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Old 07-15-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Best route TX to northern CO?

I am finally getting to the nuts and bolts of planning this trip. For grins, I searched for directions on both Google Earth/Maps and Good Sam's trip planning.

Google runs me through Amarillo, and this works for me as I was semi thinking of popping in to Palo Duro on the first night.

Then, both Good Sam and some other service I forgot (Mapquest?) want to route me up through Oklahoma City, into Kansas, and then due West to Denver. Slightly longer, but I suppose the driving is easier or something?

Anyhow, Looking for advice on which route you would recommend. Anyone familiar with both of them? We're pulling the trailer from Dallas to Ft. Collins area.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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I would go from Dallas to Amarillo and then maybe cut over to Raton,NM and then take I25 north from there.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:03 PM   #3
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What? and miss the chance to go through Wichita Falls? We've done the Amarillo route (back in the popup days) Interesting scenery if you go to the Palo Duro area, then its pretty flat until you get over to Raton. Going through Oklahoma and Kansas sure seems like a long way to go to get there.

If you go the Amarillo route and plan on Palo Duro for first night, get an early jump on it because DFW to Amarillo is a full plate of driving for one day, even without an AS in the rearview mirror.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:06 PM   #4
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That's exactly the route the Google Maps suggests. I gotta admit, I am not too excited about watching two days of Oklahoma and Kansas go by the window.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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I was warned to avoid 287/385 through the pan handle of Oklahoma...the road is kinda rough and popping rivets is pretty likely to happen.
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I would go from Dallas to Amarillo and then maybe cut over to Raton,NM and then take I25 north from there.
We took this route this past spring...it isn't bad. We drove from Decatur to Amarillo and it was a decent day -but I think DFW is another two hours or so.
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Google runs me through Amarillo, <snip> up through Oklahoma City, into Kansas, and then due West to Denver. Slightly longer, but I suppose the driving is easier or something
On our way south for the same trip in mid-May, we took I-70 then wove our way over to Liberal, KS through Lamar, CO. This was fine too - but there were some major traffic delays (in CO) due to road construction - which should be done by now.

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Old 07-15-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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I would go from Dallas to Amarillo and then maybe cut over to Raton,NM and then take I25 north from there.
This is the route I would take. its 855 miles from downtown Dallas to downtown Ft. Collins. Road is mostly flat to Amarillo then some rolling hills but not bad Raton NM has a small pass and then its fairly flat roads the rest of the way. You will be climbing about 4800' as you go up from Texas.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:17 PM   #7
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even further. Our property there is at 7300 ft.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:25 PM   #8
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we're in the middle at 5280 ft ...
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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Can't speak for Oklahoma segment but 287 from Fort Worth to Wichita Falls is pretty decent divided highway with the exception of a mile through Bellvue where its 4 lane non divided highway and the speed limit drops to 55.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:07 PM   #10
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Best Route (probably not)

I doubt many reading our route will think much of it but if you really want to see the rugged rough country then follow the road from Ship Rock, Cuba, Espanola, Mora, Santa Rosa, Ft. Sumner, and on to Clovis and then Lubbock. In your case, just reverse the directions taking it from DFW. It was primarily very-very-very lonely smooth two lane. There was nothing but cattle and windmills, hills and dales for miles. We commented that we could have pulled up onto a hill off the highway and would have been perfectly safe all night dry camping. It was so scenic we even expected to see cowboys and indians on horseback. Gas stations spaced just in time from one another to be safe. This was our way home from a month in Durango and La Junta Colorado last year. Interesting state park system in Clovis New Mexico, made the reservation by phone on the road, with credit card, checked in, checked out, never saw anyone resembling a park ranger. $14.00 for the night with 30-50 amp power, water, sewer, and shelter. Avoid Kansas and the stockyard routes at all cost.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:17 PM   #11
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I just went both ways....
Are you going for speed, no traffic, nice trip, ....because it makes a difference.
speed and ease not a real pretty trip...DFW up 35 to Salina, 70 to Denver and there onto your destination. Easy with a big trailer to pull.

A far more interesting trip....DFW to AMA to Raton to Denver. Not bad roads and I enjoy the trip.

And the better, longer, trip...DFW, AMA, Raton, Walsenburg, Westcliff, Salida the 285 up to 70 (by Vail and Avon...then to your area of destination. (this is my motorcycle route, but its OK for a tow too.)
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:41 PM   #12
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I just went both ways....
Are you going for speed, no traffic, nice trip, ....because it makes a difference.
speed and ease not a real pretty trip...DFW up 35 to Salina, 70 to Denver and there onto your destination. Easy with a big trailer to pull.

A far more interesting trip....DFW to AMA to Raton to Denver. Not bad roads and I enjoy the trip.

And the better, longer, (InsideOut - definitely MOST SCENIC!) trip...DFW, AMA, Raton, Walsenburg, Westcliff, Salida the 285 up to 70 (by Vail and Avon...then to your area of destination. (this is my motorcycle route, but its OK for a tow too.)
This just about sums it up. If you have the time, definitely go for "Option #3" it will be worth the extra time/miles - just gorgeous!

Shari
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:18 PM   #13
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I'm kinda thinking....Mid August....heat wave.....I think we will pretty much be looking to go for the nearest altitude. On the way back at the end of September, or early October we'll probably be more inclined to dawdle along some back roads. And we do dawdle.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:55 PM   #14
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even further. Our property there is at 7300 ft.
I just got you close to your turn into the mountains, Just north of there is where I had a trailer blow over when a cold front caught us leaving Cheyenne.
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