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What time should we leave Moab, UT for our 2:30 PM flight from DEN?

What time should we leave Moab, UT for our 2:30 PM flight from DEN?

Jun 26th, 2006, 11:30 AM
  #1  
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What time should we leave Moab, UT for our 2:30 PM flight from DEN?

We are going to have only limited time in Moab and would like to spend as much time as possible hiking in Arches and Canyonlands. Trying to figure our whether we should drive in the morning from Moab to DEN for our early afternoon flight. From your experience, is it doable and logical to drive all the way from Moab for our flight to Houston departing at 2:30 PM? What time would we have to leave Moab? Should we arrive one day earlier and spend a night in Denver? We never driven on I-70. www.freetrip.com shows 358 miles and 5:15 hours. Should we expect any delays due to construction in the beginning of October?
Thanks for your help
Pat
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Jun 26th, 2006, 02:12 PM
  #2  
TheWeasel
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I think it took me about 4 hours from Denver to Grand Junction, and that was cruising along pretty good. Moab is another 1.5 hours or so, so 5:15 isn't giving you much leeway. Assuming you're going to shoot for being at the rental car drop-off by 1 pm, which would get you to the airport by 1:20-1:30 (check in online if at all possible), you'd have to leave Moab by 7:30 at the absolute latest. I'd even leave earlier just in case you run into something - October isn't too early for a bit of snow in the mountains, and there was an incident last year where parts of I-70 were closed due to fallen rock.

Those are isolated cases, of course, but it could happen. I'd say drive back the evening before and take a bit of time, find somewhere interesting along the way to break up the drive. I did something similar to what you're trying to do, and it was a bit nervewracking the entire drive.
 
Jun 26th, 2006, 02:18 PM
  #3  
 
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Denver International is well to the east of downtown Denver. You are looking at 380 miles. Given that you will need 6 hours do drive it and about 2.5 hours to turn in your car and get to the terminal and then check in and get through security, you need at least 8 hours of lead time.

At best you are looking at a 6:30 departure and very little time to stop for anything except gas.

Even with no stops you are looking at an average speed of 65 mph.

One delay, and you are hung out to dry.
bob_brown is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 02:21 PM
  #4  
 
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From Moab to Denver International Airport I came up with 380 miles and about 5 1/2 hours via Hwy 191 & I-70. It's 375 miles and a little over 6 hours if you take scenic byway Hwy 128 and I-70. The extra half hour on Hwy 128 is well worth it!!!!

These times do not take into consideration Denver traffic or bad weather conditions.

Another thing to keep in mind is daylight in early October. Sunrise is at about 7:15 A.M in Moab this time of the year: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.html.

I think I'd be a little nervous about leaving that late to make sure I got to Denver, probably have to check in a rental car & get though security for a flight...but that might be just me.

Utahtea
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Jun 26th, 2006, 02:21 PM
  #5  
 
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Pat - this makes me uneasy, too. It's way too far a drive.

I can't remember which comedian said that the Denver airport isn't actually in the city of Denver. It's in...Nebraska.
karens is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 02:47 PM
  #6  
 
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Your plan is cutting it a little to close for my comfort level. Construction delays may not be a problem, but the unforeseen accident or rock slide can close I-70 for hours and there are limited options (if any) for turning around or getting off the highway. I have sat on a stretch of I-70 from Denver to Dillon for 4 hours with no way to get off after a rockslide. This should have been a 1 hour drive.
wtm003 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:55 PM
  #7  
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I appreciate your help. After reading each of your responses very carefully I concluded we need to leave Moab on Thursday afternoon and drive to ???
Any place not too far from Denver where we can take a short maybe 2-3 hours hike/walk hike Friday morning, get back to our hotel to take a shower, then drive to the airport to return a car and catch our flight at 2:30 PM? I also realize a car rental place is not in the airport so we need more time. Would love to hear your suggestions on places to stay overnight. Maybe we should just stay in Denver?
Thanks
Pat
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Jun 26th, 2006, 05:14 PM
  #8  
 
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You might consider Rifle, Colorado.
It is about halfway between Moab and Denver airport. You are past Grand Junction and relatively close to the tunnel under the mountain which relieved the trip over Loveland Pass.

Loveland is quite a spectacular drive, but you will not have time for it this trip.

bob_brown is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:17 PM
  #9  
 
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There are a number of places just west of Denver along I-70 to choose from. On the flats, right where the foothills begin, is Golden. Just up in the foothills are Idaho Springs, Empire, and Georgetown. In Golden, the Coor's Brewry tour is fun and tasty. Golden also has a pretty good railroad museum and yard. If you are interested in history, Buffalo Bill's grave and museum are located on Lookout Mountain, just above Golden.

Idaho Springs, Empire, and Georgetown are all old mining towns. Each has some interesting, historic places to see and Georgetown has the Georgetown Loop Railroad if you have an interest in that.

I think leaving Moab the evening before is a smart idea. As other posters have said, many problems can cause traffic tieups and there are not many, or soemtimes any, alternatives.
dwooddon is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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I vote for Glenwood Springs. You can hang out by the hot springs pool.

One of my favorite hikes is nearby - Hidden Lake.

karens is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:27 PM
  #11  
 
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I firmly recommend that you stay close to the airport (within an hour). In reality, you have 1/2 of a day (airport/car return, etc. suggested 2 hour minimum). No way should you even think about making it from Moab to DIA. Why not check out Denver? Visit the Museum of Nature and Science, the Art Museum, zoo, Botanic Gardens, whatever, but don't plan on hiking in the mountains, showering, then doing all that other stuff. One turned ankle, one jackknifed truck, many things could spoil the plans!
sylvia3 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:27 PM
  #12  
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Wow!. So many great suggestions. I need to review them with my husband tomorrow morning so we both can decide where we should stay. Thank you again
Pat2003 is offline  

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