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Old 03-18-2010, 06:45 PM
 
2 posts, read 12,781 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi folks,

I'm from New York and just booked tickets to Denver for a 10-day Colorado vacation. I've never been to CO before and can't wait!

I plan to spend most of my time hiking -- but day hikes only (I love hiking but I'm not a super-serious hiker and really not experienced at backcountry hiking.)

Anyway, my plan is to go from Denver to Estes Park to spend time at RMNP, then to cross Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake and carry on to Yampa, from where I'll be doing some hiking in the Flat Tops. From there, it's on to Leadville just for a night to see the old downtown and then back to Denver.

I'll be renting a car when I get in, and while I won't be doing any off-roading or trail driving or anything, I'm wondering what kind of car I'll need to handle the mountain driving.

My trip is last week of June into first week of July, btw.

Do I need a full-size vehicle like an Impala with a lot of horesepower, or can I get away with a mid-size car like a Sentra? Do I need RWD or AWD at this time of year, or am I safe in summer?

I don't drive stick, btw, so it has to be an automatic.

Any suggestions you can make would be GREATLY appreciated.

Oh, and if you have any feedback on my planned route, please share!

Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:52 PM
 
Location: CO
2,532 posts, read 5,816,223 times
Reputation: 3295
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudigsit View Post
Hi folks,

I'm from New York and just booked tickets to Denver for a 10-day Colorado vacation. I've never been to CO before and can't wait!

I plan to spend most of my time hiking -- but day hikes only (I love hiking but I'm not a super-serious hiker and really not experienced at backcountry hiking.)

Anyway, my plan is to go from Denver to Estes Park to spend time at RMNP, then to cross Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake and carry on to Yampa, from where I'll be doing some hiking in the Flat Tops. From there, it's on to Leadville just for a night to see the old downtown and then back to Denver.

I'll be renting a car when I get in, and while I won't be doing any off-roading or trail driving or anything, I'm wondering what kind of car I'll need to handle the mountain driving.

My trip is last week of June into first week of July, btw.

Do I need a full-size vehicle like an Impala with a lot of horesepower, or can I get away with a mid-size car like a Sentra? Do I need RWD or AWD at this time of year, or am I safe in summer?

I don't drive stick, btw, so it has to be an automatic.

Any suggestions you can make would be GREATLY appreciated.

Oh, and if you have any feedback on my planned route, please share!

Thanks!
For what you're doing, any car that any rental company in Denver will provide, will do just fine. Decide based on whatever car you would like to drive/be in. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,246,015 times
Reputation: 6815
Rent the biggest, baddest looking Hummer you can get your hands on.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,515 posts, read 11,623,635 times
Reputation: 24162
A Mustang GT convertible!
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,899,377 times
Reputation: 2435
For that time of year, any car or vehicle will do if you're staying on paved roads. You won't have snow to contend with so you won't need special tires or 4wd.

Your planned route looks reasonable.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:48 AM
 
Location: most beautiful place ever
1,836 posts, read 3,480,736 times
Reputation: 1430
I did a similiar trip last July and had a mid size car, a corolla. I also drove Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mtn with no problems.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,740,115 times
Reputation: 710
Any car will do but don't get a little four-banger with no pep aka economy. Get a mid-size (or what the car rentals call a full-size) like a Ford Taurus or Pontiac Grand Prix. It really sucks driving over mountain passes in cars that have no oomph, IMO. Plus, you'll have room for your traveling items.

Economy cars are great for the Front Range but if you want to get to some decent trails that may not be off-road but are out of the way, go up in power/engine size. A Taurus or Grand Prix have pretty good gas mileage (made the trip in a Grand Prix to Vegas from Colorado Springs a few years back and it's mileage is the same as my Accord EX). That's just my opinion though. I think tooling around the mountains, you'll enjoy your stay more with a bigger vehicle with more power.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
15,371 posts, read 33,754,701 times
Reputation: 8976
a Ferrari would be fun on some of the roads
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,899,377 times
Reputation: 2435
Quote:
Originally Posted by COflower View Post
Any car will do but don't get a little four-banger with no pep aka economy. Get a mid-size (or what the car rentals call a full-size) like a Ford Taurus or Pontiac Grand Prix. It really sucks driving over mountain passes in cars that have no oomph, IMO.
Yeah you'll make it, but you'll have 20 cars behind you waiting to pass.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,899,377 times
Reputation: 2435
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynimagelv View Post
a Ferrari would be fun on some of the roads
Gotta go to Aspen to see those.
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