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Best drives

Virginia
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Best drives

Hi everybody! We planned a 5 day trip from June 10

10 morning flying to Denver, 2 nights in Estes Park via Peak to Peak Scenic Byway via 119 to Nederland then 72 to 7 up to Estes Park.

Cub Lake trail?

11 - day in the park, Bear Lake

12 Trail Ridge Road (highway 34 between Estes Park and Grand Lake) to Glenwood Springs

13 Hanging Lake, Caverns, drive to Gunnison,

14 Black Canyon, drive to Colorado Springs

15 Shuttle to Pikes Peak, Seven Falls, drive to Denver.

Which road to take from Glenwood Springs to Gunnison?

Will very much appreciate advice what best scenic roads to take. Car is rented so got to be careful. Would love to see any recommendations.

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9 replies to this topic
Eagle, Colorado
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1. Re: Best drives

Glenwood to Gunnison you can go a couple ways. you could go east on 70 get off at Minturn Highway 24 and take this south to Buena Vista then south on 285 to Poncha Springs to 50. 50 west goes to Gunnison. Beautiful drive by Camp Hale over Tennessee Pass through the collegiate peaks then over Monarch Pass.

The other route is west on 82 from Glenwood. Go South at Carbondale on 133. to Kebler Pass to Crested Butte then south to Gunnison. Also beautiful but Kebler is a dirt road. Well maintained but dirt if that's a rental car contract issue for you.

But, if you are going to Black Canyon, Montrose is much closer to it than Gunnison. I would stay in Montrose to see the black canyon not Gunnison. To get to Montrose you can go 70 to junction then south on 50. or take the above route to Carbondale 133 to Delta then south to Montrose on 50. More scenic but mountain roads.

Also if you want to do hanging lake get up and do it very early so you can park. Be there at 7 or 8 am if you can.

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Fort Collins, CO
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2. Re: Best drives

Don't miss out on Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. It is free and can be seen in a fairly short amount of time.

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Fruita, Colorado
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3. Re: Best drives

You could also drive to Montrose from I-70 via the Grand Mesa (which as all locals know is "the world's largest flat topped mountain"). A very scenic drive. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-…

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Montrose
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Virginia
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4. Re: Best drives

If we can change reservation to Montrose than take 70 west, 65 and 50 to Montrose? I don't know anything about Black Canyon but many authors here suggested it. Do you think we should opt for something else? It's whole another day to plan. Thank you!

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Montrose
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Virginia
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5. Re: Best drives

I'd love to see Garden of Gods. And everything else. And hike. We got to be in Denver late afternoon. I hoped to be able to see Pikes Peak, Seven Falls on June 14 afternoon after Gunnison or Montrose and Garden of Gods next morning and than drive. But not sure we can do that

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6. Re: Best drives

Yes you can do 65 to 50. Black Canyon is very cool definitely worth seeing.

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Black Canyon
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Fruita, Colorado
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7. Re: Best drives

Yes to the Black Canyon. Here's some links to give you some info - https://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm and reviews - https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

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Black Canyon
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WestSlope,CO
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8. Re: Best drives

Yes, Montrose is much closer to the Nat'l Park south rim visitor center, drive, overlooks, East Portal than the town of Gunnison is. You seem to have made a common mistake. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison refers to the Gunnison River. The Gunnison River also flows through the small college town of Gunnison, about 60 miles to the east.

There is also a north rim access to the park, less developed, unpaved roads--which is accessed near Crawford along Hwy 92. That's a great drive, too, but I do prefer the views and walks to overlooks along the south rim.

And here's another vote for taking the route over Grand Mesa as SusieLou suggested. You would take Interstate 70 west from Glenwood Springs, then take the exit toward Mesa/Hwy 65 and over the mesa toward Cedaredge, then south to intercept 92 west to Delta then 50 south to Montrose.

With the fairly short time you have, here's what I'd recommend:

13th: Skip Caverns and Hanging Lake, drive over Grand Mesa. Take time for a hike if you wish. On to Cedaredge, Delta, Montrose to Ridgway and Ouray. Hike in or near Ouray and enjoy hot springs pool, see Cascade Falls, Box Canyon Falls. Might have time for a drive up to Red Mountain overlooks or west from Ridgway to Dallas Divide. Hopefully you can find lodging in Ouray but if not, you should be able to find something in Montrose.

14th: back to Montrose and to the Black Canyon Natl Park. Several overlooks along south rim and drive down the East Portal Road to get perspective from the bottom. Drive on to Colorado Springs. You should have time for Garden of the Gods this evening.

15th: As planned, but if you don't have time for everything, consider skipping Seven Falls.

Edited: 09 June 2018, 04:11
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Virginia
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9. Re: Best drives

Thank you, everybody. Awesome people. Never thought anybody would answer, wish I asked month ago.. We changed hotel to Montrose! We will stop somewhere on a way for a hike. What we should not miss? Really hope to make to Ouray. Is it ok to drive back to Montrose in a dark?

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