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Old 03-11-2019, 04:18 PM   #1
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Hwy 191 - Tetons to Vernal, UT Trip Reports

Looking at using Hwy 191 for a summer southbound trip with 43' coach and toad (62' overall). Appreciate any reports on road conditions, campgrounds, boon docking, etc. TIA!!
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lv2Roam2 View Post
Looking at using Hwy 191 for a summer southbound trip with 43' coach and toad (62' overall). Appreciate any reports on road conditions, campgrounds, boondocking, etc. TIA!!
191 works Flaming Gorge Has campsites Some right on the water on the West side and others High on the Cliffs

Then when you get to Vernal - Dino NM has some, right on the Green River.

MAP - https://binged.it/2HcO1gB


Best of Luck,
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:29 AM   #3
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Before you come to Vernal you'll have a steep, curvy downhill from Flaming Gorge area. It's very doable with your RV as we've done it a few times with our 40' MH. Just so you don't get any surprises.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:43 AM   #4
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To add on to this, if leaving Vernal and wanting to get to I70, looks taking US40 east, then in Rangly taking CO139 south is the most direct.

Looks to me as CO139 is about the same as US191, CO9, CO149, UT12, etc.; ie no problem if you are comfortable on western / CO mountain roads..... Am I correct?

Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:34 PM   #5
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I went from Rifle to Vernal last year and took CO13 to CO64 to US40 and it was an easy ride but only good if you are heading east on I70.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:24 PM   #6
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To add on to this, if leaving Vernal and wanting to get to I70, looks taking US40 east, then in Rangly taking CO139 south is the most direct.

Looks to me as CO139 is about the same as US191, CO9, CO149, UT12, etc.; ie no problem if you are comfortable on western / CO mountain roads..... Am I correct?

Thanks!
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I went from Rifle to Vernal last year and took CO13 to CO64 to US40 and it was an easy ride but only good if you are heading east on I70.

That may work, but we are thinking we may want to get to Grand Junction then to the Black Canyon of Gunnison (we’ve been by it several times, just never made it a stop) so ending up in Rifle would be out of the way..... but, good to know otherwise. Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Betr2Trvl View Post
To add on to this, if leaving Vernal and wanting to get to I70, looks taking US40 east, then in Rangly taking CO139 south is the most direct.

Looks to me as CO139 is about the same as US191, CO9, CO149, UT12, etc.; ie no problem if you are comfortable on western / CO mountain roads..... Am I correct?

Thanks!
139 south in not easy. You'll have 6 mi of 6-8% w/25 mph limit and numerous 15 mph curves & switchbacks. There's one section of 10-12% grade. When we drove it the road was crumbling off the edge - no shoulder. It would be much better to go to Meeker and south to Rifle to I-70.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:28 AM   #8
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139 south in not easy. You'll have 6 mi of 6-8% w/25 mph limit and numerous 15 mph curves & switchbacks. There's one section of 10-12% grade. When we drove it the road was crumbling off the edge - no shoulder. It would be much better to go to Meeker and south to Rifle to I-70.
Thanks - as always your insight is greatly appreciated.

There is a point to say take another route, and it sounds like CO139 one of them .

Regards
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:07 AM   #9
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Thanks - as always your insight is greatly appreciated.

There is a point to say take another route, and it sounds like CO139 one of them .

Regards
Map with a few options - https://binged.it/2HiwwLY

Rifle Falls

Maroon Bells

Redstone

Marble

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Maroon Bells is a Must - even if you have been before - it is ever changing and will never disappoint.

Marble and a 4x4 road trip to Crystal Mills is never bad.

RT 133 is just a Beautiful drive.

Lot's of options if RT 139 is not your cup of tea



https://www.google.com/search?q=maro...w=1536&bih=760

https://www.google.com/search?q=crys...w=1536&bih=760

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&....0.kOR2XC5Tzb8

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&....0.6DeR5ewE5pY

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&....0.rzg8yCT1O2k
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:28 AM   #10
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I like that plan a lot. When I saw your post late last night I mentioned to my wife maybe we do Glenwood / Carbondale / Aspen again, not thinking about then taking 133 down to the Black Canyon.

So do you really think that it’s only 1.5 miles from the Maroon Bells Trailhead to the lake? I don’t believe it, maybe as the crow flies It’s become a cynical “hike distance reference” for me, like the Jeb Wiebe trail in Telluride; “Oh, we’ve hiked a mile and a half, there’s the lake at Maroon Bells.”

Thanks again!
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:49 AM   #11
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I like that plan a lot. When I saw your post late last night I mentioned to my wife maybe we do Glenwood / Carbondale / Aspen again, not thinking about then taking 133 down to the Black Canyon.

So do you really think that it’s only 1.5 miles from the Maroon Bells Trailhead to the lake? I don’t believe it, maybe as the crow flies It’s become a cynical “hike distance reference” for me, like the Jeb Wiebe trail in Telluride; “Oh, we’ve hiked a mile and a half, there’s the lake at Maroon Bells.”

Thanks again!
Maroon Bells Upper or Lower Lake

We did this RT 133 one year and just by Chance caught the Marble Marble event - https://www.marbleinst.org/

All these areas are Special and Have Never disappointed us - RT 82 Independence Pass for a Day drive is fun too.

When you get to Black Canyon if you listen - think you might hear Ouray/Silverton/Telluride/and Lake City all calling you for a Visit

Not a road in Colorado that I have not driven that I did not Enjoy.

But.........I Love Colorado,
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:14 PM   #12
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I just gave a reply to another post about Hwy 133 so I'll copy it below for you. The person asking said he's not an experienced mountain driver so he was concerned about it. BETR2TRVL: It sounds like you're comfortable on mountain roads and I don't think you'd have a problem with it. Here was my reply to him:

The Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers (highly recommended to get) states: "Just south of Carbondale is McClure Pass. It's steep but not too long. The southbound descent is 3.5 mi. of 7-8% grade with 20-40 mph curves. After the first 3.5 mi. the road rolls up and down for 15 miles or more. There are some fairly steep hills along this stretch, some of them lasting 2 or 3 miles."

We've driven it with our 40' motorhome but then, we love mountain driving. Many RVers use it. Just know how to make a mountain descent with your truck and you'll be fine. Put it in low gear at the top of the hill. Don't try to do it as you're going down. This will save your brakes. It's not a busy highway so don't worry if you go slow. It'll be over before you know it!! Good experience.

133 is not as bad (wrong word because we like roads such as this) as 191 south into Vernal which is a longer downhill.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:54 PM   #13
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twogypsies / busskipper - thanks again, you are both great resources and your time and insights are greatly appreciated.

We’ll be working out the last leg of our NW “summer” trip with due considerations for this route / stops as we want to spend more time in CO (again) as we start heading back to GA.....
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:46 AM   #14
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Thought I’d follow up on our travel from Tetons NP, to Vernal, then into Glenwood springs.

US191 Tetons to I80
Once US191 splits from US89, you drive along the Hoback River. It’s a beautiful drive, but slow in a larger RV as it winds along the River. Then (IIRC) there is one moderate climb out of the river valley, then you are driving in the middle of nowhere through the energy fields until you get down to I80. Road surface was generally good, with some road construction.

Gas station at Daniel Junction (US191/US189 intersection) is easy in / easy out for gas (didn’t pay any attention to Diesel....).

US191 from I80 to Vernal
Is a treat and a stunning drive for those that enjoy “mountain” driving on US Highways. For those that don’t like big drop offs (along the top of the plateau) or significant grades (going down and up from the dam and the big down grade into Vernal), well, it’s probably it not going to be very enjoyable. But the road is certainly suitable for larger RVs and the switchbacks into Vernal are easy enough. The road does narrow a bit going down to and across the dam, but it’s really no issue.


Vernal to Glenwood Springs
US40 to Dinosaur, CO / CO64 to Meeker, CO / CO13 to Rifle, CO (I70)
Easy enough, nothing really to note other than CO64 road surface is pretty beat up through the energy fields, and some construction on CO13.


A few side notes:
We were in Vernal the 2nd week of September, and the rafting companies were shutting down already. We were lucky enough to catch very the last day trip (by any of the rafting companies) on the Green River (pic below)

Dinosaur Natl. Monument, there are 2 main entrances.
The “quarry” near the main entrance is the only place you will see the (unbelievable) dinosaur fossils, and it is contained within a climate controlled structure. It’s is mind boggling, and actually great for kids as it’s very easy access via tram from the visitor center and you can spend as much or little time as you want looking. (there is also a museum in Vernal, but we did not go).

The drive east of the visitors center is interesting, and the Josie Morris cabin (and her story) are very interesting (but probably not so much for kids).

We were going to do the Sound of Silence / Desert Voices Trail, but it was really overgrown at the beginning near the boat launch and decided not to.

The Colorado side near Dinosaur Colorado, is very different. It’s mostly a drive with many scenic overlooks, kind of reminded us of Canyon Lands Natl Park. The real “bonus” is the Harpers Corner Trail at the end of the road. It’s a spectacular hike along a ridge line above the canyon. A fairly easy hike, but has a couple places were the drop offs next to the trail are significant . (Pic from the end of the trail below). We did not drive the Dugway due to the threat of rain which can make the road impassable.

By the time we got to Glenwood Springs, were we’re pretty much ready to head home after 3 months on the road. Spent a few days relaxing, went up to Aspen and drove up Independence Pass in the Jeep (the road from Aspen to the Pass is length restricted, strictly monitored and enforced) so it is NOT appropriate or legal for larger RVs; in fact, given several very narrow road sections (less than 2 lanes) it wouldn’t be much fun in even a dually pick up (note scrapes on rocks next road on some tight corners ). We’ll be headed back to CO again next year......

Again, can not express enough thanks to busskipper and twogypsies for there invaluable guidance .

Regards
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