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Suggestions for our road trip, please

Lewes, United...
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Suggestions for our road trip, please

We've visited Colorado several times before, both to ski and to explore/hike.

We're coming back for more! Yaaay!!!!

We arrive at DEN late evening of Wed, Sep 26. We want to be in Moab, UT by mid afternoon of Wed, Oct 3 to attend the meet up there. We then leave Moab on Wed, Oct 10 and wish to be back in Denver city around midday of Sun, Oct 14. I will post on the specific Denver forum for more tips for our time in Denver plus lodging recommendations for our first night close to the airport, but it's the rest of the trip where I'm seeking ideas and suggestions from you folk.

We're not averse to revisiting some of the places we've already visited, but would prefer to explore pastures new. So you know what we've already 'done', mostly just the SW corner, here's a rough list: Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Montrose, Telluride, Million Dollar Highway and Mesa Verde.

Places we're currently considering, not in logical order, include Rocky Mountain NP, Mt Evans, Pike's Peak, Estes Park. I've yet to check opening/operating dates, and really would appreciate suggestions of a driving route, combining sights in a local order, allowing us time to do some half day scenic hikes here and there.

Clearly we can do some of this on the way to Moab, and other places can be visited on the way back to Denver. I will also be asking on the UT forum for ideas nearer to Moab itself, too.

Thanks for all suggestions. There's bound to be plenty of small, out of the way spots we don't know about.

Edited: 16 August 2012, 16:04
denver
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1. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

Trail Ridge Road closes mid-Oct, so you should be able to go from Denver to Estes Park, through RMNP to Granby on your way to Moab, but may not be able to do it in reverse on the way back depending on weather. It's definitely worth it.

If you are coming right from the UK to Denver you may not want to do the 2 hour drive up to Estes park on the day you arrive, due to both the jet lag and the altitude, so maybe stay a day or 2 in Denver, then head to Estes park for a night, then leaving Estes Park via Trail Ridge Road (TRR, hwy 34) Spend a night in Silverthorne or Dillon. Then head to Glenwood Springs for a night and enjoy the hot springs. and the local sights there. If you have an extra day, I'd spend it in Estes Park over Denver, although there are tons of day hikes out of Denver. It's about 3-4 hours from glenwood to Moab.

Mt Evans road closes Sept 4 (the top of it), but with TRR I think you'll get as much/more of a view from there.

I hope you have a great trip. I've been to Bexhill-on-Sea a few times, it's a great part of the world you live in. Didn't make it to Lewes, but visited several places in the area.

Lewes, United...
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2. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

Thanks for your prompt and helpful comments, jeep.

Also, thanks for the closure dates - I knew one or the other was very early, just hadn't got round to googling for them yet, and figured some of you locals knew them without looking them up. Not really meaning to be lazy, so much as trying to squeeze in so much research (not just for this) that I ended up posting my question before doing some of the research I had planned to do.

Our flight currently lands at DEN at 6.45 pm, and once we're thru immigration, customs and picked up the rental car, I figure it could well be gone 8 pm by then, so we only plan to drive to a hotel for the night, in the correct direction. I don't think we have time to even reach Estes park that night. We plan just over one full day in Denver itself on our return, as despite several forays into CO, we've never yet found the time to explore the mile high city, and I might also wish to do a small amount of shopping for stuff we just love but can't get back home! As I said, I was going to seek help for all of that on the Denver forum in due course, but any input always very welcome, of course!

I wasn't going to do the high stuff too soon as I know all about the elevation, and do suffer for altitude sickness sometimes.

I'm guessing you must have family in Bexhill as it's an unlikely tourist destination for anybody who's not a local Brit! Yes, you must visit Lewes, it's also small but has more history than Bexhill.

SWT

Nederland, Colorado
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3. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

>>Trail Ridge Road closes mid-Oct<<

That is not a definite -- the closing date is weather dependent. It officially closed last year on October 27 after it had been closed on and off since October 22.

The average winter closure date for Trail Ridge Road is October 23.

FYI the previous ten year's official closure dates are: October 29, 2010, October 21, 2009, November 6, 2008, October 22, 2007, October 23, 2006, November 4, 2005, October 25, 2004, November 6, 2003, November 1, 2002 and October 18, 2001.

Edited: 16 August 2012, 18:29
Nederland, Colorado
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4. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

Forgot to include the phone # to check for current road conditions and other park information: (970) 586-1206.

Windsor, Colorado
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5. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

9/27--Denver to Mount Evans Scenic Byway as far as Summit Lake, Peak to Peak Scenic Bway to Estes Park. http://mapq.st/P1tTZn

9/28--hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

9/29--Estes Park over Trail Ridge Road (drive, short hikes and explore) to Grand Lake across part of Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway to Kremmling and then Frisco. http://mapq.st/PgXVeJ

9/30--Frisco through Minturn to Leadville to Aspen along the Top of the Rockies Scenic Bway. http://mapq.st/OlwZZu

10/01--Aspen and Maroon Bells

10/02--Aspen to Carbondale, Redstone, Cedaredge, Mesa to Grand Junction along parts of the West Elk Loop and Grand Mesa Scenic Byways. http://mapq.st/R5pFDu

10/3--Grand Junction to Moab

I noted on one of your other post that you wanted to avoid I-70. This route does for the most part. Let me assure you I-70 may be the most beautiful interstate in this entire country.

Let me get my thoughts together and I will add commentary and some other links and info to this later.

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

Allow time in Grand Junction to see the Colorado National Monument- then take Exit 214- Danish Flat- down to Moab. It is the most scenic route.

Colorado
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7. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

When in Estes Park visit Snowy Peaks Winery. They make their own wine plus sell other colorado wines and OUR Mead/ Honey Wine (hunters moon meadery) made with honey from our own Colorado honeybees! (shameless plug!!) Candice @ SNowy Peaks also has some great Colorado cheeses,sausages and other gifts in her store. Great place!

HMM is in the little town of Severance, Colorado, up by Fort Collins, and it doesn't look as if you will make it to this part of the State. I LOVE GLENWOOD SPRINGS too! Have fun!

Lewes, United...
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8. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

Thank you so much, everybody, for your wonderful suggestions and comments. I'm now beginning to put together a much more interesting and detailed itinerary.

fv - once you've got your thoughts together, I'd really appreciate any further comments and links that you can offer.

PBelle - I didn't expect to meet you on this topic, but I guess we all get around!!!! ;-)

I need to do some more research and then will post up a draft itinerary, perhaps, for comment.

Meanwhile, I'd really appreciate any tips for your favourite stops for lunches and dinner on the road. We're great fans of 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' but some of those programs are rather old repeats now, so don't know if some of the featured locations are still open, or up to the same standards, of course! (Actually, I've also noticed a new road food program but can't remember the name, is it any good?)

SWT

Illinois
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9. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

I agree with the other posters about including Glenwood Springs. It is right off Interstate 70, so it is easy to get to. There is a lot to do. We rented bikes and rode through Glenwood Canyon, and also hiked to Hanging Lake. My favorite was just sitting in the hot springs in the evening - so relaxing. If you stay at one of the downtown hotels, all these things are within walking distance. We ate at a great downtown restaurant, The Pullman, reasonably priced for the quality. We didn't have time to visit the caves there, but that looked like fun.

Wednesbury, UK
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10. Re: Suggestions for our road trip, please

Hi SWT.

PeachBelles exit 214 off I-70 is the Cisco exit onto the 128, that is a great dive by the Colorado, and you can also take the Lasal Mountain Loop Road drive off the 128.

Edited: 17 August 2012, 20:07