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Old 03-05-2020, 12:11 PM   #1
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Wolf Creek Pass CO

Just looking for driving information on US hiway 160 Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado in June. Hauling a 30 TT with Dodge Ram 1500. Worried about switch backs and tunnels. Any advice or suggestions? Doxie
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Old 03-05-2020, 12:22 PM   #2
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Just looking for driving information on US hiway 160 Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado in June. Hauling a 30” TT with Dodge Ram 1500. Worried about switch backs and tunnels. Any advice or suggestions? Doxie
Use the CDOT link below to check weather. There is a west bound tunnel that is 14'7". The pass is heavily traveled all summer by people pulling 5th wheels/TT. Slow and steady is your friend.

https://www.codot.gov/travel/driving-safety

Edit: Summer is road construction season in CO. Use the link above to check for road/lane closures.
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Old 03-05-2020, 01:16 PM   #3
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There are tons of videos on YouTube of people recording their drive. Watching the videos may give you a glimpse of what it will be like.

As HangDiver Said, slow and steady.
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Old 03-05-2020, 04:19 PM   #4
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We went over with a 30 foot toy hauler and had no problems whatsoever, drive with your brain in gear and you will be fine.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:40 PM   #5
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We went over Wolf Creek Pass in 2012 with a 26 foot travel trailer pulled by a half-ton Chevy pickup. While it wasn't too bad, I would much rather do it in a diesel with an engine brake. But, if you take it slowly, drive in a lower gear, and keep your foot off the brake as much as possible, you'll be fine.

There is a nice rest area at the top. Do yourself a favor and stop and take a break.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:31 PM   #6
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We went West on the pass, three years ago with a 32' Rockwood. No problems.
Make sure you listen to the song before you go!!
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:07 PM   #7
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I went over that pass 45 years ago in an Oldsmobile towing a Shasta! Enjoy the view
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:39 PM   #8
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I went over that pass 45 years ago in an Oldsmobile towing a Shasta! Enjoy the view
Today that would be the equivalent to a 1/2 ton truck towing a 24-26 foot trailer.
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:55 PM   #9
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I have been over most of the passes in Colorado. Going down is what's scary. I once had my brakes overheat. Now I stay in a low gear and don't go over 40-45 mph. Do like Capt Mike said and avoid braking as much as possible. Use a low gear and don't let your speed build up. If you think you have been braking to much pull over and feel your wheels.
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Old 03-06-2020, 06:48 PM   #10
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I went over that pass 45 years ago in an Oldsmobile towing a Shasta! Enjoy the view
Lol
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:33 PM   #11
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We've stayed at Bruce Spruce Ranch on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass for the last 4 summers. Driven the pass many times with our rig with no problems. Just watch your speed as troopers love to stop out of state vehicles while Colorado plates wiz by with no notice by the troopers! Love watching videos from our dash cam of those who ride their brakes down the pass with wheels smoking
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Old 03-06-2020, 08:22 PM   #12
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Have been over it several times with a 32-foot fifth wheel, no problem just go very easy on the brakes going down.
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Old 03-06-2020, 08:26 PM   #13
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The road has been improved in the last few years.
And, if you are not hauling chickens, you will be OK (to figure that one out listen to the song)
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:14 PM   #14
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The road has been improved in the last few years.
And, if you are not hauling chickens, you will be OK (to figure that one out listen to the song)
Im still trying to figure out how they ran away down the mountain, went through the tunnel yet ended up in Pagosa Springs.
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:25 PM   #15
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Got to have a stogie with the fire falling off, and no brakes.
And, a guy to tell you there is a problem.

OH, the tunnels are taller now

Make sure you take a picture of you pointing at the pass sign!!
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:02 PM   #16
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Semis use this road all the time. Clearance and turn radius will not be a problem.

Towing 30' of RV ground hugging weight behind a Ram 1500 over an 11,500 foot mountain pass will pose a challenge. That's every last bit of 10 pounds in a 10 pound bag!

I won't assume you don't know how to do this, but you MUST manually shift to lower gears for engine braking going down and for reduced wear and tear on the transmission on the climbs. TOW HAUL is nowhere near smart enough to manage this climb or descent. Forcing repeated full-throttle shifts when climbing is unnecessarily hard on the equipment.

I live here, and I've been there done that drive more than a few times while towing. I rarely get out of second gear with my old 4-speed except on the flat...of which there's precious little in CO.

Manual shifting may be the difference between making it or not making it on the downhill. Many of the mountain passes in CO are 25 mile climbs and 25 mile descents. I've often followed - at a safe distance - behind RVs and semis with brakes nearly on fire. This is NOT where you want to camp:

That gravel runoff is DEEP...as in a foot or more of small round stone. There won't be much left of your rig if you must resort to this. And it will take a triple axle wrecker to drag you out. Of course, you could choose the air route off a cliff.

If you want to touch base about manual shifting an automatic, I'll be happy to share.
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:36 PM   #17
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I drove over Wolf Creek Pass 4 times a week for 14 years. The biggest problem is drivers getting over confident about half way down the hill. The west side is 9 percent grade for apprx 9 miles. The east side is a more gradual grade but more curves. In my semi at 18 mph it took me about 30 minutes go top to bottom, but never smoked a brake. Slow and easy on the downhill and you will be fine.
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:40 PM   #18
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We've stayed at Bruce Spruce Ranch on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass for the last 4 summers. Driven the pass many times with our rig with no problems. Just watch your speed as troopers love to stop out of state vehicles while Colorado plates wiz by with no notice by the troopers.
I'll rent you my plate if you want.
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Old 03-07-2020, 03:07 PM   #19
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Wolf Creek Pass is a high mountain pass (10,857 ft) on the Continental Divide, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. It is the route through which U.S. Highway 160 passes from the San Luis Valley into southwest Colorado on its way to New Mexico and Arizona. The pass is notable as inspiration of a C. W. McCall song. The pass is significantly steep on either side (6.8% maximum grade) and can be dangerous in winter. There are two runaway truck ramps on the westbound side for truckers that lose control of their brakes. There is a 20 mph curve at the bottom on the west side. With your rig, I'd plan to do 25 mph up and down and stop at the pullouts to cool your transmission and brakes. I towed my 13K lb 5th wheel over it in 2017 with a RAM 3500 Cummins dually. The exhaust brake would not hold 25 mph at the steepest sections and I needed to brake several times before hitting that curve.
https://www.codot.gov/travel/commerc...olf-creek-pass
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:23 PM   #20
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The 1st time I ran the pass was June 1985 with a Ramcharger pulling a 28'TT, This was before the road improvements~~~ snow from about 1/2 up and 2/3 down! Not the most fun part of the trip
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