Driving thru Colorado - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-25-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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Driving thru Colorado

I'm going on a monster road trip out to British Columbia to pickup a new Escape trailer, 2800 miles in 3 days one way out thru I90/I94, the quickest and shortest way. I may take a 6 hour detour and drive Beartooth Highway and Chief Joseph Byway in Wyoming.
But coming back, with the trailer I want to take a more scenic route. Never been to Colorado and was thinking of driving bach thru Idaho/Utah to Colorado and then take US40 which more or less parallel's I-70 all the way across the state from Utah to RMNP and then driving thru park on US34, which is Trail Ridge Road and supposed to be spectacular.
Can or has anyone driven on Rt#40 and is it worth the additional slower time. Old mining towns and mountain views is what I want to see.I estimate 12 hours of driving time thru Colorado and then high tailing it back to Pennsylvania 3 days later. Are there gas stations on that road?
Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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Jim, I haven't been over route 40 west of RMNP. But, I have been over trail ridge road many times. The scenery is spectacular. I also remember that the speeds are slow and the driving is grueling. Mountain driving is a lot of work! And can be dangerous when tired. I think you are going to really short change yourself by rushing through CO.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:56 PM   #3
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I agree about rushing. But also question where you got 12 hours to take those roads? Both are do-able. But both are slow drives, beautiful but due to grades, curves, critters, tourist, etc in could take longer than 12 hours pulling a trailer.



But I would never travel Trail Ridge with a trailer. That's just me. With the gawkers, the critters, and the road it self. Just not an enjoyable ride pulling a trailer. Plus, half the time the weather up there can close the road in a matter of 10 min. Again, many do it, just not my thing.....................

You don't say when your coming thru, but I will warn you. Even traveling through Estes Park during the season may take you 12 hours Kidding, but sometimes just getting through town can be a slow go...........



Gas Stations along 40...... Trail Ridge, ummmmm if I remember correctly at the beginning and then once you get down towards Estes...




Beartooth with a trailer or on your way to pick up? Going up is not bad, it's a pull a big long pull.

Going down, is hell ! No other description comes to mind. Scared the be-jeeber's outta me, pulling a trailer. Steep, curves, no railing and you can see where your body will be scraped off the bottom if you don't make it down the right way.

Seriously that is an driving experience I choose never to do again! I will drive a thousand miles outta my way, to avoid Beartooth when pulling a trailer!
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:03 PM   #4
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I was hoping to drive Beartooth on way out to get the trailer, so I'll be trailer less. The 12 hour time was given to me by map quest, Heber ,Utah to Loveland,Co. ACtually it is now 9.5 hours. I'm trying to decide if I should go US40 or I70 which is also supposed to be spectacular in Colorado.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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Jim,
Congratsulations on your new Escape!!! I would double think your time table. I drove from Harrisburg, PA to St. George, UT (2250 miles) and it took me 3 full days. From 6AM to 8PM each day. I only stopped for gas. Used drive thru's and ate while driving. Did the whole trip on interstates. I drove between 80-85mph. Coming back with the trailer will be a slow go. Even if you use interstates, the safe speed is 60-65 mph pulling the trailer. Give yourself extra time so you don't stress out. Prioritize what you really want to see so you don't shortchange your time.

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Old 05-25-2012, 10:37 PM   #6
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I was planning on taking 5 nights on return trip and staying one night in Chilliwack. Let me rethink/reroute my trip out.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:57 PM   #7
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Jim I am with the rest of the folks, I really think that you are going to be really pushing it.... taking the route you have planned while putting in 700 mile plus days would not be my first choose. If you are tired and dont have a lot of experience driving the mountain passes it may not be the best route for you to take - but if you where to slow your time line down and had time to take it slow and enjoy the view then yes it would be an wonderful way to go.

My experience in going through big mountain passes is pretty well as others have suggested - lots of people taking thier time and checking out the views etc and lots of people who are not use to driving in the mountains or curvy roads will not be doing anywhere near the speed limit. We have a few such roads in BC as well ;-)) and I can tell you that in the winter even with snow on the roads I can make better time than I can on the same road in the summer when there is more traffic and half the people driving the road are scared to death of it. Map Quest is basing your trip time on no gas stops and doing the speed limit all the way ... which is not likely to happen in the late spring & summer.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:12 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=cpaharley2008;310256]I was hoping to drive Beartooth on way out to get the trailer, so I'll be trailer less. QUOTE)




Then it won't be so bad............ Still a tough climb, but so beautiful. Nothing beautiful going down! LOL.......................
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:17 PM   #9
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Jim,
I know you have said that you are on a bit of a tight schedule for this trip, but to answer your question, yes the trip thru Colorado coming back would be very nice. I've ridden ( motorcycles ) and driven ( sports cars, and trucks ) on virtually every paved and a lot of un-paved roads in that state, and I'm here to tell you, there are some fabulous sights to see.

It's true that I-70 has some scenic parts, specifically thru Glenwood Canyon.

If you have the time to make the run from Steamboat Springs to Estes Park, it is definitely worth the side trip. If you do come that way, if you find that when you get to the turnoff to go north toward RMNP ( at Granby ) that you are running short on time, you can stay on US40, and run it on down there and pick up I-70 eastbound just past Empire.
But, if you do have the time to run up over Trail Ridge and on to Estes Park, it really is one of the most scenic drives in the US. Once you get to Estes Park you have a couple of options to continue east/south. A fun and pretty choice is to run east thru Big Thompson Canyon to Loveland. At Loveland you are then east of the mountains, and you can hammer down again and make time.

If you happen to be coming across the state further up north, the drive from Walden ( cool town ! ) to Fort Collins runs you over Cameron Pass then down thru the Poudre River Canyon, which is another of my favorites.

EDIT: PS, I don't think you will find that getting fuel will be a problem at all.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:31 PM   #10
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[QUOTE

It's true that I-70 has some scenic parts, specifically thru Glenwood Canyon.

One of the most beautiful stretches of highway I have ever driven. But it only last 15 min or so........... Well worth the time to stop and hike, Hanging Lake. Which is just east of Glenwood the town.....






If you happen to be coming across the state further up north, the drive from Walden ( cool town ! ) to Fort Collins runs you over Cameron Pass then down thru the Poudre River Canyon, which is another of my favorites.[/QUOTE]


Not so sure you wanna do Poudre Canyon, we just had a large fire up the canyon. And though I haven't driven up to see the results I am sure it's been effected.




I-70 is a beautiful drive......... Lot's of gas stations. And basically an easy drive. The last decent into Denver can be a little hairy, if you allow your speed to increase with the grade. Pay attention to and follow the warning signs and you will be fine. Driving thru Denver can be a pain in the rear, but if you watch your timing and don't hit it durning rush hour you will be fine.......


Honestly, your first choice is a beautiful drive! But again, I think your cutting yourself short on the time. Otherwise I would say do 40 and Trail Ridge.

If you do end up taking 40, watch for Moose. That is where I saw my first Moose. Amazing beast!
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Robin G View Post
[QUOTE


Not so sure you wanna do Poudre Canyon, we just had a large fire up the canyon. And though I haven't driven up to see the results I am sure it's been effected.
oooh....hate to hear that. That is one of my favorite parts of the state. Beautiful up thru there.....
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:55 PM   #12
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I recently went from St Louis to just south of Butte, MT to pick up a trailer. I left here on a Friday morning, went through Cedar Falls, IA, Rapid City, SD and picked up my trailer at about 1pm that Sunday. Took off right away and headed home. Stopped in Pocatello, ID that night with a KILLER headache, nausea, VERY tired, didn't even try to eat anything.

Next day just made it to Grand Junction, CO before I had to stop. Still had nausea, big headache, very, very tired, was out of breath, just walking from my car to the bathroom at rest stops, couldn't eat. Woke up that night with difficulty breathing (felt like pneumonia) and considered going to the ER but decided I just wanted to get the heck home! (old dog at home had gotten sick & refused to eat)

By the next evening I made it to the CO/KS state line before I stopped for the night. Still tired, a little nausea but the headache was gone and breathing was easier. Made it back to St Louis by 8pm the next day, Wednesday. Was about ten days before the pneumonia feeling went away. Was most likely altitude sickness.

All THAT to say...don't try to hurry through. MAKE the time to TAKE time or you may get sick...your body just won't have time to acclimate to the altitude if you try to complete the trip quickly...and the trip won't be as enjoyable as it SHOULD be.

Mon
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:54 AM   #13
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Trail Ridge road in RMNP gets up over 12,000 feet. While you could tow a trailer over it, it would not be a good idea. Having been there many times, I can't imagine driving it without stopping multiple times. Also finding parking space with a trailer could (and probably would) be difficult.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #14
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Stopped in Pocatello, ID that night with a KILLER headache, nausea, VERY tired, didn't even try to eat anything.

Next day just made it to Grand Junction, CO before I had to stop. Still had nausea, big headache, very, very tired, was out of breath, just walking from my car to the bathroom at rest stops, couldn't eat. Woke up that night with difficulty breathing (felt like pneumonia) and considered going to the ER but decided I just wanted to get the heck home! (old dog at home had gotten sick & refused to eat)

By the next evening I made it to the CO/KS state line before I stopped for the night. Still tired, a little nausea but the headache was gone and breathing was easier. Made it back to St Louis by 8pm the next day, Wednesday. Was about ten days before the pneumonia feeling went away. Was most likely altitude sickness.


Mon


Personally it doesn't sound like Altitude sickness.. Altitude sickness goes away once you leave altitude. But I am sure the long drive thru CO didn't help your issue. Sorry you didn't get to enjoy our beautiful state!
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