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Old 09-27-2019, 04:03 PM   #1
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From Glenwood Springs to Cortez in October?

I need to cross the Rockies from Denver to Page mid October. Obviously I could take mostly the freeway via Grand Junction and Moab but I would rather leave the I70 in Glenwood Springs and go to Montrose via. Carbondale and Hotchkiss. I have done that before in a sports car and the Aspen should be spectacular at this time. It is a while ago but think I can do that in my 31ft Gas Class A, if slowly in some places. Also assuming not having an early snow event.



The bigger question is my wish to go to Cortez after that via Telluride. Is that feasible or even reasonable?


I would appreciate some advice from folks who know these roads.


Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2019, 05:49 PM   #2
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To Montrose you could either take I-70 to 91 into Leadville and you'll have Fremont Pass. You'll have 4.5 mi of 5-6% grade downhill with 2 & 3 lanes. Not a biggie. Downshift before beginning the downhill; not in the midst and you'll save your brakes. Then continue through Leadville and Buena Vista on 24 to Hwy 50 and take 50 west to Montrose. It's a very pretty drive.

From I-70 at Glenwood Springs you'd take 133. You'll have McClure Pass which is 7-8% for 3.5 miles downhill then ups and downs for 15 miles, some steep.

From Montrose to Cortez you'd take 62 at Ridgeway and will have Dallas Divide with a westbound descent of 5% for 3 miles to 145 to Cortez. On 145 you'll have Lizard Head Pass which is 12 mi. south of Telluride with 4-6% for 7 miles.

From Cortez to Page, AZ take 491 to 160 to 98 just past Kayenta into Page. (Monument Valley is on 163 just north of Kayenta, AZ at 160)

All of these routes are popular with RVers and each one is gorgeous. We've done them with our 40' motorhome. It just depends what you want to see along the way... and there's lots. That's why we've spent whole summers in SW Colorado!

Keep in mind of the grades on I-70 out of Denver. Just because it's an interstate doesn't mean it's easy. At Eisenhower Tunnel, 11,000' elevation you'll have 5-7% grades and Vail Pass at 10,000' elevation will have 7% grades.

Have a good trip and yes, your plans are doable.
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Old 09-27-2019, 06:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jerry Burks View Post
I need to cross the Rockies from Denver to Page mid October.

Great time to travel in the Rockies, you are a lucky Person - even in a snow event the roads are still pretty warm and you should not have an Issue. we drive those roads year round and love them.

Obviously I could take mostly the freeway via Grand Junction and Moab but I would rather leave the I-70 in Glenwood Springs and go to Montrose via. Carbondale and Hotchkiss.

Yes, you can do what you are thinking - Marble will be on the way along with Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP. Whatever you do Don't Miss Maroon Bells - - . Ouray and Montrose will provide good stops. Do look at jumping off at RT 91.

I have done that before in a sports car and the Aspen should be spectacular at this time.

Not to pop your Bubble but the Aspen - in the high country - will mostly be without the Leaves - need to be there in September as there will be the best Color then - A poster in Lake City had a picture of the entire town surrounded in Yellow Aspen on September 9th this year so they started early - - BUT it is still a Beautiful Drive, and a great time to go, one thing to keep in mind - Propane burns fast in the cold - do not let the tank get low.

It is a while ago but think I can do that in my 31ft Gas Class A, if slowly in some places. Also assuming not having an early snow event.

The roads are good - look at twogypsies suggested routes, as there is more than one way to go - Lizard Head Pass RT 145 is easy and they keep it clear if it were to snow. If you are into the Easy more beautiful Drive I'd suggest going through Leadville - less interstate, and while beautiful more to see IMHO if you just off at RT 91.


The bigger question is my wish to go to Cortez after that via Telluride. Is that feasible or even reasonable?

Sure is RT 145 is another Beautiful Drive to Cortez - Monument Valley and Goosenecks will be Beautiful, along with Mexican Hat. Then on to Page Perfect time of Year to be there - you might even catch North Rim which closes on the 15th but is still worth the visit.


I would appreciate some advice from folks who know these roads.

Right out of Telluride on RT 145 you will see the New Monument Rock that fell into the Road - take a picture and post it. BIG ROCK!

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...TaSC5IQ4dUDCAc

Thanks!
Best of Luck,
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Old 09-27-2019, 07:53 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, you are the best!


I wanted to make sure not to plan something stupid but you convinced me this is entirely reasonable.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:22 PM   #5
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No one has mentioned taking US285 from Denver to US50 at Poncha Springs. I avoid I70 West out Denver if I can. I70 as 3 significant grades up and down before you reach Glenwood Springs and the traffic can be horrific.

I think I would choose US285 to Poncha Springs then US50 to Montrose. You probably won't save anything on grades but you might avoid a bunch of stop and go traffic. I70 can be a real MOMMA BEAR...or not. Depends on the traffic and the weather.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:38 PM   #6
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No one has mentioned taking US285 from Denver to US50 at Poncha Springs. I avoid I70 West out Denver if I can. I70 as 3 significant grades up and down before you reach Glenwood Springs and the traffic can be horrific.

I think I would choose US285 to Poncha Springs then US50 to Montrose. You probably won't save anything on grades but you might avoid a bunch of stop and go traffic. I70 can be a real MOMMA BEAR...or not. Depends on the traffic and the weather.

Made that mistake once, but only once - IMHO it was just Boring when compared to the I-70 RT 91 option. If I can have the choice and be in the Rockies not looking up at them just count me IN.

Now in ski season on the wrong end of the weekend I might just consider it but in October - and November give me the Rockies, and all that Beauty you get by driving in those Beautiful Valleys and over those Magnificent Passes.

But it is a route that is available and Monarch Pass is not bad but that is a long way to go before you get into those Mountains most of us drive so far to Enjoy.

JMHO,
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Old 09-28-2019, 03:01 PM   #7
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If I read your post correctly you are interested in smoothing out the mountains some. Scenery is important but so is driving comfort. On I70 between Denver and Vail you will encounter one of 2 conditions. Stop and go traffic... or trucks going 30MPH and BMW's going 90. It is never a relaxed pleasant drive as far as I am concerned. Furthermore it is rather unpredictable what road/traffic conditions you will encounter.

See this video:

It gives you the view of US285 heading south nearing Fairplay. It has its share of scenery as well and a more relaxed environment to enjoy it.

Many roads to get to the same place.

JMHO I live in Colorado and maybe I would just prefer to skip the hassle. I find the scenery beautiful both ways.
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