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Scenic Colorado at lower altitudes

Old Aug 21st, 2007, 05:23 PM
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Scenic Colorado at lower altitudes

Is it possible to see the beauty of Colorado without going to RMNP. Are ther other road trips for 7-10 days that will give a good representation of the beauty of the landscape. Thanks
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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 05:41 PM
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The real beauty of Colorado is best seen in higher elevations. Head down to the SW corner and drive the San Juan Skyway [and in particular the Million Dollar Highway] with stops in Telluride, Ouray, Durango and then head over to Mesa Verde NP. It isn't low altitude, but is absolutely beautiful.

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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 05:52 PM
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Thanks!
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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 06:19 PM
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I agree with Debi on the beauty of SW Colorado ... since you are apparently sensitive to high elevation then I'd suggest staying around 4,000 - 5,000 ft the first night and then moving up a bit. When we visit this area for example (coming from around 1,000 ft) we stay at Cortez the first night, which I think is around 4,500 ft, then can go to Telluride the 2nd day (maybe 8,000 ft) but if we go to Telluride the first day we have really bad headaches and can't sleep that night.

In this area Ridgeway (a few mile north of Ouray) is relatively low and gives access to beautiful aspen groves either west, south or east, and Durango isn't too high either, with beautiful aspens north towards Silverton and Ouray. Telluride and Ouray are higher so would be good choices for later in the trip.

All of these are lower than RMNP, but with several high passes up to 12,000 ft that you drive over and then descend to towns. Great country, especially the last week in Sept.

Bill
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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 06:31 PM
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Grand Junction is around 4600 ft. SW Colorado elevations range as follows:
Cortez 6200
Durango 6500
Dolores 6900+
Ridgway 6900+
Ouray 7800+
Telluride 8750+

Again, getting used to altitude takes a day or two and is easier if you don't drink alcohol and drink lots of water.

It is SO worth it, it is beautiful here in Sept. Read that link I put on your other thread about adjusting to elevation changes. Atitude helps altitude!
Debi

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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 06:43 PM
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If you want a map of san juan skyway

http://www.telluridevisitorguide.com.../day-trips.asp

For more drives:

http://www.swcolotravel.org/drives.html
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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 06:46 PM
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Sorry, meant to post this one for Grand Junction:
http://www.visitgrandjunction.com/index.cfm

and be sure go to Colorado National Monument [you can a drive through it and see amazing things with little or no walking if that is an issue]

http://www.visitgrandjunction.com/gl...e_monument.cfm

Debi
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 05:46 AM
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For altitude adjustment, you need on average one day for every thousand feet that you gain in elevation. While RMNP has a lot to offer in beauty it is not unique when compared to the rest of the state. Many areas just as scenic and soome areas more so.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 08:54 AM
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There is so much more to Colorado than RMNP! You have already received very good advice. Even visiting Boulder gives you some pretty scenic views of the Flatirons, and you can drive up the canyons, too. Remember to drink lotsa water! Colorado has much to offer.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 06:05 PM
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About 50 miles due west of Pueblo is the quaint town of Westcliffe (elevation 7,888 ft; pop 417). It is nestled in a pretty valley flanked by the Wet Mountains to the east, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west.

On the other side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is the San Luis valley anchored by the town of Alamosa (ele 7,544; pop 7,960) on the south, and Poncha Pass (ele 9,010) on the north. The straight, flat drive on Hwy 17 between them is one of the prettiest low elevation drives in the state, especially when the setting sun of the evening illuminates the dunes of Great Sand Dunes National Park butting up against the base of the Sangre de Cristos.

The drive along Hwy 50 between Canon City (ele 5,332; pop. 15,431) and Salida (ele 7,036; pop. 5,504) is very pretty as it follows right alongside the cascades and whitewater of the Arkansas River - one of the quintessential trout and whitewater rafting streams in the state.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 09:53 PM
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You will probably come close to Montrose Colorado be sure to check out the Black Canyon of the Gunnison very impressive scenery. No matter where you go You will be impressed.Been to Colorado three times already this year.
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