Luck
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