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Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

Sydney, Australia
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Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

My best friend has just been diognosed with cancer and said he wants to see some mountains before he gets sick.

We are both 52 and have 2 weeks the end of March .

We plan to start from lost wages after a couple nights to get over the flight from sydney,(maybe sams town casino?)

Then head to page via Zion np.monument valley is a must see on our list.a night or two at Durango then head north.

This is where I need advice,that time of year there might be some bad weather so we are flexible .north from Durango which is the most scenic route?we would like to end up in rocky mt np then work our way back to Las Vegas on I 70& I 15. Appreciate any advice as I'm sure my mate we see some mountains in Colorado !

Wednesbury, UK
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1. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

Hi Philip and welcome to the forum.

As you have already identified, you may have some weather issues with that trip in March and in two weeks around trip is going to be pretty pacy. Would you consider a one way, from Denver to Vegas? We might be able to help you get that drop fee free maybe?

Then you could see what acces into RMNP and maybe the sw Colorado Mountains as you travel. But it would give you the option to route through Utah, via Moab and Arches and then head down to Durango, or take the US550, Million Dollar Highway between Montrose and Durango if the weather and road conditions are ok.

However, I'd suggest you just take the steamtrain trip out of Durango to Silverton, you'll see plenty of snowy mountains without the risk of icy roads.

Edited: 11 January 2014, 20:19
Wednesbury, UK
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2. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

Should have said you can see what access into RMNP and sw Colorado mountains is as you travel, and adjust if you need to. We had really bad snow for a day mid May 2011 across Colorado, that shut the Interstate for a day and closed a few passes for a few more.

One way will give you more flexibility.

Or not going to Denver and seeing the sw Colorado mountains, and Utah parks in a smaller loop, including the Grand Canyon too then.

Edited: 11 January 2014, 20:27
Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

Thanks that's good advice about the train from Durango if the weather is bad and come back to I 40.

I don't think the pace should be to bad and once we are on the interstate we will cover a lot of ground.

Penticton, Canada
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4. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

hi

if the objective is to see mountains you should check out this TA discussion about Colorado vs Canadian Rockies http://tinyurl.com/n3ophea

Wednesbury, UK
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5. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

If you stick with your plan, I'd still try and fit in a look at Arches NP and a drive down Ut12 rather than the Interstate if the weather is ok. But, then, Bryce Canyon and Zion fit better then on the way back to Vegas.

You could route like.

3 nights Vegas.

1 night GCNP.

1 night MV, detour to Page on route.

2 nights Durango, quick look at Mesa Verde on route.

3 nights Denver/RMNP( if you can get in and Trail Ridge Road will be closed)

2 nights Arches, Canyonlands.

1 Night Bryce.

1 night Zion.

To Vegas and fly home.

Edited: 12 January 2014, 09:17
Uden, The...
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6. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

San Juan Mountains (near Durango) give you spectacular mountains views already if you drive us550 (without snow) so I'd take more time for the Grand Circle trip and skip Denver/RMNP that time of year. Us 550 goes over 10.000+ '

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7. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

That's my gut feeling too Tet, in two weeks, but up to the OP at the end of the day.

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8. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

hmm-- if not necessary to drive up and over to "see" the mountains.... a couple of nights in Estes Park might be nice. Access to RMNP in the lower levels and there sight is quite amazing with the snow on the mountains.

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

We've done the grand circle a few times,grand canyon about 8,( but always good)

Us 550 sounds good is it a slow road to drive and scenic ?

What would be the best way to check the conditions on the day,probably a dumb question . A web site ,local police.

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10. Re: Rocky Mountain loop starting from Las Vegas ,

Ah, now you tell us ; ), but you did ask a direct question so my own fault for wandering off at a tangent.

Yes, the US 550, San Juan Skyway is a very scenic mountain drive, especially the Million a Dollar Hwy section. You could spend all day on it if you stop along the route and at Silverton and Ouray. I'd allow at least half a day to Montrose. There are some steep unguarded drop offs, and tight curves, so a weather and conditions check is vital.

tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g28927-d…

Colorado Road conditions.

http://www.cotrip.org/home.htm

Edited: 12 January 2014, 18:01