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Old 04-01-2011, 09:28 PM   #1
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When is the weather safe to go thru the Rocky mountains?

Hi Y'all,

I'm planning my first big trip this summer from OK to Seattle towing a car behind the mh. What date should it be unlikely that there will be snow in the Rockies?
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:38 AM   #2
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What part of the Rockies do you want to cross? I90 is open year around. You won't know when you cross the Rockies in Montana. The Bitterroots & the Cascades are a different story but are usually open. The Co. mts are a different story too. Monarch Pass is about 12k'. I would think after May 1 I90 would be no problem any where.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:07 PM   #3
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Most major roads would be clear anytime after early April as long as you don't hit a storm. If you do, lay up a couple days and they'll be clear.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:32 PM   #4
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If traveling I70 through Colorado, you will generally have very good road conditions June - September at a minimum. However, a running joke about the CO mountains is it always seems to snow on July the 4th. So, plan not driving in the CO mountains on the 4th of July.
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:52 PM   #5
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We spent the entire month of July 2007 in Colorado. All the roads we traveled on the south to north journey were clear the entire month. We started in Creed and ended up in Estes Park. We went to the top of the Rocky Mountain National Park and then to the Continental Divide. There was snow on the roadside but, none on the road itself. Had a great time too.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:32 AM   #6
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We have experienced snow in July in the Georgetown area, Frisco area, Silverton area Monarch pass, Wolfcreek Pass etc etc.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:49 AM   #7
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Accuweather

Quote:
Originally Posted by okmunky View Post
Hi Y'all,

I'm planning my first big trip this summer from OK to Seattle towing a car behind the mh. What date should it be unlikely that there will be snow in the Rockies?
Just before you leave on your trip check out this site for extended weather forecasts: Weather for your Life™ AccuWeather.com Local & International
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:45 PM   #8
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I've lived in Colorado for the last 24 years and we travel through the mountains all through out the year. I-70 from Denver west to Vail is closed occasionally for a few hours due to snow but beings it is a major east-west interstate and a major access route to many of the ski areas, the CDOT does a pretty good job of keeping it open.

Most people are more concerned about climbing the 12,000 feet to Loveland pass, and the 11,000 feet to the Vail pass than the weather conditions. Depending on what you are driving and what you are pulling you can expect to slow down to as little as 25-30mph by the time you reach the top.

Some of the two lane roads with high passes are closed for the winter and usually open by the end of May. It is true it can snow any month of the year but it is more rare than what you hear.

If you want to see some very pretty country travel the mountains. If you are more concerned with the long uphill climb then I'd go north and cross Wyoming or Montana, or go west at Albuqureque, NM.

Travel safely.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:19 AM   #9
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As a former CO resident, I agree with poptop. It kinda' matters what you are driving/pulling, what you want to see and how much time you have. The northern route (I-80) is much easier on equipment and nerves IMO....and there is some very nice scenery along the way, especially in Wyoming. Although snow won't be a problem here, summer storms can sneak up on you in a hurry. You'll also want to be very aware of the wind along parts of the I-80 route, especially in a longer MH pulling a toad. The descent into Salt Lake City can be a bit un-nerving....caution and speed are two words that will quickly come to mind. I-40 in the south is a pretty easy ride with some interesting sights, but that seems to be a bit out of the way if you are heading to Seattle, IMO. In any event, have a safe trip!
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:23 AM   #10
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Thanks Y'all! You have eased my mind about driving thru the Rockies. After so many years livng in the flatlands of Oklahoma I look forward to seeing some REAL mountains. The bonus is visiting my daughter on the other side.

Oklahoma calls some hills in the south central part of the state the Arbuckle mountains. but they lack much in height and beauty.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:24 AM   #11
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Beauty or ease

if you want beauty cross the Rockies on I-70

if you want ease cross on I-8o

It is easier because there are fewer steep grades and the elevation is much lower ... but the scenic vistas are not
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:11 PM   #12
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Colorado DOT has up to the minute road conditions:

Road Conditions, Speeds, Travel Times, Traffic Cameras, Live Streaming Traffic Cameras, Road Closures and Road Work Information provided by Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) a branch of Colorado Department of Transportation
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:42 PM   #13
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I am going to attack the question a bit differently. What you may find in your travels is some snow in the mountains! However the chances are less if you are traveling between the end of May and the first of September. Any snow during that time is generally light and does not stay on the roadway. When the weather man suggests there may be snow, it is usually reported using the altitude as a measurement stick. In other words the snow will occur above an altitude. Below that level in would most likely be rain. Therefore if you have a pass that requires you to travel above the snowline, you may see some snow on the roadway as you reach that altitude and until you drop below it on the other side.
We ran through a few inches of snow in south Utah last spring in late May. It was on a road less traveled and very scenic. Glad we went, however I was very cautious while in the snow because pulling a 5th wheel requires a bit more caution than doing that same road in a all terrain vehicle!
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:10 AM   #14
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