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Mesa verde in 6 hours?

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california
posts: 159
reviews: 21
Mesa verde in 6 hours?

We will be staying inTelluride in early September. We fly out of during at 6 pm. Can we leave Telluride in the morning and have enough time to stop and see Mesa Verde? Not sure of drive time, and we have tobreturn car in during and check in one hour before flight

If it is enough time to make a visit, what should we try to see?

Denver, CO
posts: 517
1. Re: Mesa verde in 6 hours?

Where are you flying out of? You could get to Mesa Verde and back in six hours if you're flying out of Telluride, although you won't get enough time in Mesa Verde as you need to fully explore the park.

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Pompano Beach
posts: 2,805
reviews: 60
2. Re: Mesa verde in 6 hours?

You will need to get an early start for enough time inside the park. The drive from Telluride is very nice as well. A couple hours at Mesa Verde is worthwhile, allthough six hours is much better if you can manage it.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 7,385
reviews: 82
3. Re: Mesa verde in 6 hours?

You've typed "during" as where you are departing, so I'm guessing you mean Durango. I had to look up how far the airport is from town and Google puts it at 15 miles. So, allow about 45 minutes to an hour to drive out of the park to Mancos, about 30-45 minutes to drive to Durango, and about 30 minutes to get to the airport. Approx. 2 hours. I like to allow extra time for unexpected delays, traffic, restroom or snack stops, etc. so I would leave Mesa Verde at 2 o'clock.

Could you perhaps visit Mesa Verde on your way to Telluride instead of on your departure day?

california
posts: 159
reviews: 21
4. Re: Mesa verde in 6 hours?

Sorry about the typo. Yes, we are flying out of Durango. Unfortunately, that's the only full day we have, because we arrive in during in the early eve and have to be in tellutelluride the next day. So it sounds as if we would wind up spending 5 hours driving?

Maybe others could advise alternative plan? We could just stay in Telluride until midday, but if there is something interesting to do on way to Durango, we would like to do that. Thanks for all the quick replies!

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Pompano Beach
posts: 2,805
reviews: 60
5. Re: Mesa verde in 6 hours?

Two options, if you wish to pursue the Native American theme:

The Anasazi Heritage Museum in Dolores is on the way.

mesaverdecountry.com/tourism/…ahc.html

Chimney Rock is fairly close to the airport.

http://www.chimneyrockco.org/mainnew.htm

Otherwise, a leisurely drive along the Million Dollar highway, with a stop in Ouray and perhaps Silverton or Durango wouls also be pleasant.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 7,385
reviews: 82
6. Re: Mesa verde in 6 hours?

I would still go to Mesa Verde, then, if this is your only opportunity. It is such a special place IMO, and even three to four hours in the park would be better than not seeing it at all. Just get a very early start from Telluride. Better yet, could you drive to the park the evening before and stay at Far View Lodge? Or are you locked in to your Telluride lodging?

Ohio
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 5,945
reviews: 188
7. Re: Mesa verde in 6 hours?

according to my map program, it is about 2 hours from Telluride to Mesa Verde. Mesa Verde to Durango another hour. I'd leave EARLY from Telluride and try to get Mesa Verde in if you're not going to be there again. It's a large park.... lots of driving... but you'll get to see alot of the cliff dwellings from the rim. Also, a ruin you can walk thru there at the visitors center without a tour guide. If it's at all possible, check to see if you can get into a tour to Cliff Palace. It is an awesome park-- It needs more time, but a glimpse is better than nothing imo

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 7,385
reviews: 82
8. Re: Mesa verde in 6 hours?

Mesa Verde, like Rocky Mtn Natl Park, is doing some construction this year, and sections of the entrance road are being paved or chip sealed. They say to expect delays. Still, I think it would be worth a visit...but you might call the visitor center a day or so ahead of time and see what the expected delays are for the day you may visit. Maybe they'll be finished by then ;)

With the construction plus adding on another 20 minutes or so to get to the airport outside Durango and get the rental car turned in, I think my previous calculations are going to be closer to accurate for the drive time out of Mesa Verde to the Durango airport. It might take less but that's what I'd allow, depending on the information the Park gives about construction delays.

9. Re: Mesa verde in 6 hours?

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