Colorado Trip Itinerary...too much for time?

Old Jun 16th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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Colorado Trip Itinerary...too much for time?

At suggestion I have broken down my route by days and visits. Please let me know if this is too much and too many miles to cover.
July 22, Fri..leave Col. Springs for Gunnison area by way of 115 and 50. Overnight in this area.
July 23-Sat..Visit the Black Canyon early and take 550 to Ridgeway. Short detour up 62 to Dallas Divide. Return to Ridgeway with possible stop at Orvis Hot Spring..on to Ouray. Overnight at Ouray.
July 24 Sun and 25 Mon.. Explore area by jeep or other means...looking at Yankee Trail. Spend second night here.
July 26...Tuesday. Finish drive down 550..go through Durango to Cortez..visit Cultural Center...go to Mesa Verde. Overnight here.
July 27 Wed..early start to Mesa Verde, spend full day...Overnight again here.
July 28 Thur..Leave Mesa Verde and visit museum in Delores...then on to Canyonlands and/or Arches. Overnight in Moab
July 29...Go 128 to I-70 and return to Colorado Springs where we will overnight for flight back from Colorado Springs.

Are my distances unrealistic...it is so hard to know how long it will take through the mountains. I really wanted to do Leadville, but do not think I have time.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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This is much easier! Thanks Pogopat!

Friday - Colorado Spgs to Gunnison will only take a few hours to drive. I would include Black Canyon that day and plan to spend the night in Montrose. BTW, be sure to stop at Monarch Pass (between Salida and Gunnison) and ride the gondola to the top for a 360-degree view of the mountains - breathtaking! Also, there is a great Mexican restaurant in Montrose, Amelia's. Stay in Montrose - I like the Comfort Inn, very clean and reasonable.

Saturday & Sunday - Montrose to Ridgway, to Dallas Divide and back, on to Ouray (my favorite spot in CO). Hang out in Ouray, take a jeep tour, visit Box Canyon Falls. The Bon Ton is a great restaurant, in the basement of the St. Elmo Hotel. We like the Ouray Victorian Inn for lodging - clean, comfortable, quiet, and reasonable with a mountain stream behind it.

I'm confused here - are you spending two nights in Ouray, or 3? You have 3 days listed, but you say "second night". I'm going to assume only Saturday and Sunday nights.

Monday - Ouray to Durango via Million Dollar Hwy., with a stop in Silverton. Plan half a day for this drive. As you come into the main part of Durango on 550, there is a great BBQ place on your right (I don't remember the name, but there is a patio out front). Head to Mesa Verde, about 45 minutes. Once you reach the entrance to MV, it's another 45 minute drive to the Visitor center, which most people don't realize.

Check in at the hotel and go immediately to the Visitor Center to see if there are tickets for that evening. Try to get a late tour, as MV will be very busy and you may only be able to take one tour per day. Also, get your tickets for the next day - for a tour as early as possible to avoid the extreme heat. Drink lots of water while you're there.

The restaurant Metate in the lobby of Far View Lodge is great. Drive the loop that afternoon if you have time and stop at the lookouts. Be sure to watch the video about the history of MV that is shown every evening at the Lodge.

Tuesday - Early tour, drive the Wetherill Mesa loop (if it's open). Visit Spruce Tree House (self-guided) and the small museum. Leave MV and head for Cortez. I haven't visited the museum in Cortez, but I have heard good things about it. Spend the night in Cortez.

Wednesday - The museum in Delores is a wonderful, hands-on museum, with great displays and videos. This museum is also the gateway to Canyons of the Ancients, which are ruins scattered through the area. The staff will give you a map. Don't expect excavated ruins like MV, but they are very interesting.

This will give you a little more time for Arches and Canyonlands. Please ask if you have any questions!


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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 10:51 AM
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It's going to be hard to do both Canyonlands and Arches in one day, especially if you are driving from the Mesa Verde area. If you only have time for one park, then I'd choose Arches.

Utahtea
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 11:08 AM
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Thanks so much Utahtea...you have been more than helpful. Looking forward so much to this trip and all of the neat things you have shared with me.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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When you do your Jeep trip, try to get over to Telluride.
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 05:42 AM
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Wow...I feel like I totally wasted MY time. You're welcome anyway, Pogopat.
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 05:58 AM
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I hate when that happens to me beckers!!! LOL!!!
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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Hi beckers2482, i too know exactly what you mean. I think it happens to all of us here.

But i have referred to many of your posts re colorado (and other places) including this one, as i've been doing my research for next months long road trip. Your info is always detailed, appropriate and very helpful. So thank you very much for taking the time to post!


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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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YOU are VERY welcome, ellengriswold! I'm glad I can help. I don't usually expect a thank you on Fodors, but when I spend that long writing a post, and then the thank you goes to someone who only wrote two or three sentences, it is aggrivating. If you need info about anything else, feel free to ask!
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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BTW to Utahtea - I don't mean you don't deserve the thanks. You are a great contributor to fodors and we are lucky to have you!
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 10:45 AM
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beckers,

Hummmm....and here I thought my message about Arches and Canyonlands was of so much more value than your post!

<grin>

Utahtea
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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Beckers??? Is someone ignoring the first person that ran to your defense??? LOL!!!!!!!
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 11:09 AM
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So very sorry, gyppielou! Have a happy Father's Day weekend!
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