Long Island to Colorado Road Trip

Old May 8th, 2021, 05:35 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Long Island to Colorado Road Trip

Taking a road trip, up to 6 weeks, in our camper van, starting around May 15.
I've done little to no planning yet, but thinking of heading towards Denver CO.

Is there a favorite route?
Do you recommend detouring around tornado alley, by going via S Dakota?
What's good to see along the way?
Any must sees in CO aside from RMNP?

Here's a link to our YouTube channel to give you an idea of who we are and what we like.
My wife is a marathon runner and mountain hiker. Unfortunately, I can't hike like her but can do short hikes. I love cities but my wife, not so much.

https://tinyurl.com/2e4jcfae



Governator is offline  
Old May 8th, 2021, 05:51 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,500
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I"d get on I70 and go. Get on to Denver as quick as you can.
You might detour north to see the BAdlands.
After Denver head south--Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde.
Maybe then head further SW and New Mexico and the Indian Pueblos.
Grand Canyon
Up to the western entrance to Yosemite.

Get a map and stick pins in it. Connect the dots and see what you are led to.
Gretchen is offline  
Old May 8th, 2021, 06:49 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,669
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Must see: Mesa Verde


To do: train ride from Durango to Silverton

Michael is offline  
Old May 8th, 2021, 09:24 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,437
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You will have a hard time avoiding potential tornado locations. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torn..._1950-2019.svg

With climate change the worst tornadoes are now in northern MS, AL, GA, and Arkansas and Tennessee, “Dixie Alley” vs “tornado alley.”

https://www.lex18.com/stormtracker-b...leads-the-way/

You will have to research a path in your own since this forum skews coastal and Western with advice. Moon publishes guidebooks for many states.

Last edited by tom_mn; May 8th, 2021 at 09:30 AM.
tom_mn is offline  
Old May 8th, 2021, 12:06 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,669
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If going to RMNP first, consider going west to Dinosaur National Monument. There is a nice campground at the junction for the Yampa and Green rivers, but it might still be a dirt road not recommended for RV's:


From there you could head south to Black Canyon of the Gunnison:


Here is Colorado album, mainly west of the Continental Divide:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjoyfnxZ
Michael is offline  
Old May 9th, 2021, 02:18 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,500
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think/hope that the OP was using Tornado Alley as a way to designate a route and not being afraid of tornadoes. At least that was my thought. I worry about hurricanes on the beach and snow closing passes in winter but have never planned around tornadoes. lOL
Gretchen is offline  
Old May 9th, 2021, 04:16 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do a nice loop, hit Denver, go south to Great Sand Dunes then west to Mesa Verde then alittle more northwest to Canyonlands and Arches then up to Dinosaur NP then work your way back through the Rockies to RMNP where the mud season will be over. Do visit the National park web site and check the requirements for entering the parks.

if you are old enough to get a senior pass for the parks, do that at the first one you visit, maybe the Saint Lewis Arch.

Cities are not very user friendly for RVs. Crowded streets, limited parking.
oldemalloy is offline  
Old May 9th, 2021, 05:25 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In this thread they talk about doing something in reverse. Does anyone know what they’re talking about?

Three day colorado summer trip (Denver-RMNP, Colorado springs)
Governator is offline  
Old May 9th, 2021, 07:40 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
I"d get on I70 and go. Get on to Denver as quick as you can.
You might detour north to see the BAdlands.
After Denver head south--Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde.
Maybe then head further SW and New Mexico and the Indian Pueblos.
Grand Canyon
Up to the western entrance to Yosemite.

Get a map and stick pins in it. Connect the dots and see what you are led to.
Any reason you chose I70 over I80? I'm thinking 80 might keep me further from tornados?
Governator is offline  
Old May 9th, 2021, 10:12 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To answer the first question, when they say do it in reverse they are talking about doing a loop, say from Denver to RMNP to Dinosaur to Moab to Mesa Verde to Great Sand Dunes and back to Denver or the other way Denver to Great Sand Dunes etc ending with RMNP. It might make no difference which way you go, but if you want to see a particular park when the trails are not snowy or muddy a few weeks can make a big difference.

As to if you want to take 70 or 80, you need to get a big old paper map and put pins in the places you really want to go. Both can go through or close to interesting sites or cities. You will see there are places that you might want to use one part of the way and then go up or down to the other. You might want to use one on the way out and the other on the way back. Or you might want to drop down to visit Grand Canyon and take 40 and see Petrified Forrest/Painted desert, Albuquerque then jog up to Santa Fe etc.


There is so much to see, but you need to set the priorities.
oldemalloy is offline  
Old May 10th, 2021, 02:48 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,500
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PLEASE don't worry about tornadoes. They can come up ANYWHERE any time. And tornado alley is really further south from I70--Oklahoma and Ardansas.

The big old paper map is what I always suggest to plan a trip like this--and we actually did this with our kids--no RV but some camping for 6 weeks travelling from NC. We spent one week at a ranch in the Grand Tetons, which is something you might like to consider--a spot to stop for a number of days and just enjoy.
Gretchen is offline  
Old May 10th, 2021, 06:47 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gretchen Thanks for the vote of confidence re tornados.

@Everyone
Having just found out about the timed entry reservation system in RMNP starting May 28, we're going to head straight for Colorado and hope to get there by this weekend, giving us at least 10 days to enjoy the park without having to worry about that. After that we'll explore elsewhere in Colorado including Denver, and then probably down into New Mexico (Geography King on YouTube names this as his fav state.)

Want to see new places. Places we've already been in the SW.
(AW = After wife, BW = Before wife)
Grand Canyon 1X AW, 2X BW; LV-Zion-Bryce-Capitol Reef-Arches trip 1X AW , 2X BW; Durango-Silverton train 1X BW; Mesa Verde 1X BW; Monument Valley 1X BW; Petrified Forest 1X AW; Santa Fe 1X BW; Jackson Hole/Grand Tetons/Yellowstone 1X AW , 1X BW.

What are your favorite spots in the RMNP?
Favorite places in Colorado, NM aside from the places I mentioned that I've been?



Last edited by Governator; May 10th, 2021 at 06:53 AM.
Governator is offline  
Old May 11th, 2021, 10:14 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,318
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For something completely different, if you go via I-70, once you get to Topeka, KS, detour south west to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. There's nothing left like it anywhere else.

https://www.nps.gov/tapr/index.htm

Last edited by Barbara; May 11th, 2021 at 10:17 AM.
Barbara is offline  
Old May 15th, 2021, 04:57 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow, Kansas has some serious thunderstorms. Pouring rain, strong winds and the sky flashing light over the lake for 2 hours straight hours last night. I was a bit worried. Glad we weren’t in a tent. On to Denver today.

Didn’t get to Tallgrass but saw Mushroom Rock and camped at Lake Kanopolis. So far we’ve been taking 70. Stayed in Wheeling ran/biked Heritage trail, Terre Haute visited Fowler Park, Kansas City got Ribs at Joe’s ate them at Centennial Park and last night Kanopolis State Park, Marquette KA.

Last edited by Governator; May 15th, 2021 at 05:09 AM.
Governator is offline  
Old May 15th, 2021, 10:41 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,500
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am beginning to think that Long Island never has any kind of weather!! LOL
Enjoy Denver. I can't remember if you have any plans there but it is a good destination to visit.
Gretchen is offline  
Old May 15th, 2021, 05:08 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
I am beginning to think that Long Island never has any kind of weather!! LOL
Enjoy Denver. I can't remember if you have any plans there but it is a good destination to visit.
Just arrived Denver. Tomorrow Golden Gate Canyon for 3 nights followed by 4 nights at Stillwater campground RMNP after that not sure.
Governator is offline  
Old May 17th, 2021, 01:04 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Trail Ridge road through RMNP will not be open till roughly Memorial Day weekend. We have had a lot of snow recently so opening could be delayed.


Last edited by fmpden; May 17th, 2021 at 01:08 PM.
fmpden is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2021, 06:26 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Long Island to Colorado road trip

Part 1

We're back after 4 weeks in Colorado (except for 2 nights in NM). It took us an additional 9 or so days to drive there and back. Going we made stops in Wheeling, WV, Terre Haute, IN, Kansas City, MO, Kanopolis State Park,KS. Going home we went to KC again but detoured to Louisville and Lexington KY, and home through WV. We didn't have any issues with tornados though we did see a major lightning storm in Kanopolis.

Colorado was unbelievable. It was the Colorado of the Coors commercials with beautiful white capped mountains, rushing streams, beautiful alpine lakes and wild flowers.We went from Denver to Golden Gate Canyon to Stillwater (on Lake Granby between Grand Lake and Granby) . Grand Lake is a quaint little town and is the West entrance to RMNP. However, the road into RMNP was closed after about 10 miles so there was not much to do aside from Moose and Elk viewing. I decided to cancel the last 2 nights at Stillwater and head over to the East side of RMNP, near Estes Park. We had a thrill driving over Berthoud Pass and seeing the Continental Divide. We stayed 3 nights in Hermit CG outside Estes Park asnd did some exploration of RMNP.

In Golden Gate Canyon we hiked to Panorama Point. It was a little disappointing but the next day we drove to and hiked at St. Mary's Glacier. That was a fun hike up a long slope of snow. Great views down into the valley. We passed through Century City and Blackhawk and learned about the area and it’s casinos. At Stillwater CG we had a beautiful sunrise view out of the windows of our van.

It was a good decision to head over to the east side of RMNP. The view driving down from Hermit CG into Estes Park is breathtaking, the snow capped mountains lit up by the morning sun, just gorgeous. Things we did at RMNP. Hiked around Bear Lake. Hiked to Ouzel Falls. Hiked to Gem Lake. While my wife hiked the Twin Sisters peak, I hiked the Lilly Lake Ridge trail. Enjoyed amazing views of snow covered mountains.. My wife ran and I biked around Estes Lake.

We had burritos in a couple of places in Estes but the best imho was Ed’s Cantina, which is on a promenade beside the river.

To be cont'd...


Joe's KC BBQ

Joe's KC BBQ

Kanopolis SP KS

Kanopolis SP KS






























Governator is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
panpeter
United States
26
May 9th, 2021 11:17 AM
jrsaf
United States
4
Jul 8th, 2014 05:08 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:56 PM.