I'm assuming VFR for the flight over Colorado Rockies.dmloftus wrote: ↑Tue May 18, 2021 4:25 amAs I said, I'm in Colorado Springs on business August 4-6, then I need to be in Vegas for another event by end of August. I might be able to do the weekend of Aug 21 if I can find a good route to Vegas from there. I was going to fly commercial from Atlanta, but maybe I fly myself and stick around and do some Colorado sight-seeing in between. Have you flown Denver to Vegas? Would I follow I-70 to I-15? Is that direct route too high for a normal DA40? Anyone have suggestions? I've only flown south and north of the Rockies back and forth between Atlanta and west coast.
I have, in fact, flown the Loveland/Vail Pass route in a normally aspirated Arrow with 3 men aboard. I know of several other options. And with favorable conditions I would do this. Favorable conditions include departing in the early morning, no wind, clear skies, and flying light.
Another route I've flown (to Phoenix) in a Piper Tripacer: Fly down over the front range, over Salida then Poncha Pass into the San Luis Valley then to Gallup (fuel stop) then on. Another option here is to go over Monarch Pass -> Gunnison and onward. Lower elevation from then on.
Another option, given departure from KFNL I'd climb as necessary before heading west-ish and then either go over Rollins Pass (West of Boulder/Nederland or over Loveland and then Vail Pass.
For most of these routes, though, you will need to be at 13K (at least) for a portion of the flight, and you will need to be comfortable with a fair amount of 13K+ ft terrain fairly close to your flight path. The Salida routes do allow for somewhat lower elevations to deal with, and going over Monarch Pass minimizes the time you deal with "really" high terrain.
If you haven't done this kind of flying before, you could take the opportunity to fly a bit up and down the Front Range to get a feel for flying near the Divide.
There's always the option to depart with a bit of a detour out of FNL to the NW and cross the divide across Southern Wyoming. It would be a detour but can be hedged at both ends at a mere 10-12K-ish ft.