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Southern Colorado Mountains


Dennis M

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We have reservations at San Luis State Park in Colorado in two weeks. Has anyone been across US 160 West out of Walsenberg, CO?

 

Not sure which way we go out of there, most likely continue West on US 160 or South on US 285 out of Alamosa to Santa Fe.

 

Not too concerned with climbing ability or downgrades, most of our mountain driving has been on interstates, but we did come up through Northern AZ on 77 and US 60 in May and El Capitan Pass and the Salt River Canyon were no problem at all.

 

Any comments and advice (including RV Parks!) will be greatly appreciated.

Dennis & Nancy
Tucson, AZ in winter, on the road in summer.

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Good evening, Dennis and Nancy.

 

US 160 between Walsenburg and CO 150 is a very acceptable two-lane highway with various passing lanes. CO 150 is two-lane, somewhat less wide, but still easily navigable.

 

Have a safe journey to/from beautiful Colorado.

 

Regards,

 

Michael

2007 Volvo VNL 670

2007 NuWa HitchHiker Champagne

 

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US160 west is a fairly lonely road once you leave Walsenberg until you get to Alamosa. Its good road and an easy drive. You will go over La Veta Pass in that section, but its a very minor pass by Colorado standards.

US 160 is a major trucking route across southern Co, so lots of 18 wheeler traffic.

The area around the sand dunes NP and San Luis state park can get hot this time of year, and with our altitude & dry air, you need to stay hydrated.

Continuing west on US160 you can go all the way across southern Colorado. Its a very interesting drive, lots of small towns, mountain vistas, rivers, lakes, good fishing, ATV & Jeep trails, and great hiking. I liked it so much, I bought a summer house here in South Fork.

Campgrounds are a mixture of rustic NFS camps and full service commercial parks. Plenty of each in and around each town you pass through. Some do fill up during summer peak season.

Jim

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We came across Wolf Creek pass on 160 last week and are staying in Pagosa Springs. W160 is a well traveled and maintained road. You'll have no problem with it. State Patol was working the pass heavily when we came through. We had to stop at a mandatory check point for rigs over 10K but they said have a safe trip after they learned we were private. Didn't check any paperwork, just ask questions about how we operate.

Enjoy the trip out here and call if you need anything. We r here through July and August.

Here is a video intro of the area.

 

 

2011 Volvo VNL 730

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The assessment that US 160 is an easy route is on the money, in my opinion. Easy drive with wide shoulders. While CO150 is narrower, there's much less traffic (basically the crowd headed to the sand dunes) and sight distances are long.

 

If you're headed to Santa Fe from there, 285 is the direct route. No significant grades, and 2-lanes with fairly narrow shoulder for most of it until it joins with US 84 north of Hernandez. From there, it's four lanes or more, with the stretch from Pojoaque to the north edge of SF being limited access (you do climb from about 5500 feet to 7000 during that stretch).

 

As far as places to stay, if casinos/shows are your thing then RoadRunner RV Park in Pojoaque is a good spot with full hookups. Big sites in what's basically a dirt lot, but walking distance to a bank, groceries, hardware store, and several restaurants. Last I knew, Camel Rock also allows parking in a dirt lot just east of their gas station, but it does have a bit of a slope to it. There's an RV park in Santa Fe, one south, and one east, but I really wouldn't recommend any of them with a big rig.

 

If you want to visit Los Alamos or Bandelier National Monument, there's parking in a lot on NM502 on the way into town, but you have to go to the aquatic center to buy a pass (NOT walking distance, and you're not getting an HDT into the aquatic center lot). Just recently, the White Rock/Bandelier visitor center put in RV parking with a dump station and power pedestals, along with an automated pay station. Easy in with an HDT, and that's where the shuttle picks up for heading into Bandelier. Take NM30 from Espanola or NM502 from Pojoaque. Both are good routes into town, and 502 is practically limited access. There is a climb as you get close to Los Alamos--follow NM4 to White Rock, or NM501 for a gentle climb into town, or NM 502 for incredible scenery. All will handle your rig, though I wouldn't recommend NM502 on the way down west of the junction with NM4--but take the Smart late afternoon and stop at the overlook.

 

Whatever you do, don't leave Santa Fe without a burger from Santa Fe Bite.

45' 2004 Showhauler -- VNL300, ISX, FreedomLine -- RVnerds.com -- where I've started to write about what I'm up to

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I go through Santa Fe twice a year and as much as I like it, I always saw it more as a fall/winter/spring destination. While you're up here in Gods country you should enjoy the cool Colorado high country.

Here is a shot from the west side of Wolf Creek Pass looking out over the lush valley leading to Pagosa, doesn't get much greener. More of the same as you head west to Durango & Silverton

 

DSC_0009.JPG

Jim

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US 160 across Colorado is an easy drive with a HDT.

We are currently at Sundance RV Park in Cortez. Big Rig friendly.

There is not, In my opinion, a good park in Alamosa. Have never stopped in Pagosa Springs.

We spend 2 months every summer in Chama, NM at Rio Chama RV Park.

 

ShortyO

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