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StarlifterFE

Cheyenne, WY to Amarillo, TX-Aviod Denver

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We will be traveling from F.E. Warren AFB, WY to the Elks Lodge in Amarillo, TX next fall.  If it all possible I would like to avoid the Denver Metro area and not take the toll highway.  We're not familiar with the back roads east of Denver.  Has anyone here done that?  Thanks for any help.

Edited by StarlifterFE

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Thanks for the info.  I had that route but am trying to avoid Denver as much as possible.  Last time we went through there and on a Sunday it took us almost two hours to get through Denver.  This trip will be on a Monday morning.

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1 hour ago, StarlifterFE said:

We're not familiar with the back roads west of Denver.  Has anyone here done that?  Thanks for any help.

When you say "west of Denver" you are essentially talking about getting into the mountains, if you stay east you'll be in the plains.  If you are looking for scenery, break off of 25 just south of Fort Collins and head to Estes Park then hit the peak to peak down to Nederland and then there are 100 ways to get south but all of that will take way more time than getting caught in Denver traffic.  If you want to go East and just avoid Denver I'd try this (I haven't driven all of it, but state routes and straight as an arrow).

https://goo.gl/maps/pG59FKtUYQB2

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Considering that you really do not get a huge break in the I-25 traffic from Fort Collins south to Pueblo I personally would (and do and have) take I-25 and just grin and bare it. Get in the center lane and stay there where the highway is 3 or 4 lanes wide. It is not that bad and will certainly save you money on taking the toll road. Then US-87 straight into Amarillo. 

There is no real good way to go west around Denver IMO. You can route yourself out east, but frankly I would not do that (this is coming from someone that generally only visits the Denver area for weddings and funerals).

 

 

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5 hours ago, Chalkie said:

There is no real good way to go west around Denver IMO. You can route yourself out east, but frankly I would not do that

I have traveled that route many times over the years and pretty much agree with Chalkie. You could leave I25 in north Denver to I76 to I70 to US287 south to Amarillo but that is a really dull route if the wind is calm and can be exciting if in a high wind storm. 

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When we have to do this section timing is important.

We do I-25 to 270 then over to 225 then go south back to I-25 (south side of Denver).

We try to time it so that we go through the metro area at around 10 am - 11 am.

This is through Denver Metro area but the traffic is significantly less on 225 than 25 when going through the city.

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2 hours ago, StarlifterFE said:

I meant to say "the roads east of Denver".

Cheyenne, Greeley, Ft. Morgan, Brush, Limon, Lamar, Springfield and straight down to Amarillo. It's all nice secondary highways and not too heavily trafficked. Unless  you're traveling in blizzard conditions, they keep them plowed pretty good though if you're worried about any snow. If it's snowing and howling, then you can be like everybody else and be stranded in Limon. :o

Edited by ReferralMan

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6 hours ago, ReferralMan said:

Cheyenne, Greeley, Ft. Morgan, Brush, Limon, Lamar, Springfield and straight down to Amarillo. It's all nice secondary highways and not too heavily trafficked. Unless  you're traveling in blizzard conditions, they keep them plowed pretty good though if you're worried about any snow. If it's snowing and howling, then you can be like everybody else and be stranded in Limon. :o

This is a good route to avoid Denver. Going through Denver on Sunday were the Broncos or Rockies playing?

Jeff  :)

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7 hours ago, ReferralMan said:

Cheyenne, Greeley, Ft. Morgan, Brush, Limon, Lamar, Springfield and straight down to Amarillo. It's all nice secondary highways and not too heavily trafficked. Unless  you're traveling in blizzard conditions, they keep them plowed pretty good though if you're worried about any snow. If it's snowing and howling, then you can be like everybody else and be stranded in Limon. :o

Thanks for the info.  I was looking at that route but just wasn't sure about the roads.

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7 hours ago, ReferralMan said:

Cheyenne, Greeley, Ft. Morgan, Brush, Limon, Lamar, Springfield and straight down to Amarillo. It's all nice secondary highways and not too heavily trafficked. Unless  you're traveling in blizzard conditions, they keep them plowed pretty good though if you're worried about any snow. If it's snowing and howling, then you can be like everybody else and be stranded in Limon. :o

Would that be, from Greeley, US-34 to I-76 to Brush, then SR-71 to Limon, then US-40 to Kit Carson & US-287 to Amarillo?

Directions when traveling on less used roads, such as SR-71 are much easier to understand when the hwy numbers are given.

The above route given is a very good route to bypass Denver.

On the other hand, if you can arrange your travel time to go through Denver in I-25 on a Saturday or Sunday morning, traffic should be light. 

It is a quicker drive to take I-25 to Raton, NM then US-64/US-87 to Dalhart, TX then US-87 to Amarillo.

Edited by Al F

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3 hours ago, Al F said:

On the other hand, if you can arrange your travel time to go through Denver in I-25 on a Saturday or Sunday morning, traffic should be light. 

It is a quicker drive to take I-25 to Raton, NM then US-64/US-87 to Dalhart, TX then US-87 to Amarillo.

Traffic would be lighter, but a weekday if you can hit it at mid-morning or mid-afternoon is not all that bad. We live in Colorado Springs and the last time we returned from a trip our last day on the road had us leaving Cheyenne to come home. We went through Denver on a Wednesday and the drive truthfully was not stressful at all. When we pass through a large city we are just patient. We drive at a comfortable speed that allows us to safely stop should problems develop ahead and if the speed demons want to pass us... well, god speed. 

While I generally have a dislike for big city traffic I will drive it rather than going miles and hours out of my way.

As far as the rest, I-25 to Raton, then US-87 to Dalhart, Dumas and Amarillo is exactly the way we go. Out daughter lives in Austin and we have made this trip many times both with and without the RV.

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18 hours ago, Al F said:

It is a quicker drive to take I-25 to Raton, NM then US-64/US-87 to Dalhart, TX then US-87 to Amarillo.

From my experience, traffic is heavy along I-25 basically from Fort Collins until just past Pueblo most times of the day. I'm amazed. If you travel late at night it isn't so bad. Actually the route I detailed is a shortcut and is nice easy open plains driving. Used to haul cattle from Wheatland down to the feed lots outside of Amarillo and would always take that route. Pretty much a full day drive.

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On 12/7/2017 at 5:38 AM, Onthego said:

This is a good route to avoid Denver. Going through Denver on Sunday were the Broncos or Rockies playing?

Jeff  :)

As long as the games are in progress it is not an issue. Before or after? Not so much. :)

8 hours ago, ReferralMan said:

From my experience, traffic is heavy along I-25 basically from Fort Collins until just past Pueblo most times of the day. I'm amazed. If you travel late at night it isn't so bad. Actually the route I detailed is a shortcut and is nice easy open plains driving. Used to haul cattle from Wheatland down to the feed lots outside of Amarillo and would always take that route. Pretty much a full day drive.

You are right, but here is another consideration, at least it would be for me. That route takes you no where near convenient campgrounds. It it a far longer trip than I would make in a day directly and the only places to stop along that route would be Limon (too short of a trip) or Lamar (too far in a day for me). At least going the I-25 route you have a multitude of choices for campgrounds along the way.

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4 hours ago, Chalkie said:

You are right, but here is another consideration, at least it would be for me. That route takes you no where near convenient campgrounds. It it a far longer trip than I would make in a day directly and the only places to stop along that route would be Limon (too short of a trip) or Lamar (too far in a day for me). At least going the I-25 route you have a multitude of choices for campgrounds along the way.

Most of those little towns along the way will let you camp for free in their city parks. Some even have dump stations, water and electrical hookups. I guess they want you to stay a few days and spend a little money in town, rather than just passing through. :)

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19 minutes ago, ReferralMan said:

Most of those little towns along the way will let you camp for free in their city parks. Some even have dump stations, water and electrical hookups. I guess they want you to stay a few days and spend a little money in town, rather than just passing through. :)

You may be correct but if there are parks an RV can stay in between Limon and Lamar then RV Park Reviews doesn't know about them. If there are no listing in RV Park Reviews then I, personally, will not go exploring hoping to find something. ;)

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5 hours ago, Chalkie said:

You may be correct but if there are parks an RV can stay in between Limon and Lamar then RV Park Reviews doesn't know about them. If there are no listing in RV Park Reviews then I, personally, will not go exploring hoping to find something. ;)

I understand. There are tons of hidden gems for RV'ers that aren't published. I guess you just kinda have to already know the territory.

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11 hours ago, ReferralMan said:

I understand. There are tons of hidden gems for RV'ers that aren't published. I guess you just kinda have to already know the territory.

Yep. I am the type that will stop in a Walmart parking lot for lunch but would never dream of overnighting in one. Same for goes for rest areas and truck stops. So unless I have spotted something when traveling without the trailer it is not even in the planning without someone else paving the way, so to speak. 

 

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