Author Topic: Amtrak in Colorado to Great Divide (via Western Express?)  (Read 207 times)

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Offline adrian99

Amtrak in Colorado to Great Divide (via Western Express?)
« on: July 28, 2020, 01:45:23 pm »
Hi, I'm planning to take Amtrak's California Zephyr from California to Colorado to meet up with the GDMBR.  I'd like to start at Salida and head north.

From looking at maps, a reasonable route would be to get off the train at Grand Junction, ride to Montrose on the Western Express leg 4, and head east to Salida where I'd get on the GDMBR.

I'd appreciate any advice or thoughts on these two questions:
1) Do you have any suggestions on alternate ways to get from any Amtrak station in Colorado to the GDMBR?
2) If my option (Grand Junction - Montrose - Salida) makes sense, do you have suggestions on how to get from Grand Junction to Montrose other than what google maps tells me? I'm not on a strict schedule and prefer staying away from cars.

Thanks!

Offline John Nettles

Re: Amtrak in Colorado to Great Divide (via Western Express?)
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 01:54:15 pm »
If the Google option tells you to go to Grand Mesa, though a beautiful climb up, be aware that is over 10k feet, quite a huge gain in elevation coming from sea level.  Due to you lack of acclimation, I would take US-50 to Delta, then backroads to Montrose.

That said, you really should consider taking a few days in Grand Junction to get acclimated to the elevation.  Grand Junction is about 4500', Montrose is 5800', and Salida is about 7100'. Altitude sickness is not a fun way to begin a tour.

Tailwinds, John

Offline adrian99

Re: Amtrak in Colorado to Great Divide (via Western Express?)
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 06:00:53 pm »
If the Google option tells you to go to Grand Mesa, though a beautiful climb up, be aware that is over 10k feet, quite a huge gain in elevation coming from sea level.  Due to you lack of acclimation, I would take US-50 to Delta, then backroads to Montrose.

That said, you really should consider taking a few days in Grand Junction to get acclimated to the elevation.  Grand Junction is about 4500', Montrose is 5800', and Salida is about 7100'. Altitude sickness is not a fun way to begin a tour.

Tailwinds, John

Thanks John! I'll definitely need to acclimate. Staying for a few days in Grand Junction and exploring nearby trails/roads sound like a great option for me. 

When I look at google maps from Delta to Montrose, I see a large pattern of grid-like roads on either side of US-50.  Are those the backroads you're thinking of?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Amtrak in Colorado to Great Divide (via Western Express?)
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 06:03:05 pm »
When I look at google maps from Delta to Montrose, I see a large pattern of grid-like roads on either side of US-50.  Are those the backroads you're thinking of?
Yep.  Do a little research first as some may be gravel and a mile over paved.  Have a great trip!  John