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  1. #1

    Default Driving the Rockies in October - need advice

    Hi everybody

    I'm new to this forum. I'm French and I absoluetly love the US and driving there, i've already done some great road trips around your country: 18,000 miles to join the four corner states (Washington, California, Florida, Maine); a lot of driving in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, ....

    I am coming back for 2 weeks in October and i'd like to do a loop drive starting in Las Vegas driving East across the national parks of Southern Utah then down to the Navajo reserve; north to Denver then Wyoming to get to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Then west towards Yellowstone and back South across Utah or Nevada to finish the loop in Vegas.

    Do you think it's feasable in 16 days? I guess in October i'll avoid the first snowfalls but doesn't it get too cold for camping? Any advice, recommendations?

    Thanks a lot for your help and congratulations about your website.

    Nic

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default How cold is too cold?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First of all, I don't think you'll have any problems doing this loop in 16 days. It seems very feasable.

    October is one of the best times of the year to do a roadtrip like this, but if you are going to camp, you will want to make sure your gear is rated for the conditions. It certainly wouldn't be impossible to see some snowfall in the higher elevations of your trip, and throughout your trip I would expect overnight temperatures to be quite cool.

    But I do much of my camping in the fall, its much less crowded and much more peaceful. I haven't camped in the rockies at this time, but I have camped in the Sierras. As long as you have some heavy clothes and a good cold weather sleeping bag, you should be fine.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks Mickael
    That was a quick response!

    I also wanted to know: is there usually much sunshine in October? and are the black hills worth checking up?

    Thanks
    Nic

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Sunshine

    I can't think of any reason you wouldn't see a fair amount of sunshine during the day in October. Just keep in mind that the sun will be setting before 7 o'clock at this time, which could make it dark pretty early in the valleys.

    Black Hills are beautiful and have plenty of things to do. However, depending upon how much time you want to spend in Utah and Colorado, you might be pushing it a bit to fit it into this trip.

  5. Default Come prepared for autumn weather..

    Just for grins I went to www.weatherunderground.com and looked at the historical weather data for October Cheyenne, Wyoming -- just to pick a town in the general part of the country.

    11 hours of daytime that time of year, with about another half hour of twilight on each side.

    Average daily high temp is 61 F/ 16C, with average daily low temp is 35F/ 2 C. So be prepared for coolish temperatures, particularly after dark. There's definitely a chance at you may see freezing or below temperatures at night.

    You ought to also come prepared for the chance of rain too -- not a lot, and October seems to be less wet month than September -- but there's a reasonable chance of at least a thundershower or two. There's even some possibility of some snow -- last year the town got 0.02 inches of preciptation as snow on the 18th, 27th and 28th of October. That's not a lot, but it's something.. (The weather looks like it was 10 F below average, those days).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Speaking for my family....

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    You ought to also come prepared for the chance of rain too
    My extended family owns and operates large cattle ranches to the north and east of Cheyenne and I can guarantee you that they will be doing everything the can to induce the rain gods to share some rain in October. This summer has been one of the driest in recent memory -- Hay production is nearly zero (in non-irrigated fields) and there have been frequent and dangerous grass fires all over the place.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default Trouble in LA too

    I was talking to a friend of mine on Tuesday who raises cows. She said that so far her cows have enough to eat, but it's nearly impossible to sell a calf right now due to the number of cattle farmers trying to downsize their stock.

    We've also been experiencing a very hot summer. It's been over 100 for many many days this summer. I know that doesn't sound bad to you desert dwellers, but that's before the humidity which has been adding upwards of 10 degrees to the base number.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default I thought you meant Los Angeles!

    Quote Originally Posted by lhuff View Post
    I was talking to a friend of mine on Tuesday who raises cows. She said that so far her cows have enough to eat, but it's nearly impossible to sell a calf right now due to the number of cattle farmers trying to downsize their stock.
    I gotta get out more -- I thought you were describing a cattle farmer in Los Angeles!
    We've also been experiencing a very hot summer. It's been over 100 for many many days this summer. I know that doesn't sound bad to you desert dwellers, but that's before the humidity which has been adding upwards of 10 degrees to the base number.
    I like between 103 and 108 with less than 10% humidity. It is those days at 117 that begin to grab my attention... Parts of the west like around Silver City, NM have had record rain this summer -- everything is green and spring-like!

    Mark

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nico View Post
    the Black Hills of South Dakota.
    I've got that song from Calamity Jane stuck in my head now!

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