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Old 05-15-2016, 08:13 AM   #1
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Through the Rockies

Any advice on the most scenic routes through the Rocky Mountains and on into Utah? I want to fish and camp 2-3 days in a full service park somewhere - pulling a Cruiser 31' with a Dodge Diesel 4X4 3500 - never been at altitude in this truck - any advice on performance issues or places to stay and fish would be welcome.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:28 AM   #2
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Not too many choices, in Colorado I70 and US50 are the primary routes. I70 has good long range views that even the driver can enjoy. US50 has a greater variety of scenery but requires more speed and steering attention by the driver. If you have an exhaust brake, then take your choice, if no brake then US50 will require even more attention.

Or you can take US550 thru New Mexico up to Durango, Co. and then to southern Utah. This would be the easiest route. Finally, you can go from Santa Fe to Pagosa Springs, Co. and over Wolf Creek Pass to Durango.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:06 AM   #3
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Wolf Creek Pass is likely going to be one of your biggest challenges as far as altitude is concerned. We did it in 2014 with our then 2006 GMC 2500 gas doing the job. She was not happy at all as we were under-powered, but I am sure the diesel will handle anything you can throw at it!

It sounds like a really beautiful trip. Enjoy!
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Old 05-15-2016, 03:00 PM   #4
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We just came over US 160 and crossed The Great Divide. The pass was 10,870 feet high. The views were fabulous. This was my first time and I've never came another way. As far as pulling, my truck did great! The speed limits slow down to mostly 45-55, with some 35 mph's. The wind was terrible on the flat land, but over the pass was fine. We just set up camp. Good luck.
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Old 05-15-2016, 03:11 PM   #5
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Here's a shot we took looking back at the valley we were in ten minutes before. This is not at the summit...
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Dow View Post
Any advice on the most scenic routes through the Rocky Mountains and on into Utah? I want to fish and camp 2-3 days in a full service park somewhere - pulling a Cruiser 31' with a Dodge Diesel 4X4 3500 - never been at altitude in this truck - any advice on performance issues or places to stay and fish would be welcome.
Thanks,
Max
My biggest advice would come from an employer I had many years ago. I was to be driving a big rig over the road semi hauling oversized loads. My first time over the high passes he gave me this advice, "You can go down the hill too slow a thousand times, but you will only go down too fast once." Gear down, if you go up the hill in 4th gear, go down in 4th. This tidbit of advice got me over the high passes safely many times in all types of rigs, and now my fiver.
Each route through has its own beauty as well as challenges.
I-70 is of course the simplest and Glenwood Canyon is (to me) breath taking.
Rabbit Ears pass and across Hwy 40 through Steamboat Springs is beautiful.
Hwy 50 over Monarch Pass and through Gunnison if amazing.
And of course there is Wolf Creek Pass on Hwy 160 through Pagosa Springs and Durango is also wonderful.
You can't go wrong in the scenery and beauty no matter which route you choose. And fishing will be great along any route.
Slow down, gear down, and forget about the 100 (+-) cars behind you.
Drive safe and enjoy the trip.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:17 PM   #7
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If you are anywhere near Page, AZ, there is something there to see which is amazing. It is called Antelope Canyon (there's an Upper and Lower). Look it up online. I have some pictures in my album of our trip in 2014. Page is near the Utah border, about mid way along the top of AZ.
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Old 06-10-2016, 01:33 PM   #8
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How far south are you starting, that would help answer the question. You staying south through CO and into Utah, you going way north in Utah? Whats the destination area in Utah (way north or Zion / Arches)? RMNP is a great destination, but if you don't need to drive that far north, its way out of the way.

Any preference on fishing (creek/river, stocked ponds, reservoirs?)

Gunnison area is a nice easy drive, plenty of camping, sights, fishing. Central to the state and HWY 50 is a solid east west road, prevents you having to go extra North to I70.

The million dollar highway is pretty amazing, but you might not enjoy it when towing.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:55 PM   #9
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Thanks a lot! We are back now already and we stayed and fished in Gunnison ; went across Monarch pass; truck and 5r performed well - no problem; Went on to Moab, then through Monument valley; from there to Page and Lake Powell; On to Las Vegas to see The Who in concert (that's what started this whole thing back in Feb!); Back home to Texas via Grand Canyon stayed at Williams there; 2 weeks later, 2630 miles and I wish I was still on the road! Back to the real world I guess.
Thanks again.
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