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Old 07-31-2021, 06:46 AM   #1
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Estes to Moab question

Whatís the best rout from Estes Park to Moab while towing a 28í travel trailer? Looks like itís all backroads as best I can tell. Looks like the fastest is through the lark but Iím guessing thatís not the best route for a camper.
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:27 AM   #2
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Hi,

Going east to west through Colorado is difficult this year! Click on this MAP 1. This is the most logical route but it has issues! I70 between Denver and Vail can have VERY heavy slow traffic. Three weeks ago it took me 5 hours to go from Denver to Glenwood Springs! No problems just slow traffic! In addition, Glenwood Canyon on I70 just east of Glenwood Springs is closed right now because of mud slides. It is continuing to rain many afternoons in that area keeping I70 closed much of the time. Consider that you must also go up the steep grades just west of Denver, the climb to the Tunnels and Vail Pass. All serious mountain grades both up and down.

Click on this MAP 2. This route has a major mountain pass (Monarch) and two major construction projects.

Lastly and maybe your best choice is found by clicking on this MAP 3. You will find this route has pretty good roads, no big passes and some interstate highway. The section on CO13 between the WY/CO state line and Rifle is a decent 2 lane highway it has sections that are a little rough but generally not too bad. There is a construction project between the state line and Craig but it shouldn't slow you too much.

And then, there is the route through the park! Click on this MAP 4. This is the closest route but has 3 major passes. First is Trail Ridge Road through the park. The second is Muddy Pass. No it isn't muddy and it is the least of the three passes and the third is Rabbit Ears Pass. All require serious mountain driving! Depending on your tow vehicle and YOU these passes may be easy or or may be impossible! The times shown on the map on this route will not be even close to accurate. With an RV you will go much slower and may be able to make the trip just as fast on any of the other routes.

As I said....east/west travel in Colorado this year is a mess!
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:56 AM   #3
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A few weeks ago I came from Moab to Estes Park in a 40ft MH towing a Jeep. I came I70, Hwy 9, then thru the park via Trail Ridge. The day b4 they had just cleared the last mudslide on I70 and nows there's another major slide.

I did not have any big issues going this route and would do it again. We stopped in Cow creek south for a night before coming into the park early the next am.
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloduster View Post
Hi,

Going east to west through Colorado is difficult this year! Click on this MAP 1. This is the most logical route but it has issues! I70 between Denver and Vail can have VERY heavy slow traffic. Three weeks ago it took me 5 hours to go from Denver to Glenwood Springs! No problems just slow traffic! In addition, Glenwood Canyon on I70 just east of Glenwood Springs is closed right now because of mud slides. It is continuing to rain many afternoons in that area keeping I70 closed much of the time. Consider that you must also go up the steep grades just west of Denver, the climb to the Tunnels and Vail Pass. All serious mountain grades both up and down.

Click on this MAP 2. This route has a major mountain pass (Monarch) and two major construction projects.

Lastly and maybe your best choice is found by clicking on this MAP 3. You will find this route has pretty good roads, no big passes and some interstate highway. The section on CO13 between the WY/CO state line and Rifle is a decent 2 lane highway it has sections that are a little rough but generally not too bad. There is a construction project between the state line and Craig but it shouldn't slow you too much.

And then, there is the route through the park! Click on this MAP 4. This is the closest route but has 3 major passes. First is Trail Ridge Road through the park. The second is Muddy Pass. No it isn't muddy and it is the least of the three passes and the third is Rabbit Ears Pass. All require serious mountain driving! Depending on your tow vehicle and YOU these passes may be easy or or may be impossible! The times shown on the map on this route will not be even close to accurate. With an RV you will go much slower and may be able to make the trip just as fast on any of the other routes.

As I said....east/west travel in Colorado this year is a mess!
Map 3 looks best but Iím seeing signs all day that 70 is closed west of Denver.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:11 PM   #5
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I'd suggest from Estes, Hwy 7 south to 285 toward Fairplay and down to Hwy 50 west to Montrose then north to I-70 and west to 191 south OR... just before 191, Exit to Hwy 28 and come into Moab along the river... very pretty flat route.

I-70 is closed because of a bad landslide near Glenwood Springs.

Hwy 50 (Monarch Pass) is very doable with a RV and it's a very popular RV route. Your 28' would be easy. Just get into lower gear before heading down and tap your brakes at times to keep the speed down. Don't keep your foot on the brakes.

Hwy 50 has construction west of Gunnison. It's open and has specific driving times. It's a short construction area. If you can work that in it's a beautiful route:

https://www.us50info.com/

If you didn't want to do Monarch Pass on Hwy 50 you could take 285 farther south of Hwy 50 at Saguache and pick up 114 taking you to Hwy 50 just east of Gunnison.

Any route will give you 'hills'. You're in the Rockies!
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:12 PM   #6
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Thank you for the detailed replyís. Is 34 through the park an option with the trailer? I donít mind hills. I just want to know Iím gonna fit! Mileage wise through the park seems more logical. We will drive it tomorrow without the camper to explore and get a better idea.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:29 PM   #7
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I would say yes, through the park is fine. Just put it in low gear on the downhill side. I drove it with a 33' motirhome a few years ago.
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fdnavy View Post
Thank you for the detailed replyís. Is 34 through the park an option with the trailer? I donít mind hills. I just want to know Iím gonna fit! Mileage wise through the park seems more logical. We will drive it tomorrow without the camper to explore and get a better idea.
Trail Ridge (34) thru the park is what I referenced above in my MH towing. It was a challenge but doable using lower gears as mentioned. But noticed I70 is still closed and the posted detour is here.

https://www.cotrip.org/map.htm#/defa...AlertId=363049

Before I took this route I used google street view to look closer at sections of the road to give me a better feel for what I had to drive thru.

I also relied on the folks posting on this thread already for good advice as they have much more experience than I.
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fdnavy View Post
Map 3 looks best but Iím seeing signs all day that 70 is closed west of Denver.
I70 has been closed off and on because of mud slides in Glenwood Canyon. The route on MAP 3 goes around this problem and intersects I70 west of the closures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fdnavy View Post
Thank you for the detailed replyís. Is 34 through the park an option with the trailer? I donít mind hills. I just want to know Iím gonna fit! Mileage wise through the park seems more logical. We will drive it tomorrow without the camper to explore and get a better idea.
This question is definitely a decision you need to make based on your equipment. You've told us you are towing a 28' trailer. You haven't told us the vehicle you use to tow it with, the weight of the trailer nor your hitch setup. All these play a role as well as your experience towing on long steep grades with lots of curves and other traffic. You will fit!

Take the drive without the trailer and decide for yourself.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:26 AM   #10
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I understand you must make a reservation for driving through Rocky Mountains NP: https://www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10086910
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Old 08-02-2021, 06:19 AM   #11
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I understand you must make a reservation for driving through Rocky Mountains NP: https://www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10086910
fyi - You can enter the park before 9am without a reservation.
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:05 PM   #12
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OP: After your test drive through the park, what did you decide?
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Old 08-02-2021, 01:18 PM   #13
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Thank you again for the detailed maps and replies. My trailer weighs about 5500 to 6000 lbs loaded. I’m pulling it with a 19 ram 1500 regular gear ratio but big horn tow package. We will be leaving about 7am tomorrow. I’m sure the views on map 4 will be amazing. I’m fairly experienced driving in the mountains just unfamiliar with the territory here. If you were me what route would you pick?
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fdnavy View Post
Thank you again for the detailed maps and replies. My trailer weighs about 5500 to 6000 lbs loaded. Iím pulling it with a 19 ram 1500 regular gear ratio but big horn tow package. We will be leaving about 7am tomorrow. Iím sure the views on map 4 will be amazing. Iím fairly experienced driving in the mountains just unfamiliar with the territory here. If you were me what route would you pick?
Personally I'd take map #4 - Yeloduster is clear and also experienced in the map and the challenges - IMHO through the park early is the Key - No Traffic.

We have done all the routes at different times and #4 works - only thing I would change is I'd get off at exit 214 in Utah to follow the Colorado river into Moab - always go RT 128 it's awesome.

Let us know what you decide and how it was, like I said the Key is starting Early and Beating the Traffic Issues.

Best of Luck,
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