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Old 05-19-2020, 06:58 AM   #1
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Route into Buena Vista Co. then to Wy.

Hello Everyone,

I hope everybody is doing well in these (different) times we now live in. After some consideration we have decided to move forward with our summer plans. We have reserved a spot in Wyoming for the month of August near Jackson.

On the way we would like to visit the area around Buena Vista Colorado. There are several RV parks in the area and we will be making reservations today. Any opinions on a park to stay at would be a help.

This post is to get information about the route. I will be coming in from the south east, and off I-25. Google calls for getting off at route 69 and follow that to U.S. 50 and U.S. 285. I am wondering how that road is and what I can expect for climbs. Would it be better (Easier) to go to Pueblo and take U.S. 50 in to B.V. I imagine there will be some climbing either way but I would prefer the easiest route.

After Buena Vista we will making our way north to Wyoming. What is a good road to follow to end up on I-80 some where between say Rawlins and Green River? Google shows U.S. 24 to I-70 to RT. 131 U.S. 24 looks very mountainous.

I have never traveled this area and as I said before would want to avoid long steep climbs and descents if possible. I am not apposed to back tracking to I-25 if that is the easier softer way. That being said it is always fun to see new areas on the journey.

My RV is a 2001 36’ Monaco Knight. It only has a 5.9 Cummins so big hills slow us pretty good as I am also towing a Hyundai Tucson on a dolly. So flat roads are my friend. 😊

As always, I do appreciate any and all information to help with making the best travel plans. I hope everyone has a safe and fun summer traveling in your RV.

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:47 AM   #2
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Route into Buena Vista Co. then to Wy.

I havent taken 69 so I will leave that to someone who has actually driven it. I have taken 50 out of Pueblo to 285. It is fine. We stayed at Snowy Peaks park just North of town. It is a nice park, but can get a bit dusty if the wind is blowing and people dont watch their speed. Salida has a nice park also called Four Seasons.

Now just off your path is Gunnison. There is a mountain pass to get to it, but I suggest that you make the effort. Well worth it IMO. Crested Butte and Black Canyon are pretty cool.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:47 PM   #3
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Now I'm getting excited, as we will be in Buena Vista July 31 to August 04 at the ArrowheadPoint Resort. We will come in from the west from Gunnison on Hwy 50 to 285. I can't give you any advice on roads or places to stay since we have never been there either, but I'm glad to hear of someone else going.
I bought the "Mountain Directory For Truckers" and do not see any major passes or highway alerts on your route up 69 to 50/285. Jake21 mentions in his post a pass, Monarch Pass, on hwy 50 going west to Gunnison if you take a trip there and it is a long 6% grade according to the directory. I have a V10 gas MH and everyone says I will be fine on this pass.
Maybe someone will give you some advice on going north from Buena Vista because my Mountain Directory shows plenty of passes going north from there.
Thanks,
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:39 PM   #4
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Where's 'Busskipper' when you need him? He'll probably make his appearance as this is a favorite area of his.

The first thing I'd recommend is to purchase the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers, Western Edition'. It will give you a heads up on the roads.

Both roads are good and no big 'hills'. CO I-25 to 69 to 50 to 285 or I-25 to 50 to 285.

From Buena Vista to I-80 and Rawlins I'd recommend taking 13 out of Rifle, CO up to Craig and into Wyoming. There a nice state park at Rifle.

Hwy 50 and Monarch Pass and west to Gunnison and Montrose is a beautiful drive but the Pass is 6% .

From Buena Vista north on 24 to I-70 - has some steepness - 6-7% grades.

If you take 24 to I-70 then you could take 131 into Steamboat Springs then west on 40 to Craig and north on 13.

We usually boondock or use state park or national forest campgrounds so can't help with RV parks.

This is prime mountain country so you're not going to be able to drive on flat roads!

Going downhill get into low gear before you even start the descent then you won't have to use your brakes much. Don't try to downshift in the midst of the hill. If you didn't have a dolly I'd recommend you disconnect your car going uphill but you can't do that.

It's gorgeous country and one of our favorites. Enjoy!
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lurker60 View Post
Hello Everyone,

I hope everybody is doing well in these (different) times we now live in. After some consideration we have decided to move forward with our summer plans. We have reserved a spot in Wyoming for the month of August near Jackson.

Great Decision! -

On the way we would like to visit the area around Buena Vista Colorado. There are several RV parks in the area and we will be making reservations today. Any opinions on a park to stay at would be a help.

We seldom make reservations - so not much help with that - But there are really no wrong choices in the Collegiates. -

This post is to get information about the route. I will be coming in from the south east, and off I-25. Google calls for getting off at route 69 and follow that to U.S. 50 and U.S. 285. I am wondering how that road is and what I can expect for climbs. Would it be better (Easier) to go to Pueblo and take U.S. 50 in to B.V. I imagine there will be some climbing either way but I would prefer the easiest route.

Personally - I'd add one more option into the mix - Great Sand Dunes National Park - you are this close and it is really different - not a place we would spend more than a few hours, or just the Night but if you are lucky and grab a Ranger - or great Volunteer you may just get an interesting story about the area. just one more option - which would be my first choice.

Second option would be the drive between the Mountains to/through Westcliff on RT 69, this will avoid the need to drive Over the Mountains, as it goes between them. My least Favorite would be RT 50, likely because I've taken it a few too many times, and gives you too much just High arid desert driving. All the routes will avoid high Mountain Passes as you are just running north - South and staying with a more gentile ascent to Buena Vista, Salida, Leadville, Collegiates area.

After Buena Vista we will making our way north to Wyoming. What is a good road to follow to end up on I-80 somewhere between say Rawlins and Green River? Google shows U.S. 24 to I-70 to RT. 131 U.S. 24 looks very mountainous.

RT 24 is a Beautiful drive - hard to be Mountainous when Leadville is at 10,000 feet already (you got here with the most gentlest of drives, the route through Minturn to I-70 is Beautiful, so much so that I'd suggest you at least drive it but that the Shorter most scenic route might just be different. Need a little help here as each and every Drive just gives you something Different. So one of the Many options would be from Leadville to Silverthorne to Kremmling to Steamboat Springs and Up to I-80.

Or Rt 24 to I-70 to Dino NM to Flaming Gorge NRA - to Jackson.

This is really difficult as IMHO this area is just too Target Rich - just too many Options, BUT the Great thing is they are all Good/Great.

I have never traveled this area and as I said before would want to avoid long steep climbs and descents if possible. I am not apposed to back tracking to I-25 if that is the easier softer way. That being said it is always fun to see new areas on the journey.

Option One is really not available - You are now IN THE ROCKIES, DEEP IN - - but that said there are always easy ways and Hard ways - again IMHO there are few wrong ways - I suggest you avoid the I's as much as possible - think about it - you just drove 2,000 miles to see some of the most beautiful Country/Drives in the world, so what are you into - Hikes - Rivers - Viatas - Photography - We can give you as many or all if we just Knew. Just a note here - IMHO, post Covid Isolation - you may just want to Avoid the Most Popular National Parks and the Largest Crowds, Just a Thought.

My RV is a 2001 36’ Monaco Knight. It only has a 5.9 Cummins so big hills slow us pretty good as I am also towing a Hyundai Tucson on a dolly. So flat roads are my friend. ��

Flat Roads are your friend in Florida, not in the Rockies - - The Great part about driving Up slowly is you can See sooooo Much More - but do you have an engine Brake or Transmission Brake? If not take some time to learn how to Downshift as it's the Down that is the most Important out West! I have driven the entire west in underpowered gas RV's - that is not a problem your 5.9 will be fine just don't get in a Hurry going Down.

As always, I do appreciate any and all information to help with making the best travel plans. I hope everyone has a safe and fun summer traveling in your RV.

Thanks,
Phil
Phil,

I read through the other posts so a few comments - get back to us all with a little more detail and we can help a little more. (Maybe)

Another Note - I usually suggest people driving through Texas to avoid the I's - we generally get to these towns avoiding the big cities - Texarkana - Paris - Amarillo - just makes the drive easier to not get caught in Big City Traffic.

twogypsies usually is spot on - and the advice is Good - I too love Gunnison - And Crested Butte - Most of this can be done in the Toad - with day trips, need to stay here for a week at least in the Collegiates - Look at RT 91 to Rt 9 north as it will avoid many passes - But I think if you go this way Rabbit Ears will be there - Hard for me to give negative advice to those wanting to avoid Passes a I LOVE Them - twogypsies - I will leave a Picture of how I've been spending My Days - sanding Clearcoat on the Front of the Coach. - My Plans seem to be coming together to be in Colorado this Summer with the Grands -

Give us a little more Info Phil, and we can be more Specific in what may be fun. Amount of Time - Dates - Likes - .....

Best of Luck,
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:22 AM   #6
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One road you might avoid is CO 131 to Steamboat. Although beautiful, It has lots of ups and downs, with twisty turns and narrow roads.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:28 AM   #7
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Now I'm getting excited, as we will be in Buena Vista July 31 to August 04 at the ArrowheadPoint Resort. We will come in from the west from Gunnison on Hwy 50 to 285. I can't give you any advice on roads or places to stay since we have never been there either, but I'm glad to hear of someone else going.

I bought the "Mountain Directory For Truckers" and do not see any major passes or highway alerts on your route up 69 to 50/285. Jake21 mentions in his post a pass, Monarch Pass, on hwy 50 going west to Gunnison if you take a trip there and it is a long 6% grade according to the directory. I have a V10 gas MH and everyone says I will be fine on this pass.

Maybe someone will give you some advice on going north from Buena Vista because my Mountain Directory shows plenty of passes going north from there.

Thanks,


Two tips. Sherpa Cafe in Gunny is right on 50 just East of 135. Also Thai Mini Cafe at the 50/285 intersection in Poncha Springs. Both have great food and enough room around them to pull in for a quick lunch.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:46 AM   #8
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I would take hwy24 in Colorado Springs to 285 at Johnson center, then Buena Vista. Mt Prinston Camp ground is very nice as are the folks that own it.My trailer is stored there. I would then head north to Leadville and Minturn. You will be at I70, left to Rifle-Hwy 13 north to Rocksprings Wyo. and keep heading north to Jackson. Hwy 24 is nice road as is 285. Mostly down hill from Leadville. Enjoy your trip. By the way, eat at Jan's Restraunt in Buena Vista.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:11 AM   #9
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on your way to Jackson, a side trip up to Thermopolis shouldn't be missed. largest mineral hot springs in the world. free soaking at the state park in town. and a great thai restaurant in town. there is an rv park just north of town that has 2 swimming pool size hot springs. the drive thru wind river canyon is spectacular. my wife promised to drive me thru it in our toad so I wouldn't sight see on the way thru--ha. there are a couple campgrounds on the wind river. no steep grades to worry about.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:50 AM   #10
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One road you might avoid is CO 131 to Steamboat. Although beautiful, It has lots of ups and downs, with twisty turns and narrow roads.
Ups and downs and turns but nothing severe, in my opinion. You're just driving slower.

Here are a few pictures of it. https://www.aaroads.com/guides/co-131/

Another thing you can do for any highway in question is to go to YouTube.com and put in the highway # and state. If it's a popular highway in a beautiful area there will, most likely, be a video of it taken by someone who is actually driving it. Keep in mind that many are at fast speed video so it may look much different than it really is if you were driving normal speed. Also, many are taken by motorcyclists and they absolutely love going around curves faster than what you may drive so it's going to look scarier.



Bottom line.... you're in the most beautiful countryside so don't try to avoid highways based on some hills or curves. Millions of RVers have driven these. Just take it slow. After one week you'll feel like a pro!!
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:59 PM   #11
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OP, hopefully you have the 6 speed Allison and an exhaust brake???never mind, I see you have300/6 24 north is not a bad road and after Leadville it’s down hill mostly. Are you staying N or S of Jackson? While in B Vista I would go to Taylor Park in the toad...road is now paved. How many days between BV and Jackson?
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:43 AM   #12
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Thank you Everyone,

Great information. I am thinking I will take Rt. 69 to U.S. 50 to U.S.285 into Buena Vista. It sounds like U.S. 24 to I-70 is a reasonable route out. Then either 131 to 40 to 13 or follow 1-70 to Rifle and up 13 there.

I did do a couple of passes last year heading into Jackson area. I had to gear down to 3rd a couple of times. I even had to start from a dead stop half way up on one thanks to a couple of mountain goats having a snack in the middle of the road. So, like all climbs, gear down, RPM up to 2-2200, slow and steady and exhaust brake on heading down in a low gear. Should be fun and a little exciting.

When in BV we will be doing day trips in the toad visiting many of the places you all have mentioned. We will avoid crowds for obvious reasons. We prefer that anyway. We will do some hiking and just enjoy the area. We stay flexible on activities so we can see what the area offers and what looks interesting to us.

I will certainly appreciate any further information about driving and the area in general.
Phil
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:49 AM   #13
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Thank you Everyone,

Great information. I am thinking I will take Rt. 69 to U.S. 50 to U.S.285 into Buena Vista. It sounds like U.S. 24 to I-70 is a reasonable route out. Then either 131 to 40 to 13 or follow 1-70 to Rifle and up 13 there.

The only suggestion to your drive out RT 24 is you might just look at this Route through SteamBoat - MAP - https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=6e6af...=2&form=S00027 - This is as gentile as it gets (IMHO) RT 91 is slowly down hill to I-70 and Breck - then RT 9 Follows the river to Kremmling - then a little Arid Desert to Rabbit Ears Pass - long gentle drive to the top then down into Steamboat - with a couple Camping options - Steamboat Lake SP - and StageCoach SP - to stay in as you get close - even Yampa if you keep going - https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks.
polist

I did do a couple of passes last year heading into Jackson area. I had to gear down to 3rd a couple of times. I even had to start from a dead stop half way up on one thanks to a couple of mountain goats having a snack in the middle of the road. So, like all climbs, gear down, RPM up to 2-2200, slow and steady and exhaust brake on heading down in a low gear. Should be fun and a little exciting.

When in BV we will be doing day trips in the toad visiting many of the places you all have mentioned. We will avoid crowds for obvious reasons. We prefer that anyway. We will do some hiking and just enjoy the area. We stay flexible on activities so we can see what the area offers and what looks interesting to us.

Suggested day trips in Buena Vista in the Toad - RT - 82 to Aspen/Maroon Bells - maybe a stop at Devils Punch Bowl. - https://www.google.com/search?q=maro...%3Apinterest.*

https://www.google.com/search?q=devi...%3Apinterest.*

Cottonwood Pass to Crested Butte - just paved and re-opened after two years of construction - what's not to like about Crested Butte - might even travel to Crystal Mills - https://www.google.com/search?q=crys...%3Apinterest.*

Then Just the Collegiates and the Hot Springs - as earlier you were getting lot's of Good Food Advice - we never miss K's in town or Quincy's in Salida/Buena Vista/Leadville - for a good steak at a great Price - https://quincystavern.com/

I will certainly appreciate any further information about driving and the area in general.
Phil
Hope this Helps,
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:49 PM   #14
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Rabbit Ears Pass on Hwy 40 westbound is 7% grade for 7 miles with an escape ramp 4 miles down near MP 142. It's very steady at 7% and the Mtn. Directory states "This is a dangerous hill for large or heavy vehicles."

That doesn't mean you can't do it as RVs do but it's just to give you a heads up. This is where the Mtn. Directory for Truckers and RVers comes in handy. Even though a highway is in the book it doesn't mean you can't drive it. It just gives you what you can expect so there are no surprises. However, there are some highways in the book that you wouldn't want to drive with an RV!
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