Colorado Dillon to Monarch, which way is best?

Philpug

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Both times are within minutes of each other, do we go though Leadville or past Breckenridge?
Screenshot 2023-01-25 at 4.44.13 PM.png
 

Nathanvg

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Either way works. The western route has less switchbacks/grade/stoplights so I'd recomend that from a speed/weather perspective. Once you get over the respective passes, the middle 60% of the trip is high plateau with the last 10% another pass.
 

coskigirl

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Fremont Pass between Copper and Leadville is quite well maintained even in snow storms so I’d do that.
 

James

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If you go through Leadville you could stop at that Melanzana store that only sells clothes there. I guess it’s mostly hoodies, or hoodie dresses.

7AFCEEAA-7DBD-4655-835B-2008DEE37729.jpeg

I thought CO Freeride outerwear was made in Leadville?
 

jmeb

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You can't just stop in and buy at Melanzana -- you need an appointment weeks in advance to buy anything besides a beanie.

CO Freeride is made in CO but no store in Pb.

The Pb / Bueana Vista has more town and food options. Both are pretty drives on well-maintained roads. Route via Alma is less fun if there is high winds / blowing snow.
 

Bad Bob

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Have you been one way, or a good portion of one way? Then go the other way.
I used to love going through the South Park area, interesting counrty.
 

Jerez

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We go past Dillon and Monarch a lot. (Drives between Santa Fe and Fraser). I can tell you that the Western route is a bit shorter but not enough to make a big difference. Both are beautiful but different. The route through Fairplay is lovely, the road curvy. The route that passes by Copper and Buena Vista has the river canyon, and the Brown Dog Cafe in Buena Vista for a caffeine pick me up. But then you spent more time on I-70.

Salida is a fun town and there is a funky but sweet hot springs at the base of Mt. Princeton.
 

SBrown

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Leadville is 10,000'. With not a whole lot of traffic. Keep that, and the weather, in mind.

In good weather, the scenery is better.
Breck is 10,000', with a whole lot of traffic.

What day are you going? That makes a big difference anymore. The eastern way will have Breck ski traffic to deal with, but the Copper traffic has been stupid on Saturday mornings (an hour through Officers Gulch???).
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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Breck is 10,000', with a whole lot of traffic.

What day are you going? That makes a big difference anymore. The eastern way will have Breck ski traffic to deal with, but the Copper traffic has been stupid on Saturday mornings (an hour through Officers Gulch???).
tomorrow AM
 

pipestem

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I'd swing by Butterhorn cafe in Frisco get some breakfast burrito and coffee and take the western route. Either way weather looks good tomorrow, cheers.
 

tball

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tomorrow AM
It will be windy tomorrow, so I'd avoid the blowing snow on 285 and take the western route. I like the western views better too.

Fairplay Forecast:
Patchy blowing snow before 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 18. Wind chill values as low as -24. Windy, with a northwest wind 21 to 26 mph increasing to 27 to 32 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 48 mph.
 

tball

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Check out the new bike path bridge three miles up Freemont Pass from Copper Mountain on the way to Leadville:

PXL_20210102_230947733.jpg


$5.6M for a 3.3-mile (so far) bike path! :ogbiggrin:
 

jmeb

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Wind == Leadville is a nicer route. Stop at City on the Hill for baked goods or burritos and coffee.
 

James

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Heh, this is slightly better than relatives arguing over how to get home from the holiday meal. Mainly because there are only two choices.
 
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