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Old 12-28-2013, 02:33 AM   #1
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Talking Road Trip 2014, Florida to Colorado

Index:
Page 1-7 preplanning of trip and discussions.

page 7 starting at Bottom. The Journey begins.


06/06/14
I added this so if anyone is following along or just found this thread you can skip to directly to the Journey.


Ok guy and gals I'm pre-planning a jeep road trip from Florida to Arizona, Colorado, and Utah for june 2014.
My wife wanted to take our daughter (10 yr old) to the western states to see the sights. Her orginal plan was to fly. Since then I have talked her into a road trip with the 14 JKU. Lucky me.
Her orginal plan was fly in, rent a car and drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon and then make our way up to Montana and Glacier National Park.
She knows that I want to go to Moab so I have convinced her to do the southern half of the rockies on this trip.
Our plan right now is to leave May 30 or 31st, 2014 and drive to the Grand Canyon. Stay a few days then head over to the Telluride, Ouary, and Silverton area spend a few days then head up to Moab. inbetween or on the way hit Arches National Park, Valley of the Gods and whatever else looks good. Of course all this is subject to change at a moments notice but at least we have a somewhat plan.
Lodging, I would like to camp while we are there but my wifes idea of camping is the Hilton Inn. So much for camping. Win some lose some.
Weather, from what I understand could and may be a little fiffy on the high mountain passes during early june. The plan may have to be adjusted a little based on that.
So I'm looking for ideas or thoughts on what we should hit or bypass. The jeep is a 14 JKU Sport S, completely stock.
I have shown my wife a few videos of the Rocky Mountain trails and she is game as long as they are not to scary.
Any thoughts or ideas as to equipment or supplies, please post them.
And if anybody else is up for a trip like this, speak up. Would love to caravan with somebody else even if you wanted you do something else once we reach the Rockies.
I pulled up a map on MapQuest and it looks like 36 hours for the drive. Was kinda thinking, drive 12 to 14 hours a day, rest and arrive in about 3 days.

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Old 12-28-2013, 07:01 AM   #2
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Perfect! Leave a couple of weeks earlier and hit Easter Jeep Safari(Moab). While in Silverton do Black Bear Pass, etc. We'll be on our way out in two weeks(from Stuart)-KOH, Moab, Vegas(Nascar), etc. etc., Alaska.

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Old 12-28-2013, 07:01 AM   #3
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We did a trip similar to this last year. Hit Denver the mend and Coors brewery, white water rafting in Durango, jeep trails in Moab, and a few trails in Silverton. We had our motorhome, so lodging wasn't an issue. There are some really great trails in Silverton Colorado, and a bunch of guide services that can help you navigate some of the more treacherous roads. We went in late July, and there was some snow in the upper elevations, but only in the ditches. Your stock jeep should be fine as long as you pay attention to the ratings for each trail. If you want to do the harder ones, there are places where you can rent modified jeeps. As far as gear, there are eight on of forum members that can give you a more extensive list then I can, depending on what type of trails you want to do. For us, the gear was simple, water, lots of water, Moab is hot. Lunch, CB radio, trail map including all emergency phone numbers. In Moab we didn't have cell service on most of the trails. First aide kit. Keep in mind, we only did easy and moderate trails. The moderate ones were a blast in a stock jeep. Enjoy your trip. Moab is amazing! They have trails that range from dirt roads to trails that would require more modifications than most of us can afford.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:10 PM   #4
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Early June? Not many of CO's high mountain roads will be opened.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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Looking forward to your trip write up. doing similar drive there from Daytona Beach to Silverton in July 2014 !
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:56 PM   #6
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June might be too early for the Colorado passes unfortunately. I was there late may, and there was still 3+ feet of snow on the ground at 10K feet, and Im sure 13k+ feet will have even more. Hell utah had a blizzard late may at 8K feet on La Sal pass. If June is your month, stick to Arizona/Utah/Nevada and save Colorado for another time. You can spend a year in Moab and not see it all. You have to be flexible on these trips. I'd stick to Utah...Zion, Moab, and canyonlands. Will be a fantastic trip.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:23 PM   #7
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They try to get everything opened by June 1. It doesn't always happen. We last did the Tour De Colorado in June 2011 and have done the trip 4-5 times over the years taking our kids when younger. Mostly in early June, but we have done it later. At times we have had to postpone driving up Pikes Peak or Trail Ridge Road by a day to clear June snows. If you go to the Grand Canyon first everything should be open by the time you get back to CO.

In 2011 they were about 10 days late getting Trail Ridge Road open. Most of the off road trails around Ouray and Silverton were open, but with snow several feet deep on each side. Being from Florida the kids might enjoy seeing snows 10-15' deep on the side of the road on an early June trip.

Rocky Mt National Park is a must see f you can get that far North. You'll see elk by the thousands. The Bulls are just starting to grow their antlers in early June and aren't as impressive. They are fully developed by late July if that is important.

You can't be that close to Pikes Peak and not drive to the top.

We were in my 4X4 Tacoma in 2011 and hit several trails around Ouray. I could have rented a Jeep, and it would have cost about the same after paying for minor damage to my truck. You might consider driving a rental especially if yours is stock.

Hanging Lake is just East of Glenwood Springs if you go near there. You park at the last reststop on I-70 before Glenwood Springs and hike about 2 miles up to the lake. Worth the trip and a good place to get out and stretch your legs.

Have to stop at the 4 corners and if you have time Mesa Verde NP is nearby. It is cool to walk through the indian cliff houses.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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subscripted, i will be living up in Pagosa Springs around then, and would like to get together if I haven't left on my trip.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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I would spend at least a day in Denver to get used to the altitude. Altitude sickness is awful to experience and even worse to watch a child have it. Water water water and then more water. Last time we were in Colorado we did Pikes Peak also. Take the train or the Jeep. Be prepared for quickly changing weather too. I kind of envy you taking the Jeep up in the mountains. I had to do it last time in a minivan.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
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I would spend at least a day in Denver to get used to the altitude. Altitude sickness is awful to experience and even worse to watch a child have it. Water water water and then more water. Last time we were in Colorado we did Pikes Peak also. Take the train or the Jeep. Be prepared for quickly changing weather too. I kind of envy you taking the Jeep up in the mountains. I had to do it last time in a minivan.
Solid advice. I've been out there twice. Once flew into DEN and went up straight to Breck. This FL boy about died. I couldn't breath and had a splitting headache all night and into next day. The next year I took this advice and acclimated in Denver and had none of that.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:55 PM   #11
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I pretty much did that same trip last year on my motorcycle. I agree with the previous poster who recommended avoiding the high mountain passes in Colorado and spending more time in Utah. Moab is awesome, but there are great jeep trails all across southern Utah. My favorite places to go are off of highway 12 between Capitol Reef NP and Bryce Canyon NP.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:41 PM   #12
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Thanks guys for all the great info. I was a little conserned about Colorado during that time of the year.
Again this can all change at a moments notice. I plan on keeping a log along with lots of pictures along the way and of course post it right here.
Still a lot of planning to do. And figuring out a route.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #13
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Thanks guys for all the great info. I was a little conserned about Colorado during that time of the year.
Again this can all change at a moments notice. I plan on keeping a log along with lots of pictures along the way and of course post it right here.
Still a lot of planning to do. And figuring out a route.
Even IF the trails are plowed, you will see tons of snow, and you won't have 1/2 the landscapes you saw in my photos. No wildflower blooms, etc. I'd go to Moab and the region and Colorado another time. One of the best parts of wheeling is you have the freedom to go anywhere where it's ideal and peak season, and Colorado in June isn't peak season. Im going to try and get back to Colorado sometime soon in the fall, the changing leaves on the aspens is a sight to behold.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:47 PM   #14
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I pretty much did that same trip last year on my motorcycle. I agree with the previous poster who recommended avoiding the high mountain passes in Colorado and spending more time in Utah. Moab is awesome, but there are great jeep trails all across southern Utah. My favorite places to go are off of highway 12 between Capitol Reef NP and Bryce Canyon NP.
Bryce is my wife's favorite place. The whole state has awesomeness everywhere. I'd even like to take the Jeep to the Bonneville salt flats...would make for an awesome photo. I'd also want to hit the sand dunes, lounge and swim in lake powell, etc. Perfect time of year to be there.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:17 PM   #15
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Even IF the trails are plowed, you will see tons of snow, and you won't have 1/2 the landscapes you saw in my photos. No wildflower blooms, etc. I'd go to Moab and the region and Colorado another time. One of the best parts of wheeling is you have the freedom to go anywhere where it's ideal and peak season, and Colorado in June isn't peak season. Im going to try and get back to Colorado sometime soon in the fall, the changing leaves on the aspens is a sight to behold.

I'm open for suggestions as to a later date. As long as schools out for my daughter.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:32 PM   #16
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Even IF the trails are plowed, you will see tons of snow, and you won't have 1/2 the landscapes you saw in my photos. No wildflower blooms, etc. I'd go to Moab and the region and Colorado another time. One of the best parts of wheeling is you have the freedom to go anywhere where it's ideal and peak season, and Colorado in June isn't peak season. Im going to try and get back to Colorado sometime soon in the fall, the changing leaves on the aspens is a sight to behold.

I'm open for suggestions as to a later date. As long as schools out for my daughter.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:36 PM   #17
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I'm open for suggestions as to a later date. As long as schools out for my daughter.
You should be good in July. The wildflowers will be fully blooming, and the landscape will be much more dramatic. Dont get me wrong, its an amazing place to visit, you just need to hit it at the right time. Don't discount Utah though...IMHO, the most beautiful place on the planet.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:02 PM   #18
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You should be good in July. The wildflowers will be fully blooming, and the landscape will be much more dramatic. Dont get me wrong, its an amazing place to visit, you just need to hit it at the right time. Don't discount Utah though...IMHO, the most beautiful place on the planet.

Let me run this by the wife and see what see thinks. This is just the reason for early planning.
she might just change her mind after reading about your trip.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:28 PM   #19
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Let me run this by the wife and see what see thinks. This is just the reason for early planning.
she might just change her mind after reading about your trip.
There is an awesome winery in Moab (in the middle of a canyon, very cool,) there is peach picking (amazingly cool) plus probably the best offroading anywhere. Lake Powell will also be an amazing place to hang, swim, rent a boat, etc. Both Utah wheeling and Colorado should be on your bucketlist, so you win either way, but go at the right time....when Colorado is good, Moab is too hot, and when Moab is good, Colorado is still snow covered.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:01 PM   #20
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There is an awesome winery in Moab (in the middle of a canyon, very cool,) there is peach picking (amazingly cool) plus probably the best offroading anywhere. Lake Powell will also be an amazing place to hang, swim, rent a boat, etc. Both Utah wheeling and Colorado should be on your bucketlist, so you win either way, but go at the right time....when Colorado is good, Moab is too hot, and when Moab is good, Colorado is still snow covered.

Well that kinda throws a monkey wrench in to it.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:31 PM   #21
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Well that kinda throws a monkey wrench in to it.
Listen, no need to sweat. Like I said, you win either way. Part of the fun is not having a plan. When the time comes, see when you and the wife can get away. If its Moab season, head for Moab, if its Colorado time, head over there. You've got plenty of time to wheel, so enjoy wherever you go. You'll have a blast in both locations. After those two, you will still need to wheel in Arizona, Nevada, Northern California, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, Alberta, and Alaska. You have a lot of ground still left to cover, so take it one place at a time and enjoy.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:55 AM   #22
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I hear what your saying. Colorado would be my favorite one to start with. I can do hot all summer in Florida. Getting away is no problem for the wife and I but we can only do this sometime in the summer because of school.
So I'm thinking right now it might be better to go in july and only hit Colorado and Arizona. I have to keep telling myself, and my daughter keeps reminding that this trip is not all about me. Darn! I have got to find that balance to keep it enjoyable for all three of us.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:20 AM   #23
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One of the things i want to do is try and convince my daughter to keep a journal of the trip from start to finish along with pictures. My wife and I could then put it all into some scrap book and when I'm no longer on this earth my daughter will have it and hopefully remember her old man in a good way.
just a thought.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:30 AM   #24
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We did a trip similar to this last year.

Any thoughts or ideas?
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:31 PM   #25
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I hear what your saying. Colorado would be my favorite one to start with. I can do hot all summer in Florida. Getting away is no problem for the wife and I but we can only do this sometime in the summer because of school.
So I'm thinking right now it might be better to go in july and only hit Colorado and Arizona. I have to keep telling myself, and my daughter keeps reminding that this trip is not all about me. Darn! I have got to find that balance to keep it enjoyable for all three of us.
How much time will you have for this trip (including the days spent driving from/to Florida?)
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:42 PM   #26
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Glacier National Park is in my backyard. Be aware that if you come in June the entire road may not be open yet. Many years it is not cleared of snow until July.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:53 PM   #27
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Glacier National Park is in my backyard. Be aware that if you come in June the entire road may not be open yet. Many years it is not cleared of snow until July.
Glacier NP is also on my list of "must sees"....are there any offroad trails in Glacier NP or all touristy paved roads like Yellowstone?
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:57 PM   #28
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Glacier NP is also on my list of "must sees"....are there any offroad trails in Glacier NP or all touristy paved roads like Yellowstone?
I don't believe there are any, not in the boundaries of the Park. Vehicles have to stay on paved roads at all times. Plenty of hiking trails though. Still very much worth it and very different than Yellowstone (which I also love).

But, there are TONS of off road trails in the area so you will not go without, trust me.
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:22 PM   #29
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How much time will you have for this trip (including the days spent driving from/to Florida?)
18 days
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:03 PM   #30
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How much time will you have for this trip (including the days spent driving from/to Florida?)
Tonight I showed my wife your thread on "jeeping across America" and she was pretty excited about it. For my wife to get excited about something like this is no short of a miraculous event. LOL.
So we decided July is the month we go.
T-minus 7 months and counting.
Now the real planning begins.
We have a total of 18 days off. I'm going to figure 3 days driving out and 3 to 4 driving back. That leaves about 10 days to explore with one day in reserve for those unexpected delays.

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