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Old 12-25-2011, 01:49 PM
 
4 posts, read 40,853 times
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Wow - this forum is amazing! Such helpful people - thank you ALL!! You've given me some very good food for thought. I think I will probably plan this as a two day drive rather than a one day drive-straight-thru...now that I have a better idea of what to expect. Living in D/FW - we get very little icy street conditions, but when we do I feel pretty confident in my ability to drive safely on them (by that I mean I know what to do and what NOT to do on icy streets).
I will also check the weather conditions before we leave and probably every 60-90 minutes after. Thank God for iPhones and radio, huh?

@bovinedevine - thank you also for the tips on what to bring just-in-case! I have a list going already of about 25 items! Probably makes me look paranoid, but oh well.

Merry Christmas to all - and thanks again for such wonderful and detailed information. Can't say I feel "better" about driving - but I feel like I"m getting a realistic look at what it will be like and what to be prepared for, and that's exactly what I need!
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,906,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwalton View Post
hello. My husband and I will be driving from Dallas to Breckenridge CO in late February and have never done this drive before. Any advice on the safest route to take this time of year?
Your best bet is simply to get on I-40 in OKC. Take it to Albquerque. Get I-25 up to Denver. And then I-70 west to Breckenridge. On this route you'll contend with a small mountain pass on the approach to Albuquerque (this pass usually does not pose any problem); a mild "pass" of sorts at Raton, NM on the Colorado border; and the Eisenhower Tunnel west of Denver. You'll be on interstates all the way and I-25 and I-70 are well maintained in the winter - they are cleaned quickly after a snowstorm and since they receive heavy traffic they usually don't ice over as much as the smaller highways.

Of these three, the Eisenhower Tunnel is the true mountain pass at 11,000 feet, and it might seem intimidating to people not used to it, but just remember that it is a well-used freeway and CDOT is always out there keeping it clear.

Any other route you take to Breckenridge will almost surely expose you to more of the elements, with less certainty about the condition of the roads.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,906,945 times
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
but one has to deal with thousands of people on the road who don't have a clue of how to drive in winter conditions
yeah but these people usually end up stuck on the side of the road, leaving less traffic on the road for you and me.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
12,843 posts, read 23,217,682 times
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Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
You'll be on interstates all the way and I-25 and I-70 are well maintained in the winter - they are cleaned quickly after a snowstorm and since they receive heavy traffic they usually don't ice over as much as the smaller highways.
Hopefully that is the case most of the time.

When I went to Raton on Dec 1, there was virtually no traffic between Pueblo and Raton, and no plows had touched any part of the highway (so yeah, snow and ice the whole way).
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:29 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,517,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Your best bet is simply to get on I-40 in OKC. Take it to Albquerque. Get I-25 up to Denver. And then I-70 west to Breckenridge. On this route you'll contend with a small mountain pass on the approach to Albuquerque (this pass usually does not pose any problem); a mild "pass" of sorts at Raton, NM on the Colorado border; and the Eisenhower Tunnel west of Denver. You'll be on interstates all the way and I-25 and I-70 are well maintained in the winter - they are cleaned quickly after a snowstorm and since they receive heavy traffic they usually don't ice over as much as the smaller highways.
Going on I-40 to Albuquerque and then then loop around to Denver is going way out of the way for nothing. I would NOT recommend this route unless forced to do it by road closures. If you insist on going on I-40, you can save a couple hours at least by taking highway 84 between I-40 and I-25 (just past Santa Rosa, NM On I-40 to just before Las Vegas, NM on I-25). However, even that route is much longer than simply taking US-87 between Amarillo, Texas and Raton, NM, and then I-25 from there.

To the OP, you should absolutely check the weather along the way, but I think that generally the best route would be US-287 to US-87 to I-25 up till Pueblo, CO (via Amarillo, TX and Raton, NM). This is mostly 4-lane except for a few short stretches in northeastern NM.

From Pueblo, you have the choice of taking US-50 to CO-9 to Breckenridge (the Hoosier Pass Route), or go via Denver and the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-25/I-70 (though you'd definitely use CO-470 as a shortcut in the Denver Metro Area). The latter route will be all Interstate and generally better maintained but you will have to cope with traffic basically all the way from Pueblo to Breckenridge. The metro areas all have the normal rush-hour traffic and there is heavy ski traffic on the weekends.

Cotrip.org is your friend. Check it on your iphone every hour or so on your trip.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:49 PM
 
590 posts, read 2,009,032 times
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I too would consider US 287 from DFW to Amarillo. For the most part its a 4-lane 70 MPH. There are a few towns where you have to slow down, but in recent years they've increased the speed limits through those towns. As far gas stations, I would fill up in DFW and again in Amarillo. The towns along the way will have gas stations, but may have higher prices. Once you get into Colorado, you could I-25 to Colorado Springs and then take US 24 and CO 9. I live in Colorado Springs and that's the way locals go.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,906,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
Going on I-40 to Albuquerque and then then loop around to Denver is going way out of the way for nothing. I would NOT recommend this route unless forced to do it by road closures. If you insist on going on I-40, you can save a couple hours at least by taking highway 84 between I-40 and I-25 (just past Santa Rosa, NM On I-40 to just before Las Vegas, NM on I-25). However, even that route is much longer than simply taking US-87 between Amarillo, Texas and Raton, NM, and then I-25 from there.
Those are isolated highways I wouldn't recommmend for an older couple who are nervous about driving.

If want to avoid I-25, just go from Dallas up I-35 to Kansas and get I-70 west to Denver. Forget small highways in the middle of nowhere.

Quote:
From Pueblo, you have the choice of taking US-50 to CO-9 to Breckenridge (the Hoosier Pass Route),
Hoosier pass in the winter for someone who's nervous about driving in winter conditions?
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