colorado trip

Old Jul 12th, 2012, 11:35 AM
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colorado trip

We are starting our trip in Denver and then we have to drive to Bayfield Colorado to pick up a family member. After that, we have ten days to explore. We get overwhelmed with all of the options. We want to make good use of this trip and would appreciate any suggestions to best use our time and see the high points before returning to Denver to fly home.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Hi Ginger,

The next time you post, you will want to know that you should "tag" the state/states that you are visiting, not where you are from. Just so you know.

What month are you going? How many people? Kids? Any budget?

It looks as if you will be near Mesa Verde and Durango
So, I would for sure include both of those.
At least a full day in Mesa Verde(maybe even 2 days). See as many houses/ruins as you can-take all the ranger-led tours. I would spend the night a Far View Lodge, right there in the park. The lodge is just ok, but the dining there is pretty good.

In Durango, ride the train(just one way)and take bus back.
Better yet though is to ride the train with www.soaringcolorado.com. This is awesome but very expensive.

You could hit somewhere like Crested Butte, Winter Park or somewhere like that for Alpine Slide or resort setting.

Rocky Mountain National Park is great. You could do Pikes Peak/Colorado Springs area.

The Great Sand Dunes are very cool to see, but a bit out of the way. I think the best time to see them is in late May when Medanno Creek is going(it's already dry this year).

You could even head into Utah for a couple of days.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 12:21 PM
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I love this information and I am so appreciative. We are going in a few weeks. We have 3 adults. We are always on the look out for budget friendly ideas. My first post. Thank you for the helpful information. Thank you!
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Many of the ski resort areas (Aspen, Vail, Telluride) offer good deals in late summer on rooms. Check the calendar to plan around the festivals (which can send the rates back up into their normal range) and you will be surprised how many beautiful properties are affordable.
You might enjoy a ride on the Million Dollar highway
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_550

Enjoy your holiday!
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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You could do a loop
Mesa Verde, Durango(you could drive the Million Dollar HWY, if you didn't want to take the train), then Black Canyon of the Gunnison, perhaps Breckenridge, Winterpark, Apsen,etc(some resort), a few day in Rocky Mnt National Park/Estes Parks, then on to Colorado Springs area, Great Sand Dunes, then back to Bayfield.
This would basically give you a day in each place.
If you didn't want to drive that much you could easily spend
2 days in Mesa Verde, 2 in Durango, and then do 2-3 days in a resort type place, then 2-3 days in Rocky Mnt/Estes Park.

It just depends on what you want to see or how much hiking, rafting, horseback riding, etc that interests you.

A lot of people like to spend a day or two in Denver even.

If you do go to several National Parks, then get a park pass for $80(good for a year) or a Senior Pass if you are 62 for $10(good for life).

I use this site a lot. I also use Tripadvisor, Yelp, and Urbanspoon.

There are all type of budgets to stay at. Camping is usually the least expensive, if you like to do that.

I usually stay at the lesser expensive places, but then I like to eat in places like The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Just to say I've been there.

I don't know that I would venture into Utah in 3 weeks as it would be pretty warm then.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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I am so grateful for this information. There are so many wonderful things to see and do that I did not know how to plan our time. We will drive to Bayfield on our first day. Then we are free for ten days to explore. My daughter hopes to also see the Grand Canyon and Utah. I want to be wise with our time, money, and choices. My daughter also hopes to go to Durango, Silverton, Telluride, Mesa Verde, Moab, Four Corners, Sand dunes, etc. Hopefull we will have future opportunities to visit the area again. Any and all suggestions are valued and appreciated. I have found rental cars in Denver to be very expensive from the airport. I found a rental company in Downtown Denver that will save a lot of money. I contacted the Visitors Office and they gave me the RTD bus route to the car place from the airport. Instead of paying $3,000 at the airport, we are paying $407. God is good! Blessings to you for helping us. I am concerned that we may get too ambitious with trying to see too much and fail to enjoy the moments of where we happen to be. WIth her hopes of those locations, which do you feel should we prioritize? I just want to be realistic and relaxed on our adventure!
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 06:53 PM
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You should save Grand Canyon and Utah for later trips. Those would take your full 10 days or even more. I love Utah though. Plus, it would be really hot there for this time of year.

My top picks would be in this order

Rocky Mountain National Park
Mesa Verde which isn't far from Durango(so do both)
Great Sand Dunes

The four corners is cool, but not really anything to do once you get there, so skip it.

Silverton and Telluride are nice and a lot of people love that type of trip, but I prefer the National Park settings a bit more. There are some Hot Springs in many locations throughout Colorado, by the way.

I absolutely love Arches/Moab, but I really think you should do it at another time.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 06:55 PM
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You are correct about Denver airport. The car rental rates there are very high and even worse in the winter for a 4 wheel drive vehicle. I can't imagine it being $3000 though.


I think you are fully on the right track about not trying to do to much. I had much rather experience places than just check them off.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 07:14 PM
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Thank you friends for all your wonderful advice. We really appreciate it!
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