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Old 03-08-2010, 04:18 PM
1 posts, read 2,755 times
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I am planning on driving to the Paonia/ Hotchkiss area around the second week of April from New England. I was wondering if anyone had advice on the best route to get there. I am considering either I-70 west to 82 then south on 133 or heading west on highway 50 then north on 92 (either from Montrose, or earlier through Gunnison Nat'l Forest. I have considering driving I-70 to Grand Junction then driving 50 south from there. Obviously my final decision will be made based on weather conditions but I want to know which road is better as far as the passes are concerned. I have experience in winter driving from living in the East and from 3 years spent in Montana. I also have driven over Lost Trail Pass from MT to ID a few times but never in the winter. Essentially, I want to know what expect (besides expecting the unexpected from winter weather). I'm bringing chains however I do not have 4 wheel drive. Any suggestions/ ideas/ advice? I've read through backposts and whatnot about conditions and passes and what to expect but I guess I'm looking for the potentially safest and least scary route to get me. Thank you!
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:09 PM
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Your best bet is Interstate 70 from Denver to Grand Junction, travel time app. 4 hours.
Then U.S 50 from Grand Junction to Delta, travel time app. 45 minutes.
East to Hotchkiss off the state hwy. from Delta. Relatively easy drive, time stated here is driving straight through. The only 2 lane road involved is from Delta to Hotchkiss area.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:55 AM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 1 day ago)
Location: Western Colorado
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82 to 133 to 92. Be sure to stop at Redstone Redstone Colorado - Official Community Website A beautiful mountain drive. Driving to Junction then Delta you're gonna see nothing but desert scrub.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:48 PM
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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1) Passes along I-70 are the Eisenhower tunnel area and Vail pass. Not bad. Usually pretty decent. Then once you get off I-70, you'd go through McClure pass on 133.

2) Passes along US-50 are Monarch Pass. Steep. Lots of switchbacks. (There's some other so-called "passes" on 50 which aren't worth mentioning. Don't qualify as passes in my opinion.)

If you want to avoid Monarch Pass, then you'd take US-50 west to Poncha Springs, US-285 south to Saguache, then 114 west/northwest which will put you back on US-50 near Gunnison. This option would give you a "pass-free" travelling experience.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:01 AM
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Travelling thru the Colorado mountains during the second week of April....Expect the unexpected!
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:08 AM
Location: Hoffman Estates, Illinois
8 posts, read 21,277 times
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I would definitely try to spend some time at the Black Canyon between Gunnison and Montrose.
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:39 PM
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Wink Most direct, best

Your preferred route of I-70 to Glenwood Springs, CO 82 to Carbondale, and CO 133 on over McClure Pass to Paonia is the best route. It is the most direct, and easiest. The one caveat would be to check local conditions of McClure Pass at the time; it should probably be open, but may prove difficult or closed briefly if a storm.

US 50 is not as direct, will take longer, and Monarch Pass must be dealt with. If conditions less than ideal it will receive less attention than the more heavily traveled passes on I-70. I am unfamiliar with CO 92, thinking it likely okay. But there is nothing fast about such a route, if certainly a good deal less traffic.

If in the moment you find CO 133 problematic then one might always continue on to Grand Junction and reach Paonia via Delta. By and large, such a detour is at lower elevations and should pose little problem.

However all this in consideration of the weather, which might be anything in April.
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