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Where to stop between Mesa Verde & Lake Powell w/a 15 yr old girl

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Jun 18th, 2012, 08:08 AM
  #1
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Where to stop between Mesa Verde & Lake Powell w/a 15 yr old girl

This is a last minute trip, and I am trying to make the most of it. We are flying in and out of Durango, Colorado and will stay 1 or 2 nights in Mesa Verde. I am trying to do things that my daughter will also enjoy, and I think she will like Lake Powell (2 or 3 nights?) and boating to some of the natural wonders. But it is a 4 hour drive and there are things to see in between, so I am looking for ideas for overnight stops each way. Should we stay one night in Monument Park? Anywhere else for 1 or 2 nights? Thanks!
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Jun 18th, 2012, 08:35 AM
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Valley of the Gods Bed and Breakfast might be worth a one nights stay. You could do Monument Valley from there. Also, be sure and see Goosenecks of the San Juan, Moki Dugway, and Muley Point.

A bit out of the way is Natural Bridges National Monument. Sipapu Bridge there is really an awesome sight. You do need to hike down to it to get the full effect though.

We really like www.soaringcolorado.com. This is Ziplining/Durango Train/Lunch. Very expensive and totally amazing.

You could do Antelope Canyon at Page, AZ.

You will want to do a tour with a guide in Monuement Valley.

I like seeing 4 Corners National Monument. It is hokie/touristy/slighlty out of your way. But where else can you stand on/in 4 states at once.
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Jun 18th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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You will love Mesa Verde. See as many of the ruins/houses as you can possibly fit in. I would suggest staying two days and see the wetherill section of the park too.
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Jun 18th, 2012, 08:41 AM
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My 2 cents on a 15 year old girl and the boat ride to natural wonders [the bridge]. It is very long boat ride, very hot, and the time spent at the bridge itself is pretty short. I hated the ride and felt that I couldn't get off the boat soon enough. I am not a 15 year old and really love nature, but that was one trip I would never do again.

Personally, there is plenty to do in and around Durango and Mesa Verde and I don't think I would travel to Lake Powell for such a short trip. And I think the trip took us longer than 4 hours from our home near Cortez CO.
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Jun 18th, 2012, 08:43 AM
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http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...0IatW7FqybsWWk

Here is a link to some of our photos about 3 years ago. Includes. Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, Moki Dugway, Muley Point, Goosenecks of the San Juan, Ziplining, train,four corners, and Natural Bridges
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Jun 18th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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Debit,

I have always wanted to do see Rainbow Bridge. It's that bad?
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Jun 18th, 2012, 08:54 AM
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spiro - the ride was endless. It was beyond hot, there wasn't enough water provided by boat, they had to go far out of the way to get gas, the scenery along the way was nice for a bit and then it's pretty much all the same. We spent about 30 minutes at the bridge [you have to walk in, depending on the water levels, it can be a short or long walk in pretty much full sun] and then a very long ride back. The bathrooms on the boat were icky and if you were trying to get out of the sun, the lower deck had horrible gas fumes.

You know me, I live here in the SW and the heat is something I deal with every day. This was way worse, truly thought I wasn't going to make it back to the dock.
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Jun 18th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Thank you all! I originally had thought of staying in the Durango area, going to Mesa Verde, then up to Canyonlands. But I thought that Lake Powell, instead of Canyonlands, would be a break for my daughter who loves the outdoors and adventure. We will stay in Mesa Verde 2 nights, and while in Durango, take the train. But I need to plan after that, which is why I decided to head over to the lake for some outdoor water options. I will check out the pictures from spirobulldog and see what else we should do.
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Jun 18th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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If you go over to the Page area, do check out Antelope Canyon and instead of the long ride to Rainbow Bridge, take a half day smooth water raft trip on the Colorado river from the dam to Lee's ferry. This is a section of the river before you get to the Grand Canyon NP. If you click my name you can scroll down to some TR's with links to pictures if you want some ideas. I think the Page area is in the 2008 trip pictures.
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Jun 18th, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Go to Moab--its closer with plenty of fun stuff to do!
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Jun 20th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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Spiro, your pictures are beautiful! Lots of good information, too. Can I ask if you remember where you stayed when you drove the Moki Dugway and visited the Natural Bridges Monument? Thanks!
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Jun 20th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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We stayed at Valley of the Gods B&B. We aren't B&B type people and rarely do we go to one. This one was good though. You could easily stay in Monument Valley though.

Valley of the Gods is a mini monument valley just north or monument valley.


Having been all over Utah, several times. Monument Valley is my least favorite. I would agree with Stanton--head to Moab.
Arches is one of my very favorite National Parks.
www.deserthighlights.com is my absolute very favorite thing that I have ever done in a National Park and that even includes rafting the Grand Canyon.

If you need water options in Moab, do the Pleisiades Canyoneering with them. Or even go Whitewater rafting. A 2 or 3 day trip down Cateract Canyon would be awesome!!

I think Durango/Mesa Verde/Moab would be great.

I'm not saying we didn't enjoy Monument Valley, but we like Arches/Canyonlands/Moab far better.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 04:06 PM
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OK, thanks to all of you, I have been convinced. We are flying into Durango, going to the Stater Hotel for the vaudeville show and dinner. The next day, we will take the train to Silverton. We'll spend 2 nights in Mesa Verde. I have one night here that I need to plan, but after that, we will stay 3 nights in the Gonzo Inn to go to Canyonlands and Arches. I hope to do a raft trip and an off-road tour, with hiking. The last night (July 4!) we will stay near Durango, hopefully at a hot springs spa (for me). I just need to work out the night between Mesa Verde and Gonzo, (maybe Monticello, so we can do some of the Trail of the Ancients and 4 Corners) then we are good. THANK YOU ALL, and as always, comments or criticism welcome.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 04:30 PM
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Take the train one way and then the bus the other way. If you go from Durango to Silverton, sit on the right side of the train for the best views. If you go from Silverton to Durango,sit on the left side.

Were you able to get room at Farview Lodge? That's pretty good so late.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 07:04 PM
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Sorry, where is the Fairview Lodge?
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Jun 20th, 2012, 07:06 PM
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Oh, I think you mean the Far View in Mesa Verde. Yes, we are staying there for 2 nights. We got a room with a view (Kiva room?).
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Jun 20th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Far View not Fair is located directly in Mesa Verde. Not a great lodge, but I would definately stay there. The food at the lodge is pretty darn good. Also get a navajo taco at the little hut/cafe that is away from the lodge, maybe for lunch.

Perhaps, pack a sandwich, hike the Petroglyph Trail, and have an picnic somewhere on the trail.

It might be brutally hot in Moab. So, get up early and take afternoon naps in the heat of the day.

I would definately plan to spend pretty much an entire day in Arches. The one hike to not miss there is Delicate Arch.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 07:10 PM
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If you stay outside the park, you are looking at an hours drive one way(give or take a bit).
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Jun 20th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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Thought of another one. Most major Malls in America. The Galleria or North Park in Dallas are the two that we visit often.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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oops, wrong post
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