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Old 08-20-2019, 10:39 PM   #1
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Route advice: Great Sand Dunes to Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Hey everyone!

We've been pulling our 27' FC with our Sierra 1500 6.2L Max Trailering for 6 months, and had never had a tense moment... until we met Teton Pass going north out of Jackson a few weeks ago. Once we had dropped down to 20MPH, we turned around.

In the interest of personal safety, we are working to be more diligent about our route planning.

In a few weeks, we are looking to travel from Great Sand Dunes NP to Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP.

Google seems to be reccomending two options:
1) 285 to 50 (over Monarch Pass)
2) 114 to 50

Thoughts on these options?
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:40 AM   #2
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If you are looking to avoid passes, then the 114 route is the better one. I recall trying to get back Colorado Springs from Ouray a few years ago when a sudden snow storm had traffic going over Monarch slowed to a crawl. We took the 114 "bypass" and I don't recall any feature that would be trailer unfriendly. It is more rural, with less towns, gas stations, etc, so keep that in mind.

good luck!
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:47 AM   #3
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114 is a nice drive although I remember the road being narrow in spots. Not as much traffic as rt 50. Monarch Pass is super great scenery but can be hairy going up and down to the pass. We drove a Duramax with engine brake which helped on the downhill parts.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:17 AM   #4
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We just went over Monarch Pass 3 weeks ago and didnít have any problems. If you donít have an exhaust brake, just make sure you stay in low gears on the downhill run.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:44 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the words of advice, everyone!
Very much appreciated!

Excited to enjoy this drive without rolling backwards.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:15 PM   #6
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I cannot help you with the best route but be sure ti fill your fresh water tank before arriving at Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP.
There is a bare minimum of fresh water there as what is there needs to be hauled into the park. We were not aware when we visited and would have stayed longer but our 20' Airstream only holds 23 gallons. It's really a beautiful peaceful NP with lots of wildlife. We had a nursing deer with twin fawns that rested on the concrete ad ( for future bear box) at our campsite twice a day. You will probably not have the summer crowds at most parks. Enjoy!
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:06 PM   #7
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HaulinOats, you should be fine with highway 50 over Monarch pass. I have pulled over that pass with 2018 Silverado 5.3 Max tow pkg , and our 28ft signature. No problem. From Black Canyon of the Gunnison take into Montrose, then 550 south to 62 then towards Placerville and Telluride. I ran that route for 14 years, four nights a week in a semi truck. Good roads and beautiful scenery. Travel safe
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:47 AM   #8
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We been over Monarch pass manyís times with our 25FB tow truck is a F-150 Ecoboost 3.5 L no problems. We do not have max tow package
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdfulsome54 View Post
HaulinOats, you should be fine with highway 50 over Monarch pass. I have pulled over that pass with 2018 Silverado 5.3 Max tow pkg , and our 28ft signature. No problem. From Black Canyon of the Gunnison take into Montrose, then 550 south to 62 then towards Placerville and Telluride. I ran that route for 14 years, four nights a week in a semi truck. Good roads and beautiful scenery. Travel safe
Thank you!
This makes me feel good.

Incidentally, at the dealership and found out that our radiator was leaking fluid. Thank goodness we discovered this issue before any more mountain driving!!!
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