2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

Poncha Springs, CO -Heart of the Rockies Campground - Site F-1

Poncha Springs, CO -Heart of the Rockies Campground - Site F-1, another...

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 0 - our route - 130 miles

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 1 - we climbed it, now we...

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 2

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 3

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 4

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 5

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 6 - we pass by Mesa Lake...

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 7 - this is a huge lake...

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 8 - and goes on and on...

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 9

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 10

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 11

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 12 - the Gunnison Valley

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 13 - yep, that's snow on those...

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 14 - now we start clmbing those...

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 15 - there is that snow we...

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 16

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 17 - we are close to the...

Montrose to Poncha Springs, CO 18 - a mine of some kind...


It took us three hours to cover the 130 miles between Montrose and Poncha Springs due to the multiple summits and winding roads we encountered. The highest pass was Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet. It was a seven mile climb up to the pass from Gunnison Valley and then a ten mile 6-7% downgrade to the Poncha Springs area. We stayed in second gear and ran 30-35 MPH for most of that 17 miles but the Allison transmission worked great and we barely had to use our brakes on that long downgrade. It was definitely a pretty drive with views of Mesa lake, the Sawatch Mountains and the new snow.

We are staying at Heart of the Rockies Campground which is actually about five miles West of Poncha Springs. We have a 30 amp and water pull-through that is actually wider than most sites out here. We could have had a full hookup site for $5/day more but we didn't see the need for a two night stop, especially since we will have a full hookup site at the Air Force Academy FamCamp. We do have a fire pit which is unusual in these RV parks so we may even heat up a weenie Saturday night and a smore or two.

We didn't do much while here except WATCH COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!! Boy was that a great Saturday of football or what? Tomorrow we head for Colorado Springs for a week-long stay.

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