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Old 01-31-2016, 08:50 PM   #1
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C0 139 North to Dinosaur National Monument

Anyone taken CO 139 from near Grand Junction to Dinosaur National Monument? Looking for a route from Zion Canyon to Dinosaur National Monument this July. Driving a 34' Sunseeker. No toad.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:17 PM   #2
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It's quite a climb all the way up and over the top but a good road if a bit narrow for some. Not any better over in Utah from Helper over to Duchsene.
Going on up I-70 to Rifle then up to Meeker and back west to Rangely is longer but no real hard pulls.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:08 AM   #3
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We pulled our 5'er up that pass in June of 2014. The road was under construction when we made the trip and the loose gravel and narrow lane (it was one way traffic the day we went up) made it a challenge. There were a few fairly good switchbacks and the grade was fairly steep in places, but I wouldn't hesitate to pull over it again...even though it might be the toughest trek we've made towing the 5'er so far. Our rig combo is 52' nose to tail and it wasn't too bad, but it is one I certainly remember.

I also remember thinking Hwy 40 in Utah reminded me of the killing fields...the number of prairie dogs squashed on that stretch of highway was beyond belief!

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:53 PM   #4
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We did it this past September driving up from Moab and also heading to Dinosaur National Monument. I have a 2004 Georgetown XL 370TS and was pulling a Pontiac G6. As some additional reference, I had added a Banks Power Pack system to it a couple summers ago, and also have the Brazel's UltraPower tune (similar to what 5-Star does). I had made those additions based on previous driving experience in the eastern mountains in this MH and knowing that we were going to make this western swing last summer. Having made those improvements, it was still a workout. The road was fine and we didn't have any white knuckle experiences to speak of, but it is steep, especially as you start approaching the top. But what made it a challenge were the couple sharp switchback-type turns as you are getting into the steeper part of the climb. They just served to rob me of any speed and RPM's and so I did the last section in 2nd gear all the way to the end. The good thing is that just at you hit the top and make the sharp bend to the left, there is a large pull-off to the right where you can rest your MH if you need to and take in a pretty view to the south. So it is very doable, a little technical, and a lot of fun.

By the way, Dinosaur NM was awesome. We really enjoyed it and also the driving tour that heads out east on the road from the Visitor's Center. Don't miss that. Also, we camped at Steinaker SP just north of Vernal on US-191. Great CG, full hookups, very reasonable fees and you can make reservations. It's not a very big CG, so if you are of a mind and your itinerary is such that you can set an arrival date, I'd recommend a reservation. Have a great trip! Ours lived up to every hope and expectation, and then some.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:15 PM   #5
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Just remembered one other little detail about the climb. Once you make the last switchback turn, you start a pretty steep final climb that sweeps around to the right for about 1.5 miles until you get to the crest. Because of the way the mountain falls away from the road on the south side all the way up, you pretty much have an unimpeded view of all the road and any traffic all the way to the top. I just remember the scale of it making me feel very insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It was a fun drive.
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Old 02-03-2016, 01:46 PM   #6
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We traveled this road last year (March 2015) from north to south.

We were a tad early in the season, so stayed in the year round campground, Split Mountain, at Dinosaur N.M. Beautiful. Loved it.

We stopped at the Visitor Center in Dinosaur (Colorado Welcome Center at Dinosaur | Colorado.com) and picked up a map of stops along the way down 139 to view petroglyphs. Great fun. Some you can see simply by pulling over, others involved a short walk.

I wasn't the driver. We asked about the pass before going that route. It was high, but fine. I found some sections of the trip between Pocatello and Jensen a bit hairy. (We went Pocatello, McCammon, Soda Springs (interesting), Montpelier, Bear Lake, Laketown, Kemmerer, Flaming Gorge, Manila, Vernal, Jensen. D.N.M.)

Linda
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:45 PM   #7
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I should clarify regarding my 1st reply about staying at Steinaker SP north of Vernal, we went to the part of Dinosaur NM that is in Utah near Vernal. Obviously if you are heading to the part of the NM that is in Colorado, you won't be interested.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:40 PM   #8
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All I can say is that after a 10,000 mile jaunt back and forth across the country seeing 14 national parks/monuments....CO 139 remains the worst road we encountered on the trip and we did it north from G. Jct.CO....white knuckle for extended periods of time. Would never do it again. Obviously others feel differently...but you asked so I'm posting on the Danger Danger side of the voting!
WOULD visit Dino National Monument, Vernal and Steinaker again...but would approach from the Utah side . The Dinos in the hill are something to see!
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Old 02-23-2016, 06:54 PM   #9
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I suppose this is a long closed thread, but I happened to see this You Tube video about CO-139.
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
All I can say is that after a 10,000 mile jaunt back and forth across the country seeing 14 national parks/monuments....CO 139 remains the worst road we encountered on the trip and we did it north from G. Jct.CO....white knuckle for extended periods of time. Would never do it again. Obviously others feel differently...but you asked so I'm posting on the Danger Danger side of the voting!
WOULD visit Dino National Monument, Vernal and Steinaker again...but would approach from the Utah side . The Dinos in the hill are something to see!
When you say it remains the worst road, was that because it was narrow and there were drop-offs? Or was it because it was rough, cracked and had pots holes? We are planning a fall trip to Colorado and that's one of the roads on our proposed route. I'd appreciate whatever you can share. Thank you.
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