I'm looking to drive from Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah (leaving at crack of dawn) through Colorado National Monument to Mesa Verde Nat’l Park, staying in Cortez overnight, and need suggestions for a scenic drive. This is part of a longer Canyon/Redrocks of Utah trip. I want to know if the Uncompahgre Byway is very scenic, or just a nice drive. Then after that we want to drive a part of the San Juan Skyway, but want to know which is the more scenic drive, the Mt. Wilson side of the loop or the Animas River Valley side. This trip will be done on April 22, no hiking, unless it is short (1-2hrs) and too great a hike to miss. We wanted to visit Mesa Verde and maybe do one of the short 3:00pm tours that afternoon. But if the two byways can’t be missed together we may opt for Mesa Verde on April 23. Please suggest any stops, keeping in mind we are trying to make this a short side trip from our Canyon Parks trip. We would always come back to Co. for our Rocky Mtn. trip at a later date. I've done the Animas River Valley drive and it was fantastic. Just wondering if the other side is more scenic. My girlfriend has not and has never seen the Rockies.
Thanks for any advice.