driving from Albuquerque NM to Denver, CO
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Jan 20, 2013 4:42 AM Last Post By: trekker502
Jan 12, 2013 9:40 PM
Jan 13, 2013 1:45 AM
Jan 13, 2013 5:52 AM
2I hope that you know how to drive in snow/ice conditions and are prepared for below zero temperatures! It is currently 1F degree, not counting wind chill, here in Santa Fe, at 6:45 a.m. It is currently -33F degrees in Alamosa, Colorado.The Colorado and New Mexico Rocky Mountains have been getting lots of snow this season.
Bring tire chains just in case. Drive Interstate-25 north from Albuquerque, and Santa Fe is about 45 minutes away. Then, it is a long drive over Raton Pass, where it is sometimes shut down due to heavy blizzard conditions. Trinidad, Colorado, is just over the border and I have stopped there for the night. Colorado Springs is a beautiful city.
Jan 13, 2013 6:21 AM
Jan 13, 2013 6:36 AM
4If you stick to the interstae north of Santa Fe, look over Fort Union. This was a supply point on the Santa Fe Trail, an oasis in the desert. Now it is a historical site, with visitors'center. The adobe wall remains look like something out of Egypt.
You can also get off the interstate and go from Santa Fe to Taos and then north to Colorado. This is serious art country.
Do listen to local radio abut road conditions, and accept that you might be delayed a bit due to storms until the roads can be cleared.
Jan 13, 2013 8:20 AM
5The route directly north of Taos on Highway #285 would go through the San Luis Valley high desert, where temperatures dropped to -33 F degrees this morning at Alamosa. Route along Highway #64 from Taos goes through mountains and the Cimarron Canyon to Interstate-25 -- the roads may not be plowed after a recent snowfall.
The adobe pueblo architecture style of the core of Santa Fe reminds me of Marrakech, Morocco, and it has been cited as one of the 10 top cities of the world for its architecture and art.
Jan 13, 2013 8:02 PM
6I-25 is the fastest and least prone to winter weather issues; chains or 4x4 are not typically required but certainly may be during or just after a storm. Other routes will be more scenically interesting, but definitely more prone to closure, delay or hazardous conditions. While the current, somewhat unusual, local weather is interesting, it's not a very good guide as far as what to expect in a month. it might be really cold and snowy. It might not be. But do be aware that any route between ABQ and Denver is susceptible to winter conditions, so be up-to-date on the weather forecast and road conditions.
Bandelier National Monument is interesting and worth the relatively short detour, and usually doable in winter.
Jan 14, 2013 3:29 PM
Jan 15, 2013 7:37 AM
Jan 15, 2013 8:50 AM
9"Ra-tone" got 8 inches of snow last night. I-25 between Santa Fe and Raton was very icy. Lots of accidents on I-40 and I-25. -13F degrees with windchill here in Santa Fe this morning. Much colder at Red River and Angel Fire and Taos!
Jan 16, 2013 2:11 PM
10Whoever said that you will need chains is on crack. Especially if you stick to the main I-25 route. Very infrequently there are winter storms that will close the road. If so just spent an extra day in Santa Fe probably the only interesting place on that route. If you wait a day, the sun comes out and the blacktop melts off.
Another interesting trip is to go the back way from santa fe and up to taos, (which is nicer than sf imo). From there you could go up through the Alamosa valley, sand dunes NP, Salida, leadville and summit county for some nice alpine scenery.
Jan 16, 2013 2:23 PM
11I think that Trucha is himself on crack! Alamosa is in the San Luis Valley and it was -30F degrees there this morning -- this route was previously described as Highway #285, which climbs 11,000 feet at the headwaters of the Rio Grande before Highway #50/Monarch Pass area and Salida.
Albuquerque this morning was expecting recordbreaking low temperatures since 1919, when the record was 7F degrees -- this morning it was actually about 13F degrees and Santa Fe itself was 7F degrees, with -10F windchill.
Supposedly, the weather is going to be warming up for the rest of this week, but I am not making plans for getting a suntan just yet.
Jan 16, 2013 2:37 PM
12chains: At least take a chain, a tow chain, so that a passing Samaritan can pull you out. Don't be a total Blance Dubois, dependent on the kindness of strangers. Also, if you get off the road and stuck, stay with the vehicle and resist the temptation to walk for help. Take some snacks and water. Remember the Donner Party and learn from their most unpleasant experience. Also don't put too much faith in the electronic equipment, and don't be a burden to others End of sermonette. I have to earn my title from time to time.
Jan 16, 2013 5:38 PM
13Quite a few cars and trucks slid off of the icy interstate last night before the Department of Transportation was able to get its salt trucks out there along with cindar dirt for traction on the interstates.
It's unbelievable that we have two Australians who are posting on this forum that chains and caution during heavy snowstorms in California's Sierra Nevada and here in the Rocky Mountains is just a bunch of baloney! It is irresponsible and dangerous for people to rely on their so-called advice. Ian kept insisting that a road that I had experienced as being closed would definitely be open year-round
I have 15 years' experience living in Alaska year-round and driving 80 miles per day roundtrip to work in the middle of winter. Still, I am very cautious here on New Mexico's and Colorado's highways.
Jan 19, 2013 4:27 PM
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