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 > Ouray, CO to Fort Collins, CO

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4BIGAL

Rockton, Il

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Posted: 06/22/20 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Planning a trip from Ouray, CO to Fort Collins, CO. Pulling a 36' travel trailer with my F-350. Google maps suggests Montrose hwy 50 over Monarch Pass to hwy 285 to Denver. Alternate route is hwy 50 over Monarch pass to Colorado Springs, CO then north on 25. Which route is best pulling a trailer? Is the 285 route a good option as I am leaning that way. Another option is to take hwy 70 thru the tunnel but I have pulled up that one before. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.


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azdryheat

Tucson, AZ

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Posted: 06/22/20 11:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're truck can't handle the mountain driving, stay on the interstates.


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BarryG20

Castle Rock, Colorado

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Posted: 06/22/20 01:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Both ways work but...

On 50 you have Monarch pass which isn't terrible but it is a long slog up and down and then on 285 you have Kenosha pass which is much less so than Monarch. However it is for the most part 2 lane then hit I470 and take it up to I70, I76 then hit I25. (or if you have time and inclination you could take a back way up to Loveland and hit 25 there)

Taking 50 all the way to Penrose and catch 115 up to the Springs and I25, 50 follows the river once you get to Salida and is a bit slower good road but just slower 115 is good road. You will hit Springs traffic and Denver traffic going that way which is total **** and be aware there is a section of I25 between Monument and Castle Rock that is under construction for about 20ish miles that is very narrow and traffic is very problematic through it now and for a while yet to come.

Personally I would go the 285 route to avoid the Springs traffic and 1/2 of the Denver traffic even though it does have the addition of Kenosha pass but it is a short one.


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Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 06/24/20 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4BIGAL wrote:

Planning a trip from Ouray, CO to Fort Collins, CO. Pulling a 36' travel trailer with my F-350. Google maps suggests Montrose hwy 50 over Monarch Pass to hwy 285 to Denver. Alternate route is hwy 50 over Monarch pass to Colorado Springs, CO then north on 25. Which route is best pulling a trailer? Is the 285 route a good option as I am leaning that way. Another option is to take hwy 70 thru the tunnel but I have pulled up that one before. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.


If you are leaning the US285 route, go with that. It is not a bad route, it's scenic and not a difficult drive. Some things to be aware of:

There's lots of ups and downs on this route. Not passes per se, but a lot of hills and valleys. This is especially the case as you get closer to the Denver Metro area and the Conifer to Aspen Park area.

Monarch Pass has been mentioned. Coming out of Johnson Village, there's a pretty good climb up to South Park, and then the drive across South Park (which is ~9600feet average elevation) to Kenosha Pass. An easy pass by CO standards, and a lot of down hill once up and over, until you get to Bailey.

Outside of Bailey, there's a rather goodly hill climb up to Pine Junction, but there's a climb lane for it. Once to Pine Junction, you'll be on the outer outskirts of the Denver Metro area. A couple of miles of 2 lane/3 lane roadway and then you'll have 4 lane all the way in to CO-470. There's 4 lane through Conifer and Aspen Park and a rather long descent through Turkey Creek Canyon to get to CO-470. Watch your speeds especially going through Turkey Creek, Morrison Police patrol that area that's in their jurisdiction very regularly and are aggressive in enforcement.

Take CO-470 toward Golden and join up with I-70 to I-76. For I-76 you'll want to be in the LEFT 2 lanes as it's a left exit, and then there's a split exit to the right for Fort Collins north and Denver south. That exit can be very congested as it feeds on to I-25, as you also have traffic coming on to I-25 from I-270 in the same area.

Once on I-25 you'll have 3 lanes northbound to the Longmont exit for CO 66 where it drops down to 2 lanes and gets congested, regardless of the time of day. Also be aware of major construction around Loveland and Windsor with lane shifts, before you get to the Fort Collins exits.


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4BIGAL

Rockton, Il

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Posted: 06/25/20 06:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks so much for your constructive comments. What a great resource.

ppine

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Posted: 06/25/20 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are from Illinois, chances are you are going to have your hands full driving on the interstates. Colorado is a tough state to drive around. The interstates have lower grades and straighter curves. Start with those until you get the hang of it. Some people never get used to driving in Colorado.

rfloyd99

Florida

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Posted: 06/27/20 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a 30 year Colorado resident, I agree with the two posts recommending the Hwy 285 route.

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