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Old 10-17-2019, 03:49 PM   #1
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Steep grades with no guardrails

My wife and I have been RVing for about 8 years mostly in the PA , MD, and VA area. On a recent trip to ME we visited Cadillac mountain with our Chevy Suburban tow vehicle. I was unaware that the last section of road was relatively steep but worse was the almost non-existent shoulders and the drop off. We are planning a trip west to the Grand Canyon and other sites and I'm concerned about how I would do if I encountered a long stretch of highway like this, especially if I'm towing. Is there a way to identify where sections of highway like this exist?
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:56 PM   #2
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You could use google maps, and do a virtual tour of the area in question. I would think in general, you wouldn't be taking your rv where these locations are. I know the road to Oatman in Arizona goes through Sitegreaves Pass. The hills there have no guard rails to speak of. Likewise, it is not recommended to take your rv there. We were at Cadillac Mountain this summer. We drove to the top as well. Nice view of the Bar Harbour area.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:18 PM   #3
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I would avoid the Moki Dugway and also the hogback on Hwy 12 near Grand Staircase Escalante.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:29 PM   #4
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550 between Durango and Ouray, CO and Hwy 12 in Utah are ones that come to mind readily.

To us, we love the scenery along these routes so we drive them with no issues. They are normal two-lane highways. Don't be so sure that a guardrail is going to help you if you steer off the side!

Get yourself the "Mountain Directory for RVers and Truckers" which will help you a lot with descriptions of highways. It comes in Western and Eastern editions. Just because it will be listed in the directory doesn't mean you can't safely drive it with a RV. It's just for a 'heads up' on what's ahead so you can prepare a little. Yes, there will be some that you won't want to drive but by reading the description you can decide. Keep in mind that in Colorado Interstate 70, a major thoroughfare, is a biggie, also, but millions drive it. When you know a highway you want to travel, plug it into YouTube and many times you can take the trip along with the person driving.... most often via a motorcycle as they love these highways and most often in fast motion so it will look scarier than it really is.

By the time you drive in Utah, Colorado, etc. you'll become a pro at driving these scenic highways. Don't avoid them. That's where the beauty is..... not on the interstates.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:34 AM   #5
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Steep Grades With No Guardrails

Thanks; we'll get a copy of those publications and try your other recommendations.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:28 AM   #6
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stay away from red mountain pass between durango and silverton co. highway 550 i think. it has grades up to 9% no guardrail no shoulder and drop of over 1000 ft. there was still snow in mid july when we were there.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:22 PM   #7
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stay away from red mountain pass between durango and silverton co. highway 550 i think. it has grades up to 9% no guardrail no shoulder and drop of over 1000 ft. there was still snow in mid july when we were there.
Snow on the road in July is very unusual. Silverton has a fantastic July 4 celebration and everyone is in shorts!!

We love driving 550 between Ouray & Durango but then, we love mountain drives. Many RVers drive it.

I wouldn't rule out going to a special place because of a steep drive. If it's a main attraction such as a national parks you can be sure that millions have driven their RV there.

OP: You mentioned Grand Canyon. All roads leading into it are an easy drive. If you happen to be going to Sedona, AZ, also then don't take 89A but instead, take I-17. For Sedona we love to stay at nearby Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, AZ. You're out of all the Sedona traffic yet can do a day trip there.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:30 PM   #8
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I would avoid the Moki Dugway and also the hogback on Hwy 12 near Grand Staircase Escalante.
Moki Dugway on Hwy 261 about 10 miles north of Mexican Hat, Utah.

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Old 10-22-2019, 12:46 PM   #9
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Moki Dugway on Hwy 261 about 10 miles north of Mexican Hat, Utah.


I have a very similar picture
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:49 PM   #10
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I have a very similar picture
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:03 PM   #11
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Dead Indian Pass Wyoming. Drive it every other year or so with 34' MH and Jeep in tow.

Short stretches 9% around 6% for most.

I've driven US550 both directions between Durange in a motorhome towing a car.

18 Wheelers driver these highways regularly...if they can do it so can you!
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:14 PM   #12
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Guard rails are for when things go wrong. If you keep it between the lines, then you don't need them.

What are called mountains on the east coast are comparatively just "hills" compared to the Rockies.

What I heard from someone from Colorado is the reason there are no guard rails is so when they plow during the winter, they can push the snow off the road. Makes sense I guess, especially when you consider how long and how much snow they get up there.

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Old 10-22-2019, 01:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by yeloduster View Post
Dead Indian Pass Wyoming. Drive it every other year or so with 34' MH and Jeep in tow.

Short stretches 9% around 6% for most.

I've driven US550 both directions between Durange in a motorhome towing a car.

18 Wheelers driver these highways regularly...if they can do it so can you!
Why - where are you going that requires you to drive this route?
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:33 PM   #14
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Moki Dugway on Hwy 261 about 10 miles north of Mexican Hat, Utah.

Did you drive this and if so why?
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