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Old 06-24-2019, 11:00 AM   #1
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Estes Park to Pagosa Springs

We are planning a trip from Estes Park to Pagosa Springs the second week of August. What is the best route to take. We are open to a 2 or 3 night drive. We may choose a 2 or 3 night stay at the same camp just so we can enjoy the scenery.
Camp grounds recommendations would be nice
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:28 AM   #2
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If scenery is what you want, go through Rocky Mountain Park and then go south through Grandby, etc (you'll see the route on the map).

Only other way is pretty much plain vanilla, following the east side of the Rockies and all the cities for about 1/3 of the way.

The Rocky Mountain Park portion is worth the price of admission even with the high altitude and relatively narrow road with breathtaking views. In some places you may not want to look over the edge.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:39 AM   #3
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We are planning a trip from Estes Park to Pagosa Springs the second week of August. What is the best route to take. We are open to a 2 or 3 night drive. We may choose a 2 or 3 night stay at the same camp just so we can enjoy the scenery.
Camp grounds recommendations would be nice

Where in Pagosa are you planning on staying? The last two years we stayed at Bruce Spruce Ranch just west of Wolf Creek Pass. They are "off grid" with no cable or TV and limited wifi and cell service. Beautiful, rustic campground run by wonderful owners. Usually booked up all summer! This year we are staying in Pagosa at Pagosa Pines RV park.


The faster way down from Estes would be through Denver and Colorado Springs via IH 25.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:50 AM   #4
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Going to Pagosa Springs on US 160, you'll go up through the mountains to Wolf Creek Pass, elevation 10,850 feet, then back down to Pagosa Springs, which is about 7,125 feet.

We did it 6 or 7 years ago in a half-ton pickup pulling a 28' travel trailer. Can be a bit white-knuckling at times. There is a decent-sized rest area at the top of the pass.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:01 PM   #5
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Thanks.
We were thinking of going down Wolf Creek Pass. I hear it is beautiful. No places booked at this time. Most places we have checked seem to have at least 1 night open. Just weren't sure how long it may take us to get there from Estes Park. No big rush. We are in a 2013 Georgetown XL 378 towing a Honda CR-V.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
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The faster way down from Estes would be through Denver and Colorado Springs via IH 25.
Usually the most interesting and beautiful routes are no the fastest.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:25 PM   #7
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Wolf Creek Pass is nice with the exception of the beetle kill in the pines. Been up and down Wolf Creek several times with my rig with no issues. Just obey the speed limit as the state troopers patrol this stretch with vigor. Gear down and don't ride your brakes and things should go well. Last year road workers on a stretch of highway west of the pass were having a good laugh at those who like to ride their brakes down hill and get them to smoking!
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:56 PM   #8
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Last summer we took a Grand Tour of nearly every National Park in the West, starting in Southern California. While in Colorado, we stayed a few days in Durango, including Mesa Verde NP and the narrow-gauge railroad ride to Silverton. We then travelled East through Pagosa Springs on US 160 to Alamosa to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. After a full day there, we headed north on two lane roads through Boulder to Estes Park. Stayed there at Spruce Lake RV Park - top notch. Spend at least a full day visiting Rocky Mountain NP if you can. I would not recommend making the trek from Estes Park to Pagosa Springs in one day. Too much good scenery to see if you take an extra day.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:39 PM   #9
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We are planning a trip from Estes Park to Pagosa Springs the second week of August. What is the best route to take. We are open to a 2 or 3 night drive. We may choose a 2 or 3 night stay at the same camp just so we can enjoy the scenery.
Camp grounds recommendations would be nice
From Estes Park, go to Golden via US 36 to SH 93, take US 6 to C470 to US 285. Turn right on US 285 to Del Norte vía Fairplay, Ponca Springs, and Saguache to SH 112. Turn right on SH 112 to Del Norte and right on US 160 to Pagosa Springs via South Fork and Wolf Creek Pass. There is a nice campground on Golden (Dakota Ridge RV Park - turn right on US 40 in South Golden; the park is on your left), and I know of two RV parks on the north side of Buena Vista (short jog north of US 285 on US 24 at that intersection). There is an RV Park in Del Norte (Woods and River by the Rio Grande) and an RV Resort Park in South Fork. There may be other suggestions.

We have traveled all of the mentioned roads and they good with lots of scenery. Safe travels!
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:00 PM   #10
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We have stayed at Dakota Ridge RV Park near Golden, CO, and would not recommend that park to anyone. The sites are so close together you can practically reach out your window and touch the RV next door. There was absolutely no clearance for us to deploy our curb-side awning. The site we got was so out of level front to rear, with a huge dip in the middle, that we were barely able to disconnect our TT from our Tow Vehicle.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:16 PM   #11
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We have stayed at Dakota Ridge RV Park near Golden, CO, and would not recommend that park to anyone. The sites are so close together you can practically reach out your window and touch the RV next door. There was absolutely no clearance for us to deploy our curb-side awning. The site we got was so out of level front to rear, with a huge dip in the middle, that we were barely able to disconnect our TT from our Tow Vehicle.
That is most unfortunate. We stayed there several months and the facilities were excellent as were the owners. Our site was level and had lots of room for slide outs.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:41 PM   #12
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These are the things I need to know. Please keep them coming. We are looking forward to our trip and this site is wonderful. I also look for online reviews to help in making our decision.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:31 PM   #13
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You could do the trip in 1 day but it would be a long one. Best to go through (or stay in) Buena Vista and enjoy the view of all of the 14 teeners (long line of 14000 ft peaks from Leadville to Salida)
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:42 PM   #14
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An alternative is to continue on C470 until it comes to I-25 then turn south to Walsenburg via Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and take US 160 west over La Veta Pass to Fort Garland (an interesting, well preserved military post from the early to middle 1800s). Just stay on US 160. This route is not as strenuous driving and there are more RV Park opportunities but it isn't quite as scenic as my first proposed route, though it is pretty nevertheless.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:11 AM   #15
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If you did not get a chance to visit the west side of RMNP while in Estes, I would highly recommend it. Then on to Granby, Kremmling, Silverthorne, Leadville, Buena Vista, etc.
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