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  1. Default

    Relax!

    You will see mountains towering above you, but you will mostly be on flat or slightly sloping roads. Don’t forget, giant semis with full loads will be traveling at 70 mph. If they can travel safely, surely you can.

    Your daily driving on two lane roads in Nebraska is MUCH scarier and much much more dangerous than driving an interstate through the mountains! Think about it! On the interstate, you have wide lanes to travel along, with shoulders, sometimes WIDE shoulders, on either side of the road. On Nebraska’s two lane roads, the lanes are narrower and you are just inches from a head on accident into oncoming traffic. I’ll take the interstate any day!

    Another thing about interstates in the mountains. Much of the mountains are bulldozed flat. Most of the valleys have been filled in or crossed with bridges. The landscape has been drastically modified to create the flattest roadway possible. There IS NO mountain driving on the interstates; there are only Mountain Views!

    You will of course gain and lose elevation, but the slopes will be gradual over longer distances. You’ll have to give it more gas as you’re gaining altitude and at times will need little or no gas while descending. You can always use a little brake or switch to one gear lower if you want to slow down. But, much of your driving will be on fairly level roadway.

    Slow down if you feel uncomfortable at any time. Maybe pull behind a slower semi and follow it for a while. Just be aware that they can slow down a lot going up hills.

    Enjoy the views but keep your eyes on the road, and take it easy at some of the scenic rest areas along the way.

  2. #22

    Default

    The I-70 west of Denver has some very scenic areas, especially around Vail and where the highway tracks the river. I can't remember... are there any tunnels through the mountains? Other than the Denver to Grand Junction patch the route should be without issue. Certainly not like the scenic US-highways shown in your photos.

  3. Default

    Thanks everyone!! You all have been very helpful!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,842

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by landmariner View Post
    I can't remember... are there any tunnels through the mountains?
    Yes, there are 2 sets of tunnels on I-70 - the Eisenhower Tunnel 60 miles west of Denver and (I think) 3 short tunnels in Glenwood Canyon.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,355

    Default

    I believe I counted a total of 6 tunnels, most of them very short, on I-70 between Denver and Grand Junction. I think tunnels are fun, maybe because my parents made such light of them when I was a little kid and we'd go through them. The longest is Eisenhower Tunnel near Vail Pass.

    As I've said on here many, many times, I-70 between Denver and Salina, UT is about our favorite stretch of interstate anywhere in the US. It's just gorgeous. Mountain views (not mountain driving), river views. There are plenty of rest areas in the area between Idaho Springs and Glenwood Springs. Our favorite is the one at Vail Pass, and I think we stop at that one every time. We've been traveling this stretch of interstate since the early 1980s -- almost 40 years -- and we never get tired of it. We've traveled this stretch in early June a number of times and have never seen snow on it.

    I also agree with the suggestion to stay on Denver's west side, if you spend your first night in Denver. The traffic there is never as bad as it's gonna be in LA (sorry to be a downer on that), but it still can be very slow-and-go in the morning. If you want to make Cedar City that night, stay on the west side of Denver, either in Wheat Ridge or in Lakewood. Both have lots of lodging possibilities, from the budget-minded mom and pops and Motel 6, to higher end places like Marriott.

    Beaver is actually more mid-way between Denver west and LA, than Cedar City. Beaver is smaller and has less to offer, but it has budget and mid-range lodging. Cedar City, which is about 50 miles further south than Beaver, has every budget range.

    Please let us know how this goes for you.

    Donna

  6. Default

    You’ll be surprised how much of your “mountain” drive is boring flat land! You’ll wonder where the mountains went.

    Let me tell you about the Eisenhower tunnel so it doesn’t take you by surprise. Heading West, the tunnel is quite long but is also drops in elevation. You will simply coast at the speed limit, maybe even brake or shift to a lower gear depending on your car. Of course, the tunnel is quite large to accommodate the semis and it is well lit. The slope continues when you exit the tunnel and it is quite a long ride to the plain below. The view is fantastic.

    If this makes you nervous, just pull behind a slower vehicle and follow it.

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