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Old 10-23-2018, 02:52 PM
54 posts, read 58,827 times
Reputation: 77


I used to live in Dallas and always did the 287 route to Raton and then up I-25. Never had issues, no matter the time of year. Wide open spaces for sure but mountains to the west once you hit I-25. I-35 to I-70 is straight up dull plus I wouldn't want to get caught in a Plains blizzard in the winter. Nope.
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:38 PM
91 posts, read 18,724 times
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I have driven both routes that folks are suggesting. If you want the safest, I agree with bluescreen73; that is, stick to the interstates. It is longer (and boring), but you will get there.

If you go the other route and hit snow, you might have to chain up to get over Raton Pass.

In the spring of 2010, we were returning to Colorado Springs from Huntsville, AL, and hit the blizzard in OK and KS. I-40 was closed at the OK - TX border, so we tried to drive the state routes from around Enid, OK to Garden City, KS. They were not plowed. We backtracked to I-35 and went into Wichita. The interstates were clear all the way to Denver.
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Old Today, 12:29 PM
Location: Scottsdale
902 posts, read 406,142 times
Reputation: 1618
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
If you want the safest route it'll be I-35 to Wichita, KS, then I-135 to Salina, and I-70 from Salina into Denver. It's longer, but it's Interstate the entire way.

Your next-best choice is probably Amarillo->Dalhart->Raton->Denver via US-287, US-87, and I-25. Shorter, but there's a bit of two-lane road driving and driving through isolated parts of Northwest Texas and Northeastern New Mexico.
I would recommend planning ahead of time and check the weather forecast frequently and adjust.
I got caught in a surprise blizzard back in 1999 between Pueblo, CO and Raton, NM on I-25. It was after midnight and I recall barely being able to see the marker posts at the side of the road. Visibility was horrible. The snow kept getting deeper by the minute and more slippery. I-25 was just blanketed with white snow after about an hour. I finally made it to Raton after a couple of hours of ridiculous conditions. The "catch" was that my little Ford Ranger had metal-studded ice tires. It maintained the traction despite the icy conditions. At that point of late winter/early spring, I already had a huge amount of experience driving in snow around Denver. I had enough snow-driving skill to make it but was lucky.

Nowadays, just get a "weather" app and check its forecast frequently. The odds are that the interstates are safer and generally more well-maintained compared to a small highway in rural NM and the Texas Panhandle.
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