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Monument Valley

Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 09:29 AM
  #21  
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"sunset is a great time in Monument Valley. If it were me, I would plan on getting to monument Valley midafternoon, take an afternoon tour or self drive of 17 mile drive and enjoy the sunset and sunrise from Far View and head out of Monument Valley early morning. If you keep checking, you have a very good chance of getting one of the rooms at The View with a private balcony view looking down at 17 mile drive and out to the Mittens"

bailey123 - Just so I'm clear, Far View is in Mesa Verde. Did you mean "the View" in MV for sunrise and sunset? We will visit the Grand Canyon while we are in Flagstaff so we will have checked that off. Staying in Mesa Verde on the way to Durango sounds like a great idea.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 09:46 AM
  #22  
 
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Yes, they typed "Far View" instead of The View. But sunrise and sunset would be great in both!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 01:17 PM
  #23  
 
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Sorry for the confusion. The View is the lodging at Monument Valley and I did mean sunset and sunrise at The View. Far View is the lodging in Mesa Verde NP
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 01:31 PM
  #24  
 
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Just a thought on your drive to Grand Canyon. If you go north on 89 out of Flag to the Grand Canyon and take 64 (desert View drive), all of your canyon view turnouts will be right hand turns. On your return to Flag, plan on taking 64 to 180 to Flag. It's more scenic than taking 64 to Williams and then east on I 40.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 08:35 PM
  #25  
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Thanks Silvia, I realized after reading everything that I was using MV for Monument Valley, but it would be easy to mistake that for Mesa Verde. So as it stands my plans are to go to Monument Valley and take an afternoon tour, catching the sunset and then maybe catch the sunrise on our own, and then head toward Mesa Verde, stay in the park and spend a day there before heading to Durango. Sound like a plan? Also we will get into Durango on a Sunday, maybe missing some Labor Day craziness.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 08:37 PM
  #26  
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Hey Bailey,
Thanks for the heads up, I was wondering how the roads and view was. As it is we are staying on the east side of Flagstaff right by 89 so we had planned on taking that up to 64 and then on the way back going down 180.!
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Old Aug 24th, 2018, 04:55 AM
  #27  
 
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We're headed to Monument this fall, and had a fantastic visit to Mesa Verde last fall; no matter the route, the scenery will be rewarding. We love Canyons of the Ancients, so I'm a bit biased (but you can always visit the Ute Mountain Casino/ Hotel if you are needing a break from scenery/archeology or if the roads are iffy&#128512.
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Old Aug 24th, 2018, 08:48 AM
  #28  
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silvia - I Googled the way to Canyons of the Ancients, per your suggestion, where is the actual entrance, or where did you enter the Park? Do you go north out of Cortez? I see a road, State Rd G that goes through it but it looks like it's actually outside the park.
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Old Aug 25th, 2018, 06:49 AM
  #29  
 
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The monument boundaries are large; the main route is north-south, several parallel roads E-W ( to get to the N-S ) are at the north end and enter from the east (for Lowry Pueblo ruins), if you are taking a day trip from cortez or Durango.
if you are visiting Hovenweep, Google "Hovenweep to "Lowry Pueblo" for the direct route and county road designations (37 minute drive without the stops).
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Old Aug 25th, 2018, 07:02 AM
  #30  
 
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The monument boundaries are large; the main route is north-south, several parallel roads E-W ( to get to the N-S ) are at the north end and enter from the east (for Lowry Pueblo ruins), if you are taking a day trip from cortez or Durango.
if you are visiting Hovenweep, Google "Hovenweep to "Lowry Pueblo" for the direct route and county road designations (37 minute drive without the stops).
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Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 06:01 PM
  #31  
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Hi Everyone -
We are about a month away from our big Southwest trip! Leaving from Los Angeles. Here’s the line up:
5 days Sedona
7 days Flagstsff. visit Grand Canyon, other sites in and around area
1 day Monument Valley
1 day Mesa Verde
5 days Durango
2 days in Ouray, first taking the San Juan Skyway Tour, leaving Durango toward Dolores
3 days Pagosa Springs
2 days Taos
2 Pinetop Arizona
2 days Lake Havasu
Home!

Many of these days are in Timeshares. Except for the beginning and ending, most of the drives should be around three hours. Online Monument Valley tours seem to be about $75. Is that reasonable? Anyone have a favorite company? I know some of you have commented before, but am revisiting my options. Also thinking about going to Page one day from Flagstaff, suggestions?
Thanks

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Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 07:35 AM
  #32  
 
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I prefer driving San Juan Skyway in the reverse direction, driving north out of Durango. views from the car are better, most turnouts are more convenient and Red Mt. Pass is in better condition northbound. Your loop would be Durango to Silverton to Ouray; leaving Ouray, go north to Ridgeway to Telluride to Delores to Mancos and completing the loop back in Durango. You may be interested in a video of Red Mt Pass after our winter storms this year. Avalanches buried it in 60 feet of snow; it was closed for weeks. You can see it on Durangoherald.com. Be prepared for construction on Red whichever way you drive.

There are several things to do in Page. Antelope Canyon would be top of the list (Lower Antelope is best but either is great). Also, Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon dam, smooth water raft on the Colorado River, boat trip to Rainbow Bridge, kayak tour.
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Old Apr 4th, 2019, 06:36 AM
  #33  
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Thanks for the heads up bailey123. We have two nights in Ouray. I've heard it's really nice, we would get there in 2 -3 hours from Durango based on Google maps. Any suggestions for spending time there? Our ride back to Pagosa Springs, our next stop, would be longer if we take this route, looks like maybe 4 hours, but we don't have to be there anytime specifically. Maybe lunch in Telluride. Also do you think it is necessary to pre-book a sunset Monument Valley tour? Driving Flagstaff to MV.
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Old Apr 4th, 2019, 07:44 AM
  #34  
 
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I never spend more than one day in Ouray because there are not tons of things to do in Ouray. That being said, there are things to do and see on the way to or from Ouray such as Animas Forks old mining town outside Silverton, many pullouts between Durango and Ouray including views of waterfalls, old mining structures, and generally gorgeous views as well as many wonderful hikes. If you would like more details on any of these, let me know. In Ouray itself, there are a couple small museums, hot springs but not on same level as Pagosa hot springs, and there is the Box Canyon falls which is an easy walk not a hike. There may also be jeep tours but I am not certain on this because I always take my own 4x4 on any of the many surrounding trails.

The extra hour or so that you would take from Ouray to Pagosa via Telluride is well worth the time. Telluride would be an excellent stop for lunch. Personally, I like Telluride far more than Ouray; depending on your timing, you might catch Telluride on a day they are having one of their numerous festivals, some serious and some just quirky, all fun; google telluride festivals to find a schedule. Another factor to consider is construction on Red which is very likely. Sometimes traffic in one direction vs. the other is more affected. To monitor construction or road conditions closer to your travel over the Pass, go to cotrip.org.

Monument Valley. I always self drive so I have no knowledge regarding the tours.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 04:30 AM
  #35  
 
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In Monument Valley, we have just driven to the VC and taken the tour with one of the guides in the parking lot. I think it was $25-30 per person. If your 1 day there means one night at Gouldings or the View, you might be able to reserve a tour ahead with them.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 06:04 AM
  #36  
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Thanks emalloy - I think we will drive to the VC as you recommend and then look for a tour. We plan on taking our time from Flagstaff maybe a few stops on the way and try to find a sunset tour. Then in the morning we can do the drive our selves as 123bailey suggests, depending on rain.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 06:07 AM
  #37  
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Hey Bailey123 - The thinking of two nights in Ouray was because we were going to take the backways around the San Juan and I thought that we would be getting in there at night. We will take our time going up the side you recommend and maybe have a rest day, before heading out to Telluride. I'll look up the other areas you suggested. Thanks.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 07:31 AM
  #38  
 
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I’m not sure what you mean by “backways” unless you are referring to backcountry or byways such as the Alpine Loop, Imogene Pass, Barlow Pass, etc., these should not be attempted in a rental car. If you want to do this, your best options are to rent a jeep in Silverton where the rental co. expects you to go off road or join a jeep tour also out of Silverton. This is a great option on your way to Ouray but you may find that these areas will not be accessible yet after our winter snows. I suggest you contact outfitters or rental cos. in Silverton beforehand.
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Old Apr 6th, 2019, 07:17 AM
  #39  
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By backways, I meant "backtracking" from Durango to Delores on 160 and then north. I guess there really isn't a forward ways or backways. So I thought we would have a longer day doing the westside, stopping in Telluride in the afternoon and only spend an evening and day in Ouray. I looked at Telluride, which we definitely want to hit, but the room prices were so much more expensive than Ouray. I realize there is more going on there than in Ouray. But I like your suggestion and we can take our time getting to Ouray.
You mentioned falls etc. on 550 going North. Are things pretty well marked? Any specific suggestions other than Animas Forks? Also, after we leave Telluride, and head down the westside, it looks like there is a road, 184 out of Delores, ending in Marcos. Have you taken that road? Is it a decent road?
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Old Apr 6th, 2019, 07:52 AM
  #40  
 
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Since it's been many years since our visit to Monument Valley, I can't answer your question. However, I can strongly recommend that get up early and go out to you balcony at your Goulding's Lodge room and watch the sun come up over the monuments. It is a spectacular view and lifetime memory!
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