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  1. Default CHI to Aspen - HELP!!

    Hello All!

    I'm planning a road trip with 6 friends from chicago to aspen, co. We are leaving March 28th, and need to be home Sunday, April 4th. Here's the deal. One of my friends uncles has a time share in Aspen from march 28th-april 3rd. He offered us the place for FREE, all we had to do was get there. We are all fresh out of college and couldnt afford to pass. We are also all fresh out of college and cant afford to spend too much money. We are driving a Ford Expedition ( 15mpg ), so I know going up the mountains will be strenuous. Also, since my friend gets in from NY at 10am, we are not leaving until about 11am the 28th of March. We want to maximize the time in aspen, and with the multiple drivers we are going to make the trip in one shot. Approx 24 hrs Im guessing. I would like to know what would be the quickest route there, and also the least dangerous. If anyone could give tips on both or anythign else I should know about I'd appreciate any and all advice. I searched a travel calculator and It approx. 19 hrs to get there, I added just in case, and about $345 round-trip in gas, which was half the price of 1 plane ticket. FYI, I've driven to miami from chicago in 24 hrs straight, so I dont mind the terrible hours, just lookin for advice THanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default With Six You Get Speed Run

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    With a full complement of 6 drivers, it will be possible to drive straight through. Here on some tips on making such a drive safely and sanely. Perhaps the most important point is that you must have at least two people awake at all times, so that someone is available to keep an eye on the road and the driver. 24 hours should be about right if you just do the straight shot out I-80 to western Nebraska, I-76 to Denver and I-70 west from there. Your final drive into Aspen presents a dilemma and choice. The short route is CO-91/US-24 south from Wheeler Junction and CO-82 west, but if you're all tired, it's dark, or the weather is uncooperative, then you should seriously consider continuing west on I-70 to Glenwood Springs and backtrack on CO-82 rather than trying to cross the Continental Divide by way of Independence Pass.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-27-2010 at 07:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    A suggestion - don't be too antsy to get there, and keep it down to the speed limit, and you will be repaid in better gas mileage. If you are leaving Chicago in midday, you should be passing through Denver when it's getting light the next morning, so the rest of the drive should be both safe and spectacular. If you hit Denver before dawn, I'd recommend you get through the city and find a place off I-70 on the west side for breakfast.

    Even on a speed run, please stop every 3 hours, get out and stretch, and change drivers. Stop to eat when hungry, there should be plenty of 24 hour truck stops all along the route.

    O'Hare to Aspen via Independence Pass is 1153 miles. Driving the speed limit, stopping every 3 hours for 15 minutes, and two 1 hour meal stops will take you 21 to 22 hours, plus any traffic or construction delays.

  4. Default

    Thank you both so much I really appreciate all the help!

  5. Default

    You need to be aware that Independence Pass is closed every winter. You cannot get to Aspen via Independence pass until later in the spring. Check out and look under the road conditions tab for up to the hour Colorado road conditions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Excellent point - I just did a bit of research and it normally doesn't open till late May. You will have to go in via Glenwood Springs. This will add about 45 miles and 1 hour to the drive.

  7. #7


    Oh yeah, Independence is always closed in Winter.

    But, in decent weather, it's a 75mph speed limit run on out I-70 from the Vail/Beaver Creek to Glenwood Springs, a bit of urban/suburban congestion from GS on to the south for just a few miles, then fairly open 4-lane all the way to Snowmass. I think the last fairly short segment of 2-lane around Basalt, CO got widened out to 4-lane since my last trip there in January 2000. It was taking us around 40 minutes from the Glenwood Hot Springs Hotel (@I-70) to Buttermilk Ski Mtn, just a couple or three miles outside of Aspen.


  8. Default possible minor setback?

    I heard there was either construction, or damage to a bridge/pass in colorado that might hinder the trip. Anyone know about this? any suggestions? thank you!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Should be OK now.

    Quote Originally Posted by advanced122 View Post
    I heard there was either construction, or damage to a bridge/pass in colorado that might hinder the trip. Anyone know about this? any suggestions? thank you!!!
    This will be the rock slide on I 70, it is now open to traffic with one lane in each direction. You can read about it and get the latest updates by using the links in this thread.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default expect delays

    Yes, there was a major rockslide in Glenwood Canyon that closed the entire highway for several days. Here is a thread discussing the problem and shownig the damage.

    Its my understanding that the road has reopened, but with just one lane open in each direction, so you'll be able to get through, but you should expect some delays.

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