RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Roads and Routes: Colorado Route Suggestions?

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Roads and Routes

Open Roads Forum  >  Roads and Routes

 > Colorado Route Suggestions?

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next
Sponsored By:
flintsters

Vermont

New Member

Joined: 10/24/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 02/09/18 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This summer we are heading out for 8 weeks to go cross country. We drive from Vermont to St. Louis for a couple of nights and then on to Cherry Creek State Park to get somewhat altitude adjusted before heading up to Moraine Campground in Estes Park. From there we will make our way down to Ridgway State Park (and a ton of other stops after that). I am looking for route suggestions/advice getting from Cherry Creek to Moraine and also from Moraine to Ridgway. I will likely follow this up with the rest of my itinerary for advice but want to make sure I get answers to these questions first.

My TV is a 2015 Chevy 2500 Duramax and TT is 34' (bumper to hitch) Jay Feather Select 29L. I have only had this set up for a couple of years and just now starting to feel comfortable/confident towing (I went from driving a Honda Accord to a 54' rig overnight).


2012 Jayco Jay Feather Select 29L
2015 Chevy 2500 Duramax

Thom02099

Loveland,CO

Senior Member

Joined: 02/25/2014

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 02/09/18 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

flintsters wrote:

This summer we are heading out for 8 weeks to go cross country. We drive from Vermont to St. Louis for a couple of nights and then on to Cherry Creek State Park to get somewhat altitude adjusted before heading up to Moraine Campground in Estes Park. From there we will make our way down to Ridgway State Park (and a ton of other stops after that). I am looking for route suggestions/advice getting from Cherry Creek to Moraine and also from Moraine to Ridgway. I will likely follow this up with the rest of my itinerary for advice but want to make sure I get answers to these questions first.

My TV is a 2015 Chevy 2500 Duramax and TT is 34' (bumper to hitch) Jay Feather Select 29L. I have only had this set up for a couple of years and just now starting to feel comfortable/confident towing (I went from driving a Honda Accord to a 54' rig overnight).



From Cherry Creek SP to Estes Park, to start out, you can go WEST/SOUTH on I-225 to I-25, and then go north, or take I-225 EAST/NORTH to I-70 to I-270 to I-25. The point is, get on I-25 either way and take it north.

You can go up to the Longmont Exit 243 for CO 66, then take CO 66 west to Lyons, and pick up US 36 up to Estes Park.

Or, you can go further north to Loveland Exit 257 for US 34 and take that west all the way to Estes Park.

Both ways are scenic, but in different ways. The Loveland route takes you through the Big Thompson Canyon, which is an impressive drive at the beginning, going through the Narrows. US 36 from Lyons to Estes Park is more open, and more of a valley than canyon.

US 36 was reconstructed after flooding in '13 and is a good roadway all the way up. US 34 is currently closed and is being rebuilt for the same flooding in '13, and is scheduled to reopen in late May 2018. Significant reconstruction, so it should be an excellent roadway. Both are not difficult drives. Twisty -- yes, but a somewhat gentle climb up to Estes Park.

Getting to Moraine Park from either direction is tricky; you do not want to go through the downtown area if you can avoid it. And you can avoid it. US 36 and US 34 intersect in Estes Park, and become Elkhorn Ave; there's a traffic light there. Go west 1 block to the next traffic light, which is Riverside Ave. Make a LEFT on to Riverside (watch for pedestrians). Take Riverside to the next intersection/stop sign, which is Crags Dr. Continue on through the intersection on Riverside (there is a brief name change from Riverside to East Riverside - stay on it regardless).

You'll go past Manor RV Park on Riverside, and just past that, there's a big curve and intersection with Mary's Lake Road. Make a right on to Mary's Lake Rd and go to the traffic light, and make a left. This puts you back on US 36/Moraine Ave and will take you to the Beaver Meadows entrance for RMNP. If you have a Senior Pass, there's an express lane on the far right at the entrance; swipe your card and you're in. Then just follow the signs to Moraine Park; it's not very far at all.

Taking Riverside helps you avoid the very congested downtown and the difficult (for your size rig) left turn from Elkhorn to Moraine. You're going through a residential area so be mindful of that. Key landmarks -- at the stop sign for Crags there's the aerial tramway and then Manor RV Park.

For the next leg, when you leave Moraine Park, so back to Mary's Lake Road and make a right, but this time stay on Mary's Lake Road. Go UP a hill, past Mary's Lake Campground and Mary's Lake Lodge until it intersects with CO 7. Make a right and take CO 7 (which is also the beginning of the Peak to Peak Highway) up and out of Estes Park. It's a goodly climb up, and the roadway is somewhat rough but this is the best/most scenic way to go. Take CO 7 up through Meeker Park and Allenspark. Outside of Allenspark is the intersection with CO 72. Make a right (a much better roadway) and stay on CO 72 to Nederland. There you will pick up CO 119 (still on the Peak to Peak), to Black Hawk/Central City. There you have the option of staying on CO 119 to US 6 WEST to I-70, or go up through town in Black Hawk and Central City and take the Central City Parkway to I-70.

Along this route above, there's lots of things to see/do if you have the time for it. Some great photo ops along the way, some hiking trails as well as USFS CGs if you have the option to stay (you'll need reservations for weekends).

I'll let others give you some pointers on getting to Ridgway from here! A LOT depends on whether you want to just go there and get there, or see the sights along the way. There's various ways to get there.


2007 GMC Sierra SLE 3500HD Dually
2007 Keystone Outback 25RSS

flintsters

Vermont

New Member

Joined: 10/24/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 02/09/18 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is super helpful....thank you! It's the plan right now that we'll be making the trip from Moraine to Ridgway in a day. On Google Maps it says it's about 350 miles so that's a solid 7-8 hours of driving without stops for rest room, food, various interesting things we see along the roadside, etc. That's assuming we take the Peak to Peak to I-70 and then hop onto 50 just outside of Grand Junction.
Along with my wife and myself we will have our 3 daughters (12, 10, 5) so making good time going anywhere is a bit of misnomer.

ppine

Northern Nevada

Senior Member

Joined: 07/04/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 02/09/18 10:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So many great places. Once you get crowded places like RMNP out of your system, try spending time on the National Forests. I lived in Colorado in the 1980s, and there are 100 great places. Get some good maps and go wandering. Great place to boondock. Allow a few days to get used to the elevation.

* This post was edited 02/15/18 10:19am by ppine *

2gypsies

Enjoying the West!

Senior Member

Joined: 04/02/2003

View Profile



Posted: 02/09/18 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really suggest an overnight between Estes Park and Ridgeway.... perhaps at Rifle Gap State Park. After getting out of Estes and climbing the mountains you will most likely be tense and need a break from driving. Then you'll be refreshed for the final leg to Ridgeway.


Full-Timed for 16 Years
.... Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 40' 2004 Newmar Dutch Star Motorhome
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th Wheel


fanrgs

Mile High City

Senior Member

Joined: 01/20/2012

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 02/14/18 01:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2gypsies wrote:

I really suggest an overnight between Estes Park and Ridgeway.... perhaps at Rifle Gap State Park. After getting out of Estes and climbing the mountains you will most likely be tense and need a break from driving. Then you'll be refreshed for the final leg to Ridgeway.
A slightly different state park in the same area would be Rifle Falls SP, which is one of our favorites (if you can get reservations for a site long enough for your trailer!). For other route and campground ideas, see my blog HERE. Another alternative is the James Robb campground at Colorado River State Park in Fruita if you are planning to visit Colorado National Monument.

And we much prefer the Elk Ridge cg at Ridgway State Park to the other two campgrounds. However, if you are staying longer that your tanks will hold out, the Pa Co Chu Pak cg below the dam is the one with FHU sites.

* This post was edited 02/14/18 01:41pm by fanrgs *


"Retirement is the best job I ever had!"
2015 RAM 2500 4x4 crewcab 6.7L CTD; 2016 Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 8244WS 5th Wheel


hedgehopper

Denver

Senior Member

Joined: 11/16/2009

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 02/22/18 06:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your itinerary sounds like it includes a rush trip across Colorado. I suggest that’s not a good plan. Colorado has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. If you rush through it, you will not get to enjoy it as you would if you took more time – the more the better. You mention having three daughters. And admitted that rush trips and kids are not compatible. Amen.

ppine

Northern Nevada

Senior Member

Joined: 07/04/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 02/23/18 09:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would skip all of the state parks and even RMNP. They are the most crowded places in the state. Coming from the East, it takes time to get used to all of that open public land. The National Forest System is your best friend in Colorado.

Thom02099

Loveland,CO

Senior Member

Joined: 02/25/2014

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 02/23/18 12:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ppine wrote:

I would skip all of the state parks and even RMNP. They are the most crowded places in the state. Coming from the East, it takes time to get used to all of that open public land. The National Forest System is your best friend in Colorado.


I agree, the USFS CGs are terrific alternatives, and a bargain for those of us with the senior pass. Half price camping is a beautiful thing.

Unfortunately, as is the case with State and National Parks, they are also being overcrowded, or difficult to get reservations. And reservations, you definitely need, at least in this part of northern Colorado. My favourite places, I have to be up early on the opening day of the 180 window to get a spot where I want. And even doing that, in places like Red Feather Lakes, all of the spots were taken in a matter of minutes at 2 of the 3 CGs in the area. No better than SP or RMNP.

Best time to go to USFS CGs? Sunday/Monday/Tuesday! When I was working full time, those were my best days off and that's what I requested. Could go camping, leaving on a Sunday morning, while all the weekend warriors were coming home. Frequently had CGs to ourselves on those days.

Lauren

Sahuarita, AZ (or on the road!)

Senior Member

Joined: 05/31/2001

View Profile





Offline
Posted: 02/23/18 08:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I could add my 2 1/2 cents worth here as I lived in CO and go back there often. But you have gotten some good info. Thom is the go to guy for CO these days but 2gypsies has good info. Actually, most everyone does.

As far as Estes is concerned, I lived there 8 years and just last week shared time with a very long friend who talked me into living there back in the early 90's. They still live there. The town is a real mess as town itself but with all the people who get to Rocky and show no respect for anything. The town is got very bad management (Mayor in particular) and let's just say politics which if affecting a whole lot there......including visitors. Fees for Rocky have gone way up and many new restrictions. My recommendation - stay the heck otta there. Go done to the San Juans around Buena Vista for someplace - we will be in B V for a month again this summer.

I rambled but just do some good checking on things.

Be safe and God bless.

Lauren


Barbara-DW 55 years
Sadie-"Aussie" Terrier
06 Mobile Suites 32TK3
06 Chev 3500 4x4 Dmax
20 yrs PT RVing - 190 RV parks; some many times





Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Roads and Routes

 > Colorado Route Suggestions?
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Roads and Routes


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2018 CWI, Inc. © 2018 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS