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Driving in CO

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
The whole family (4 of us) is taking our 1st trip to Colorado this year (the last week of March). Driving from Denver to Breckenridge, and maybe doing a day trip to either Keystone or Vail.

Do we need a 4 wheel drive? We got one when we went to Tahoe last year and it helped. Are there chain laws in CO like in CA?

post #2 of 6
No need for 4WD as it's well maintained interstate and good secondary roads the whole way. It can't hurt though if it's only a few dollars more. I've never seen chains required for cars, but they are required for trucks/buses on occasion. I've made 6 trips out to Summit County in the last three seasons and have had a couple of major dumps with no issues. Just take it easy and do the common sense stuff when it's snowing and you'll be fine.
post #3 of 6
Yeah, most likely no need but.... I've driven fairly extensively in CO, always with AWD. I can't count the times that it's superior traction (snow tires too) have put a big smile on my face when I'm motoring away while others are struggling. Also, there was one time when I probably wouldn't have ventured out in 2wd but had no problems in my Subaru.

I guess my recommendation of 4wd/awd is based largely on the peace of mind it affords if you get really lucky and do get that huge dump. Here's hoping you're lucky!
post #4 of 6

go for the 4wd

i have been a few times and all i can say is "tis far better to have and not need than to need and not have"

i cannot remember any one trip where i absolutely had to have it, but i do remember 4wd made it nice to negotiate some parking lots at the condos
post #5 of 6
Originally Posted by terragator View Post
i cannot remember any one trip where i absolutely had to have it, but i do remember 4wd made it nice to negotiate some parking lots at the condos
thats about it. unlike tahoe which is windy and 2 lanes and the road elevation changes a lot, summit county has a big interstate running thru and the roads are flat for the most part traveling between ski areas.

however, there's always a chance you'll run into a blizzard making those trips that might make it more settling. we drove i70 frisco to vail once in icy, blizzard conditions. awd sure would have limited the tums use.
post #6 of 6
Get the 4WD or the AWD. I-70 can often be treacherous. I have a place in Georgetown and spend 60 days a year skiing I-70 resorts and Winter Park. I can watch the traffic on I-70 from my condo sit for hours at times barely moving during a snowstorm. I don't know how many times I've seen boneheads in 2WD trying to get over the tunnel or the passes and failing when the weather is bad or the roads are icy. I-70 is often closed in bad weather and a lot of the time it is because people with out adequate tires or 2WD get stuck after thinking that I-70 is well maintained and flat. Avalanches often close Berthoud Pass, Loveland Pass and I-70 above Georgetown. I keep a sleeping bag, water and food in my vehicles. I was glad I had them when I had to wait out a 9 hour road closure in all directions during a snow and wind storm last year (they closed all the lifts at Winter Park with 12" fresh, arg!). I finally got over the tunnel with 9 inches of crud on the road after having to drive through Grand Lake to Silverthorne since Berthoud pass was closed for the night due to an avalanche. We also had another weekend last year in Georgetown with 3 days of winds up to 108mph (someone claims to have recorded 130mph). It buckled a wall in my condo. I'm glad I wasn't on I-70. SUVs even were being blown off the frontage road. I have several friends who have given up skiing because I-70 is such a nighmare even when the roads are clear due to the traffic and frequent accidents. Remember 4WD or AWD won't help you stop any better so take it easy.
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