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  #1  
Old 06-11-2005, 09:01 AM
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sickchuck sickchuck is offline
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Post need some driving directions

I'm taking the family on a drive to phoenix from chicago starting out on tuesday. I'm trying to make denver the first day only 1027 mi. my question is , what is the most scenic but fast route across co. to the four corners area on to the grand canyon [maybe do the chevy chase thing] ? rt.285 from lakewood s. to 160 w or 285 s to 60 w. to 550s to 160 w. Any suggestion would be very helpful
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Old 06-12-2005, 10:17 AM
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You need to decide if you want scenic or fast. The quickest way is 285, cut off at 112 to Del Norte, this will take you to 160 to Durango, 4 corners etc.. The more scenic but longer route is 285 to 50 at Poncha Springs, through Gunnison to Montrose, 550 south by Ouray, Silverton, Durango etc. This is by far the more scenic route but much longer. Another way is I25 to Walsenburg and 160 west - BORING although you drive right by the Sand Dunes Nat'l Monument.

Time wise, good traffic conditions, driving the speed limit, minimal stops etc, Denver to Durango via 285 and 160 about 7 hours (some one will tell you they do it in 9 and others will say in 5). One slow camper or 18 wheeler can easily add 1-2 hours. Dever to Durango via 50 and 550, same conditions, will be about 8-9 but the sights are amazing and you may wind up stopping at the hot springs in Ouray just becasue they are there.

Have fun, it sounds like a great trip.
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Old 06-12-2005, 02:44 PM
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clarification........

denver to gunnison is 200mi 285 to 50 and gunnison to cortez is 200 mi 50 to 550 to 160 can take 8-9 hrs? is this without really stopping, or are the speed limits slow? and we will go for scenic there ain't much of that here in n il.
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Old 06-12-2005, 08:17 PM
slowsix slowsix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sickchuck
denver to gunnison is 200mi 285 to 50 and gunnison to cortez is 200 mi 50 to 550 to 160 can take 8-9 hrs? is this without really stopping, or are the speed limits slow? and we will go for scenic there ain't much of that here in n il.
Denver to Gunnison, average 4 hours in good traffic, travel time. A few smaller mountain passes will keep you entertained. On 285, Kenosha Pass (10,000 ft) and Red Hill Pass (9,000 ft) are not much. On 50 Monarch Pass (11,000+) is a little more interesting. Both 285 and 50 are for the most part two lane roads and the traffic can easily slow you down.

550 South from Montrose. Ahhhh, God's Country! Keep an eye out for deer, elk and othere wildlife. Ouray is called little Switzerland for good reason. The hot springs are good for weary bones. Red Mountain Pass (11,000+) will literally take your breath away. This is/was called the million dollar highway. Either for all of the gold in the pavement when it was mined or the scenery. You decide. Don't be fooled that it is the the same elevation as Monarch, they cannot even compare. Be sure to stop in Silverton and be a tourist for little bit. If you want a detour, go past the old gold mine at the north end of town (you can see it from just about anywhere in town) and travel just a few miles on the dirt road to one of many ghost towns. Go to Fetch's Emporium and ask for Scott Fetchinheimer (his real name). He can direct you to the easiest, quickest and best ghost towns. He really does know the area. He does like to talk though. Careful by the old mines, one vertical shaft can ruin your day. The train entering or leaving is a sight to behold (check the schedule) and if they are still doing the old west gunfight, it is entertaining if you have younger ones. Over Molas and Colbank (passes) into Durango. Montrose to Durango, easily 4 hours if all you do is drive.... and you WILL want to stop.

400 miles 6 passes (some just big hills). That is the reson for the long driving time. Be careful on the down hill side. DO NOT, and I will repeat DO NOT ride the brakes. They will overheat and fail. Then your fun really begins. If you have a manual use the tranny, if it is an auto you can still use it but keep an eye on the temp.

Let me know what you think after you have ventured through a small part of Colorado. There are many other portions that are just as grand but different. Hope this is helpful. Have a great trip!
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Old 06-13-2005, 04:44 PM
qman qman is offline
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For speed I just take I-40 to Albuquerque and north on I-25 to Denver. Interstate speed (75 mph +) the entire way. I live in CO and I prefer the scenic route but it is also slower. The highways in the mountains are 2 lanes total and speed limits of 45-55. You'll be average 50 mph. Sometimes they're doing road improvements and if you don't get there by 10 pm you have to wait til morning or find another way. You do get plenty of warning though. On the interstate you can average about 75.

Last edited by qman; 06-13-2005 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 06-13-2005, 07:04 PM
Mil1ion Mil1ion is offline
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http://www.mapquest.com/directions/m...cago&2s=IL&2z=

Last edited by Mil1ion; 06-13-2005 at 07:10 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-21-2005, 10:18 AM
slowsix slowsix is offline
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Hey sickchuck, how was the vacation? Did you drive through Colorado?
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Old 06-26-2005, 03:18 PM
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yes we did and the views were fantastic. We even tried the off roading in ouray and went as far as an expedition could make it. It was a little scary in one place since the trails are ment for jeeps. 40hrs taking the scenic route but only 26 hrs back home taking rt 40 and rt 44.the only holdups we had were photo opps. and a warning by c.s.p. in canon city for 76 in a 65[to busy looking out the window]. thanks for the help
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Old 06-28-2005, 09:25 AM
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Glad you enjoyed the trip. Come back and see other parts on another trip.
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Old 06-28-2005, 09:25 AM
 
 
 
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