RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Roads and Routes: Route 160 in Colorado

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 > Route 160 in Colorado

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klr650goldwing

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Posted: 01/07/22 02:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Has anyone pulled a 5th wheel from Walsenburg, Colorado to Cortez? We will head from Minnesota to Sequoia NP in September of 2022. On that trip Route 160 would work well provided it doesn't have hairpin turns and severe switchbacks. Thanks.


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RAS43

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Posted: 01/07/22 03:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The route travels over Wolf Creek Pass which does have switchbacks on the west side. But this road has been improved a lot over the years and the pass is pretty easy to navigate IMO. I have towed doubles (5th wheel/ boat) over it a few times and trailers many times.

agesilaus

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Posted: 01/07/22 03:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wolf Creek Pass east of Pagosa Springs has a number of switchbacks and is fairly high but thousands of RVs of all sorts run up and down every year. Nice wide road. So long as it;'s not snowing. Otherwise I don't recall any bad spots. Been up and down that road many times over the years.


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paulj

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Posted: 01/07/22 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"hairpin turns and severe switchbacks" are not as common as you might fear, at least not on US numbered highways. There are some state roads in California with "king pin" or total length restrictions, and one dirt road in Utah with tight turns. Otherwise even the tightest loops on paved highways are no sharper than a freeway cloverleaf or city intersection.

Wolf Creek Pass is the only thing that might give you problems, and there it will be the grades - up or down - not the tightness of the turns.

Disclosure - to me a 'severe switchback' is something that will require a 3 point turn, something you might have to do to turn around in the middle of your home street. Something that you can drive a 15-20 mph is not a severe switchback.

Thom02099

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Posted: 01/07/22 06:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There's a selection of videos you can watch on YouTube that will give you an idea about travelling up and over Wolf Creek Pass, including the CW McCall song about it...long before the improvements were made to both sides. September is a great time to be in that area of Colorado, was down there a few years back in late September and the colours were so vibrant.

It's really not a difficult crossing any more. Even with the potential for snow in September, CDOT does a great job in keeping it open if it does snow, and that early in the season will likely melt off quickly.

There's also N La Veta Pass west of Walsenburg, somewhat gradual climb for a bit then a gradual drop down into the San Luis Valley. The vistas of the mountains are breathtaking as you come down off La Veta; Blanca Peak, Mt. Lindsey and Slide Mountain all visible to the north of the highway, in stark contrast to the agricultural fields throughout the valley. If you get a chance, a side trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park would be something you won't see anywhere else -- sand dunes butting up against 14000 ft mountains. Worth a stop.

* This post was edited 01/07/22 06:36pm by Thom02099 *


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Posted: 01/07/22 08:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Mountain Directory says there are several stretches of up to 8 miles of 6% grades and a couple of spots with 25 MPH curves. I used to drive that route in the '70... but not towing.

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obgraham

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Posted: 01/07/22 10:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only problem with that route is that you can see your fuel gauge needle dropping with every mile. The road itself is just fine.
But I've never done it is nasty or snowy weather -- that might change my opinion!

southernsky

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Posted: 01/08/22 04:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've been over that road many time pulling our rig. Take you time and enjoy the view. Use your exhaust break, mountain driving is really not that bad


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BB_TX

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Posted: 01/08/22 07:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with above. 160 is a very good road. And going west is the easier direction as far as Wolf Creek Pass. It is longer and steeper on the west side (where you will be going down). But there are two lanes most of the way down that side allowing you to stay right and not hold up traffic. There is only one sharp U turn as you get near the bottom. Take that slow. And if you can’t control your speed, there are two run away truck ramps you can use. [emoticon]

And as noted above, North La Veta Pass outside Walsenberg is not bad. Gets to be a little bit of a tug as you near the top, but again two lanes so you can stay right and not hold up traffic. Going down west side not bad at all.

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