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Author Topic: Colorado Get Away- but where to?  (Read 1688 times)

X-Roughneck

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Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« on: July 03, 2020, 07:16:32 PM »
Hello Board,

Looking to venture out for a 10 day eXcursion to beautiful Colorado.  Destination, Big Nature. N/S/E/W- Flexible as to location

Don't have a clue to where I want to go, other than higher elevations where I could get some relief from the Heat.  I was recently in the Durango, Pagosa Springs area so not wanting to go right back to the same area this trip out.

I will be 32'5" plus a 4 down tow Jeep, so right at 51'.

Looking for suggestions to beautiful places, Water, RV Resort, National Parks with in the State of Colorado. 

I am thinking Rocky Mtn National Park Area?, but just looking for some peace and beautiful views preferably with water in the area. Flexible to locations within the state.

JD 


LarsMac

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2020, 08:11:13 PM »
A lot of the Colorado parks are on a "reservation only" status. That includes RMNP.
Steamboat Springs is really nice in the Summer, too. Summit County is opening up, some. Breckenridge area and Grand Lake have some decent RV parks, worth a visit.

There is also the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Crested Butte area.

Just some quick suggestions. They are all in the high country, and a lot cooler that Texas, this time of year.
You'll need to do your research, though. The C-19 bug has put a lot of plans into the wind. 


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Larry N.

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2020, 08:46:05 PM »
Quote
A lot of the Colorado parks are on a "reservation only" status.

All Colorado State Parks have required reservations since the summer of 2018. But there are city and/or county parks, too, such as Carter Lake (Larimer County) south of Horsetooth Reservoir.
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LarsMac

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 09:00:56 PM »
All Colorado State Parks have required reservations since the summer of 2018. But there are city and/or county parks, too, such as Carter Lake (Larimer County) south of Horsetooth Reservoir.

I don't think Carter Lake will get him away from the heat. It was pretty warm there today.
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JudyJB

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 10:22:35 PM »
Try the area around Ouray in Colorado.  Ridgeway State Park is lovely and very high.  Heaton Bay near Frisco is very high, on a lake and, has a great bike trail all around the lake.  Not too far from Breckinridge, also.   Just a warning that southern and western Colorado can be HOT in summer, so stick to the central and northern parts and the mountainous regions.
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Larry N.

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2020, 07:19:50 AM »
I don't think Carter Lake will get him away from the heat. It was pretty warm there today.
But even that will be better than his west Texas home, since it cools off at night and is generally pleasant through the evening and up to mid-morning or a bit later, even on a 95º day. In any case, it was an example of non-state parks.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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AStravelers

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2020, 07:56:11 AM »
It is time to learn how to boondock for an extended period, i.e. 10 days.  There are many, many places in CO to boondock (disbursed camping in the National Forests). 
Here are a couple of links to websites listing places to boondock or dry camp in designated campsites:
https://www.campendium.com/
https://freecampsites.net/

One area we enjoyed was the area around Rabbit Ears Pass in northern CO along US-40 and SR-14. 
GPS for the area:  40.384389, -106.611787

Links to our blog for our stay in the area in 2009:
http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2009/07/colorado-july-14-25-2009-poudre-river.html
http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2009/07/colorado-july-26-29-2009-seymour-lake.html
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X-Roughneck

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2020, 10:28:18 AM »
Yes I can see boon-docking would be a real appealing possibility, but I would want to first expand the solar I have on board.  Also only have 2 Lead Acid Grp31 Deep Cycle, and unsure of just how they would perform under load. 

I saw a guy that gave up a bit of his under seat dinette storage to hold 2 additional AGM Batteries along with replacing the 2 existing Lead Acid also,

so a 4 Battery Set up with A couple extra panels on the roof is what I would like to have as known factors before I gave it / "boon-Docking" a shot.

I think I will migrate over to AGM for the No Maint factor and I could get 2 under seat in Living area and would not have to worry about venting (I think?) 

My Zamp System can accommodate another 2 panels on their junction box on my RV roof.  I want to RE-DO the factory Cheap Battery Terminal Connectors anyway.

This year hook ups is reality....boon docking...yea...I can see it in the near term future.

For now, I want to see if I can get in for 2 weeks somewhere this year and the board response has given me some ideas.  Larry even gave me a few points to ponder on IM, thanks, Larry.

COVID-19 has made it a strange year, I will admit.  We just got back from our 2500 plus mile Loop, so who knows as far as booking sites?  I may be able to luck out land a reservation, in a sweet spot.

JD

nibroc

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2020, 11:37:47 AM »
Taylor Park Resort is a very nice & spacious sw of Denver about 80 miles

UTTransplant

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2020, 03:39:53 PM »
Following this with interest. We are looking to (probably) spend a week or two in south or central CO, high enough for some nice temperatures. We will probably be heading that way in early August. We have spent weeks around RMNP and more weeks around Durango, Ouray, Silverton, and the Four Corners area. Thinking more of front range than inter mountain. We can dry camp/boondock for a week comfortably, and that’s generally as long as we want to stay in an area. We have a 40’ motorhome though, and a lot of boondocks are down forest service roads we don’t want to drive. We would prefer an open enough place so the solar can manage without a generator. I have looked through Campendium and AllStays, but there are so many it is hard to know which ones might work. Maybe JD and us can met up.
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LarsMac

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2020, 04:28:54 PM »
But even that will be better than his west Texas home, since it cools off at night and is generally pleasant through the evening and up to mid-morning or a bit later, even on a 95º day. In any case, it was an example of non-state parks.

Good point. You are 100% correct.
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Larry N.

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2020, 05:16:41 PM »
Given some of the interest shown in this subject, I'll post what I sent to John in a PM:

You might look into Colorado Springs with its Seven Falls, Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, and Pike's Peak, and Manitou Springs might be worth a visit on the way to Pike's Peak. But Rocky Mountain National Park (near Estes Park, CO) is a gorgeous place to visit too, and there are campgrounds (no hookups) in the park, but also RV parks in the area. And in Estes Park itself don't skip the Stanley Hotel (built by Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame), a gorgeous place and they welcome tourists to visit.

The Georgetown Loop Railway (just off I-70 near Georgetown, CO) is a fun ride, Leadville has a small railroad and is the highest city in CO, and in the U.S. as far as I know. There are old mines in many of these areas, too. Another small railroad (along with history and casinos) can be found in Cripple Creek, just a bit above Colorado Springs. There's also Gold Camp Road, part of which is an old railroad track bed and gets you to a tunnel or two also.

Central City used to be a great place to visit, and there are still a few things there such as the Central City Opera, but casinos have ruined it and next-door Blackhawk. The Peak-to-Peak highway ( CO hwy 72) north out of Nederland (at the top of Boulder Canyon) is a very pretty drive, too.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park between Walsenburg and Alamosa, and the Cumbres & Toltec RR that runs across the border between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO, a great all day ride, are also things you might enjoy.
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2020, 08:05:05 AM »
If you like to fish there's a small park in Antonito CO (name escapes me) that is almost boondocking. About 30 sites in the woods with about a half mile of trout stream owned by the same people. The name cites RV Park/Resort and Fishing Club.
It Has full hookups and the owners are some of the nicest people you'll ever want to meet. Some woods roads nearby, but primarily fishing and relaxing plus the railroad.

Ernie.
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Lynx0849

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2020, 10:31:07 AM »
If you like to fish there's a small park in Antonito CO (name escapes me) that is almost boondocking. About 30 sites in the woods with about a half mile of trout stream owned by the same people. The name cites RV Park/Resort and Fishing Club.
It Has full hookups and the owners are some of the nicest people you'll ever want to meet. Some woods roads nearby, but primarily fishing and relaxing plus the railroad.

Ernie.

If you remember the name, or someone else does, I am interested.

The Cumbres & Toltec railroad travels between Chama and Antonio over 10,000+’ Cumbres Pass.
Great train ride. It goes one way on a day, and the other the next. They provide bus service to get back to where you started.
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X-Roughneck

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2020, 01:08:50 PM »
Given some of the interest shown in this subject, I'll post what I sent to John in a PM:

You might look into Colorado Springs with its Seven Falls, Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, and Pike's Peak, and Manitou Springs might be worth a visit on the way to Pike's Peak. But Rocky Mountain National Park (near Estes Park, CO) is a gorgeous place to visit too, and there are campgrounds (no hookups) in the park, but also RV parks in the area. And in Estes Park itself don't skip the Stanley Hotel (built by Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame), a gorgeous place and they welcome tourists to visit.

The Georgetown Loop Railway (just off I-70 near Georgetown, CO) is a fun ride, Leadville has a small railroad and is the highest city in CO, and in the U.S. as far as I know. There are old mines in many of these areas, too. Another small railroad (along with history and casinos) can be found in Cripple Creek, just a bit above Colorado Springs. There's also Gold Camp Road, part of which is an old railroad track bed and gets you to a tunnel or two also.

Central City used to be a great place to visit, and there are still a few things there such as the Central City Opera, but casinos have ruined it and next-door Blackhawk. The Peak-to-Peak highway ( CO hwy 72) north out of Nederland (at the top of Boulder Canyon) is a very pretty drive, too.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park between Walsenburg and Alamosa, and the Cumbres & Toltec RR that runs across the border between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO, a great all day ride, are also things you might enjoy.

Good Point Larry, I was not trying to Horde good info. 

I am just looking for a nice spot of nature to look at. 

Looking into a few of those that you shared.

John 

Larry N.

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2020, 02:42:29 PM »
If you remember the name, or someone else does, I am interested.

The Cumbres & Toltec railroad travels between Chama and Antonio over 10,000+’ Cumbres Pass.
Great train ride. It goes one way on a day, and the other the next. They provide bus service to get back to where you started.

There's also the choice of halfway then return, from either terminus. The Cumbres stops at roughly the halfway point (Osier) for lunch, and gives a chance for those who chose the out and return option to change to the returning train. We've done it both ways, even with an overnight in Antonito then return by train the next day, and both ways are lots of fun and very scenic, with the scenery being quite different on the two halves.

One of my favorite train rides ever.

Quote
I was not trying to Horde good info. 
I didn't figure you were, John, but I just thought the interest by others deserved a posting.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 02:44:00 PM by Larry N. »
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Lynx0849

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2020, 04:18:16 PM »
We, my late wife and I, rode from Chama to Antonio back in 2003. We chose day 2 of the season reasoning they would get the bugs out on day one. Well, turns out the FRA inspector didn’t make it in time so we cooled our heals till noon then got under way. This meant we didn’t get back to Chama till 8pm. We were on motorcycles and the ride to our overnight in Durango got us in after the sidewalks were rolled up. Dinner was bar nuts in the hotel bar. The bourbon was good though. Sigh...
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2020, 06:05:13 AM »
It's the Canon Bonito RV park and Fishing Club in Antonito CO.

Ernie
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Lynx0849

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2020, 11:01:04 AM »
It's the Canon Bonito RV park and Fishing Club in Antonito CO.

Ernie

Thanks
Rob & Deryl, Nettle & Tigger
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fraim

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2020, 06:08:06 PM »
we were in buena vista, salida & pueblo in june.
you def want to hit the arkansas river while in colorado.  we had a blast there.  you should go on a raft trip down the river.  we stayed at the "arkansas river rim campground" at $40 per night...wifi was screaming fast!  the river was down the bank behind the campground & you can get down very easily & spend your day watching the amateur & pro rafters.  the towns of buena vista & salida are nice places to visit as well.... we stopped at pueblo state park on our way back to texas & as others have said, the days are hot but nights & mornings are cool.

good luck & have fun!

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2020, 06:40:42 PM »
Peak One Campground in Frisco, and next to it Pine Cove dry camping. On the Dillon Reservoir. Pine Cove is basically parking spaces, good for a couple of nights, but we spent a week there when Peak One was full. A little over 9,000 feet. Lots of hiking and kayaking in the White River NF. Close to Dillon and Breckinridge and about an hour from Denver.
Gene

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X-Roughneck

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2020, 10:32:22 PM »
We decided on the Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park Area for our next 2020 get away.  Their Weather looks Nice!

Luckily I did stumble upon the GOV Website stating you had to buy time frame arrival Tickets for each day to enter the Rocky Mountain National Park park due to COVID 19 and them limiting cars, Staggering them entering the park.  Due to COVID without these Vehicle Tickets you can't enter the Park.  I went ahead and secured the entry TIX I wanted for certain days when we will be there.

I purchased entry to the park for 8 of the days to the Park, and we left a few of the days off to explore other stuff and or just relax and walk the dogs. 

I did not get Super Early Arrival which is my strategy most times going to Major Iconic Areas / Tourist Traps, but locked in at least 8-10 Arrival Windows ensuring we can at least enter the Park.  It does appear from their website they still had real early arrival time TIX availability and would be releasing more for these earlier arrival times in the "future".  I was not wanting to hold out and wait for a maybe I will get a earlier ticket, and then missing out on them all.

I also left some days off wanting to make sure we have a few days time to explore other camping opportunities and places in the area as I can anticipate we may return to the area as it is not that far from the Desert here where I live in TX.

We both can't wait to see the Area.  Going to make it a point to Relax, see some beautiful views of nature and have fun!

JD

LarsMac

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2020, 10:37:59 PM »
Let us know when you're around. Maybe we can get together for a Coffee or lunch.
We're just down the hill.

There are some nice drives outside the park that are close by, too.

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Lynx0849

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2020, 10:43:17 PM »
Where are you staying while visiting the park?

Trail ridge road is a must do. I have seen class A RVs on it. I have ridden it twice, both from the Granby end. Wow. The view up at the top (11,000 ft +) is amazing. I spread my late wife’s ashes at the continental divide on trail ridge road. She loved that spot.
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LarsMac

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2020, 11:44:05 PM »
Where are you staying while visiting the park?

Trail ridge road is a must do. I have seen class A RVs on it. I have ridden it twice, both from the Granby end. Wow. The view up at the top (11,000 ft +) is amazing. I spread my late wife’s ashes at the continental divide on trail ridge road. She loved that spot.

While you can take some fairly large vehicles over Trail Ridge Road, I recommend NOT doing so.
A 26-30 ft RV can tie up traffic very nicely, and the driver will spend most of the drive managing the drive and have little time to actually enjoy the view.
There are few easy places to pull over and get out to look around, and even fewer that accommodate a larger vehicle.
If you just want to do it to put another check on the list, have at it, but you likely won't really enjoy it, and neither will most of your passengers. I recommend unhitching the Toad and enjoying the day making the trip.

All of that is my opinion, and has little authority, but it comes from experience.

If you want to make the trip to move from camp in Estes Park to camp at somewhere on the other side, that is another story, because the alternative would be to go all the way down to I-70 and through the Tunnel. An even less enjoyable drive.






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Larry N.

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2020, 07:29:21 AM »
Quote
Trail ridge road is a must do. I have seen class A RVs on it.
I agree that it's a must do, but I strongly agree with LarsMac that taking a motorhome along that road is a poor idea. There are some areas that are almost white-knuckle just in a pickup, and you'd likely be holding up traffic while not being able to enjoy the view. Parking would also be a real problem at most of the scenic parking spots.

Quote
If you want to make the trip to move from camp in Estes Park to camp at somewhere on the other side, that is another story, because the alternative would be to go all the way down to I-70 and through the Tunnel. An even less enjoyable drive.
You wouldn't have to go to the Eisenhower Tunnel. You could take the U.S. 40 turnoff from I-70, go over Berthoud pass (better than Trail Ridge, but steep) and go through Winter Park, Granby, etc. And it's another pretty drive, especially after you get off the interstate.
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Lynx0849

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2020, 12:47:49 PM »
I wasn’t suggesting he do it just for sightseeing, but just to give some perspective. Another great loop is Over to Granby, up to Walden, and down the Poudre Canyon to Fort Collins.
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X-Roughneck

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2020, 04:27:50 PM »
Have not narrowed down the eXact route into Estes Park, but we will be coming in north from Pueblo, CO RV park on a Wednesday morning. 

I am not wanting to pay tolls (See: "Tolls" below) but, not wanting to take IH 25 down into the Concrete Jungle of Denver during Rush hour either. 

I am unfamiliar with Denver traffic but at a length 32'5" and a 4 door Jeep Wrangler, I am not nimble, nor fast.

I will probably look at the road map and may go into Estes Park skirting Denver to the West on our morning that we leave Pueblo. 

If it is rush hour dependent and I choose to go IH 25 thru Denver I will time it to avoid. 

Does anyone have eyes on that stretch of IH25 roadway that runs thru the Heart of Denver if one was traveling thru in a north easterly direction?  Just curious if IH25 in Denver has some major "Road Project" On-going on in the heart of the concrete and Steel madness.  It looks like IH25 runs straight thru the Heart of Denver, at my initial quick glance when I was splitting the drive up by miles planning my outbound. I need to come back and look at that again.

I tend to try and avoid these Interstate Highway Roads roads while getting to Point "B".  To me it just takes the Fun out of driving the RV, the constant Stream of 18 wheelers. 

We like the road less traveled, but I do not like getting into situations where I am stacking traffic behind me endlessly either. 

The Ford V10 will make it, but some of those steep Mountains it can get Slow and Loud.  I personally have only been up to 9600 ft towing and traveling Scenic Highway 12 coming out of Bryce/Cannonvile, Utah area traveling east to Moab.

(Tolls:) In 2019 coming from Texas I got on a toll road somewhere near the Denver Airport. I went to Ft Collins.  Not sure when the Toll Road Actually started or stopped.  I took this same stretch of the road (Denver to Ft Collins) twice.  Upon getting home, I received a $80ish Toll bill in the mail for the two trips thru skirting Denver to the west.  I though it was excessive.

This trip no $80 TOLL Bills in the mail will be a major objective of mine. 

I can't wait.  It is going to be EPIC, going to take in some Beautiful Views!

JD

 

Larry N.

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2020, 05:19:31 PM »
Quote
(Tolls:) In 2019 coming from Texas I got on a toll road somewhere near the Denver Airport. I went to Ft Collins.  Not sure when the Toll Road Actually started or stopped.  I took this same stretch of the road (Denver to Ft Collins) twice.  Upon getting home, I received a $80ish Toll bill in the mail for the two trips thru skirting Denver to the west.  I though it was excessive.

This trip no $80 TOLL Bills in the mail will be a major objective of mine.
Avoid E-470, it's ALL tollway. Coming up from Pueblo, just as you get into the south metro area, there'll be a C-470 west bound that you can take as far as I-70 (way west and north), then take U.S. 6 to Colo. 93 then north to Boulder. As you get into Boulder take U.S. 36 north to Lyons, then into the mountains to Estes Park.

Should you decide to go through town on I-25, then you can get off on Colo 7, just 3 miles north of me (would love to have an eyeball), then west through Boulder to U.S. 36 to Lyons, etc. OR, you could get off just north of Longmont on Colo 66 west to Lyons, etc.

The traffic through Denver isn't nearly as bad as it was before COVID, but there are still times when it's congested. The heaviest construction that I know of on the I-25 route is between Colorado Springs and Castle Rock, and that stretch is frequently congested.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Lynx0849

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Re: Colorado Get Away- but where to?
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2020, 07:21:09 PM »
Where are you staying while visiting RMNP?

If camping in Estes, definitely take the Jeep up trail ridge rd at least to the visitor center.

Maybe do the loop I mentioned but head up US34 from Loveland back to Estes.
Rob & Deryl, Nettle & Tigger
Clyde, a 2015 RAM 3500 Cummins Longhorn SRW w/ARE cap (which will come off for the 5th wheel)
2018 Grand Design 337RLS
2016 H-D Electraglide Ultra
N1ICB (Nursing 1 Ice Cold Beer)
N1SPA (up to my neck in hot water, as usual