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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm leaving Central Nevada for a 4,000 mile round trip to NW Arkansas next Friday. I would love to take US50 across, but I'm concerned with Colorado. Do you think it's too late in the year for this route? I'm planning on taking the southern route (I40) on the return trip. Staying warm is not a problem, thanks to all the advice I've gotten from this board, slick roads are what concern me. Thanks.

PS. As of today, the weather forecast looks good.
 

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I just completed US160 across Colorado 10 days ago. Weather was great. Don't know if there is an altitude difference between US50 and US160. Should be good as long as they are not predicting snow.
 

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Yes, there is.

You will need to cross Monarch pass on 50. Right now, it is raining in Denver and we hear it will be snowing soon. I wouldn't advise it right now.

You may want to get on the weather channel web site and track down the weather.

I live in Colorado and I wouldn't be riding US 50 right now.

Good Luck.

Bob Glassman
Littleton, CO
'03 K1200 LT - Impala Brown
 

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the weather

Looks like around Denver anyway it is going to start being sunny from Wed. through the weekend. Just check the local up Monarch pass, get there in the afternoon when the roads are their dryiest or at least not icy.
 

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www.cotrip.org/rWeather/All_Regions_100905_183002.html

Monarch is wet, icy and snowpacked currently and probably looks like this or worse since it is a couple of thousand feet higher. I lived in Gunnison (30 miles west of Monarch) for 6 years and it can get really ugly up there...

I'm sure it will be snowpacked for at least a week, probably more - even if the sun comes out and it warms up.
 

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There really is no real answer to your question right now. You will have to keep your eye on the weather. I wouldn't trust any long term predictions either. They are wrong a good part of the time.

Around this time of year, it gets really tricky. The weather can change very, very quickly at high el.

One of the sayings we have around here is, "if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes".

Typically, if the weather is going to be good, you may want to time crossing Monarch if you can between like 8 - 10 am.. At altitude, the clouds can come in quick and bring rain, hail, snow, etc.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all of the replies. That cotrip.org site is great. Of course, the current conditions aren't very good:

US 50 Monarch Pass
Existing Conditions: (sno)(icy)(snpk)
Restrictions in Place: Chains all commercial vehicles, including buses, vans 16+ capacity.

I'll make my final decision the night before my trip. I'd love to go back on US50 instead of I40 all the way, but I will let safety be the deciding factor. If the pass is clear and dry with no weather forecasted, I might give it a shot. First sign of inclement weather and I'll change course midtrip.
 

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Us50

I hope the weather works out for you. Monarch pass is absolutely awesome.. I love the ride on US50..

Enjoy your trip.
 

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The wife and I took that route in June, from Co Sprgs to Montrose to Durango amd back to Co Sprgs. That has to be one of the prettiest routes we have been on. It tried to snow on us then, so I would play it by ear and keep a close eye on the weather. Afternoon, seems like when the rain hits most often. One thing that amazed me was how the mountains have thier own weather!

You could be standing in the Springs in a t shirt and watch snow falling on Pikes Peak.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's looking OK so far. The roads are dry and there is no foul weather forecasted. I found some really good links.

This one has a webcam on Monarch Pass:
http://www.dickgilbert.com/colocam-monarch1.htm

This one shows current conditions and forecast from a weather station on the pass:
http://www.aws.com/wx.asp?id=KMYP

This one shows the weather conditions for the past 24 hours in 1 hour increments:
http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/KMYP.html

If I decide against Monarch Pass, can anyone suggest any alternate routes that would help me cut out part of I40? I'm starting in Round Mountain, NV (right in the middle of the state) and ending up in Springdale, AR. Thanks.
 

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I'd go for it.

So you get to Monarch Pass and it's just not good. Then you turn around and take US550 down to 160. Just think how beautiful it will be if the road is clear.

Then again, if Red Mountain pass is socked in, you get to backtrack to Utah.

Take pics and let us know how it went.
 

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Great links. Sorry I didn't see your message earlier.

Left to my own devices, I'd head for Cedar City, then Hwy 12, 24, 95 to Blanding and over to Cortez, Durango and Pagosa...then check if Woof crick is okay, and even if it is, I'd probably drop down through Chama and 64 thru Taos to I-25, then pickem SE to Amarillo. The colors should still be great on this southern route.

However, if you have a schedule ;( then 50 and Monarch looks good. About half the time I prefer Hwy 114 that goes south off 50 about 10 miles east of Gunnison, and comes out in Saguache. Beautiful sweepers through ranch country with no traffic.

Have a good one...so many choices!!
 

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Colorado roads

I live in Colorado and frequently use this site to see what's up with the roads here:

www.cotrip.org

Check it out...

I have found that unless it is snowing the roads usually are okay this time of year. Just make sure you hit the pass in the middle of the day.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK, I'm going for it. the roads have been dry for a couple of days and the weather forecast looks good. If I run into anything, I'll backtrack to 550 & 160 like CABNFVR suggested. I checked out the route that Pete suggested that goes through Cedar City. That looks awesome. I think I'll try to go that way on the return trip. Thanks for the great advice. I'll take pictures and keep everyone posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I made it successfully. What an awesome ride! I'm sure glad I didn't take I40. Thanks to everyone on the board for their advice. I had beautiful weather for the entire ride and for a few hours I could have sworn my bike spent more time leaned over than it did upright. The ride up to, and especially the descent down from, Monarch Pass was the most fun I've had on 2 wheels.
 
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