Jump to content
  • 0
Rewillia

Navigating US-50 from Colorado Springs to Grand Junction

Question

Planning on taking US-50 from just west of Colorado Springs (Canon City) across to Grand Junction (over the Monarch Pass). We have a big-rig, 45' coach w/tow and wondering if others here (forum) have made the trip and can provide input on the road & grades.

My understanding is its very doable, but does have a 6-9% grade for approx. 9-miles once we pass Monarch (11500 elev).

Any/all comments will be appreciated.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Gorgeous ride. Have done it  in three different Class A units( one rented ), pulling a travel trailer behind our F-150, and  a number of times in 18 wheelers.  

US 50 is in excellent condition from Canon City west. Monarch is one of the higher major passes in Colorado, and 50 has a lot of curves between Canon City and Salida. 

If you plan to stay at the KOA in Gunnison, try to make reservations for a 50AMP site. Every other site seems to be 30 AMP. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Unless there is something wrong with the engine cooling system on your 45' coach, it should handle that pass with no problems. 

Going uphill keep your RPM's up to around 80% of max RPM's to help keep the transmission and engine from over heating. Manually downshifting to a lower gear to keep those RPM's up is a good way to drive up mountains.  Even if you are only driving at 35-45mph.

Going back down, stop at the top to check your brakes.  There should be a brake testing pull off at the top of the summit.  As you start down, manually shift to 3rd or 4th gear, turn on the exhaust brake and see if that won't hold your downhill speed in the steep sections at 35mph or so.  If it creeps up 10mph, press hard for 8-10 seconds to drop your speed back to 35mph.  If you are going back up to 45mph in less than 30 seconds or so, you are going too fast.  Slow down and get into a lower gear.  You should be able to coast down using engine braking with minimal use of the brakes. 

That is a beautiful drive.  Not very fast.  Lots of 2 lane, but good highway, with many curves, but very few that are really really sharp.  Plan on spending some of your time at 45mph and on curves at 35mph. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Have used  both over the years. Perhaps Elk Creek is new and improved? 😎 

Patrons are dealing with the Colorado Government. Do not remember 50 amp service, but who knows? Have also used a state camp site  in Ridgway Colorado.  No 50 amp there  that I remember and you pay a charge for towing a vehicle in. We show in the fall so high amps are not needed. 

The Gunnison KOA is just south of the airport and within the city limits. Not much more than 5 minutes to dinner at the Old Miners Steakhouse or maybe 10 or so to Garlic Mikes as featured on the Travel Channel. McDs is nearby, just across from the Pioneer Museum. We have visited that museum twice and have still not seen it all. Gunnison has pleasant summertime days and cool nights. Gorgeous terrain nearby. Mountains and fishable  streams. Pastures with creeks flowing through them, grazing cattle and horses. 

Always special to us. If you have the time, slow down and enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×