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Squeeze in one more fun site/activity -between Salida & Denver airport

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Jun 7th, 2014, 01:35 PM
  #1
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Squeeze in one more fun site/activity -between Salida & Denver airport

I'd hate for the last day of our fun-filled Colorado trip to be just a boring drive to the airport. On a Saturday, we need to drive from Salida & be at the airport at about 5pm. It's me & my husband (in our 40s) and an 18 year old. This is her graduation gift & will be the first time she's flown anywhere. Is there any way to add something to the day?
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Jun 7th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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If it were me I'd get most of the driving done, get into Denver, and find something to do there. It's a city so depending on your interest you have no end of choices of things to do.

That would be better than finding something to do up in the mountains only to learn that there is a 2 hour delay due to a problem on the highway, which would add something to the day but not what you are hoping for.

Anyway, that's my $0.02: leave Salida early, get to Denver, do something that interests you, have a nice farewell meal, and still have time to get to DIA.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 02:24 PM
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I agree with Nelson. There is plenty to see and do in the Denver area, and it would save any worries about traffic delays.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 07:30 PM
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Go to Boulder.
Go to Westminster and the butterfly pavilion.
Do we know where you have been before this.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 07:31 PM
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Oh, gotcha. You're the ones driving from Salida to sand dunes to Durango. Where else are you going--or is is it now Salida to the airport?
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Jun 8th, 2014, 06:12 AM
  #6
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Driving on to Denver first makes sense! Guess I didn't think of that because we are not really city people. But it's a good solution! And will add variety to the trip.
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Jun 8th, 2014, 06:16 AM
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Gretchen's idea of Boulder instead of Denver has merit. Nice college town, nestled up against impressive foothills called The Flatirons. You could look into that. See what you find in Denver or Boulder that appeals. It's a bit farther from DIA but not bad. Have a good trip.
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Jun 8th, 2014, 06:20 AM
  #8
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Our whole plan goes something like this...fly to Denver and drive to Buena Vista on Day 1. Day 2 raft Browns for half day and drive to Durango. Day 3 will be a combo jeep tour from Silverton and train ride Silverton to Durango. Day 4 we go to Mesa Verde and time to relax at our Durango cabin in the afternoon. Day 5 go thru Mancos, Telluride, visit Black Canyons in Gunnison and drive to Salida. Day 6 go Salida to Denver. We didn't find time to add Grear Sand Dunes!
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Jun 8th, 2014, 07:55 AM
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How about the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument? http://www.nps.gov/flfo/index.htm

Or Canon City? http://www.canoncity.com/ (Royal Gorge is still closed due to the fires last June)

FYI I would avoid US 36 to/from Boulder right now; it is under construction for much of it's length. Even yesterday (Saturday) it was very congested. (However, if you took 93 southward to Boulder, you could take part of 36 to the northwest parkway/470 to the airport; but electronic toll, no booths)
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Jun 8th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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Explore LoDo area of Denver.
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Jun 8th, 2014, 04:40 PM
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You are going to Mesa Verde and "relax in the afternoon". To be really honest, your whole trip is a track meet beginning with Salida to Durango, even without the sand dunes, Just my opinion.
I would loosen something up==MV deserves more than a drive by which is what you will have.
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Jun 8th, 2014, 05:46 PM
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I have to agree. Your itinerary makes for a very hectic pace. It's doable but can't imagine there's much time for relaxing.
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Jun 8th, 2014, 07:54 PM
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Oh no! We can just skip Mesa Verde, but everything else is pretty much booked except the last night's hotel. I'm not sure what else I could change!
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Jun 8th, 2014, 08:22 PM
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Well, maybe the best option would be to play it by ear, just see how your day is going, if you have some time for Mesa Verde then do it. Even a short trip is better than none at all.
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Jun 9th, 2014, 04:41 AM
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Of all, and it is unfortunate, Mesa Verde is what I would NOT cancel. And history traveler is right--better than nothing. Don't look for a "final thing"--just make it the airport.
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Jun 9th, 2014, 07:21 AM
  #16
 
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I agree with playing it by ear if you want to see a bit of Mesa Verde. You'll need to leave Durango early and go directly to the visitor center. www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/meve_vc.htm

You'll probably be out of luck getting tickets for the guided tours, but you can still take a self-guided tour of the Spruce Tree House.

http://www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisi...activities.htm

Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver is always a popular spot with our visitors and is on your way to Denver. Just check the concert schedule first to make sure it won't interfere with a visit.

http://redrocksonline.com/visitor-in...irections-maps
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Jun 11th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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I agree with Red Rocks, especially since you have a teenager with you, because it is a well-known and respected concert venue. The visitor center is interesting, if you want to learn about the rock formation.

If you're taking 285, there will be scenic little places to stop. Like Bailey and Pine.

Boulder would be out of your way, but Golden wouldn't be too far off-course. It's a cute little town to grab a bite to eat.

It's a good idea to drive closer to Denver that day, then decide as you go.

To grab a bite closer to the airport, we like Ted's Montana Grill. Good bison burgers.
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Jun 13th, 2014, 09:52 AM
  #18
 
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Why are you returning to Salida, if I may ask. We spent a couple nights there last summer and wasn't particularly impressed. We did so for purposes of accessing the rafting.

That said, it seems to me there was a ghost town or two relatively close to Salida. maybe you could work in a visit on the way to Denver. At one you could supposedly rent ATVs and had a seasonal general store.
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