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What to drive to CO

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

So taking my annual trip to CO next week, and this year we are road tripping it. I dont know where I will be snowboarding yet, since I want to keep my options open.

 

The first stop on the trip will actually be Utah, canyonlands/arches national park & probably mesa verde.

 

Overall going to by ~3000 mile road trip, but in chunks, day 1 will be to get to Denver, day 2 to Utah, and the swing back.

 

Option 1- RWD car with Blizzaks

 

Option 2 - rent something.

 

 

Thoughts?

 

Looks like good chances for snow along i70 at least a few times. 

post #2 of 22
You are going to be in some very remote places to be relying on a single drive axle vehicle. I wouldn't, but I'm on the side of not running up on my traction limits when needed most.

The problem with a rental is it won't have particularly good tires. I'd probably take the RWD and be careful not to push it on storm days in remote places.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

You are going to be in some very remote places to be relying on a single drive axle vehicle. I wouldn't, but I'm on the side of not running up on my traction limits when needed most.

The problem with a rental is it won't have particularly good tires. I'd probably take the RWD and be careful not to push it on storm days in remote places.

 

That's my internal debate as well. ~300 for an SUV rental, that may or may not be AWD from hertz, with all seasons, or the rwd with good winter tires.

post #4 of 22
I'd take my own 2wd car with good winter tires over an unknown 4wd rental any day.
post #5 of 22
It's a tough call. I had an unexpected chance to drop in on some friends this weekend while in the minivan instead of the 4x4. With studded snows, it got up to the hairpin and then had nothing. This was about 10 tries and 15 minutes. So pathetic.



And in the garage a Volvo AWD on these tires...



The Volvo had no issues, and a 4x4 will always be a lot more capable. And that is the problem with high passes and remote places. Single drive axle vehicles are dead without momentum, and all the rubber in the world can't save them.

Are you hitting Moab via I-70 and not the southern route? If so, just be careful with eastbound Vail Pass. The rest should be fine.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

It's a tough call. I had an unexpected chance to drop in on some friends this weekend while in the minivan instead of the 4x4. With studded snows, it got up to the hairpin and then had nothing. This was about 10 tries and 15 minutes. So pathetic.



And in the garage a Volvo AWD on these tires...



The Volvo had no issues, and a 4x4 will always be a lot more capable. And that is the problem with high passes and remote places. Single drive axle vehicles are dead without momentum, and all the rubber in the world can't save them.

Are you hitting Moab via I-70 and not the southern route? If so, just be careful with eastbound Vail Pass. The rest should be fine.

 

Wife felt more comfortable renting something and after hours of searching for a great rate at the local hertz, 220 for a 10 day rental, for a midsize suv, called the airport and the said their midsize suvs come in AWD, as do the reports out of flyertalk. If it comes out that its not awd I'll default back to my car with the blizzaks.

 

as for the trip, I plan on making a loop, I've done i70 enough times to find the drive kind of dull, so southern route to moab area,

 

So unless I read otherwise I heard that if I was going to telluride I'd take 285 down to 50, so I plan on taking 285 down to 160 that go across.

 

Thanks for you help.

post #7 of 22

When the going gets tough the tough make sure they have snow tires and carry chains.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
 

When the going gets tough the tough make sure they have snow tires and carry chains.

 

I'll just play it safe, if its going to dump I'm just staying put. 

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by opfreak View Post

I'll just play it safe, if its going to dump I'm just staying put. 

Good idea. That southern route is extremely remote. Some chains would definitely be cheap insurance. Have fun, it will probably be bluebird and Moab will be gorgeous!
post #10 of 22

Take the RWD with good snow tires. Pack it full of stuff so there is weight on the Rear Wheels.

Just don't hotdog it and you won't spin out...

 

OscarMayer_Wienermobile.jpg

post #11 of 22

How many miles/what condition on the Blizzaks?  If they are in good shape I'd go with 2WD and great snow tires over AWD with poor tires.  However, I'd go AWD with decent tires over 2WD with great tires. 

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

How many miles/what condition on the Blizzaks?  If they are in good shape I'd go with 2WD and great snow tires over AWD with poor tires.  However, I'd go AWD with decent tires over 2WD with great tires. 

Blizzaks are nearly new.

 

I'm going to inspect the tires before I pull out with the rental car. I dont want any low thread tires.

 

 

Can anyone comment on the southern route, vs taking i70 across? from a road trip POV I'd rather not do i70 in both directions. 

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by opfreak View Post

Blizzaks are nearly new.

I'm going to inspect the tires before I pull out with the rental car. I dont want any low thread tires.


Can anyone comment on the southern route, vs taking i70 across? from a road trip POV I'd rather not do i70 in both directions. 

Taking 285 to Salida will take you over Monarch Pass. Incredible drive, worth doing, and you have to get down there if Telluride is on the agenda.

It just gets more remote as you get further west, especially once out of the mountains. There will be cell phone coverage gaps. So just be prepared - it will probably be sunny and perfect smile.gif.

I drive this, so I don't think too much about "roads" wink.gif





I'd just want to be prepared for the unexpected, and that's why I would vastly prefer the 4WD and a quick stop to invest in some chains if there are storms in the forecast when getting that remote. Easy insurance.
post #14 of 22

I've never driven the southern route but Naybreak knows what he is talking about.  

 

Y'all should look into getting some no fault insurance and taking the rental for a little off roading :duck:

 

Moab is one of my favorite places I have been domestic or international and you will be there just about the perfect time of year. Check out the Moab Brewery while your there.

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Taking 285 to Salida will take you over Monarch Pass. Incredible drive, worth doing, and you have to get down there if Telluride is on the agenda.

It just gets more remote as you get further west, especially once out of the mountains. There will be cell phone coverage gaps. So just be prepared - it will probably be sunny and perfect smile.gif.

I drive this, so I don't think too much about "roads" wink.gif





I'd just want to be prepared for the unexpected, and that's why I would vastly prefer the 4WD and a quick stop to invest in some chains if there are storms in the forecast when getting that remote. Easy insurance.

 

I have no worries about remote, driven to many national parks, and it just comes with with the fun.

 

Whats a quick place to get chains?

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by opfreak View Post

I have no worries about remote, driven to many national parks, and it just comes with with the fun.

Whats a quick place to get chains?

For quick and basic maybe something as simple as Walmart?
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


For quick and basic maybe something as simple as Walmart?


Just made it to roughly golden. Looks like snow overnight an in the morning.

 

Could you, or someone else that knows the area comment on what we are better off doing:

 

1) head south towards Durango (for mesa verde) and then which route?

 

2) head west on i70 for arches/cayonlands ?

post #18 of 22
I wouldn't mess with I-70 prime time.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by opfreak View Post
 


Just made it to roughly golden. Looks like snow overnight an in the morning.

 

Could you, or someone else that knows the area comment on what we are better off doing:

 

1) head south towards Durango (for mesa verde) and then which route?

 

2) head west on i70 for arches/cayonlands ?

 

You're probably already on your way but I would avoid I70 east on a holiday weekend and take the 285 south through Fairplay and Poncha Springs all the way down to the 160. Then 160 west over Wolf Creek pass through Pagosa Springs and on to Durango. You can then head west on the 160 by Mesa Verde then the 491/191 up to Moab and Arches and Canyonlands. From there you continue on the 191 up to I70 and head back into Colorado from the west. You can look at the map as well as anyone but I have driven all these routes many, many, many times (including part of it just yesterday). The only high pass on this route is Wolf Creek and the weather in SW Colorado is looking pretty mellow over the next couple of days. Before you head east back into Colorado check cotrip.org and make sure the I70 is open through Glenwood Canyon. They are still working on it after the big rock slide that closed it a couple weeks ago.

post #20 of 22
Hope you made it ok - last night's storm was more southern so I would have suggested just getting up and over on I-70, but guessing it didn't matter either way.

Post up some pics!
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 

This was starting off. We took our time knowing the snow fell overnight, and was still falling in the morning so we didn't hit the road till ~11.

 

Not to far past on 285, (about a miles past the exit for Turkey Creek road?) we came past this accident were a guy slid of the road and was getting out of the truck. I didn't see him on the side (was looking too far forward) but my wife did, I stopped about a quarter mile up and was going to back up, but by slowing down others noticed and stopped right next to the guy, so we drove on.

 

After that slight pass, the snow slowed, and the roads were just wet, we took a pit stop in fairplay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A ways down the sun tried to come out.

 

 

The some miles before the start of going up wolf creek... The snow comesback

 

 

The start of going u to wolf creek, What is that the sun?

 

 

 

 

Nope, Just a tease, snowed all the way up, near the peak:

 

 

Going down:

 

 

Final Stretch:

 

 

Overall great drive loved it. Could've been less snowy. But it wasn't too bad. Thanks for all the help guys.

 

 

 

P.S.  Ended up with a Rental Jeep Cherokee 4x4 with the 2.4l engine 9spd transmission. The ride itself is solid, nice and quite, its a limited so nicely loaded.

But: the engine is gutless the transmission while good for just cruising is terrible when it needs to sift, its very slow.

The MPGs are mixed, on the way to CO, going fast (speed limit 70-75, so a touch over), I got like 22.5 mpg.

Today the MPGs were surprising 28.2

post #22 of 22
If you don't do so already, keep it in a lower gear to control speed on the descents and downshift as much as possible to slow down rather than step on the brakes. Don't ride the brakes. Try not to both brake and steer at the same time. If you can, do one or the other. Increase your following distance as well when the roads are snow covered or icy. Bu doing these you'll have a lower chance of losing control and skidding. Safe travels.
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