Summer 2016: Colorado and the NorthWest travel blog

West of Wolford Reservoir on Muddy Creek

Entering Muddy Creek above the reservoir

Meadows for pasture and hay along Muddy Creek

Two old barns with metal roofs

An old barn with a broken ridge pole

The Rabbit Ears

Descending a 7% grade

Kremmling to Craig

Day 40: Monday, June 27

Although we had a short trip for the day, 92 miles, we elected to start earlier than originally planned (10 am) for two reasons: there could be construction delays on Rabbit Ears Pass lasting as long as 45 minutes; we wanted to arrive in Craig and setup before the heat of late afternoon, 88 degrees was the forecast.

We had a cool (54 degrees) clear morning with no wind as we pulled out of our site at 8:40 am. We drove up Muddy Creek Canyon to the foot of Rabbit Ears Pass.

“Rabbit Ears” is a mountain at the north end of the Gore Range; both pass and mountain are named for a special rock formation at the top of the peak (see picture ).

We were quite lucky that we had no long delays at any of the construction sites on Rabbit Ears Pass – there were five, only one was long, and two didn’t have traffic control.

This was our first trip over Rabbit Ears. The pass is relatively low, 9500 feet; the climb is moderate but the decent from the top into the Yampa River Valley near Steamboat Springs is relatively steep with 7% grade.

We had moderate traffic as we drove through Steamboat Springs but the traffic was light thereafter. Referred to as “Steamboat” the town is internationally famous as a winter ski area that has been the home to several Olympic and World Skiing gold, silver and bronze medalists.

The US 40 route from Steamboat to Craig is along the Yampa River which flows west 250 miles from its source to its junction with the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. So the overall grade is downhill from Steamboat Springs until crossing the Green River near Vernal Utah.

We arrived in Craig at 11 am and setup in a pull through site without having to unhook the truck and trailer. It’ll take much less time to be ready and on the road Tuesday.

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