Amarillo to Ouray, CO

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Mar 1, 2019
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Will be traveling Amarillo to Ouray, CO this summer. Best route?good place to stay overnight on the way?
We are fairly new to RV trips...this will be #6 and the longest one yet. Thanks
 

NMDriver

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Dec 3, 2018
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106
Go through Dalhart, Raton, Walsenburg, and then up to US 50 via US 69 or I-25 over to Montrose. Do not attempt 550 from Durango to Ouray. If you decide to go through Durango then go on over toward Cortez and go up via Telluride on 145 and 62. I like boonedocking along  the Arkansas River next to US 50. Lots of spots to choose from.
 

AStravelers

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Nov 14, 2016
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San Antonio, TX
I second the above suggested route.  On I-25 north of Raton you have a pretty steep climb Raton pass and then a pretty steep drop down the north side.  On the way up keep your RPM's up by manually shifting down to 4th or 3rd gear.  On the way down manually gear down to 3rd or even 2nd to let the engine braking keep your speed down to 35-40mph or even slower.  DON'T ride your brakes.  Press hard to slow down 10-15mph in 10-15 seconds and then let the speed slowly build up for 60-90 seconds before braking again.

On US-50 west of Salida, you have to go over Monarch Pass.  A long about 7% grade up and about the same down the western side.  Again, gear down and RPM's up going up hill to keep your transmission from overheating and then on the way down gear down and stay off your brakes on the way down.  You will have had some good experience earlier on Raton Pass. 

By the way, "Raton" is pronounced ra-Tone

US-50 is a pretty drive.

US-550 from Durango to Ouray is a good road, but only for drivers of RV well experienced in driving on steep mountain roads.
 

Memtb

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Aug 25, 2017
Posts
1,045
Location
North-Central Wyoming
AStravelers said:
I second the above suggested route.  On I-25 north of Raton you have a pretty steep climb Raton pass and then a pretty steep drop down the north side.  On the way up keep your RPM's up by manually shifting down to 4th or 3rd gear.  On the way down manually gear down to 3rd or even 2nd to let the engine braking keep your speed down to 35-40mph or even slower.  DON'T ride your brakes.  Press hard to slow down 10-15mph in 10-15 seconds and then let the speed slowly build up for 60-90 seconds before braking again.

On US-50 west of Salida, you have to go over Monarch Pass.  A long about 7% grade up and about the same down the western side.  Again, gear down and RPM's up going up hill to keep your transmission from overheating and then on the way down gear down and stay off your brakes on the way down.  You will have had some good experience earlier on Raton Pass. 

By the way, "Raton" is pronounced ra-Tone

US-50 is a pretty drive.

US-550 from Durango to Ouray is a good road, but only for drivers of RV well experienced in driving on steep mountain roads.

      Durango to Ouray, one of the prettiest drives you can take....but you may ?pinch? the seat cover several times. As stated.... mountain experience is recommended!
 

ArdraF

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Feb 12, 2006
Posts
10,693
I recommend getting a copy of the Mountain Directory for Truckers, RV, and Motorhome Drivers.  There are two editions, one for the west coast and one for the east coast. We carry both editions.  It's a wonderful compendium that provides by state a detailed narrative on various mountain passes with accompanying maps.  To see the type of information provided, go to their website at https://www.mountaindirectory.com/

ArdraF

 
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