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 > I-70 through Colorado

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Sooner Schooner

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Posted: 09/03/19 09:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're about to head to Oklahoma from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I would like to go I-90 east to I-15 south and then take I-70 east to Denver. I don't like a lot of drama so are the passes pretty easy to navigate? Any other concerns I should be aware of? We are in a 40' Class A diesel pusher towing a car. Thank you all for advice.


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profdant139

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Posted: 09/03/19 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's an interstate, so the grades are not bad. We found that the lanes were kind of narrow in some areas, and there always seems to be construction going on.

But none of this is a deal-killer. 70 is still the fastest way across the state, as far as I know.

One thought, though -- many of the exits in mid-Colorado involve "roundabouts," those pesky traffic circles. Not a serious problem, but in a long rig like yours, you may need a little extra care when exiting, or else it could get exciting. [emoticon]


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BarryG20

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Posted: 09/03/19 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well it is interstate so the passes are about as good as they get. Vail pass is a slog but certainly doable without any issues. Next is Eisenhower/Johnson Tunnels same as Vail, slog up and even more down to Georgetown but relatively easy. A couple shorter uphills after Idaho Springs then the descent down into Denver.

Nothing wrong with 15 down to 70 but you could save a lot of miles and time Taking US6 from Spanish Fork to Green River. I think it is along the lines of half the miles and a couple less hours of time. The road is good I personally would not consider it any drama but I guess that is really in the eye of the beholder. However if you do go that way you will miss driving across the San Rafeal Swell which is awesome scenery but if you really wanted to see that you could still take 6 to Price than 10 down to 70 and still save a lot of miles and time


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Posted: 09/03/19 09:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No drama unless you get pressed for time and try to rush it.
Allow an extra hour to get through the hills and you will be fine.


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Tom/Barb

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Posted: 09/03/19 09:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Might better I-90 to 25


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Bionic Man

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Posted: 09/03/19 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There will be drama if you come through on a Sunday afternoon. Traffic can be terrible. Either get through to Denver before 11 am, or hit the tunnel after 600 PM. Better yet, avoid I70 on a Sunday.


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Posted: 09/03/19 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BarryG20 wrote:

Well it is interstate so the passes are about as good as they get. Vail pass is a slog but certainly doable without any issues. Next is Eisenhower/Johnson Tunnels same as Vail, slog up and even more down to Georgetown but relatively easy. A couple shorter uphills after Idaho Springs then the descent down into Denver.

Nothing wrong with 15 down to 70 but you could save a lot of miles and time Taking US6 from Spanish Fork to Green River. I think it is along the lines of half the miles and a couple less hours of time. The road is good I personally would not consider it any drama but I guess that is really in the eye of the beholder. However if you do go that way you will miss driving across the San Rafeal Swell which is awesome scenery but if you really wanted to see that you could still take 6 to Price than 10 down to 70 and still save a lot of miles and time

+1, that stretch of US-6 is a piece of cake, and pleasant scenery. The Swell is sort of visually interesting but IMO it doesn't even come close to rivaling much of the other sandstone scenery in Utah.


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Posted: 09/03/19 05:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sooner Schooner wrote:

We're about to head to Oklahoma from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I would like to go I-90 east to I-15 south and then take I-70 east to Denver. I don't like a lot of drama so are the passes pretty easy to navigate? Any other concerns I should be aware of? We are in a 40' Class A diesel pusher towing a car. Thank you all for advice.


I-70. Vail Pass over 10600 feet, not an overly difficult climb heading eastbound. Descent also not overly difficult, but it can be a bit deceptive, when you think you're down, there's still more downhill. You'll know you're completely down when you get to Frisco and the drop into Silverthorne.

The climb from Silverthorne up to the Johnson/Eisenhower Tunnels is about 8 miles of steady climb, topping out at over 11100 feet, making it one of the highest tunnels in the world, and the longest/highest tunnel in the Interstate Highway system. It's 3 lanes up, so it really doesn't feel that daunting going eastbound. Narrows to 2 lanes going through the tunnel. For the descent, gear down immediately upon exiting the tunnel. I usually go down it in 2nd or 3rd gear.

From the tunnels east to Denver, you do not want to do this on a Sunday. Ever. It is a slow crawl all the way to Denver. Floyd Hill, just east of Idaho Springs, is a bear of a climb when traffic is only moving at 20-25mph, in all climb lanes, and that can be frequently.

The descent from the Evergreen Parkway to Denver West, is a long 8-9 mile drop with 2 runaway truck ramps if needed. There are signs along the way "Don't be fooled. You still have xx miles to go. keep in lower gear". You'll know you're down when you see the signs for Golden and the intersection with CO 470.

Drama on these roads usually comes from other drivers. Going too slow, or too fast. Usually too fast. 80mph is not uncommon. Or towing too much with too little.

An alternative? Take I-80 all the way across Wyoming. No passes at all, and if you get a good tail wind out of the west, you'll get decent fuel economy. Highest point on all of I-80 is just east of Laramie at ~9600 feet. Lots of rolling terrain, and high plains.

* This post was edited 09/03/19 06:05pm by Thom02099 *


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LenSatic

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Posted: 09/03/19 10:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

many of the exits in mid-Colorado involve "roundabouts," those pesky traffic circles. [emoticon]


I HATE those things! We almost got taken out by one at the Morongo Casino a few years ago. They're great for locals who are used to them but for visitors who suddenly come up on them they are very dangerous. They are slowly infecting AZ, too.


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ken56

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Posted: 09/04/19 04:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is a quite beautiful drive. Came through there a year ago for the first time and being an interstate route it's not that bad but it is the mountains. You want to pick up 89 out of Spanish Fork to 6 over to 191 and into 70 at Green River. That cuts off a lot of miles from where 15 comes into 70. It's good secondary road too and nothing you can't handle.

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