We went over both Monarch (both ways) and Wolf Creek (eastbound) last summer. Very doable and the "bad" sections over the summits are relatively short. In our gasser we unhooked the toad, lugged up at 35 mph and down at 30-35 in 2nd gear. Going up Wolf Creek, we ended up in front of three DP's, each towing, and they couldn't overtake us. They probably couldn't overtake us without their toads. Not much air up there. Even our Jeep was losing significant power over the summits.
I would remind you that snow is common in May and June. We arrived in Delores, CO in a blizzard on May 15th and it snowed on Independence Pass on the first day of summer last year. Be prepared to adjust your plans or route accordingly. And just because they say it supposed to snow, that doesn't mean it won't.
I have two Boys one who graduated from Whittier in Cali - and the other Played in a lacrosse tournament every summer in Vail while he was in College, moving there some 18 years ago. So Colorado has become our Second Home.
Seriously think about option #1 - Driving out Saturday evening before dark to Leadville - https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=ae863...=2&form=S00027 - only a two and 1/2 hour drive and will expose so much more than you could see staying on I-70.
Many places to stay - and while just the start of summer it will be Beautiful and expose you to sooooo much more of the Colorado I Know and Love.
With the Added advantage of a Steak Dinner at Quincy's - https://quincystavern.com/ - or K's in Buena Vista for a lighter fare.
The View/Drive along the Colligates and the run over Monarch Pass will just reinforce your choice, as the Country is just Beautiful then the drive through Gunnison - along Blue Mesa Reservoir to RT 550 to Ouray will be short and might even allow a quick run to Black Canyon Of the Gunnison NP.
To Come all this way and not get off the I's as quickly as possible is.....well just ....IMHO a Mistake. (Yes I am being a Little Pushy, but for good Reason!)
Will you be returning to Denver to let the Kids fly Back? or will they catch Albuquerque for the flight back. (Or will they ride in the RV with You?) Your Choice of Ouray RV is Excellent as it allows the hot springs pool and the City of Ouray to be close. Keep in mind if you are not Comfortable Driving out to Durango via RT 550 you can Scoot around on RT 145 as it too is just Beautiful just much more gentile.
I could go on and on but if you were to make the Run through Buena Vista, even if you drive straight through, it will be well worth the effort.
So many Options and Never enough TIME.
Hope this helps.
A little bit of snow doesn't concern me. Anything close to requiring chains or bad winds means I stop where I'm at or reverse course.
A late winter storm can change plans in a heartbeat!
If we happen to get a serious delay I can always put them on a plane to home and I'll just continue at my leisure.
My only commitments at home are doctor appointments and those can be changed easily.
"So many Options and Never enough TIME."
That's so true!
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