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Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

Piscataway, New...
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Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

Hi everyone. I plan on driving from Denver, CO to Green River, UT in the fall. Please take a look at the routes and sites below and let me know if this is correct and if it is doable.

Fly into Denver, stop in Aspen for the night on the way to Green River. Since Independence Pass is east of Aspen, I’m assuming it would be best to go through it on the way to Aspen. The directions I have are to take I-70W from the Denver airport to 91S to 24S to 82 over Independence Pass. (Will there be signs on 82 pointing to Independence Pass?) At the end of Independence Pass, will I be in the town of Aspen? Can I drive through Independence pass with just a normal passenger vehicle?

The next day, I plan on driving from Aspen to Green River. I would take 82W to I-70W. Will I pass the Maroon Bells on the way back to I-70W? Do you recommend a certain time of day to get the best views and photographs?

Is there anywhere else I should stop on I-70 in Colorado and/or Utah for the scenery? I don’t plan on hiking, just want to see some nice sites and take pictures

The return trip is a straight shot on I-70 East. I am going from Green River, UT to Glenwood Springs, CO to Denver.

All of the routes listed above were taken from Google maps. If there are better routes I should take, please let me know. Thanks.

Chapel Hill, North...
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1. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

Are you going to Moab, also, and Arches and Canyonlands? Spectacular if you haven't been and almost right on your way.

Ohio
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2. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

yes, you can do Independence Pass in any vehicle. Independence Pass is part of 82. No signs needed, you'll automatically be on it. All paved and gorgeous drive!!!! Will drop you into Aspen.

The Maroon Bells, you will need to drive to. They will not be on your way to or from Aspen. (not far from Aspen) The aspens are going to be awesome!!!!! :) If you can, try to do a bit of hiking around the Bells. Oh, and we ate at the Cantina in Aspen. Good food and reasonable price (for Aspen) Can't recommend a place to stay since it was a shared condo.

Ohio
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3. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

Also, for the Maroon Bells? if you are there on a weekend, you have to ride a shuttle from 9 to 5. Not sure about weekdays in Sept. However, you really want to be out there for sunrise and find a spot by the lake. Before 9, you can drive yourself. It's close to the parking lot. Watching the sun light up the peaks and reflecting in the lake is beautiful. You'll have many people there watching with you and taking photos.

Try and hike to Crater Lake, at least in part. We all loved that hike! It's thru the aspens with peeks of mountains and lake.... it's a hike in and back track out-- less than 4 miles-- but.... it's a pretty good elevation change, so.... take your time and carry water. We hiked slowly-- trail is very popular, so I am presuming you'll have plenty of company.

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4. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

Agree with Tet to stop in Moab, UT and visit Arches NP. Also in Grand Junction drive thru the Colorado National Monument.

Piscataway, New...
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5. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

Hi Wings! I'm a little leary of trying to hike anywhere in Colorado being that I will be driving to Aspen the same day I fly in (and going from 16 feet above sea level to almost 8,000 feet above sea level). If I dare try hiking, I will walk very slowly. I already reserved a room at the Molly Gibson Lodge. It has gotten some pretty good reviews and is almost half the price of the other hotels in Aspen.

I have only planned to spend one night in Aspen. Is that enough for all that I want to do?

PeachBelle and Panchopup, thanks for the advice. Driving through the CO Nat'l Monument in Grand Junction sound like a good idea. I can do that. Since Moab is an hour or so from Green River, I can probably spend a little time there during the Utah Meetup. Thanks!

Ohio
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6. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

ah, true... the elevation is a kicker! Maybe walk a bit around the lake or simply walk to the lake from the parking lot to get some good shots. You don't have to go far.

No idea what you want to "do" in Aspen aside from seeing the Bells, but I think time is fine since you'll not be hiking. Drink a lot of water and start doing that before you even leave home. That's supposed to help with the altitude.

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7. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

Via Indepence pass (from DIA east of Denver) to Aspen count on some 5 hours for the drive and a short stop. In good weather that is.

There is not much between Aspen and Glenwood Springs but Glenwood Springs makes a nice stop and also Colorado NM is great. Entering Utah via I70 you'll find a visitor center along the interstate before Green River.

The detour to Moab will be great as well but limited time to see things (if you do take exit 214 <<Danish Flat>> to 128. That road 128 is worth the scenery already.

Hope to see you again in Green River in september!

Tet

Piscataway, New...
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8. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

Wings-the only other thing I want to do in Aspen, besides see the beautiful sites, is have an awesome meal and maybe check out the local night clubs since I will be "childless" yeah!!

Thanks Tet. If I can, I'll take some time to go to Moab during the meetup. God willing, I will see you in September :-)

Ohio
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9. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

then you are good! :) It is a beautiful area!

10. Re: Help Driving Through Colorado and Utah

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