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> Route For Gunnison, Co
MelindaK
post May 12 2013, 11:58 PM
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Thinking of heading to Gunnison, CO late August. Wondering if anyone out there has an opinion on the best route from Texas. I could go Interstate 25 to Hwy 50 or go further into New Mexico and go up 285 to Hwy 114. Colorado Hwy 50 and 114 both have a pass. Which road is better 50 or 114? I will be pulling a 30 ft TT.
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nedmtnman
post May 13 2013, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE(MelindaK @ May 12 2013, 10:58 PM) *

Thinking of heading to Gunnison, CO late August. Wondering if anyone out there has an opinion on the best route from Texas. I could go Interstate 25 to Hwy 50 or go further into New Mexico and go up 285 to Hwy 114. Colorado Hwy 50 and 114 both have a pass. Which road is better 50 or 114? I will be pulling a 30 ft TT.


I am sure you will get different answers. I have pulled a 38 foot fifth wheel through most of Colorado and lived there above 8000 feet for 23 years so there aren't any passes I can think of I wouldn't go over. 50 is a good road to Salida and that is as far as I have gone on 50. On 50 you can stop off in Canon City and see the Royal Gorge and there are a few other things there to do. Phantom Canyon drive up to Victor/Cripple Creek is a nice drive in the tow vehicle. So the opinion on which route to take will very depending the on the persons experience with mountains. I have seen posts on here about how terrifying a pass is that I don't think twice about going over but I am used to them. Being form Texas I can understand your concern. When I first moved to Colorado from Houston I was terrified of the passes but as I got used to them they weren't a problem.


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Texasrvers
post May 13 2013, 12:00 PM
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We make our way up to Amarillo by one of several routes and then cut over to I-25 by going through Dumas, Dalhart, Clayton, and coming out at Raton, NM. This route takes you by the Capulin Volcano Natíl Monument which we hear is interesting, but we have never stopped.

We have driven Hwy 50 over Monarch Pass in a 37í motorhome with a tow car and had no trouble. We went all the way to Montrose, but after you get over the pass, I donít recall any other steep roads. If you think you can do this, I highly recommend the scenery. It is spectacular, and I agree with nedmtnman about the things to see. Besides seeing the Royal Gorge from the top, we also took the train ride through it. Great trip! We also drove up to Cripple Creek. Once you get to Gunnison, Black Canyon of the Gunnison is unbelievable. We saw it from the south side, but we hear the north side is just as scenic.

We have not taken Hwy the 285/114 route, so I canít compare. Sounds like a great trip whichever way you go.
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RLM
post May 13 2013, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE(nedmtnman @ May 13 2013, 10:09 AM) *

I am sure you will get different answers. I have pulled a 38 foot fifth wheel through most of Colorado and lived there above 8000 feet for 23 years...


For the last two years I work camped at a place in CO that was at almost 8000 feet. It was a chore to get the MH up there, but what a pleasure to be in the cool of that altitude during summer months and to have bear, elk, deer, and other wildlife in the 'front' yard. Colorado is a beautiful state. And that's from a die hard Texan. laugh.gif
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Fitzjohnfan
post May 13 2013, 11:41 PM
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I agree with the other posts, us50 is more scenic than the 285 route. Either way will take you over Monarch pass which is steep, but if you gear-down on the down grade and try not to use your brakes, you should be fine.

If you want to, also check out us160 through Walsenberg, you will also enjoy this trip as it takes you past theGreat Sand Dunes National Monument. From there, you can still take 285 or continue on 149 through Creed. Very scenic, but you do have to go over two passes here. Slumgullion and spring creek.


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Ted Morgen
post May 14 2013, 09:13 AM
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QUOTE(MelindaK @ May 12 2013, 11:58 PM) *

Thinking of heading to Gunnison, CO late August. Wondering if anyone out there has an opinion on the best route from Texas. I could go Interstate 25 to Hwy 50 or go further into New Mexico and go up 285 to Hwy 114. Colorado Hwy 50 and 114 both have a pass. Which road is better 50 or 114? I will be pulling a 30 ft TT.


You are traveling in a good time of year but remember the saying that snow is available anytime in Colorado before and after July 4th. Keep a close watch on your weather and remember that if it turns, hunker down till it passes, Colorado weather changes rapidly. I would have chains with me. I lived in Colorado for 34 years and have been across most of the mountian roads. Your choices will provide you a beautiful ride. I probably like highway 50 most but you will have to deal with Monarch Pass there, 11,300 feet. Going up 114 is a little less stressful with North pass at 10,100 feet. The extra thousand feel might not sound that much but that will depend on what you are pulling your rig with. I have a 27' light weight and pulled it with a Dodge Dakota and their 4.7 liter V8. I never had a problem. Go slow and watch for overheating. If you get too hot, stop long before it boils over, let it cool down and enjoy the scenery. If you decide on highway 50, consider a stop at Royal Gorge. You will see a tourist stop with a train ride that is one of more more excellent rides you'll ever take. If you go the other way, and you pass through Antonito, consider the train and bus ride into New Mexico and back. Colorado is a beautiful state. I miss home. We still visit our children in Loveland. Happy traveling.

QUOTE(Ted Morgen @ May 14 2013, 09:11 AM) *

You are traveling in a good time of year but remember the saying that snow is available anytime in Colorado before and after July 4th. Keep a close watch on your weather and remember that if it turns, hunker down till it passes, Colorado weather changes rapidly. I would have chains with me. I live in Colorado for 34 years and have been across most of the mountian roads. Your choices will provide you a beautiful ride. I probably like highway 50 most but you will have to deal with Monarch Pass there, 11,300 feet. Going up 114 is a little less stressful with North pass at 10,100 feet. The extra thousand feel might not sound that much but that will depend on what you are pulling your rig with. I have a 27' light weight and pulled it with a Dodge Dakota and their 4.7 liter V8. I never had a problem. Go slow and watch for overheating. If you get too hot, stop long before it boils over, let it cool down and enjoy the scenery. If you decide on highway 50, consider a stop at Royal Gorge. You will see a tourist stop with a train ride that is one of more more excellent rides you'll ever take. If you go the other way, and you pass through Antonito, consider the train and bus ride into New Mexico and back. Colorado is a beautiful state. I miss home. We still visit our children in Loveland. Happy traveling.
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nedmtnman
post May 15 2013, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE(Ted Morgen @ May 14 2013, 08:13 AM) *

You are traveling in a good time of year but remember the saying that snow is available anytime in Colorado before and after July 4th.


I have seen snow on the 4th. As we used to say there's winter and the 4th of Julhy and don't count on the 4th.


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MelindaK
post May 20 2013, 10:44 PM
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Thank you for the information! My trip is tentatively scheduled for August I had not thought about snow. I will be traveling with someone that does not like heights. So Ted your comment about North Pass on 114 being less stressful is appealing. I will be pulling a lite 30' TT with a Toyota pick up with 5.7 ltr V8 which is supposed to have extra heavy duty brakes and springs

Fitzjohnfan, I have driven over Slumgullin and Spring Creek pass in my tow vehicle about 4 years ago and that was good enough for me smile.gif it is a beautiful drive, but no way could I pull a TT over that. Funny how as a kid I loved Red Mountain Pass, but now even Wolf Creek Pass makes me nervous.

I did watch a couple of YouTube videos on Monarch and North Pass. If I decide to go 114 over North Pass is there anything I need to be aware of? Wouldn't that route be less likely to have snow since it is lower elevation?

Again, thank you for your comments and suggestions.
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Full-Timer RV'er
post Jul 29 2013, 07:35 PM
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Hubby and I just did your trip plan in reverse September 2012. On our way to Gunnison we took Highway 50, because we started at the Royal Gorge.. On our way out we took Highway 114... The biggest difference we found in the routes was Highway 114 is a narrow 2 lane road through the mountains... Highway 50 is wider and takes into account the traffic on it. We also experienced snow on Monarch... Highway 114 was beautiful with all of it's fall colors... Monarch pass is much higher, although taking road differences into account a better route... We are driving an old 1990 35 ft Class A (460 Ford) with toad.
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