Northern CO suggestions

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by CJones, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    Looks like we'll be making a family trip out to northern CO (Greely) with a church group first week of July. I'm considering flying us out there in the RV-10 instead of the aluminum mailing tube and spending a few extra days in the area introducing my boys to what 'real' mountains are. From there, we're considering making a jaunt up to Black Hills to check Mt. Rushmore off 'the list' before heading to Iowa for a few days family visit.

    Looking for suggestions on what airport to use in CO based on ease of access flying in (I'm not a trained mountain flyer, but I'm not worried about dealing with airspace if necessary), rental cars (largely prefer Enterprise or National) and ease of access to the mountains themselves via ground vehicle. Looks like it's too late to reserve a camp site in the area around that time, so we'll be burning some Hilton or Marriott points on this trip.

    TIA for suggestions...

    CJ
     
  2. Landing Fees

    Landing Fees Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Rental cars would be the only challenging part but all of the airports have courtesy cars to go pick up a rental, of the company won’t pick you up.

    We are based at KBJC but anything would suit your needs. I would stick to KGXY if that is where you are meeting. As far as getting over the passes just check the pressure differential between Rollins Pass/KBJC if it is significant, it will rattle your molars, or worse.

    We always plan for 1000’ over a pass but we are pretty conservative cause you can’t outclimb Mother Nature.
     
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  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    If you are going to Greeley, why not land at Greeley? I don't know what rental cars the offer, but Enterprise serves a lot of small airports and you can always ask. Besides, the on-airport restaurant is pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  4. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    https://www.airnav.com/airport/Kgxy Enterprise cars.

    http://www.peakfbo.com/

    July over Corona/Rollins Pass...welcome to Density Altitude. You may want to grab an experienced colorado mountain CFI for a lesson. With the RV10, you can easily take the boys and the CFI and head up to Granby or Steamboat for lunch & a lesson.

    Or if you don't want to do the passes, the long way to Steamboat is up to the CO-WY state line, then west and then to KSBS. No need to worry about passes, altho still higher altitude. I think I did the route at 10.5-11.5 K
     
  5. Danielk

    Danielk Filing Flight Plan

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    Love COS - Colorado Springs. Just there in March. Cutter Aviation has an awesome staff
     
  6. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    I contacted the folks at FNL and they seemed to be able to handle Enterprise rental cars easily, so we'll likely head that way for when we're there on family time.

    We're coming from Georgia, so hope to not have to deal with clearing mountain passes through the hills.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  7. Danielk

    Danielk Filing Flight Plan

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    Where are you based in Georgia? I’m at PUJ in Dallas
     
  8. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    Wanted to post up results of this in case someone (possibly me) searches for something similar in the future.

    We parked at Greeley the first few days we were there. They had some sort of "airport day" going on with 2 display planes and some sort of very small vendor tent out on the ramp when we got there. I pinged Unicom to get instructions on where I should park for a few nights. Their response "Oh somewhere down on the end, there should be a tiedown out there I think"...... So we tied down, schlepped our stuff out to the FBO where 3 high school/college age guys were lounging behind the desk. Whatever.. I don't expect them to haul our luggage, but if you are having an 'airport day' and expecting general public to be mingling nearby where airplane traffic is going to be, wouldn't it be a good idea to have at least one of the 3 staff people out on the ramp to make sure things don't get hairy? Oh well..

    After the first part of our trip was done, I hopped a ride out to Greeley and relocated the plane to Fort Collins where I had made arrangements for Enterprise to drop off a car at the airport. Pinged Unicom taxiing in on where to park for a few nights and they met me with a golf cart to lead me where to park. He even tied me down as I was unloading a couple of extra items. Then they brought the rental car out to the plane even though I said I could hoof it to the office. Very friendly and helpful guys. Both the Enterprise office in Loveland and the folks in the FBO were aligned on handling rental cars and it was a smooth process to get checked in and out with the car.