New Mexico or Colordado??

Jan 10th, 2009, 01:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 234
New Mexico or Colordado??

Beginning stages of summer vacation planning and not sure where to go. Planning a trip with 2 families (kids 11,13,14,16) driving from Austin and Dallas, TX. Actvities on the the must do list: fishing (fly), horseback riding, river rafting, and hiking. Looking for reasonable price or just cheap lodging. Prefer some place that has a kitchen and grill. Considering Durango or maybe Taos/Red River. I have been to New Mexico too many times but have never been to Colorado. Most likely travel last week in June.
smom is offline  
Jan 10th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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I lived in NM, now I live in SW Colorado.

Come to Durango. It has a host of activites, more reasonably price accomodations and restaurants, a wonderful National Park [Mesa Verde] than Taos.

Both Taos and Red River are nice, but depending on length of stay, I would think you [kids] might get bored.

Durango is about 3 hours from Albuquerque, not much more than going to Taos or Red River.

DebitNM is offline  
Jan 10th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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I live in New Mexico and love it, but if you've never visited Colorado, go for it! Deb has already given you some good suggestions.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is online now  
Jan 10th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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OMG, if you've never been to Colorado, you just have to go there!

We've been all over the state but our favorite area is north of Durango--Ouray, Silverton, Telluride. That is the San Juan loop.

Two of the major things to do in the area is to ride the Durango/Silverton train (I'd take the bus back down) and to rent Jeeps in Silverton or Ouray. We've had very good luck with Switzerland of America in Ouray--used them twice. You can either rent one to drive or take a tour with one of their drivers.

If you drive yourself, they will ask about your 4 wheel drive ability and recommend roads/trails. If you take a tour, they will take you into some amazing scenery along old mining trails. If you have plenty of 4WD experience, you can take your Jeep down MOST of the roads they will take you down.
Connie is offline  
Jan 10th, 2009, 06:50 PM
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OK Colorado here we come!! Now lodging...we would like a place to stay at least 4-5 nights as a base. I think we will try a long day trip to Mesa Verde. Any suggestions...we would prefer a cabin on the water or walking distance. All of the kids can fish for hours.

smom is offline  
Jan 10th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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The Animas River runs through Durango. There is a walking path that runs along the river for quite a distance. There are several motels that are right on the path/river but might work well for you since you have so many people. There are motels on the path too.

If you find some places on vrbo, I can give you an idea of whether or not they are close to river.

Mesa Verde is an easy day trip from Durango.

Durango is very much a walking town, so there are lots of options for you.

DebitNM is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 12:03 AM
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I love Durango. It has everything you are looking for.

A family member loves Lake City - especially for the 4th of July holiday. Small town Americana parade and then all the area has to offer. I've not been so no personal recommendation - but I'll be going soon
starrs is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 08:13 AM
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I'm a little confused about what you are looking for or expecting regarding the fishing. In your original post you mention (fly)fishing, and later mention the kids fishing all day.

Are you looking for a cabin on a lake, or on the bank of a peaceful easy river? If so, you're not going to find that IN Durango, and you're probably going to have a difficult time finding such a place in the surrounding area - but Deb may know better.

The vast majority of lakes in Colorado are either:

1) water-impoundment type reservoirs owned by a water district or consortium. These reservoirs generally are barren of any privately owned property, including hotels, motels or cabins, as the surrounding property is either national forest or Bureau of Land Management land. What they generally do allow is access of one kind or another to the shoreline for fishing, camping, picnicing, and/or boating via launches. Lemon Reservoir (about 10 miles east of Durango on U.S. Hwy 160, then 3 miles north on forest road 596), and Vellecito Reservoir (about 13 miles east of Durango on U.S. Hwy 160, then 5 miles north on national forest roads 600 and 603) are two such examples near Durango. Vellicito may have some private lodging on it's shore. Electra Lake is a similar reservoir about 15 - 20 miles north of Durango on U.S. Hwy 550 on the way to Silverton, but I don't know if there are any lodging facilities available on it's shore.

2) high country lakes that are generally less than 60 acres in size, surrounded by national forest, with access to the shoreline again for various activities. These lakes usually require some driving on national forest road, or hiking, to get to. And again, there is usually no private lodging. Haviland Lake (about a half mile south of Electra Lake and about 1 mile east of U.S. Hwy 550 on Forest roads 166 & 671), as well as Molas Lake, Andrews Lake, and Little Molas Lake (all just off U.S. Hwy 550 in the Molas Pass area south of Silverton) would fall into this category, yet without having to venture far off the main highway.

River fishing in Durango generally means the Animas River, which runs right through town and is an excellent trout fishery - so much so that the section south (downstream) of the Hwy 160 bridge is designated Gold Medal Trout Water. This section allows only the use of artificial flies and lures, and all fish less than 16 inches must be returned to the water after catching. Easy access can be had for this section via the Chamber of Commerce property, I believe, just south of the bridge. North of the Hwy 160 bridge, any type of lure or bait is allowed, and there are numerous places to access it at bridge crossings and the trail that hugs its banks. There are some hotels that back up against this trail in town. The problem with the Animas River is that it is a freestone river (meaning there are no reservoirs and dams along its course upstream of Durango to mitigate and soften its flow), and thus its flow is dictated solely by the whims of nature. In June the free flow of melting snow from the surrounding San Juan Mountains increases its volume to "blow out" conditions. This means that the river is running so high and so fast and so muddy that fishing is impossible, and wading (or falling) into it is downright dangerous. Whether these conditions will exist in late June when you are there is dependent upon winter snowfall (which is heavy this year in that part of the state), springtime temperatures and springtime rainfall. I certainly wouldn't have my kids fishing it (or even near its shore) without some kind of personal floatation device if it is blown out.

Flyfishing is a great activity, but one that requires patience and skill. It's not something you just go out and do. It requires a skill set that can only be obtained through practice and/or taking a lesson or two. Flyfishing a lake is different from flyfishing a river. If the kids are interested in flyfishing and they've never done it before, I'd suggest getting them a lesson or two at home in Texas. Nothing is worse than becoming frustrated while fishing because you don't know what you're doing - and for kids it's even worse.
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