My family of 5, including 6 year-old twins and an 8 year old, are planning a trip to Durango for the week of August 18-25. I was thinking of spending 4 full days in the area for the following actvities: train ride (bus return); 2 hour river raft trip; exploring historic Durango; Mesa Verde (full day); Ouray; and possibly Animas Forks. We are thinking of staying in the Residence Inn in Durango since Residence Inn has worked out well for us in the past.
I'm coming from southern California, and have found that flights to Albuquerque are the most reasonable ($250.00) for all the airports in the Durango vicinity. It is then a 4 hour drive to Durango. My questions are:
--Would I be better off flying into Denver or Colorado Springs and stopping at a worthwhile overnight stop on the way to Durango?
--Is Aztec Ruins NM worth seeing if we're driving to Durango from Albuquerque?
--Should we spend the night in Ouray, or is a full day there enough?
--Is driving to Durango from southern California sensible?
--Are there any nice condo/townhome complexes close to the historic area of Durango that we could choose instead of Residence Inn?
Thanks for any tips you can provide!