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Old 05-31-2014, 03:40 PM   #1
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Colorado driving advice

Hello! I'm a newbie here

My husband and I are experienced campers, we have a pop up camper that we've enjoyed for years. We are thinking about upgrading to a class C motorhome at some point, so we've decided to rent one this summer for our road trip in Colorado. Was hoping some of you with Colorado RVing experience could could comment on the feasibility of our plan. Its hard to tell looking at the maps how treacherous some of the roads are, and I know that Google or Garmin do not always give you the best route.

6/14: St. Louis to Denver. Hotel for two nights to sightsee in Denver.

6/16: Pick up RV from El Monte Denver (actually in Louviers). Drive to Colorado Springs, reservation at Garden of the Gods RV park. (53 miles)

6/17: Colorado Springs to Mesa Verde, Morefield Campground, via I 25, 160 (355 miles)

6/18: Mesa Verde to Ridgeway State Park (2 nights) via 160, 550 (or 145?) (127 miles)

6/20: Ridgway SP to Glenwood Springs via 550/50 (161 miles)

6/21: Glenwood Springs to Estes Park via 40, 34 and Trail Ridge Road (169 miles) We want to take all day for this, stopping at overlooks and doing short trails in the park. We're staying in Estes 2 nights so we'll have the next day for the RMNP also.

6/23: Estes Park to Denver to turn in rental (85 miles). One more night in hotel, see Cards play Rockies, drive home next day.

Is this doable / advisable? I'm only concerned about the length of the drive between Colorado Springs and Mesa Verde, and the drivability of the routes that Google Maps has suggested. What do y'all think?
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:14 PM   #2
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The plan looks doable to me...and others should be right along.

Safe travels
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:10 PM   #3
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Hello! I'm a newbie here


6/14: St. Louis to Denver. Hotel for two nights to sightsee in Denver.
This would be two very long days from St. L to Denver.. For more time getting your RV experience I'd recommend skipping 2 nights in Denver. Just pick up the RV and head to Colorado Springs.

6/16: Pick up RV from El Monte Denver (actually in Louviers). Drive to Colorado Springs, reservation at Garden of the Gods RV park. (53 miles)

6/17: Colorado Springs to Mesa Verde, Morefield Campground, via I 25, 160 (355 miles) Hwy 160 is very scenic and good for RVs but it will be a 6-8 hr. drive. If you skip Denver you could have time for Mesa Verde

6/18: Mesa Verde to Ridgeway State Park (2 nights) via 160, 550 (or 145?) (127 miles) Ridgeway is a beautiful park. Since you're not an experienced mountain driver, take Hwy 145 rather than 550.

6/20: Ridgway SP to Glenwood Springs via 550/50 (161 miles) Good for RVs.

6/21: Glenwood Springs to Estes Park via 40, 34 and Trail Ridge Road (169 miles) We want to take all day for this, stopping at overlooks and doing short trails in the park. We're staying in Estes 2 nights so we'll have the next day for the RMNP also. By this time of your trip you will have had some mountain experience and it's certainly doable with your Class C but know that Trail Ridge Rd. is very high elevation. You'll have a steep climb and downhill but many RVers do it. Just depends how you feel about mtn. driving by then.

6/23: Estes Park to Denver to turn in rental (85 miles). One more night in hotel, see Cards play Rockies, drive home next day.

Is this doable / advisable? I'm only concerned about the length of the drive between Colorado Springs and Mesa Verde, and the drivability of the routes that Google Maps has suggested. What do y'all think?
Have a great trip. You picked a very scenic one!!
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:21 PM   #4
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Your trip from CS to Mesa Verde is long and an easy trip. One word o' caution; Wolf Creek Pass is one of the windiest/steepest in CO. It is plenty wide and easy and beautiful. Going down, make sure you take your time, it is very steep and can get away from you. Shouldn't be an issue in a C.

Mesa Verde to Ouray/Ridgeway; your choice. Durango/Silverton/Ouray is one of the prettiest drives in the country, but narrow. Rest of the trip is pretty and easy driving.

Have fun,

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Old 05-31-2014, 06:24 PM   #5
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St. Louis to Denver is 850 miles. Long drive out and back. You could just fly out and back. Faster , cheaper and easier on the body. If a class A could fit you plans, much nicer to travel in. Most class C buyers upgrade very soon.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:27 PM   #6
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You have a great trip planned, and what Supernova92 said. The Colorado Springs to Mesa Verde segment is a beautiful drive, however you do it, but it is a long one day drive in a motorhome, and I believe it is more like 375 miles. I drive that route a lot (Colorado Springs to Mancos, CO) and best I can do in my pickup, driving at speed limits, is 7 - 7 1/2 hours. Quickest route is I-25 south to Walsenburg and U.S. 160 all the way to Mesa Verde (375 miles). Prettiest drive, in my opinion, is 115 to Penrose, CO; U.S. 50 to Montrose, CO; south to Ridgeway, CO; Ridgeway to Telluride and over Lizard Head Pass to Delores, CO, and south through Mancos to Mesa Verde. That is a much slower drive though.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:57 PM   #7
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Yup... as others have said, no problem with your route. I wouldn't consider any of those roads treacherous for a C. My only comment is lots of miles and driving for a 1 week trip. If it were me I would break this into two separate trips and leave southwestern CO for another trip or extend the trip if that is possible. There are a zillion great places to see in CO, your route is going to have you behind the wheel a lot of hours compared to the hours you will have for exploring.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:06 PM   #8
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Yup... as others have said, no problem with your route. I wouldn't consider any of those roads treacherous for a C. My only comment is lots of miles and driving for a 1 week trip. If it were me I would break this into two separate trips and leave southwestern CO for another trip or extend the trip if that is possible. There are a zillion great places to see in CO, your route is going to have you behind the wheel a lot of hours compared to the hours you will have for exploring.
That does concern me a little, but there is just so much I want to see!
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:09 PM   #9
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.... I drive that route a lot (Colorado Springs to Mancos, CO) and best I can do in my pickup, driving at speed limits, is 7 - 7 1/2 hours. Quickest route is I-25 south to Walsenburg and U.S. 160 all the way to Mesa Verde (375 .....
We've never driven a class C before - how much longer do you think it will take us?
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:16 PM   #10
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St. Louis to Denver is 850 miles. Long drive out and back. You could just fly out and back. Faster , cheaper and easier on the body. If a class A could fit you plans, much nicer to travel in. Most class C buyers upgrade very soon.
Sorry for all these individual replies - I can't seem to get multi quote to work on my iPad.

Anyway, no - not cheaper. It takes us 12 hours to drive to Denver. Roundtrip it's about $300 for gas versus about $1200 for the 4 of us to fly. Plus, we can pack all our camping gear. If we flew we'd have to rent bedding and kitchen stuff from the RV company which (as ridiculous as that sounds) would add hundreds to the bill, and we'd have to rent a car as there is no other way to get from the airport to the RV rental location. But.. You are definitely right that flying would be easier on the body!
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:18 PM   #11
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Your trip from CS to Mesa Verde is long and an easy trip. One word o' caution; Wolf Creek Pass is one of the windiest/steepest in CO. It is plenty wide and easy and beautiful. Going down, make sure you take your time, it is very steep and can get away from you. Shouldn't be an issue in C

dub
Thanks! Where is Wolf Creek Pass? Should we avoid it?
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:27 PM   #12
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You don't need to avoid Wolf Creek Pass.....it is on 160.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:17 AM   #13
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Break up the trip from CS to Mesa Verde & stay at Dakota Ridge in Durango, take the train from Durango to Silverton & the bus back, I think this is one of the best stops in CO.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:12 AM   #14
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Break up the trip from CS to Mesa Verde & stay at Dakota Ridge in Durango, take the train from Durango to Silverton & the bus back, I think this is one of the best stops in CO.
Durango this time of year is BUSY and the train is EXPENSIVE. It is a beautiful train ride, though. Expect a whole day if you do this. If you have kids, you need to spend as many days as you can in Mesa Verde and Ouray. When in Ouray, rent a jeep for the day. Go to Silverton and Telluride via Jeep trails.....take pics. You will never forget it.
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