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Old 06-14-2012, 09:49 AM
 
8,171 posts, read 21,392,136 times
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Your Altima is well capable of driving on Colorado's roads at this time of the year.

Be aware that there will be a significant engine horsepower loss due to the altitude, so your car will seem to perform a bit more slowly than normal.

Do remember to downshift on the grades in the mountains if you car seems unable to maintain highway speed in top gear. You will not hurt the engine by allowing it to rev up a bit and breathe more freely; it will actually be easier on the car to do so than to lug along in top gear at full throttle trying to keep up your speed. You may also find that downshifting from top gear on the descents will make it easier to control your speed and require less use of your brakes.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
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If you come in on I-70. It's a gentle grade through Kansas, and basically nothing to see. You'll hit the Colorado state line (small pull off to take a photo at the Colorful Colorado sign) and say "ew". Then to Denver, still a gentle grade to 5,000 feet, and you'll still say "ew". Once past Denver you'll get into the mountains and higher elevations and scenery and all the ritzy ski resorts.

If you come in on US50, which I think is a nicer drive through small Kansas towns, (pulloff at the Colorful Colorado sign for a photo) you'll come into Pueblo "ew", and feel like you're in the desert. Keep on US50 and once in Canon City, you'll climb into rock canyons along the Arkansas River. Very scenic and there might be some trout fishermen there and rafters you can see (if there's water). You can stop at Royal Gorge while there. You'll go through some very nice country, Salida, Gunnison, drive up to Monarch Pass. A good photo op to take your picture at the Continental Divide which will literally take your breath away due to the altitude. Then you'll come down from Monarch (shift don't ride your brakes! Watch downhill speed, there's always a trooper sitting there), down through Cimmaron and into Montrose. Stop and eat at Camp Robber or The Stone House. Then take US 550 to Ridgway (stop at Panny's Pizza for the best pizza and ice cream on the planet), visit the Railroad Museum on HWY 62, then take US 550 and up to Ouray. If you want you can rent a jeep or go on some backroads tours with a tour group. You can keep driving up over Red Mountain Pass (hold your breath!) to Silverton if you want and take a steam train ride into Durango.

Enjoy your trip, take your time, drink LOTS of water and wear sunscreen. The sun is very strong in the thin air here.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:05 PM
 
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I drove an Escort around the Ouray area and to Valley of the Gods in Utah and back to Ouray, and the a/c couldn't run at the same time as pulling steep hills (although the area above Valley of the Gods might be about a 14 percent grade). Once drove a Hundyai out of the Denver airport and it was really slowing on the hills west on the interestate, and started smoking some around Silver Plume. It got its act together after that.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:54 AM
 
Location: 80919 Rockrimmon yO!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
You apparently haven't been over it for a few years. Engineer Pass itself isn't bad, but the portion down from Mineral Point to US550 has deteriorated to the point that it's now pretty tough in anything but a 'bobtail" 4WD with an experienced driver. A friend of mine took his 4WD pickup over Engineer 2 weeks ago and that lower portion took him over 2 hours to negotiate--and he has 40 years of 4-wheeling experience in the San Juans.

I'd say it's been a year and half now, I don't remember that section being THAT bad. This being said, I have an old GL wagon with real 4WD low range, not that sissy AWD they come with now. That little car will go in places you would never imagine.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:40 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Default Driving from Texas to Colorado, need SUV or will our old Nissan Altima do?

Five years ago, my wife and I drove all over Colorado in our 2003 Altima. It was very capable of handling everything, regardless of weather or elevation. We pretty much stuck to the pavement, though. You'll be fine.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
794 posts, read 649,687 times
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Unless you decide to do something crazy you should be fine.

Years ago my mom, step-dad and I went from Marble to the Crystal Mill in a mid-80s Nissan Sentra... Not that I am recommending that.

Mountains Rule: Crystal, Colorado
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,814 posts, read 5,048,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv2407 View Post
Hello everyone.

Looking for a budget friendly vacation this July and would love to take a road trip from Dallas, Texas to Colorado for a quiet, scenic getaway with the husband.
Before I even start poking around forums to decide on a location, I wanted to ask for your opinion whether a drive to and through mountainous Colorado will require us to rent an SUV or are the roads friendly enough to our little Nissan Altima? Have no clue what kind of road conditions to expect. Pardon my ignorance and I appreciate your input!
you won't have any issues in July because there's no snow on the ground. Weather is pretty much dry and mild, although there may be brief afternoon thunderstorms and rains (sometimes hail).

I don't know what kind of car the Altima is, just make sure it has enough "umph" to pull you up those mountain highways.
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