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Thread: Big D to Durango CO

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    Site Sponsor Dawgfever's Avatar
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    Big D to Durango CO

    Next summer another couple and us are planning a trip to Durango, Our fiver and their TT. Planned path is-our homes in Louisiana to Big D down I-20, 625 around Dallas to Amarillo. Traveled that way before but not with RVs. From there on to Durango will be paths unknown.

    Would like enroute camping info, highway advice, frequency of fuel along the way as I burn oil but his is gas and needs to refuel about every 200 miles, toll advice etc.

    And, last but not least, which gps mapping app do you like for RV adventures?

    Thanks a bunch for your advice.

    Ed
    Eddie, Cindy, n Maddie (our fearless Yorkie)
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    Senior Member geotex1's Avatar
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    Can't comment on your route as it's been too long since we traveled it to offer relevant information. However, the best guidance solution I've found is Sygic Truck. You don't want the RV version as some of the algorithms are not right yet. Anyway, you can try it for free for q short period, and around this time if year there are steep discounts on subscriptions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgfever View Post
    Next summer another couple and us are planning a trip to Durango, Our fiver and their TT. Planned path is-our homes in Louisiana to Big D down I-20, 625 around Dallas to Amarillo. Traveled that way before but not with RVs. From there on to Durango will be paths unknown.

    Would like enroute camping info, highway advice, frequency of fuel along the way as I burn oil but his is gas and needs to refuel about every 200 miles, toll advice etc.

    And, last but not least, which gps mapping app do you like for RV adventures?

    Thanks a bunch for your advice.

    Ed
    Did you mean 635 to 35 to 287 to Amarillo? Unless you doing this in the dead of night DON'T withe RV unless you like white knuckle nerve racking driving. Every few years we travel from Durango to Pinola Mississippi.
    I would suggest at Lindale off of I20 (just past Tylor) grab 69 north to Bells and then grab 82 west across to 287 at Henrietta (just south of Wichita Falls). It may be a bit longer time wise (about an hour) but a much more scenic and easier drive. Once on I 40 west when you hit ABQ NM again be sure it is not rush hour. Fuel up at Moriarty before ABQ as in town it is very tough to get off and find fuel stations an RV will fit through.Then take I 25 north to Bernalillo where you grab 550 to Durango. Now there is a city street bypass around the I40 I 25 mess, but I have never taken it. Its At exit 167 grab 556 north to 423 west to 25. Fuel up in Bernalillo (good fuel around the casino just west of town after crossing the river) as there is not much from there until you get to Cuba or Bloomfield (all reservation lands), There are a few other roadside stops along there. There is a casino north of Cuba about 15 miles that has RV friendly pumps too.

    There is camping all along the Dallas bypass I gave you and along 287. Some along I40 but I have never stopped. On our trips with the camper we have Wallmart camped at Childress Texas along 287. We can make Pinola in 2 days but I run with traffic. BTW Childress to Durango is 10 to 12 hours. ABQ to Durango is 3.5 to 4 hours

    Hope this helps
    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 6.0 Diesel King Ranch dually, Trailer reverse lights, rear spare tire holder, storage tube

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    Can't argue with powerscol's suggested routes. There should be ample fuel stations the entire way and to my knowledge, no toll roads.

    The only thing I might add is take a look at a few of the state parks between Wichita Falls and Amarillo for overnight stays unless you plan to boondock at Walmarts to minimize down time. I just entered that route from the TX/LA state line on I-20; it's ~1030 miles according to MS Streets & Trips. Visiting any of these parks will add a little more time and miles but nothing more than an hour

    south of Quanah is Copper Breaks SP (additional mileage 17)
    north of Quitaque (kitty kway) is Caprock Canyons SP (additional mileage 39)
    east of Canyon is Palo Duro Canyon SP (additional mileage 39)

    edit: I'm pretty sure the advice to use 556 is spot-on. According this from MS S&T it is the best choice for getting around Albuquerque and back to I-25.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 556albq.jpg  
    Last edited by cruisinTx; 11-24-2020 at 08:04 PM.
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    If you plan on staying at state parks in Colorado you need to plan on scheduling 6 months in advance. They fill up quickly here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgfever View Post
    Next summer another couple and us are planning a trip to Durango, Our fiver and their TT. Planned path is-our homes in Louisiana to Big D down I-20, 625 around Dallas to Amarillo. Traveled that way before but not with RVs. From there on to Durango will be paths unknown.

    Would like enroute camping info, highway advice, frequency of fuel along the way as I burn oil but his is gas and needs to refuel about every 200 miles, toll advice etc.

    And, last but not least, which gps mapping app do you like for RV adventures?

    Thanks a bunch for your advice.

    Ed
    Now a big question - are you in a hurry to get to Durango, or do you want to really see the mountains and relax. I am going to suggest a long short cut that is absolutely gorgeous. At Clines Corners outside of ABQ on I20 grab 285 north to Santa FE. There is Hyde Mem SP just north of town (nice quiet place) Take a day and take in Santa FE. Lots to see and do. Then grab 84 to Pagosa Springs CO. Note: ask directions at the campground to get to 84N. In Pagosa grab 160 west. Now a day side trip I will recommend is head east on 160 to South Fork. Yes this will take you over Wolf Creek pass. It is safe, just gear down and take it easy. Driving slow gives you a chance to see some of the best views Colorado has to offer. There a probably a dozen campgrounds between Pogasa and South fork (NF and private). Pogasa to Durango is good road too.

    Once in Durango the other side trip I recommend (without trailers although I have done it numerous times with my trailer) is take 550 from Durango to Ouray and take a dip in the hot springs. This section of US 550 is called the million dollar highway. Some folks say it is dangerous, but it actually has a safe rating. Just take you time and make a day trip out of it. It is absolutely the best mountain scenery you will ever see in your life.

    There is a back way to Ouray that is trailer friendly and that is 160 west to Mancos then 184N to Dolores, then 145N to Placervill, then 62E to Ridgway, then 550S to Ouray. Ridgway was used when they filmed True Grit (original version). Good place for lunch is in town and was used in film. You could make a day loop of this route by then taking 550S out of Ouray to Durango.

    There is a rustic campground (NF Amphitheater). That has a commanding view of town and the mountains. A better campground to explore the area is just north of Ridgway - Ridgway SP (full service and fishing is great).

    Now from Durango other day trips include Mesa Verde(a day in itself) and then Monument Valley (160 west to Cortez, then 191 to Blanding, then 95 west to junction with 261 south to 163 south(the valley) to 160 then east back to Cortes). In monument valley are several good private campgrounds. There are other numerous monuments, SP and NP whiten a days drive of Durango.

    Hope this helps

    Have fun and stay safe

    Edit - I don't know what you plan to do in Durango (maybe the train, places to eat, T shirt shops), but the surrounding area I mentioned above is so much better than just Durango itself. BTW - double check to see if the train is running and make reservations if that is your plan.
    Last edited by powerscol; 11-25-2020 at 11:11 AM.
    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 6.0 Diesel King Ranch dually, Trailer reverse lights, rear spare tire holder, storage tube

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    Once again, cannot argue those routes suggested. Time permitting (if you stay in Durango long enough) another great route/loop to take in some of the best scenery in CO. is north on 550 through Ouray (don't miss the candy factory there if it's still open) then up to Montrose and watch for the huge antique yard on the south side of town. From Montrose take 50 east to near Gunnison; a lot of that is along Blue Mesa Reservoir--beautiful drive. About 8 miles out CO149 takes you south to Lake City, Creede and then South Fork. From SF you go back west on 160 to Pagosa Springs then Durango. That trip would best be done without the trailers as you will encounter Slumgullion, Spring Creek and Wolf Creek pass in the 280mile loop.

    Be sure to get up to Lake San Cristobal south of Lake City and take time to stroll along the main street in Creede to visit curio shops and cafes. There is so much to see and do in Colorado, you may have to spend a couple of summers there just to scratch the surface.

    edit; Almost forgot to mention the Deer Lakes area up on Slumgullion Pass just south of Lake City. Moose were reintroduced there in '91 I think. The last two times we've been (2015 and 2019) we got to see some cows, babies and a bull. They are so beautiful.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Durango.Lake City loop.jpg  
    Last edited by cruisinTx; 11-25-2020 at 08:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisinTx View Post
    Once again, cannot argue those routes suggested. Time permitting (if you stay in Durango long enough) another great route/loop to take in some of the best scenery in CO. is north on 550 through Ouray (don't miss the candy factory there if it's still open) then up to Montrose and watch for the huge antique yard on the south side of town. From Montrose take 50 east to near Gunnison; a lot of that is along Blue Mesa Reservoir--beautiful drive. About 8 miles out CO149 takes you south to Lake City, Creede and then South Fork. From SF you go back west on 160 to Pagosa Springs then Durango. That trip would best be done without the trailers as you will encounter Slumgullion, Spring Creek and Wolf Creek pass in the 280mile loop.

    Be sure to get up to Lake San Cristobal south of Lake City and take time to stroll along the main street in Creede to visit curio shops and cafes. There is so much to see and do in Colorado, you may have to spend a couple of summers there just to scratch the surface.

    edit; Almost forgot to mention the Deer Lakes area up on Slumgullion Pass just south of Lake City. Moose were reintroduced there in '91 I think. The last two times we've been (2015 and 2019) we got to see some cows, babies and a bull. They are so beautiful.
    Wow; I live here and have traveled those roads with my CDOT work, but never thought of making a loop out of it. Yes it would be fantastic. he could make it with the trailers if careful and slow (2 days) Some great camping and fishing all along the route. Just read up on Alfred Packer . I may add that to this next summers camping trip.

    Safe travels
    Keith
    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 6.0 Diesel King Ranch dually, Trailer reverse lights, rear spare tire holder, storage tube

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    Those roads have been among my favorite of all the places I've been due to being an avid motorcycle rider. I was first introduced to 149 from South Fork to Gunnison in 1979 when a college buddy and I road matching BMW R75/6s across there and Slumgullion was still a gravel road. We got the high pucker factor privilege of doing it right after 6" of fresh gravel had been put down for the logging trucks. Another great scenic (motorcycle) road is Hwy 92, the north rim road of the black canyon. If time allows for the OP, that would be worth taking on another loop that would include Hotchkiss, Marble, McClure Pass, Redstone, the Grand Mesa (not the city), Mesa Lakes and Hwy 65 (~250 mile loop). However, taking that one from Durango would make for about a 550 mile round trip. We stayed a week in Lake City in a 37' TT last Sept. ('19) and did a lot of sight seeing and fishing around that area, but it would be a great location to spend an entire summer to check out all the other attractions around there.

    I mentioned Marble because the marble mine there is where all of the marble for the monuments and statues in DC came from. It's a few miles off of 133 but worth the short drive to see the mine and all the artists' shops where they carve beautiful pieces from the scraps coming out of the mine.

    Another interesting event on this loop is the annual Top of the Rockies BMW motorcycle rally in Paonia. It normally takes place about the third weekend in July and the number of bikes showing up isn't terribly huge compared to the Sturgis rally, but they do usually outnumber the population of the town. The cool thing is, pretty much the whole town participates with some sort of service for rally goers. Even if you are not into bikes & rallies, it's fun to take part and visit the various booths & food tents kind of like a flea market. And if you are into bikes, you will get to see BMWs from brand spanking new to some that date back 60 or 70 years or more.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails North Rim loop.jpg  
    Last edited by cruisinTx; 11-26-2020 at 09:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerscol View Post
    Wow; I live here and have traveled those roads with my CDOT work, but never thought of making a loop out of it. Yes it would be fantastic. he could make it with the trailers if careful and slow (2 days) Some great camping and fishing all along the route. Just read up on Alfred Packer . I may add that to this next summers camping trip.

    Safe travels
    Keith
    Don't get your hopes up for a huge display of any kind on the Alfred Packer site. While it is an interesting and macbre' story, the display is not much. It is on private property but accessible to the public. It consists of a few plaques at the massacre site on the south side of town and slightly off the hiway.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Al...4d-107.3011326
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1189.cmp.jpg  
    those who say "I can't", will always be right

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