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Old 06-23-2019, 10:32 AM   #1
Wflamm@gmail.com
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Route through Colorado

We're going to travel with our 42" 5th wheel going from Durango CO to Montrose CO. We absolutely DO NOT want to travel any steep or winding roads, like the Million Dollar highway from Durango to Silverton. Any suggestions on the best route to take for big rigs from Durango CO to Montrose CO?
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:08 PM   #2
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CO 145 from Cortez will take you over Lizard Head Pass, which is pretty tame. Pretty drive, and not nearly the white knuckle experience of Red Mountain Pass on 550. The Million Dollar Highway is beautiful, but best done when you are not towing anything. Unless you want to start from somewhere else, there’s no way to avoid all the mountain passes. Have a great trip!
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:40 AM   #3
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Two ways to do it while avoiding "steep & windy roads".

1. Durango - Monticello UT - Moab UT - Grand Junction CO - Montrose CO. 331 miles.

2. Durango - Dove Creek CO - Naturita CO - Gateway CO - Montrose CO. 287 miles, about the same amount of time as choice 1.

Given your requirements, I suggest choice 1.

BTW, it is 107 miles through Silverton over Red Mountain pass and 169 through Telluride over Lizard Head pass so your restrictions are adding considerable time and miles to the trip. However, if you are uncomfortable with "steep & windy roads" avoid both Red Mountain and Lizard Head.

PS: coming from Cruces, you might as well take I-25 to ABQ, I-40 to Gallup, then north to Cortez CO and west to Monticello UT; unless you need to go to Farmington or Durango.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
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I f you are pulling with a late model diesel with an exhaust brake going to Cortez and then taking 145 through Lizzard head pass will not be a problem. A couple of years ago we took our 37 ft Montana that way but stopped at Priest Gulch. We made a trip through Ridgeway in our truck and didn't see anything that would worry me if I was pulling the trailer. Our truck at that time was an 05 F250 diesel with no exhaust brake and only about 2/3 the power of today's diesels. The hardest part of that trip for us was the ascent on 160 leaving Durango, the downhill side was no problem. Looks like any way you go, you are going to have go up that same " hill", if you are comfortable doing that, than I think Lizzard Pass will be ok for you as well.
As Scottz said, unless you are just wanting to go to Durango, just go to Gallop then north to Cortez. Just as quick as going through Durango and no steep roads until past Dolores.
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:24 PM   #5
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I do not have a problem with either the Silverton or the Telluride route but would never encourage anyone to do it if they are not comfortable with steep mountain roads.
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:38 PM   #6
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Scott, do you feel that the lizard pass road is any tougher than Leaving Durango on 160? I'm going from memory here and mine is non too good! I too wouldn't want to send someone on a route that would make them uncomfortable, that's why I asked what they were towing with. On the same trip to Priest Gulch we took the truck, no trailer, over Wolf Creek Pass a couple of times and I said to myself that I would not want to pull the trailer over this pass. I did not get the same feeling going over Lizzard Head, although at Ridgeway we went towards Ouray instead of Montrose.
By the way it's interesting that the OP hasn't checked back in since asking for advice.
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:17 AM   #7
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No, Lizzard head is the least difficult of the three. I think Wolf Creek is the toughest climb and hardest descent and Red Mountain the most "white knuckle".
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:40 AM   #8
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Choice 1 is by far the easiest . The advantage is seeing Arches at Moab.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:54 PM   #9
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"1. Durango - Monticello UT - Moab UT - Grand Junction CO - Montrose CO. 331 miles"

Our preferred route. I hate some Colorado passes when towing.

Stop at the Dinosaur Museum in Fruita just outside Grand Junction if you have time.
The Colorado River State Park Campground in Fruita just past the museum is a nice overnight too. .
.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:46 AM   #10
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Just wanting to get more information - we are traveling from Colorado Springs to Durango in August and will be taking 1-25 then Hwy 160. First time doing a mountain pass with our 5'er 3670 RL. Wondering about Wolf Creek pass. Looking on an "Rv'er forum sounds like won't be too bad. Any suggestions or tips would be helpful
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:05 PM   #11
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https://youtu.be/X6LzWZYWpOU

It was quite something back in the day, but it’s pretty tame now. Be aware that the descent is is pretty long, so take your time. Beautiful drive.

Here’s a pretty good video of what you can expect.

https://youtu.be/E9cOSYpDyw8
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:34 AM   #12
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Thank you!!
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