Transit the Rockies

In late September or early-mid October I plan to make a trip from the SF Bay Area to the midwest (Kansas). I have done this via northern AZ/NM & southern CO (La Veta Pass) before and would like to try a different–and likely shorter–route. The obvious way seems to be to follow Interstate 80 through Salt Lake City, southern WY and into northern CO, but I thought I’d consult the accumulated wisdom of this group for suggestions. I don’t have supplemental O2 and would prefer to avoid REALLY extended periods over hostile terrain. Thanks in advance!

I just posted a similar question on the member’s board a couple days ago, titled Picking a path over the rocky mountians -> Reno Air Races. If you didn’t catch it, you might want to look it up, as it drew quite a few thoughtful (and a few wisecrack) comments.

I think the key to this sort of planning is to get a good representation of the topography. I’ll be getting either the jet charts, or Sporty’s large planning map on my wall soon. Another thing I’ve found interesting is the AirPlan program, which shows a vertical profile of the course you input. You can download their free demo.

I’ve found myself going back & forth from low enroutes, sectionals, the AirPlan program and a road atlas. Doing this, I finally have a good plan to get to the Reno air races next week!


Hi Kevin,

I used this very route recently both going to and returning from the Midwest. You can do it all in comfort below 12,500 MSL, the terrain is all rather flat, and there are airports all along the way!