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Colorado tour with young kids

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posts: 15
reviews: 7
Colorado tour with young kids

So we are driving from Los Angeles to Colorado stopping in flagstaff en route to break journey so we have about ten nights to play with in Colorado.

We already have tickets for the Durango railway, we won on a fundraiser auction. So we will spend one day doing that.....but we are just working out what would be feasible to do whilst in the area....we love national parks and natural beauty but do not want to spend every day in the car...not fair on the kids. Vegas of no interest at all, but hot springs....natural beauty, museums, little towns...kids too young to do water rafting at 2 and 4..... So that will have to wait for another trip.

So we intend to base ourselves in two or three cabins over the ten days....the question is where....should we go back a differerent route to Los Angeles and take in a hit of Utah.....on the map that seems to make sense.

We will spend two days driving back to Los Angeles..we have seen the canyon but may stop on the way home to see it in a different season.

Anyway any advice on a possible loop....avoiding too much time in the car but seeing some highlights......want to keep accommodations costs low...we are finding cabins for 70 to 110 a night on vrbo...so any cabins anyone rates.

Have read other threads so getting lots of ideas but not knowing the geography......trying yo work out what is feasible. Our kids travel well but will have 4 days of 6 hours in the car for us to get to and home from Colorado so I do not want too many days with them stuck I. The car...1 to 2 hours driving fine....but not really up for longer..so maybe we just base ourselves in two spots and do day trips...maybe Durango and near the Mesa..no area....

Thanks for all your expertise folks....these forums are so helpful.

Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 8,214
reviews: 112
1. Re: Colorado tour with young kids

Hi, Sybarite, and welcome to the Colorado forums.

So...about 10 days in Colorado and based in two or maybe 3 locations not too far apart, and driving in/returning west...

Regarding basing in two locations and doing day trips...the thing is, sometimes you end up spending more time in the car doing a day trip and backtracking to home base than if you just packed up and moved to a new location. But I think you can certainly find plenty to do within an hour or so of two or three locations. You may want to focus on Southwest and Western Colorado since you are coming from the west and you want to minimize driving time, and since you know part of your time will be in Durango.

I'd think about Durango (train, Mesa Verde) and Ouray or Ridgway (little town, museum, day trip to Black Canyon Natl Park and Ute Museum, hotsprings pool, etc.). There's a 2 hour raft trip... maybe one parent could take the 4 year old on that while the other plays at the hot springs or the swim beach at Ridgway State Park. fishrigs.com/colorado-river-rafting/… Both places have hiking, walks, parks.

Then you could drive to Telluride to ride the gondola and see this great little town for a couple of hours and on to Moab for a couple of days. (CO 145>90 to UT46 In the summertime it will be pretty hot mid-day but you can spend mornings and evenings exploring Arches Natl Park and seeing some of Canyonlands. From there you could head for a stop at Bryce Canyon or Zion National Park on your way toward home.

If you didn't want to go to Moab this trip, Telluride to Dolores to Cortez would make the loop to head you back toward Flagstaff/Grand Canyon. You could visit the Anasazi Heritage Center and Mesa Verde at this point instead of from Durango(I think there are some cabins in your price range around Mancos, see the Indian dancers at the Cortez Cultural Center, and then head for home.

Edited: 10:09 am, March 20, 2014
Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 8,214
reviews: 112
2. Re: Colorado tour with young kids

If you wanted to go a little further in to Colorado and add a third location, it could be Crested Butte or Redstone or both. Since you're driving your own vehicle, you could take the unpaved Kebler Pass scenic route from Crested Butte to Hwy 133. Redstone would be a great base for exploring the Aspen/Glenwood Springs area. Then head for home via I-70.

posts: 249
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3. Re: Colorado tour with young kids

Crested Butte is a nice idea. The scenery is gorgeous, the town is fun to poke around and there's a nice playground and lawn right in town. Lakes with beaches to play on, hiking, wildflowers in the meadows are all nearby. Maybe check out the cabins on Cement Creek (Pioneer Guest Cabins). We stayed in one of the older units when our kids were 2 and 6 and it was perfect. Lots of reviews in the Crested Butte forum. The drive over Keebler pass is nice and easy on the kids (not too winding), ours got all excited by the moose in the woods (ahem...free range cattle..). Redstone is a nice place to stop for ice cream, or take in lunch on the back deck of a restaurant and watch the many hummingbirds. Outside of town there are hot springs in the river- you'd have to check out water levels, etc to decide whether its safe with little ones. Very pretty area.

4. Re: Colorado tour with young kids

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