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Old 05-05-2016, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Monument,CO
352 posts, read 288,944 times
Reputation: 554

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This has been discussed before, but I'd like some clarification. I'm driving to Santa Fe for Memorial Day, and I've taken I-25 all the way a few times. I was thinking of taking 160 to Alamosa (I've been to Sand Dunes the last 2 Memorial Day weekends and gotten stuck in incredible hail storms) and then taking 285 down to Santa Fe.

I'm not fond of mountain driving, hairpin turns with no guard rails, etc. How is 285? The drive up to Alamosa has never bothered me.

Thanks!

jb
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,628 posts, read 3,953,548 times
Reputation: 6618
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbeliever View Post
This has been discussed before, but I'd like some clarification. I'm driving to Santa Fe for Memorial Day, and I've taken I-25 all the way a few times. I was thinking of taking 160 to Alamosa (I've been to Sand Dunes the last 2 Memorial Day weekends and gotten stuck in incredible hail storms) and then taking 285 down to Santa Fe.

I'm not fond of mountain driving, hairpin turns with no guard rails, etc. How is 285? The drive up to Alamosa has never bothered me.

Thanks!

jb
HWY 285 south of Alamosa is boring. It's a more scenic drive to take CO-152/NM-522 to Taos and then cut across to HWY 285 via US-64 (with a stop at the Rio Grande Bridge?) to Taos County RD 115 to NM-567.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:42 PM
 
16,505 posts, read 20,901,804 times
Reputation: 47862
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbeliever View Post
This has been discussed before, but I'd like some clarification. I'm driving to Santa Fe for Memorial Day, and I've taken I-25 all the way a few times. I was thinking of taking 160 to Alamosa (I've been to Sand Dunes the last 2 Memorial Day weekends and gotten stuck in incredible hail storms) and then taking 285 down to Santa Fe.

I'm not fond of mountain driving, hairpin turns with no guard rails, etc. How is 285? The drive up to Alamosa has never bothered me.

Thanks!

jb
285 has seen some bad wrecks over the years but the road itself is ok. You don't have hairpin turns like you have on Red Mountain Pass. Traffic thins out when you get to Bailey. Coming down off Kenosha Pass is an easy descent. Beautiful view of the 14000 ft. peaks on the west side of South Park. Red Hill Pass (9953 ft.) is an easy climb. Watch your speed coming into Fairplay city limits! Easy climb over Trout Creek Pass and then you merge with U.S. 50 near Buena Vista. Poncha Pass, like the others isn't a hard climb at all.

If you get an early start out of Denver a good place to stop for lunch is the Dutch Mill Cafe in Antonito. As you're going south of town you'll notice steam locomotives which involves the Cumbres/Toltec narrow gauge train ride. It's every bit as impressive as Durango/Silverton but doesn't get the publicity. The above poster is right when you cross the New Mexico border. Not a lot of mountains but after a ways you have some decent views. A lot of road work has been done to 285 and the adjoining state NM highways as you are going to Espanola and then Santa Fe.

Not the fastest way to go but I have always liked the San Luis Valley area.

Be safe!
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:10 AM
 
124 posts, read 139,638 times
Reputation: 135
Train leaves out of Antonito about 10:00 am, arrives back in the mid/late afternoon. There may be some equipment parked, but if you want to see a train running, be there before it departs in the am. First train of the season will run on May 28.
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