Over the Rockies to Denver

Denver, CO

After a week exploring around Grand Junction, we pulled up the jacks and headed east on I-70.  This highway is a beautiful ride in a car, but in a large vehicle it is a little too intense for much sightseeing.   For almost the entire 250 miles the road is winding through narrow canyons, going sharply uphill, or sharply downhill.

Soon after leaving the flat area near Grand Junction, the highway enters a narrow canyon.  The west-bound lanes are above you on your left while the rapids of the Colorado River are on the right.

Once out of the canyon the road begins the long climb to the top of the world.   As we climbed up to the Loveland Pass the snow cover became quite deep.

At the top of the Loveland Pass the highway goes through the Eisenhower Tunnel.  The tunnel, at an elevation of 11,158 feet and length of 1.7 miles, is the longest mountain tunnel and highest point along the Interstate Highway System.  As we approached the tunnel the relative warmth of the highway created a fog layer around the entrance, creating a surrealistic scene.

After coming out of the tunnel, the last third of the trip was steeply down-hill as we entered the Denver metropolitan area.  Following a visit to a truck stop to fill the motorhome’s thirsty fuel tanks, we drove a few miles south to the Denver suburb of Sheridan, where we had a reservation at South Park Mobile Home and RV Community.

One of the main reasons for our visit to Denver is that four couples we have become friends with in our travels have converged on the area.  After getting set up in South Park we headed for Golden for a reunion with one of those couples, Sue and Dave (Beluga’s Excellent Adventures).  We have not seen Sue and Dave since they graciously allowed us to park at their lake property near Rochester, NY last June.  While we did want to see both of them, the real motivation for visiting them was for Pam to re-unite with one of her canine buddies, Lewis.

We’ll be in the Denver area for the next three weeks and have a number of adventures planned.  First up will be a couple of local hikes with our other RV buddies.

More on that later . . .

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18 Responses to Over the Rockies to Denver

  1. That sure looks like a white knuckle kind of drive! The river sure looked awfully close to the road.

  2. Sue says:

    We’ve never driven I-70 when there was snow on the ground….I don’t think I want to either after seeing your pictures. That fog at the tunnel was too much! We’re glad we could facilitate a meeting with Lewis, oh….and we also enjoyed your visit!

  3. allisonmohr says:

    Great photos! Snow and RVs are just a terrible combination.

  4. We did that I-70 drive heading east a couple years ago – I remember how pretty it was! Just read about one of your get-togethers on Hans & Lisa’s blog – looks like so much fun!

  5. pmbweaver says:

    Paul would have hated that drive.

    I remember being on top of the world one time. Our weather was much, much better than yours.

    Oh boy…when four RV couples get together, look out Denver. Enjoy. I am jealous.

  6. Janna says:

    Love the pooch! So I see you guys haven’t had to deal with the whole Blogger/Live Writer debacle!

  7. Lenore says:

    Thanks for the description of driving I70. We’ve often wondered what the route would be like pulling a big rig. Now we know. Is there any better way to cross Colorado east-west?

    • placestheygo says:

      Sorry, Lenore, put there isn’t. You just pick your poison and go for it. We did route 160 in the southern end one year and it only has one pass, but it isn’t an interstate. The route we just did I-70 has two passes, the Vail Pass and the Loveland Pass but the road condition is excellent. John didn’t mention the Vail Pass in the blog. That one goes up to 10,000 ft. Some people take I-80 across in Wyoming to avoid the Passes but our friend from Colorado told us that it often extremely windy up there. So…it’s whatever condition you choose:)

  8. Mary says:

    What a drive. We have wondered what that road is like. Have a fun time.

  9. Jodee Gravel says:

    I’ll take passes over wind thank you. Although the blowing snow is a bit intimidating! So fun to see Pam and Lewis reunited. I can’t believe it’s been a year since you guys were at the farm!!

  10. Peter says:

    At least it was only fog and not icy snow! That’s a lovely drive, and in the coach you’re going slower than you would be in a car. Last time we did that route was Westbound in September and we loved it.

  11. Sarah says:

    That portion of I-70 is one of the prettiest interstate drives in the country, but it can be a bit nerve-racking. For me, the least-favorite part has always the steep down-hill drive toward Denver, not the passes. I hope you enjoy your stay in the Denver area. Golden is a really cute town.

  12. Bill-Joan says:

    Your picture of I-70 and the Colorado River is one of my favorite parts. But I have never done that drive in an RV. I’ll get back to you and let you know if it is still my favorite part once we do. 😉

  13. pam says:

    We did Vail Pass on our way across, what a nightmare!! Your picture brought it all back. I was gripping the seat as we went downhill in the snow and neither one of us could barely breathe, much less talk!

  14. Laurel says:

    Wow, that’s an intense drive — and a LOT of snow! Looks like you guys are going to have a fun time in Denver. 🙂

  15. LuAnn says:

    That was one serious drive! Can’t wait to get caught up on your adventures as we have been without cell and internet service for most of a week.

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