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Old 10-13-2018, 08:45 AM   #1
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Scenic vs trailer towing

After receiving my new 2019 "large print" edition of the Rand McNally USA atlas and comparing mapquest and other on line to actual road maps I notice some routes are designated "scenic". As an ex-Harley rider, scenic to me then is totally different than scenic to me now towing a trailer. The Tail of the Dragon in NC is an example as is Beartooth Highway in Wy.These roads are meant to be driven by motorcycle or car, but not towing a 2 ton trailer.
Leaving Osoyoos, we always went down to US#2 and to I90 East. The map shows a scenic Wa#20 East to Kettle Falls and then #395 south to I90 in Spokane,Wa.
Has anyone driven this route while towing, it is a scenic route designation but is/are the roads trailerable.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:44 AM   #2
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My first reaction was, if it's a state or federal highway, it should be fine for trailering. But then I remembered the Going-to-the-Sun Hwy in Glacier, and CO Hwy 82 over Independence Pass! Although they are well marked with warnings once one arrives there, it's definitely better to know ahead of time.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:47 AM   #3
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I did the 395 part, it was fine all the way up to Canada. Can't comment on 20. There was a detour on a gravel road somewhere around Kettle Falls but I think it was after 20, can't recall, and that was over a year ago. Also, I was towing a 15, total length 32 feet.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
After receiving my new 2019 "large print" edition of the Rand McNally USA atlas and comparing mapquest and other on line to actual road maps I notice some routes are designated "scenic". As an ex-Harley rider, scenic to me then is totally different than scenic to me now towing a trailer. The Tail of the Dragon in NC is an example as is Beartooth Highway in Wy.These roads are meant to be driven by motorcycle or car, but not towing a 2 ton trailer.
Leaving Osoyoos, we always went down to US#2 and to I90 East. The map shows a scenic Wa#20 East to Kettle Falls and then #395 south to I90 in Spokane,Wa.
Has anyone driven this route while towing, it is a scenic route designation but is/are the roads trailerable.

I cannot comment on this route but I can comment on an alternative. The Crow's Nest Highway (Hwy 3) across BC is nice. I was apprehensive about any highway called Crow's Nest but found that it was not only scenic but very nice for towing our 19. It is well paved and wide enough for easy towing. The only challenges are the first 10km from Osoyoos going east - a slow twisty climb out of the valley - and the pass between Salmo and Creston - it is a high pass but the road is nice, no crazy hairpins and very scenic. Our 19 and my truck handled it with no problem. There are crossings into WA along the way and into Idaho at Creston. Overall a scenic route without heavy traffic (at least on my two trips).
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Old 10-13-2018, 02:59 PM   #5
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I joined so I could chime in on this. I have not been down 395 in eons so won't mention it. However, I do drive over 20 from Tonasket to Kettle Falls and love the stretch called Sherman Pass. I am usually pulling a trailer too.

The road out of Tonasket doesn't have much of a shoulder, but there isn't much traffic on it either. It has some slow curvy spots. The hill east just leaving Tonasket is about as steep as it gets. You might want to keep an eye out for bike riders as it is a designated bike route yet has no shoulders. You can leave the highway and go to Bonaparte Lake, where there is a Forest Service campground and a private resort with rv spots both next to each other. The burgers at the resort are great.

You go over Wauconda summit and then down to the town of Republic, which has a good brewery downtown. If you ride bikes, there is a rails to trail bike system nearby. You can camp at the fairgrounds or a bit farther away at Curlew Lake SP, which is off the route a few miles.

Sherman Pass--HWY 20 is great. It has shoulders and lots of pullouts in case there is any traffic behind you. Once again, there isn't much traffic on this route. There are trails going off it and a fire information pullout near the summit. My pickup slows down going up the grade on the west side of the pass. Sherman Pass is pretty high for a Washington pass. It has more rugged country to look at than going over the Wauconda pass.

Kettle Falls has a few stores, Colville is nearby and has everything. I like the NPS run campgrounds that are all along the Columbia. No hookups, but cheap and some are scenicish.

395? I'll have to check that one out. I have pulled my trailer down the Columbia and hit hwy 2 at Wilbur? Or was it Davenport? It's an OK trip also and the Fort Spokane fort is worth stopping and exploring if you are a history buff.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:11 PM   #6
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:42 PM   #7
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there's another Sherman Pass, heh, this one is a very remote road thats the southmost pass over the Sierra Nevada, it goes from the Kern River Canyon to 9 Mile Canyon that dumps you out on US395 somewhere south of Lone Pine, CA.. its other designation is Forest Route 22S05. For some reason right now I can not convince Google Maps to route over it.

its paved the whole way but very rough. closed all winter, as the pass is nearly 9000'. Its quite scenic, although a good stretch on the western side was burned over in a forest fire 20 years ago or so. I drove over it in an econoline hauling a tent trailer, so a sane sized fiberglass shouldn't be any problem
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:06 PM   #8
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there's another Sherman Pass, heh, this one is a very remote road thats the southmost pass over the Sierra Nevada, it goes from the Kern River Canyon to 9 Mile Canyon that dumps you out on US395 somewhere south of Lone Pine, CA.. its other designation is Forest Route 22S05. For some reason right now I can not convince Google Maps to route over it.

its paved the whole way but very rough. closed all winter, as the pass is nearly 9000'. Its quite scenic, although a good stretch on the western side was burned over in a forest fire 20 years ago or so. I drove over it in an econoline hauling a tent trailer, so a sane sized fiberglass shouldn't be any problem
Hmmm, a good bit of the Warshington Sherman Pass was burned over in the 1990s. That is why there is a pit stop near the top--a board with the story on it is there and an overlook. Our Sherman Pass is open all year, except when forced to close for a bit if conditions are terrible. Here is the webcam for Sherman Pass.WSDOT - Sherman Pass Road and Weather Conditions
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:44 AM   #9
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Gotta love them scenic trails

If you find yourself in scenic Utah and decide to trek that camper off the path, to places away from premier scenic visiting spots like Moab, Arches, etc., you might be drawn to someplace like The Natural Arches National Monument, west of The Bears Ears, off US95. Itís good. The ranger will talk your ears off about the stars and how dark it is there at night.

Then, say youíre off to uncover new, less popular scenic marvels. A goal might be Monument Valley, or Lake Powel, etc. But, you and your trailer could also get lost, and this is barely inhabited, really-really wide open, dusty, scrub country, so keep an eye on your gas tank. GPS? Sometimes Garmin lies...could make you wonder why you feel youíre flying in an endless cloud bank upside down and canít believe what your instrument panel is telling you. That would be a flag.

So here youíre on US 261 going south and you come to a turn-off for Muley Point. Take it. The view from the cliffs there blows you away. Back on the road you look forward to seeing The Valley of the Gods (30 miles of dusty road and gullies and prominent red rock) or gassing up at Mexican Hat, or stopping at Goosenecks State Park. Nothing like it! But your gas tank tells you you have an estimated 92 miles of drive time left, and Garmin is claiming the nearest gas station is a hundred and twenty one miles away, and thereís no gas station at Medicine Hat anyway. What now?

Oh, wait. Another obstacle appears. Itís the Moki Dugway. This is an amazing, scenic drive down off the edge of the mesa with sheer red rock on one side and straight drops on the other, with blind switchbacks and if you see a vehicle on it coming toward you be prepared for yet another increase to the pucker factor. Scenic? Absolutely, but not for the faint of heart.

You make it down to the bottom. Thatís when you notice another sign you ignored, warning big trailers not to go here. You need gas, but where? Fortunately this is all Navajo country. You flag down an elderly couple in their pick-up and ask where in this world the nearest station is. Hello, Dino!
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File Type: jpg MuleyPt13.jpg (128.3 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg ValyGods.jpg (113.7 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg Mookd1.jpg (136.5 KB, 49 views)
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:10 PM   #10
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Climbed Bearstooth Pass with our 90's Aerolite and our 2007 Casita (also have gone up on our recumbent bikes three times). Our new 5.0TA trails like a dream and will go up Bearstooth again if open next spring. We always take Bearstooth into Yellowstone if the pass is open.

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Old 11-03-2018, 12:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Gotta love them scenic trails



If you find yourself in scenic Utah and decide to trek that camper off the path, to places away from premier scenic visiting spots like Moab, Arches, etc., you might be drawn to someplace like The Natural Arches National Monument, west of The Bears Ears, off US95. Itís good. The ranger will talk your ears off about the stars and how dark it is there at night.



Then, say youíre off to uncover new, less popular scenic marvels. A goal might be Monument Valley, or Lake Powel, etc. But, you and your trailer could also get lost, and this is barely inhabited, really-really wide open, dusty, scrub country, so keep an eye on your gas tank. GPS? Sometimes Garmin lies...could make you wonder why you feel youíre flying in an endless cloud bank upside down and canít believe what your instrument panel is telling you. That would be a flag.



So here youíre on US 261 going south and you come to a turn-off for Muley Point. Take it. The view from the cliffs there blows you away. Back on the road you look forward to seeing The Valley of the Gods (30 miles of dusty road and gullies and prominent red rock) or gassing up at Mexican Hat, or stopping at Goosenecks State Park. Nothing like it! But your gas tank tells you you have an estimated 92 miles of drive time left, and Garmin is claiming the nearest gas station is a hundred and twenty one miles away, and thereís no gas station at Medicine Hat anyway. What now?



Oh, wait. Another obstacle appears. Itís the Moki Dugway. This is an amazing, scenic drive down off the edge of the mesa with sheer red rock on one side and straight drops on the other, with blind switchbacks and if you see a vehicle on it coming toward you be prepared for yet another increase to the pucker factor. Scenic? Absolutely, but not for the faint of heart.



You make it down to the bottom. Thatís when you notice another sign you ignored, warning big trailers not to go here. You need gas, but where? Fortunately this is all Navajo country. You flag down an elderly couple in their pick-up and ask where in this world the nearest station is. Hello, Dino!


That is truly inspirational, Myron. Also makes me happy I got the 36 gallon tank on our F150
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Old 11-03-2018, 01:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Gotta love them scenic trails

If you find yourself in scenic Utah and decide to trek that camper off the path, to places away from premier scenic visiting spots like Moab, Arches, etc., you might be drawn to someplace like The Natural Arches National Monument, west of The Bears Ears, off US95. Itís good. The ranger will talk your ears off about the stars and how dark it is there at night.

Then, say youíre off to uncover new, less popular scenic marvels. A goal might be Monument Valley, or Lake Powel, etc. But, you and your trailer could also get lost, and this is barely inhabited, really-really wide open, dusty, scrub country, so keep an eye on your gas tank. GPS? Sometimes Garmin lies...could make you wonder why you feel youíre flying in an endless cloud bank upside down and canít believe what your instrument panel is telling you. That would be a flag.

So here youíre on US 261 going south and you come to a turn-off for Muley Point. Take it. The view from the cliffs there blows you away. Back on the road you look forward to seeing The Valley of the Gods (30 miles of dusty road and gullies and prominent red rock) or gassing up at Mexican Hat, or stopping at Goosenecks State Park. Nothing like it! But your gas tank tells you you have an estimated 92 miles of drive time left, and Garmin is claiming the nearest gas station is a hundred and twenty one miles away, and thereís no gas station at Medicine Hat anyway. What now?

Oh, wait. Another obstacle appears. Itís the Moki Dugway. This is an amazing, scenic drive down off the edge of the mesa with sheer red rock on one side and straight drops on the other, with blind switchbacks and if you see a vehicle on it coming toward you be prepared for yet another increase to the pucker factor. Scenic? Absolutely, but not for the faint of heart.

You make it down to the bottom. Thatís when you notice another sign you ignored, warning big trailers not to go here. You need gas, but where? Fortunately this is all Navajo country. You flag down an elderly couple in their pick-up and ask where in this world the nearest station is. Hello, Dino!
So I'm reading Jim's initial post on this topic of scenic vs towable, and think interesting, wonder if Jim has come across the Moki Dugway (especially as we left our trailer nicely parked at National Bridges Monument) and then I came across Myron's story. I found myself saying in my mind, oh Myron, tell me you didn't take your trailer down this amazing piece of non-trailer friendly roadway with spectacular views, and OMG YES HE DID!! And he had pictures to prove it!! Oh yes Myron there is a gas station at Mexican Hat (Not Medicine Hat which is in Alberta).

Trust me, there is no way I am taking our 21 down that road, fortunately our F-150 has the 139 litre tank. However, I have to say that southern Utah has many miles of absolutely jaw dropping scenic highway, most of it easily towable.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:19 PM   #13
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My hat is off to Myron for safely negotiating the Moki Dugway in both directions pulling his trailer. On our journey from Austin to Chilliwack a couple of months ago we made a last minute route change in Utah to go through Monument Valley, then just took what looked like the most direct route north and unexpectedly found ourselves at the bottom of the cliffs looking at an imposing warning sign and a narrow, steep, winding dirt road cut into the side of the cliffs. We weren't towing anything and made it up just fine other than some very white knuckles on the way...the road was in decent shape but dropoffs were very steep with a crumbly shoulder and no guard rails. We didn't meet another vehicle but would hate to do that when our lane was on the outside edge.

I recall thinking that while going up wasn't too bad, I wouldn't want to go down that road...too many scary experiences on similar roads where it's easy to find yourself sliding when braking. Not a road I would tow our trailer on, for sure. Then we get home and see on the Escape Facebook group that Brian Wilford had just pulled his trailer on that road both up and down, and now see that Myron did it too.....well done, both of you!

Lots of videos of the Moki Dugway on Youtube....they don't do justice to the feeling of looking over the sheer edge on the really narrow parts, but here's one just to give you and idea of what it's like:
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:24 PM   #14
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Hey Dave. It actually looks wider than I remember from my first time, done 2-3 years ago. I actually did come bumper to bumper half way through, with a pickup. Learned later standard protocol in such a situation is the vehicle going down must back up. No way I was doing that! Thanks for posting the U-tube video link - new to me.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:40 PM   #15
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No way, Jose would I take a 21 down that road with those switchbacks.....in my Mustang, yes!! Reminds me of Pikes Peak racers...
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:01 PM   #16
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you feel youíre flying in an endless cloud bank upside down and canít believe what your instrument panel is telling you.

I have days like that.

Itís the Moki Dugway. This is an amazing, scenic drive
Gotta love that road.

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Old 11-03-2018, 08:15 PM   #17
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We went up the Moki Dugway. We were heading towards it and looking at the map ( which did not give any hits of what was ahead ) and kept on going.

As it came into view it became an "Oh my Gawd !" situation. Looking at the map we would have had a fairly long detour so I decided to go for it. Luckily we did not meet any other vehicles on the way up. At the time I was saying as I looked at the steep dirt drop offs I can't imagine going down this.
Somewhere around it we fueled up at a station that looked almost abandoned and when you went inside the elderly lady with long fingernails ( 2 to 3 inches or more, some were real long and curled ) never looked up from the tiny tv she was staring at as she took the money and handed change back. No cards at the pump. All the stuff in the store looked like it had been there for years. But they did have fuel so I was happy. So 3 19's have been there so far.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:46 AM   #18
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Re: long fingernails....updated savior...and must have been her children behind the counter inside when I got there. No words can describe my great relief when I reached this place.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:57 AM   #19
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We rode our motorcycles down the Moki dugway, 2-600# BMW R1200RTs loaded down with all our touring gear. Crap! Met at least 3 uphill drivers, it would have been better for us to be headed uphill as braking on the loose gravel was beyond scarey. We did it all in 1st gear, clutching it at times, never wanting to shift to 2nd. Hard to hold one's line with potholes in the center and deep gravel on the sides. With the Escape, in my imagination, no problem! There is gas at Mexican Hat, and Blanding, and entrance to Valley of the Gods. We ride or drive this area at least once a year, but not Moki Dugway
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:44 AM   #20
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On our return trip back to Texas from picking up our Escape 21 in Chilliwack, we camped in Escalante UT for a couple nights, then Monument Valley a couple nights. Initial trip plans would have taken us across Moki Dugway, but was able to avoid this by reviewing the trip using the app ALLSTAYS Camp & RV on my cell phone. It shows any significant road grades and clicking on the road grade at Moki Dugway for more info provided “6031 ft elev, Not recommended for large vehicles, Southbound: 5 - 10 percent for 3 miles with 20 mph curves on a very narrow road with 2.5 mile gravel stretch”. Based on this info, we were able to choose a more suitable route down around Lake Powell.

I like and recommend the ALLSTAY Camp & RV application. It does way more things than just road grades. I did not even know it reported road grades when I bought it, but love this feature.
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