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Jun 7th, 2013, 06:49 PM
  #1
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Denver-Taos-Santa Fe-Durango/Mesa Verde

Flying into Denver 1st week in Sept. Driving from there to Taos. Wondering if we should spend a night in Taos, or just a few hours, then on to Santa Fe? Also, when we leave Santa Fe, would it be doable, if we left early, to catch an afternoon tour at Mesa Verde, stay overnight, then another tour in the morning, then on to Durango. Thanks..
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Jun 7th, 2013, 07:07 PM
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Drive by for Taos, Santa Fe and Mesa Verde so you can see the big sights in Durango? I guess you have 5 days for this trip? Great trip--you'll love it the rest of your life!! Maybe not remember it however.
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Jun 7th, 2013, 08:02 PM
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Are you set on flying into Denver? Albuquerque is actually way closer to all you want to see and do.

IF you have something to do in Denver, maybe fly into Denver and out of ABQ?

How many total days on the ground to travel to NM and SW Colorado do you have? Do you want do just look at these places or do you want to see a little more in depth?
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Jun 8th, 2013, 04:15 AM
  #4
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Thanks for the replies, wish I would have held off though because plans have suddenly changed. I've decided to take 3 weeks vacation, and am thinking of flying into Denver, then heading up to Rapid City to explore Badlands, Deadwood, Mt Rushmore than heading west to Yellowstone, then south to Durango/Mesa Verde area, and back to Denver. Would welcome any suggestions for dividing up time/length of stay for Rapid City, Yellowstone, and Mesa Verde/Durango.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 06:23 AM
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Sorry, can't help with those things. I can help with specifics about Mesa Verde and Durango,if you have questions. have a great trip.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 06:25 AM
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If I had 3 weeks and am flying into Denver, here's where I'd go.
I'd skip Badlands, Deadwood, Mt Rushmore (but that's just me) and I'd drive -
from Denver to Cody, WY and spend a few days in Yellowstone/Grand Tetons. I'd stay at the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone and in Jackson, WY for the Tetons.

I'd then drive south through Utah, stopping to look at the Great Salt Lake and then on to...

the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
on to Monument Valley and stay at Goulding's Lodge
a quick stop at Four Corners for a photo op and then on to
Durango and Mesa Verde
drive south to Taos and Santa Fe
I'd also go see Georgia O'Keefe's house at Abiquiu (make reservations ASAP if you decide to do that)
http://www.okeeffemuseum.org/her-houses.html

back north into Colorado and a short detour to Great Sand Dunes NP
continue on to Denver via Colorado Springs
OR take the long route back via Durango to Ouray and then over the mountains, stopping at Breckinridge, Aspen, etc. to enjoy being in the Rocky Mountains

I've done all of the above except Goulding's and Abiquiu - and they are near the top of my bucket list
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Jun 8th, 2013, 07:35 AM
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What Starr's said. Only I wouldn't stop to look at Great Salt Lake. You can see it out the window.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 01:07 PM
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Thanks Starrs...I may only spend 2 nights in Rapid City, then head West, possibly to Custer Park, then to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons. From there south to Mesa Verde/Durango.
Debit...I plan on staying a night/2 days at Mesa Verde, then to Durango. It sounds like many people enjoyed Cliff house and Spruce tree house, but am open for suggestions. I'd also like to take the train from Durango to Silverton...how far ahead should I make reservations? Thanks!
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Jun 8th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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I would try to book a room at the Far View Lodge for the overnight between the 2 days at Mesa Verde. IF they are full, make a reservation that you can cancel in Cortez and then keep trying/calling Far View to see if they have a cancellaltion. It is only a 10 minute drive from Cortez to the entrance of MVNP, but it is a long drive in and out. Hate to waste that time if possible.

IF you get a room at Far View, be sure to have dinner at Metate Room. Even if you end up staying in Cortez, that is a nice place to eat. There are some decent places in Cortez to eat too, but Metate Room is surprisingly nice.

I would suggest hiking the Petroglyph Trail, driving the loop road and stopping along the way. I would do Balcony House, Cliff Palace and Spruce Tree. [Wetherill Mesa will be closed after Labor Day, that is another nice area of MVNP to see.]

There are several trains a day. I would strongly suggest taking the train one way only - either from Durango TO Silverton [sit on the right side of the train car] or from Silverton TO Durango [sit on the left side of the train car] - and then take the bus back. I am not sure how far in advance to book tickets. September is a bit less busy cause kids are back in school, but it is our busiest time of year because of the great weather and popular with empty-nesters and seniors.

Let me know if you need restaurant, hotel info for either Cortez or Durango.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 07:11 PM
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Thanks debit...I'm going to book a room at Far View Lodge. I'm also going to call ahead and book the train from Durango to Silverton.
Any suggestions for a place to stop betwn Jackson Hole and Mesa Verde....Arches Nat'l Park??
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Jun 9th, 2013, 07:21 PM
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Moab is nice, not sure if it would be between Jackson Hole and MV. Cali Cochita B&B in Moab is lovely.

http://www.moabdreaminn.com/
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Jun 9th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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Arches is my favorite park in that corner of the world. Be sure to take the hike to Delicate Arch.

It's 8 hours from Jackson, WY. That would be a good choice.
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