Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Colorado, I70 and 160 to 285 advice
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 > Colorado, I70 and 160 to 285 advice

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michigansandzilla

Michigan

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Posted: 07/21/21 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello,
Wondering if experienced drivers can tell us how the drive is through Colorado. We've pulled our travel trailer through mountainous areas before but we've never been to Colorado.

We plan to go west on I 70 through Colorado en route to Utah.
We'll spend a few days in Moab.
Then we're heading to Mesa Verde national park. Afterward we are heading to Moraine park campground in Rocky Mountain national park and it looks like we'll be going 160 east to 285 north.

Is there anything we should know about these roads? Is it appropriate to pull a trailer through these areas?

Thanks.


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BarryG20

Castle Rock, Colorado

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Posted: 07/21/21 03:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I 70 is ho hum yes some long grades but it is interstate highway so nothing crazy at all. Genesee/floyd hill just west of Denver, then the slog up to the Eisenhower tunnel, then up Vail pass after that easy peasy to Moab.

Moab and 191 south to Monticello Utah some short steep hills but nothing big. 491 from Monticello to Cortez (keep your eyes open for the 160 turn off in Cortez it can sneak up on you) easy peasy good road then on 160 to Mesa Verde again easy peasy bit of hill just before Mesa Verde exit.

160 east from Mesa Verde to 285 is nothing except for Wolf Creek pass. I personally find it zero issue but I drive over it probably 50 times a year so may be jaded. It is great road only two hairpins going up the west side and don't recall any on the east side. Once down super easy to Del Norte at the stop light in Del Norte turn left on 112 and save yourself some miles. It will take you to 160 is good road and flat. Left on 160 and it is slow slight uphill grade all the way to the top of Poncha Pass like as in 50 miles gradual. In fact you wont even know you are going up the pass it is such a gradual climb. Going down the other side you can tell but it is a minimal pass and no issue. Once down pay attention to signs to stay on 285 as you hit Poncha Springs there is stop light go through that and get in right hand lane to turn off to stay on 285 Now you start heading up the Arkansas river valley again a couple hills nothing big at all. At Johnson Corners you turn no big whoop again even Kenosha pass is minimal pass. After you get down it the road gets a bit more curvey but 45-55mph then it opens up in Bailey where there is a decent hill but really fairly short and gets better but it is good road all the way into Denver.

285 to 160 is my go to route to get down to the Mesa Verde area as we have some property in the area so am down there frequently. The drive is nice, usually uncrowded, minimal big trucks and good scenery.


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Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 07/22/21 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the tail end of your trip, to RMNP and Moraine Park, there are a couple of options.

On US 285 when you get to Aspen Park, shortly thereafter there will be a long downhill through Turkey Creek Canyon, but it is 4 lanes and a good road. Just watch your speed -- gear down and keep it at or under the speed limit. Town of Morrison PD is aggressive in enforcing the speed limit. When you get to CO 470, head north toward I-70. Once you get to I-70 you have a choice.

Stay on CO 470 and go into Golden where it intersects with US 6. Take US 6 into Golden where it meets CO 93. Take CO 93 through the remainder of Golden and stay on it all the way up to Boulder. In Boulder CO 93 becomes Broadway/CO 7 through the city and CO 7 intersects with US 36 north of the city. US 36/CO 7 north to Lyons, then in Lyons stay on US 36 up to Estes Park.

Alernatively -- instead of going into Golden and the traffic of Golden and Boulder, where CO 470 intersects with I-70, get back on I-70 and head WEST to the exit for US 6. Make sure you are in the right lane down a ginormous hill and watch for the US 6 exit as it can sneak up on you. Take US 6 east to CO 119 and then take CO 119 north toward Black Hawk and stay on it all the way to Nederland. In Nederland pick up CO 72/the Peak to Peak Highway and stay on that until the intersection with CO 7. Make a left and go through Allenspark and Meeker Park and on in to Estes Park.

IF you miss the US 6 exit, not to worry. You can get off I-70 at the Central City Parkway and take that up to Central City/Black Hawk. Just follow the signs through both towns for CO 119 where you pick that up in Black Hawk and follow the directions above.

As you come in to Estes Park on CO 7, watch for Mary's Lake Rd. Make a left and take it down to where it intersects with US 36/Moraine Ave. Make a left on to US 36 and you'll be just about to the Beaver Meadows entrance to RMNP. There's a good visitor's center there. At the entrance gate let them know you have a reservation in Moraine Park; that will be your timed entry into RMNP. Print out a copy of your reservation confirmation before your trip as added proof of your reservation. Turn off US 36 on Bear Lake Rd and stay on that to the entrance to Moraine Park.

None of this is difficult towing. Many folks at various experience levels do it all the time. Just take your time and enjoy your visit!


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Bionic Man

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Posted: 07/22/21 09:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pretty much covered everything else, but keep your eye on I 70 road condition just east of Glenwood Springs. The recent fires up there have caused mud slides when it rains, and that stretch of the interstate has been closed when that happens. There are two detours around it when that happens that will add a couple hours and many miles to your trip if you hit it wrong.


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4runnerguy

Glenwood Springs, CO

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Posted: 07/23/21 04:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't know when you are planning on travelling, but as noted, I-70 through Glenwood Canyon is a dicey proposition right now. Twice in the last few days it has been closed for over 24 hours. Keep an eye on the weather and if rain is forecast, plan on a different route.

Note that US 50 is under construction between Gunnison and Montrose with closures lasting many hours on weekdays, so that's not a good alternative unless you are travelling on the weekend.

If you do manage to take I-70, take exit 204 in Utah and following UT 128 along the river to Moab. Stunning scenery.


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d3500ram

Colorado

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Posted: 07/27/21 11:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4runnerguy wrote:

Don't know when you are planning on travelling, but as noted, I-70 through Glenwood Canyon is a dicey proposition right now. Twice in the last few days it has been closed for over 24 hours. Keep an eye on the weather and if rain is forecast, plan on a different route.
...

^^-- Ditto that!

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