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Old 05-03-2016, 05:20 AM   #1
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Cheyenne to Silverton?

Planning a Colorado trip late summer. We'll be traveling from Central Florida to southwest Colorado via Lincoln, Ne and Cheyenne, Wy and back to Florida. Any suggestions how to get from Cheyenne to Silverton, Durango, Ouray area? We'd like to do some camping on the way down, maybe spend three or four days to get to there and then a week in the area before starting back. Thought about staying to the west of the Rockies and down through Co to I-70 west and then south or I-25 south from Cheyenne and cross the Rockies at Monarch or Wolf Creek Pass. Depending on our actual destination, will probably cross back over the Rockies at Wolf Creek or Monarch, on the return trip. We have experience driving the mountain roads in a car but the motor home towing the Jeep is another animal! Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:59 AM   #2
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I've spent a bit of time in Colorado and Wyoming, if you want the most direct route, I-25 S to Denver, then US 285 through Monarch Pass. A little longer, but more interesting, would be to go W on I-80 to Laramie, then SW on WY 230/CO 127 to CO 125 to Walden, CO 14 to US 40 E, to Kremmling, then CO 9 or CO 131 to I-70 to Clifton (exit 37) S on CO 141 to US 50 to Montrose. Then US 550 through Red Mountain Pass on the 'Million Dollar Highway' to Silverton.

I've only been to Silverton by the Durango & Silverton train, but I prefer the route I described for the scenery rather than the traffic around Denver.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:46 PM   #3
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If you want different scenery and not travel the same route back and forth, you could get to Fort Collins, CO via I-25 and pick up Hwy 14 to Craig, CO then south on 13 to Rifle (Rifle Gap State Park is very nice). Then take I-70 west to Grand Junction. Then take Hwy 50 south to Ouray to explore from there. We like Ridgeway State Park.

If you were planning to stay in Silverton and your concern with driving mountains with your motorhome it's best to get to Silverton via 550 from the south, from Durango and return the same way. The really steep section of 550 to Silverton would be from the north at Ouray to Silverton. We've done both often as we love the 4-wheeling out of Silverton but from Durango is easier. We boondock at South Mineral Creek BLM but there are RV parks in Silverton.

If you'd just be driving your Jeep from Silverton (and some trails can easily be accessed from Ouray) and you didn't want to drive the motorhome on any part of 550, then from Ridgeway (just north of Ouray) pick up Hwy 62 to 145 toward Telluride and take 145 south into Cortez. It's an easier drive than 550 but still very scenic. Mesa Verde Nat'l Park would be at Cortez. Then take 160 east toward Durango and Pagosa Springs. Definitely allow time to soak in the wonderful hot springs overlooking the river at Pagosa. We spend a whole morning and pack some food in a cooler. The clean concrete pools are varying temperatures and we just move from one to another. A VERY relaxing morning!

From Pagosa Springs you'd be climbing up Wolf Creek Pass - very doable and many RVers do it. Then a downhill into South Fork.

If driving Hwy 50 and doing Monarch Pass it's very doable also.

By the time you're finished with this whole awesome area, you'll be a very experienced driver on mountain highways. We love them.
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:06 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! We have taken the Laramie to Walden route before, I think we were going to the west side of RMNP but it was a long time ago. I see the CO 14 from Fort Collins is marked as a scenic route on my map (yeah, old school, I know) and probably would've avoided it in the MH but from your suggestions, we are seriously considering it. We have not traveled much in NE Co so I like the idea of going to Craig (maybe a side trip to Dinosaur NM) and down to Rifle.
Thanks for the details on the 550, twogypsies. Its good to know what to expect. Sounds like Silverton may be the base campground at this point so I will look into Jeep and hiking trails from there. We have the Liberty but we're newbies off road!
The available campgrounds will probably determine our exact travel plans but we really appreciate suggestions- nice to have alternate routes should things happen.
BTW, twogypsies, I see from your signature, you also explored in a 2004 DS! The MH is new to us but we love her and can't wait be out west for more than 3 weeks at a time.
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:48 PM   #5
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OP: We actually seek out scenic highways.

Your Liberty will do just fine on many of Silverton's trails. We had a 2004 Liberty. There are all levels of trails so start off with easy. There are always someone driving the trails so you won't be alone. Stop at the Visitor Center in Silverton for lots of good information. Many times in the RV parks you'll get talking to other 4-wheelers so don't hesitate to ask if you could tag along as a newbie. Just make sure they aren't doing a difficult one. Hang out with a group with somewhat 'normal' vehicles not the highly raised and souped up ones. The driving on those trails is so slow - like 10mph - that you surely won't hold them up. We've done this and always had a great experience. 4-wheelers, like RVers, are friendly and enjoy sharing.

As to our Newmar - we absolutely loved it with no issues. Enjoy!!
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:00 PM   #6
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Hwy 550 can be done in the MH and towing the toad, but if you are not familiar or comfortable with mountian roads, then the Ridgeway to Hwy 62/145/160 alternate is a better choice. Look on youtube, there are several hwy 550 videos (Million Dollar Hwy) to let you see how it is. Sheer walls, no guardrails, narrow lanes, lot of sharp turns, it is not for the faint of heart. Yes it can be done with a big MH, depends on your comfort level with some fairly extreme mountain driving. Smaller class C is no issues, but a larger class A and toad is more challenge. I did it with my truck conversion pulling a toad, and to be honest the scenery was very beautiful, but I had to pay too much attention to the driving to enjoy it to the full amount.
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