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Old 03-18-2019, 03:15 PM
 
238 posts, read 114,208 times
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I am planning on driving from Montrose to Denver to visit family on Thursday.

The easiest route is to travel to Grand Junction and head due east on I-70. I definitely plan to return to Montrose by this route.

Last time I did this trip (and the only time I have done this trip), was in late summer 2018. To drive to Denver, I headed east on 50 and took 285 north(west) to Denver.

My question is whether I could safely travel the 50/285 route at this time of year in my FWD car. I am concerned about winter weather and winter's lingering effects (e.g., snow and ice accumulation, avalanches, etc.). Colorado has experienced a fairly robust snowfall this year, esp. during March storms.

I am particularly concerned about any mountain passes I would encounter on the 50/285 route: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...es_in_Colorado

I recognize that even I-70 could be problematic. What would you advise? Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:24 PM
 
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You definitely can. Last month during some nasty winter storms I drove back from California in a three cylinder, 67hp FWD car using the same route in the middle of the night (although I stopped in Salida instead of continuing to Denver). My car gave me no problems and I encountered a few passes in rough shape.

The areas that are most likely to give you a problem regarding weather conditions would be Monarch Pass and 285 between Antero Junction and Kenosha Pass. However, I've made several trips up 285 to Denver in the past few weeks in the same tiny car with no problems.

As long as you've got some chains as a backup, your tires are in good shape, and the forecast isn't looking particularly terrible I'd say go for it. Seems like 70 is closed way more frequently than 285 and 50 ever are.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:43 PM
 
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Default Check the webcams

You can’t go by what conditions were like a few days beforehand. Check the highway webcam photos for your major roads instead.

Weather forecast shows rain on Thursday and Friday, which means snow at the higher passes is possible.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:41 PM
 
623 posts, read 871,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
You canít go by what conditions were like a few days beforehand. Check the highway webcam photos for your major roads instead.
Weather forecast shows rain on Thursday and Friday, which means snow at the higher passes is possible.
Exactly. Check here before you drive https://www.cotrip.org/map.htm#/roadConditions
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
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Looks like a storm may be rolling in Thursday evening. Drive early.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:40 AM
 
238 posts, read 114,208 times
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Thanks for all the advice. I will probably just go I-70 -- both ways.

BTW, I am glad, glad, and glad for all the snow. Of course, we don't want any one hurt by inclement weather or its effects.

But we do want to forestall drought as much as possible. I'll only say stop if the Ridgway Reservoir "runneth over."

Last edited by townshend; 03-19-2019 at 09:58 AM..
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by townshend View Post
Thanks for all the advice. I will probably just go I-70 -- both ways.

BTW, I am glad, glad, and glad for all the snow. Of course, we don't want any one hurt by inclement weather or its effects.

But we do want to forestall drought as much as possible. I'll only say stop if the Ridgway Reservoir "runneth over."
If it gets full, Iím taking a couple of days to go paddling and camping there!
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Old Today, 08:51 AM
 
238 posts, read 114,208 times
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I made my trip last week, traveling from Montrose (> Grand Junction) to Denver on Thursday. I had a great time with my son -- we went to the Mayan theater and saw "Birds of Passage."

I decided to come back around Friday noon. I made it without any problems, but it was a good lesson to learn.

Leaving Denver, everything started out "springy", with sunshine, but when I emerged from the Eisenhower Tunnel, it was completely different -- a winter storm. I am sure it was mild by storm standards, because trucks weren't required to chain up. And traffic never got backed up. But for about an hour or so, there was intermittent snow and decreased visibility. I had never experienced such a drastic change in "weather" in such a short span of distance.

At any rate, it reinforced how weather can change in winter driving and the necessity to check weather reports regardless of how sunny the starting point is. Trip successful; lesson learned.
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Old Today, 10:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by townshend View Post
I made my trip last week, traveling from Montrose (> Grand Junction) to Denver on Thursday. I had a great time with my son -- we went to the Mayan theater and saw "Birds of Passage."

I decided to come back around Friday noon. I made it without any problems, but it was a good lesson to learn.

Leaving Denver, everything started out "springy", with sunshine, but when I emerged from the Eisenhower Tunnel, it was completely different -- a winter storm. I am sure it was mild by storm standards, because trucks weren't required to chain up. And traffic never got backed up. But for about an hour or so, there was intermittent snow and decreased visibility. I had never experienced such a drastic change in "weather" in such a short span of distance.

At any rate, it reinforced how weather can change in winter driving and the necessity to check weather reports regardless of how sunny the starting point is. Trip successful; lesson learned.
I had the opposite thing happen one time when driving from Golden to Frisco to go x-c skiing. East of the tunnel, we were socked in with dark clouds, and it had been snowing. As soon as I emerged out of the tunnelís west end, brilliant sun and pure blue skies socked me in the eyes.
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