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  1. Default Take US 40 from Denver to Salt Lake City?

    I am planning my family summer road trip. We plan to fly to Salt Lake City then visiting Arch NP, then take the I-70 to Rocky Mountain NP. On the way back to Salt Lake City, we want to take a different route. Is US 40 a good option? How long does it take? Anything spots worth stopping along US 40? Thanks in advance.

    By the way, we've been to Beartooth Highway and Yellowstone...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    US-40 is an excellent choice from RMNP to SLC, and it's probably the fastest way. Just take Trail Ridge Road west to Granby to pick it up. Figure about 8 hours plus stops. You may want to go through Dinosaur National Monument.

    On your way to RMNP via Arches, I'd recommend you take UT-128 to get back to I-70. Also, I'd recommend you take US-6 over Loveland Pass instead of using the tunnels on I-70. To get to Estes Park from I-70, take Central City Parkway/CO-119/CO-72/CO-7. This keeps you out of the congested Denver metro and is very scenic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Other options to consider.

    How much time have you got available for the trip ? Canyonlands and Dead Horse State park are both 'neighbours' of Arches NP. Once back on I70 you could also visit the Colorado National Monument which has a nice drive along the rim and through rock tunnels. If you had time to spare you could look at heading further south from Moab to Mesa Verde NP and then to Durango and head north on the 'Million dollar Highway' (US550) through the lovely mountain towns of Silverton and Ouray. A spectacular drive ! When you get to Montrose CO you would also have the option of taking US50 which goes past Black canyon of the Gunnison, through Currecanti Nat Rec area and over the continental divide at Monarch Pass.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Trail Ridge Road.

    Be aware that there is no guarantee any day of the year that the Trail Ridge Road will be open. It can close at a moment's notice. At an elevation of more than 12.000 ft a blizzard can close it, even in the middle of summer. Back in Sept. 2009 I was assured it would be open the following day (when I planned to go up there). That was at 4pm. At 6.30pm it was closed by a blizzard.

    Check as you head up that way, and have a plan 'B', just in case.

    BTW, it is a spectacular drive, with unbelievable views. You will want to stop at all the turn outs, and take your time. It's not a road to rush.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Thank you so much GLC!

    Quote Originally Posted by chimq View Post
    I am planning my family summer road trip. We plan to fly to Salt Lake City then visiting Arch NP, then take the I-70 to Rocky Mountain NP. On the way back to Salt Lake City, we want to take a different route. Is US 40 a good option? How long does it take? Anything spots worth stopping along US 40? Thanks in advance.

    By the way, we've been to Beartooth Highway and Yellowstone...

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    How much time have you got available for the trip ? Canyonlands and Dead Horse State park are both 'neighbours' of Arches NP. Once back on I70 you could also visit the Colorado National Monument which has a nice drive along the rim and through rock tunnels. If you had time to spare you could look at heading further south from Moab to Mesa Verde NP and then to Durango and head north on the 'Million dollar Highway' (US550) through the lovely mountain towns of Silverton and Ouray. A spectacular drive ! When you get to Montrose CO you would also have the option of taking US50 which goes past Black canyon of the Gunnison, through Currecanti Nat Rec area and over the continental divide at Monarch Pass.
    Thanks Dave! I think I will pass the million dollar highway, looks so scary! LOL

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Be aware that there is no guarantee any day of the year that the Trail Ridge Road will be open. It can close at a moment's notice. At an elevation of more than 12.000 ft a blizzard can close it, even in the middle of summer. Back in Sept. 2009 I was assured it would be open the following day (when I planned to go up there). That was at 4pm. At 6.30pm it was closed by a blizzard.

    Check as you head up that way, and have a plan 'B', just in case.

    BTW, it is a spectacular drive, with unbelievable views. You will want to stop at all the turn outs, and take your time. It's not a road to rush.

    Lifey
    How long would you say I need for the Trail Ridge Road please?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    You could probably drive from Estes park to Grand lake in a couple of hours, but you could spend a lot longer stopping and enjoying the scenic viewpoints and visitor centre. Mind you, if you find the Million dollar Highway scary, you might want to take another look at the Trail Ridge road !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default So much an individual thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by chimq View Post
    ... looks so scary! LOL
    It is!!

    As for the TRR. It really is impossible to say So much depends on how often you stop, taking photos, and how busy it is. When I finally got to drive it, it happened to be the weekend the parks were free. I think I left wherever I was staying (Denver/Loveland/Ft Collins ???) in the morning, and did not get back out of the park before dark. That was going not all the way to Grandby, and back again. Many stops I had to forego, including the visitor centre at the top, because the parking was all taken.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 09-10-2016 at 06:59 AM.

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