Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Colorado loop including 4 corner states

    Well it's a little over 6 weeks before we embark on our next RV adventure so I thought I would put our itinerary out there and see what you think.

    We fly into Denver on Sept 27th and pick up the RV in Westminster the following morning and then we are off !

    In bold is booked.

    Mon 28th] We head West towards Nederland to pick up the Peak to Peak highway [72] North and then to Estes park, making a pit stop at Lily lake on route. To get to Nederland it's a toss of the coin whether to go via 'Coal creek canyon drive' [72 West] or Boulder canyon drive [119] so if anyone has a suggestion let me know. I am not worried about quickest but the most scenic. We are staying at Morraine park campground.

    Tues 29th] A day along the bear lake corridor hiking etc and evening in Estes park and stay the night.

    Weds 30th] Early[ish] start over the Trial ridge road, crossing the continental divide to Grand lake for lunch and a wander around and then we head towards Leadville/Twin lakes but not before a little detour over Loveland pass and the C.D once more.

    Thurs 1st Oct Another work out in a 30ft RV as we plan to head over Independence pass through Aspen to Glenwood springs. We then head towards Fruita and the James M. Robb Colorado river state park for the night. [Thanks to AZBucks list off places just off Interstate.] On route we hope to do a drive around the Colorado NM while trying not to lose the roof of the RV through the tunnels !

    Fri 2nd] We are staying at Arches NP campground and exploring the park and maybe head into Moab for the evening. From Fruita we will head for Cisco down the 128 passing Fisher towers and Castle valley.

    Sat 3rd] A little time in the park before heading "across the road" to Canyonlands and hoping to have enough time for a quick visit to Dead horse point. From then we head South on 191 towards Bluff, stopping at Wilson Arch on route. We had hoped to include Canyon De Chelley and it's still possible but we need to be close to Mesa Verde for the morning so time will tell.

    Sun 4th] A short drive to Mesa Verde and enjoy a couple of tours and stay in the park for the night.

    Mon 5th] Start out heading up the San Juan skyway to Telluride and then continue towards Black canyon and Currecanti recreation area and stay in this area for the night.

    Tues 6th] This morning is the first [and only] bit of back tracking as we head back to Ridgeway and continue South on the "Million dollar highway"[ part of the San Juan skyway] and to Pagosa springs.

    Weds 7th Tonight we stay at the Great sand dunes NP but to get there we are planning to "dip" into New Mexico crossing the gorge bridge into Taos [Pueblo] and if time permits driving a large part of the "Enchanted circle" past Angel fire, [home to a Viet war memorial] Eagle Nest, Red river to Questa and North to Fort Garland and the Dunes.

    Thurs 8th] Today we head for Manitou springs and Garden of the gods and maybe [hopefully] cave of the winds. In the evening a trip to Seven falls would be great but might be too much. A lot will depend on the route we take, I like 2 lanes and like to travel via Salida but Interstate looks tempting to give us more time at M springs.

    Fri 9th] Start out with Pikes peak and then head to Golden for "the last supper," through the Pike National forest if time permits. I can't find a definitive answer if RV's are allowed to drive up Pikes peak or not,[I know, I know !] the official website doesn't note any restrictions on size. I think the girls are veering towards the cog railway but I would love to join the likes of Arri Vatanen and co and drive up it. Does anyone know if there are restrictions ? Have you seen a large RV up the top?
    Am I mad ? [I already know that one !!]

    Sat 10th Get packed up, empty the RV tanks, go to the car wash to clean the RV and be back in Westminster for 12 noon to drop the RV off. To the airport for a 4.55 pm flight. We arrive in London Sun at 11.15am pretty exhausted no doubt.

    Although there are not a lot of miles involved I know a lot of them are going to be extremely slow and we will have some long days to enable us to see things along the way, even if we have to juggle a little.

    I would appreciate any comments/suggestions, good or bad !

    Thanks for looking !
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-14-2009 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Typo.

  2. #2

    Default On 1 October, I think you mean......

    ......Glenwood Springs, CO for an end-of-the-day stop. Your route that day and continuation the next seems to preclude Colorado Springs as the overnight that day.

    That being correct, by all means have a soak at the Glenwood Hot Springs. It's one of my favorite places in CO.

    It looks like a great RoadTrip! Travel safe and enjoy.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Just a couple of hours or so.

    Hi Foy,

    Just to clarify [I confuse myself sometimes !] we will be heading to Colorado springs for a look around and lunch [maybe the caverns] and then continuing on to Fruita for the night. If by any chance Independence pass is closed due to early snow fall then quite possibly we will head to Glenwood springs instead of stopping in Leadville/Twin lakes the night before, in which case a nice soak in the hot tub will be on the agenda. Thanks.

  4. #4

    Default The big picture is elusive


    I'm still puzzled. I see you starting the day in the Leadville area, thence to Independence Pass and Aspen, thence BACK over the pass and through the mountains to the City of Colorado Springs, thence BACK through all of the mountains to Fruita?

    Are you perhaps referring to a spring called Colorado spring, somewhere between the cities of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, or are you actually referring to the city of Colorado Springs? In the case of the former, the routing makes much sense, while in the case of the latter, it seems to be much zig-zagging.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default No wonder !

    Gee, I am a "numpty", and you were correct the first time, I mean Glenwood springs !!

    .Glenwood Springs, CO for an end-of-the-day stop.
    It didn't even register that I had referred to "Glenwood" as "Colorado", I just thought you believed we were staying here the night and not at Fruita, hence the reason for recommending the hot springs.

    Oh boy, I could cause confusion in an empty room today, Lol!

    [I have now edited the itinerary, thanks Foy.

  6. #6

    Default No worries, Friend

    Yah, it seemed like you must have meant Glenwood Springs.

    If you're not familiar with the town or the facilities, be aware of the fact that the natural hot spring waters are piped into a gigantic complex of outdoor swimming pools. I think some envision a natural rock-walled sylvan setting and are taken aback at the huge outdoor pool facility.

    I spent a week there at the hotel with my then 12 year-old son on a ski trip. We used the Springs Hotel as a base to ski the Aspen/Snowmass group of ski resorts and nearby Sunlight ski mountain, none more than about 45 minutes drive away. Unlimited use of the hot pools was included in the quite reasonable room rates, and there were quite a number of restaurants and bars within a short walk across the footbridge crossing the Colorado River and I-70. For those reasons, I always recommend a stopover at Glenwood Springs to RoadTrippers planning trips to the vicinity.

    Enjoy, Dave!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Frozen, Dead, In a Shed!

    Nederland, home to one of the wierder festivals in the US; Frozen Dead Guy Days. Here's an explanation of the origins.

    Not far from the town hall:

    Photo: Don Casey

    is a booth run by the Chamber of Commerce; if you're lucky it will be open and you can pick up a t-shirt or other bit of "Granpa Bredo" memorabilia. You'll be the only person on your street with some.

    Bear lake is a great short, easy hike:

    Photo: Don Casey

    Let me know if you want some suggestions for longer day hikes in RMNP.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Yes please.

    Cheers Don, I will keep an eye out for a bony guy called Granpa Bredo !

    Let me know if you want some suggestions for longer day hikes in RMNP.
    I was thinking of getting to the Bear lake parking lot reasonably early as I have heard it can fill quickly [and it's not so easy "squeezing" a 30ft RV into a tight area] but I am not sure if this will be the case at the end of Sept, any thoughts ?

    If you have some tips on trials that'd be great. We don't want anything to strenuous but don't mind walking for 4 or 5 hours in one loop or a 2-3 hour trip, back to the RV for lunch , relocate and then start another for the same amount of time. I was thinking along the lines of Bear Lake, Alberta falls, Glacier falls and round to Nymph lake and possibly Emerald lake. I would also like to see Sprague and Berstadt lake but any advise you can give me on how to best spend a full day here and get the best of the scenery would be appreciated.
    We are staying in Morraine park campground and I have even considered an all day hike past cub lake, Berstatdt to Bear lake and leave the RV where it is but I don't think the shuttle runs at that time of year to take us back, so it would be a full loop, crazy right ?

    [sorry to go on, trying to give as much info as I can.]

  9. #9

    Default Hiking RMNP

    I've had the pleasure of hiking and backpacking in RMNP on two trips, each "way back in the day". The first was my honeymoon in late September 1978 and the second was a vacation trip in July 2 years later.

    I'd not researched elevation changes in the planned backpack routes on the first trip, nor did I attempt to do so prior to setting forth from the trailhead. Big mistake. Between it being my bride's first backpacking walk, having started the morning after a 1,700 mile 2 day drive from Charlottesville, VA (in a 1977 Honda Civic, no less), and a complete absence of acclimation to the elevation, we pretty much blew a gasket for a day and a half. We struggled to the first campsite and stayed there an extra day.

    As we left the area on the honeymoon trip, we purchased a pocket trail guide. Trail descriptions, maps, topo info (profiles of the trails, as I recall) and we used that guidebook to plan our return in 1980. That trip worked out much, much better. We hiked or backpacked to Odessa Lake, Flattop Mtn, and to some alpine lake in the Wild Basin area (name escapes me).

    By all means, the weatherproof, approx 2" x 3" pocket guidebook was invaluable for planning and execution.

    Have a great time!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Here's a whooooole bunch of data points....

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I was thinking of getting to the Bear lake parking lot reasonably early as I have heard it can fill quickly

    If you have some tips on trials that'd be great. We don't want anything to strenuous but don't mind walking for 4 or 5 hours in one loop or a 2-3 hour trip, back to the RV for lunch , relocate and then start another for the same amount of time.
    Let me tell you what I did, and how long it took; that should help you tailor your plans.

    I'll detail the hikes I took in subsequent posts; this post is just for general info and to set up the hike details. Two of the hikes I took are outside your parameters, but you can shorten at least one of them, and may want to try the other anyway, as it starts from your campground. Note however that this one was the real butt-kicker of all the hikes I took.

    First: some background. These hikes took place June 12-June 15 2006. Linda was in all-day quilting classes at the Stanley in Estes Park, so I had to amuse myself all alone until dinnertime. I was, at the time, 58 and in decent but not athletic shape; I had done a fair amount of mountain hiking 3-4 years earlier in training for a Mt. Whitney hike, although some of that had probably worn off.

    Second: I took my time on all these hikes. It would be hard to travel slower than I did, esp given the time I spent either catching my breath or shooting photographs. I was in no hurry, having all day to complete these, so my timings should be close to a worst-case scenario.

    Third: these hikes were all pre-planned using TOPO!. I did this so I could determine if they were even feasible, I kept the printouts so I have distance and elevation gain data from that source. I also carried my Garmin GPS unit, and I recorded "moving" and "stopped" time from it. Lastly, I happened to record my actual start and stop time on the TOPO! printout (carried with me on the hike), so I can tell you how long each hike actually took based on both my watch and the Garmin. If you're curious as to particular segment timings, I can probably pull that from the meta-data in my photos; let me know.

    Fourth: Foy is dead right on elevation and elevation gain. Elevation gain/loss counts for as large as factor as distance in assessing time/effort... maybe larger. Also; you're at altitude. Your body will not have had much time to get used to 9,000' plus. Take it easy early on until you see how you're doing. I had the benefit of sneeking up on the elevation, by spending previous nights on the drive there (Reno, SLC, Steamboat Springs). Expect to get winded earlier than you would normally; even after your body adjusts in a day or two. Wear a hat with a big brim and use sunblock; the sun has a lot less atmosphere to filter it.

    Fifth: carry water. I hauled 3 liters/quarts water for me alone: also lunch and snacks. And don't just carry them, consume them! Take some water every so often, and a snack every hour or two. Your body will be much happier.

    Sixth: I got to the Bear Lake parking lot not long after 7am. Not because I'm an early riser, but because photographers like early morning/late afternoon sun. That plus lakes tend to be placid before the winds kick up (see the reflections in the photo above). At 7am I had my pick of the entire parking lot. When I returned that afternoon, the lot was pretty full, but I don't recall if it was completely full.

    Seventh: Wildlife. Location and time. Early and late in the day is usually best. I ran into a herd of elk in the meadow the morning of my Cub Lake/Fern Lake hike. The only moose I saw was mid-day, on the road into the park. For these guys you need to be on the west side of the park, in the Colorado drainage. Marmots and elk on Trail Ridge Road; all day it seems. Never spotted a goat (except for some old goats in the lobby of the Stanley, but that's another story), so you're on your own there.

    More posts to follow later today...

Similar Threads

  1. 48 States in 10 Days / Geography 101
    By Rollin' in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 09-13-2009, 01:04 PM
  2. Western United States Loop
    By Aoh2346 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-09-2007, 09:35 AM
  3. loop around the western states
    By alvin in forum Share the Gas
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-20-2007, 11:47 AM
  4. Kids 12 and under, start in chicago, loop including WI and a Great Lake
    By momof3east in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-22-2007, 09:30 AM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts