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Late September Road Trip - Road Conditions, Car Rental

Texas
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Late September Road Trip - Road Conditions, Car Rental

We are planning a 10 day road trip at the end of September (21-30). We will be flying into Denver, then heading to RMNP -> Moab -> Mesa Verde NP ->Telluride/Ouray/Black Canyon NP -> Colorado Springs -> Denver. Do we need to be concerned about road conditions in the areas we would be driving? Would we be better off getting an SUV, or would a minivan be okay? Thanks!

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
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413 reviews
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1. Re: Late September Road Trip - Road Conditions, Car Rental

There's no need for any special vehicle due to road conditions so the van should be fine. Pretty aggressive itinerary for 10 days but should be fun. Yes, there is a chance you could see snow at highest elevations but would be unusual and I wouldn't plan your car around it.

Have fun.

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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36 reviews
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2. Re: Late September Road Trip - Road Conditions, Car Rental

There may be some snow on the peaks around Telluride, but I would not plan on actually seeing any in town. Weather is still pretty nice then for the most part. Be sure and ride the free gondola in Telluride, great views.

Cypress, TX
7 posts
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3. Re: Late September Road Trip - Road Conditions, Car Rental

With two kids, 3 & 1, we figure we' ll be able to experience the parts of each NP that we can in less time. So aggressive should work out.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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4. Re: Late September Road Trip - Road Conditions, Car Rental

RMNP is very family friendly with many stroller accessible trails and other very short trails.

East side RMNP stroller friendly trails--

Alluvial Fan (.2 miles to the waterfall--a do not miss), Sprague Lake (.5 mile loop), Bear Lake (.6 mile loop), Lily Lake (.7 mile loop), Hidden Valley Nature Trail (.5 mile loop along Trail Ridge Road)

West side stroller friendly trails--

Coyote Valley Trail (1 mile loop), Holzwarth Historic Site (.5 miles one way) good area for moose. Family friendly trails but not stroller friendly--Adams Falls (.3 miles to the waterfall). These stroller friendly trails can also be done as part of driving and exploring Trail Ridge Road (highway 34) between Estes Park and Grand Lake.

Trail Ridge Road (the crown jewel of RMNP) is a "do not miss." It is more than just a drive. There are many overlooks and short trails along the way. Driving time only is 2 hours one way but to drive and just stop at overlooks alone, add 2 hours. This stroller friendly interpretative trail offers great views and wildlife viewing opportunities - Tundra Communties Trail (.5 miles one way).

A word of caution about Mesa Verde and Black Canyon National Parks - both have areas that are not suitable for small children. Hold tight to your little ones. There are cliff side drop offs that are unfenced and not readily visable until you are on the edge. The same is true at Colorado National Monument. Of course all national parks have areas requiring extra supervision of small children. It is just those drop offs at Mesa Verde, Black Canyon and Colorado National Monument can sneak up on you.

Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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5. Re: Late September Road Trip - Road Conditions, Car Rental

So true about the drop offs. There are also lots of bears getting ready for the winter and you will need to keep your kids close to hand (we always put the kids between the adults). Hungry bears are grumpy bears and in no mood to be surprised by a little one running up to them while they are feeding.

Texas
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6. Re: Late September Road Trip - Road Conditions, Car Rental

thanks for all of the advice and recommendations!

7. Re: Late September Road Trip - Road Conditions, Car Rental

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