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Old 03-09-2020, 10:53 PM   #1
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Rocky mountain passes

What is the least steep pass to go through the Rockies from west to east

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Old 03-09-2020, 11:08 PM   #2
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I would guess the i90 or marias pass in Montana. Or down to the 10 in Az. Wyoming, colorado and northern az are high.

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Old 03-09-2020, 11:20 PM   #3
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As a general rule, interstate roads will be easily navigable. You can avoid the Rockies entirely if you head down to I-10. It's pretty level from coast to coast.

If you can give us a better idea of where you're starting and where you're going, or what you're trying to avoid, or just some more info in general, we can make much better suggestions.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:30 PM   #4
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Thanks for your responses. I will be coming from Ca. I want to stop in Denver and head east from there. Does I-70 have any long real steep grades?
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:46 PM   #5
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Welcome! I see you have a 24' trailer so any pass shouldn't pose a problem for you. Yes, I-70 has some steep sections but it's a popular route for getting to Denver. Just get into lower gear before you start going down; not in the midst of a downhill. It will hold you back enough that you won't have to use your breaks much. It'll be over before you know it and you'll then be a pro!! Gorgeous scenery!!
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:50 PM   #6
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I don't think I-70 is a difficult road. If you're in the southern part of California, you could also consider I-40 over to Albuquerque then I-25 up to Denver. It's not as scenic, but it's as flat as you'll get.
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Old 03-10-2020, 02:57 AM   #7
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If this is a concern for you, you might want to invest in one of these:

First Rule of Boondocking: DON'T FEED THE VULTURES!
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Old 03-10-2020, 04:51 AM   #8
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I-70 from Utah to Denver is not to bad--LONG pull to top and a LONG way down into Denver but geared down some it is not that bad--Never been west of Utah so cant help there--Denver east is all Flat driving Rt-70 or Rt-80!!!
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:17 AM   #9
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Your risk factor really lies on what you are driving for a tow vehicle. Definitely keep your vehicle in tow-haul mode as it changes your shift pattern. Keeping it in low gear is ok but you still need reliable trailer brakes.
You can also use the brake controller manually to alternate braking between your tow vehicle and trailer.
This will allow your brakes to cool.
If you have any of the below system's you should be fine.
Transmission brakes
Exhaust brakes
Grade braking
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:41 AM   #10
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My pick is I70. Awesome drive up and over the Rockies. Just stay in the right lanes if your slow. Itís a good climb up and a bit of a quicker decent into Denver but very doable. My only concern is late or early season snow storms. The engineering of the interstate though the Glenwood Springs area is amazing
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:20 AM   #11
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Always shift down in a lower gear while descending the hills when towing. Plan ahead and use your brakes sparingly. I canít say enough about towing with a Hensley arrow or ProPride hitch. Both of these hitches make for a much better towing experience.
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DIYTOM View Post
Thanks for your responses. I will be coming from Ca. I want to stop in Denver and head east from there. Does I-70 have any long real steep grades?
Tom, could you let the forum know what you are pulling with? The more we know the better the info is.

If Denver is the destination then obviously I-70 is the simplest option, and is done everyday by RV'ers of every type and description. As has been suggested you need to be aware of how to drive in the Mountains, the going up is not usually the issue - it's the Going Down and being able to Stop that should be your biggest concern. Read about it and Think about it before you get out and do it, as you need to be able to stop after miles of slowing down and heating up those brakes if you are not using your transmission or engine brakes.

To your specific Question of Passes on I-70 the two you will need to be careful on are Vail Pass - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vail_Pass and Loveland Pass - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loveland_Pass . Glenwood Springs has what is often referred to as the Most Beautiful part of the Interstate System, the over and under roads on the side of the mountain next to the Colorado River - https://www.google.com/search?q=glen...h=760&biw=1536

I'd also add that if this is a trip that you want to be memorable - you might keep you Camera Handy, as there is so much to see along the way. Map - https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=be57f...=2&form=S00027 - the little corner of Arizona along the Virgin River has always caught my eye - Zion - usually calls - all of Utah is just Eye Candy - I'd also suggest a run into Moab to RT 128 to follow the Colorado River back to I-70 - one of my favorite drives in all of Utah - Then into Colorado - I usually suggest that people get off the Interstate at exit 244, left hand exit to RT 6 that takes you into Golden Following Clear Creek - less traffic and not as steep going into Golden and is another of the drives I never Miss, Just Beautiful.

As usual I've gotten/gone over the top on the simple answer, but you being new to this RV'ing thing just thought it might help.

Last little thing - I often suggest to people wanting to see more as they head East or West is to Look at getting up onto RT 36 across Kansas and Missouri, ending in Hannibal - it is just a more pleasant drive to the Mississippi River.

There you go - more than you might ever want to know on the simple Question of getting to Denver - Now if you want to spend some time in Utah and Colorado ..................Oh the info you will need .........but that will be in another post.

Hope this is of some help.

Best of Luck with your adventure,
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:08 AM   #13
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You're pulling over 11,000 feet through the Eisenhower tunnel. Then dropping straight down into denver at 5000. Maybe not the steepest but about the highest longest pull of any interstate. So brakes, and overheating are your 2 biggest concerns.
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:12 AM   #14
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if my memory is correct, why not I80 and take a right at Cheyenne ?

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