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driving from albuquerque to denver in december

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Honolulu, Hawaii
posts: 1
driving from albuquerque to denver in december

Im frm hawaii to albuquerque to visit my son then me & the rest of the kids are driving to Denver around the 4th of december. what is the drive like and should i be prepared to stop during the drive and continue on the next day?

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
posts: 17,315
reviews: 33
1. Re: driving from albuquerque to denver in december

I drive every late December from Santa Fe to the Denver area. Most years it has been clear and no snow, but some years there will be snow, wind, ice along parts of the drive. Make sure you check both the NM and CO road condition websites and phone numbers before you leave. We always drive it in 1 day. I think you should be ok, but no way to predict.

Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for New Mexico
posts: 1,136
reviews: 79
2. Re: driving from albuquerque to denver in december

I agree with CasaAzul; you should be o.k. unless we have heavy snowfall. There are two routes to Denver from Albuquerque, both about the same amount of time.

Surprisingly, I have driven US 285 from Santa Fe to Denver in the winter and had fewer problems than going over Raton Pass. Don't know why, except Colorado does do a tremendous job of clearing the roads, and 285 is a pretty major route from NM to Denver. It's a lot more scenic also. But, check the weather in both states before leaving. New Mexico has a hotline for road conditions-511-, but I don't know what Colorado's number is. Or you could go on-line to the Dept. of Transportation in both states. Much better info than just checking the weather channel.

New Mexico
posts: 360
reviews: 9
3. Re: driving from albuquerque to denver in december

I have family in the Denver area, so I make this drive routinely. In perfect conditions and few stops, I do it in about 7 hours. The only times I've split the drive between two days have been when I've had no choice due to weather...and I can count on one hand how many times that has been in the past 26 years...that is to say, it's not like it can't happen, but it's rare.

As others have said, check the road conditions and weather forecast before you hit the road. The state is pretty good about plowing the roads and salting, but you would be advised not to get caught up in the middle of a storm. When I have run into issues, the worst of them have been going over Raton pass, which they will close if it gets bad enough.

Colorado Springs...
Destination Expert
for Colorado Springs
posts: 3,853
reviews: 59
4. Re: driving from albuquerque to denver in december

Completely unpredictable, and it depends on your comfort with winter driving. If you are from Hawaii with no winter driving experience, it is going to be different then for those of us from the area.

It may be lovely and sunny, but you may hit some winter driving. Be sure to check the road conditions and forecast at several places along the route - Las Vegas, Raton, Trinidad, Colorado Springs, Monument - as an example. Because the weather in Raton could be very different than the weather in Monument.

5. Re: driving from albuquerque to denver in december

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