San Francisco through Colorado Rockies

Old Jul 28th, 2016, 01:13 PM
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San Francisco through Colorado Rockies

Any suggestions on the best route from San Francisco area through the Colorado Rockies and back to Nashville Tn?

This will be part of a long road trip through Canadian Rockies, Washington, Oregon and down the California coast to San Francisco. We will then be heading back home and would like to head through the Colorado area.

Last trip in 2012 we started out from Estes Park on trail ridge road to Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Independence Pass, down to Montrose, Gunnison, down the San Juan Skyway to Durango, Pagosa Springs into New Mexico and back I40.

We would love to see Telluride or an of the other areas of the Rockies we missed last time. We would also like to avoid that long boring drive back through Kansas if possible. All suggestions welcomed.
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Old Jul 28th, 2016, 04:11 PM
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Drive through southern Colorado (Mesa Verde, Ouray, Silverton, Telluride) and then head east. I suspect that Oklahoma or the Texas panhandle will be as dreary as Kansas.
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 03:19 AM
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You don't say how you will get from San Francisco TO Colorado but you might think about going via Yosemite. Coming through the east side of Yosemite through Tolumne Meadows is really stunning, let alone Yosemite Valley.
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 04:40 AM
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Michael, thanks for the reply. I was afraid that both I40 or I70 through Kansas may both be bleak. Is there really nothing interesting to see from Denver back to Nashville even driving the back roads?

Gretchen, Going through Yosemite does sound appealing. Can you give me specifics on taking that route over to Colorado?
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 06:53 AM
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I guess take a look at the map--descend into the valley to Lee Vining and Mono Lake(and an incredible odor of sage!!)and go across Nevada and Utah. A chance to see Yosemite, a true wonder of the world should not be passed up, whether you spend any time in the high Tuolumne Meadows or not--or just drive through to the east.
I have driven across Kansas many times and it may have its charm when the sunflowers are in bloom--HUGE fields of them with their hheads turned toward the sun. Get a book on tape (unabridged!!) and just put in the time--about 8 hours. If you have time to sightsee, then do so
We still don't quite know how long a trip this is.
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 10:23 AM
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>>Can you give me specifics on taking that route over to Colorado?
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 11:05 AM
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If you do have to go through Kansas you can always visit the World's Largest Hairball.
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/map/ks
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 01:05 PM
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On our dreary way home through Kansas last month we made it a point to visit Dodge City and really enjoyed it. There's a pretty good Boot Hill Museum there, and (if you time it right late afternoon) you can catch a "gunfight" in the courtyard. There's also Boot Hill Casino, a surprisingly fun mid-size facility that is one of three owned by the State of Kansas.
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 02:03 PM
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I anticipate this trip taking at least six weeks, maybe more if the expenses don't add up too quickly. I am also thinking of heading down the southern route and do the beginning of RTE 66 as far as Albuquerque and on down I40. Lots of decisions to make.


Thanks for all the suggestions. I am in the early planning stages here and weighing all the options.
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 04:26 PM
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Take back roads to Ely and Great Basin national Park,

US50 is a back road only in the sense that anything but the Interstate is a back road.
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 05:33 PM
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When?
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Old Jul 30th, 2016, 04:05 AM
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Tabernash2, we plan to be in the San Francisco area by first part of September, then start heading back to Nashville. Just have not decided on a route yet. So many options, just trying to decide on the most interesting one.
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Old Jul 30th, 2016, 07:30 AM
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Thanks. Harsh weather should not be an issue at that time of year.
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Old Jul 30th, 2016, 12:23 PM
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Well, you really might want to do the heart of the Rockies on I70 to see the aspens change to gold.
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Old Jul 31st, 2016, 04:14 AM
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If we head south out of Yosemite, will the timing be right for Death Valley? It should be somewhere near early September by then.
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Old Jul 31st, 2016, 12:31 PM
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I never understand the fascination with Death Valley. Sorry.

I'd choose Yosemite and/or Lake Tahoe.
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 07:42 AM
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Death Valley will be HOT at that time of year.
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Old Aug 1st, 2016, 07:46 AM
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You would be heading south to go north for one thing (the Death Valley thing). After the grandeur of Yosemite, head on to see the grandeur of the Rockies.
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