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Mancos to Denver- which way to go?

Birmingham, United...
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Mancos to Denver- which way to go?

Hi

Me and my boyfriend are planning our trip in August, and are pretty much there but I have a dilema; which is the best route to take from Mancos to Denver?

We have 2 days to do this part of the trip, and I'm erring towards doing the Durango>Ouray route day 1 but wondering where to stay, what to see and realistically how long it will take? Dont want to bite off more than we can chew, but equally dont want to miss out on day2 by having a huge way to go. I have no idea which route to take on day 2, my research hasnt got that far yet, so any help would be greatly appreciated!

We're looking for somewhere cheap to stay, can do camping if there are tents to hire as we wont have one, but will have sleeping bags etc so this is an option. Would like to avoid chain hotels if possible.

Thanks

L

WestSlope,CO
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1. Re: Mancos to Denver- which way to go?

Are you catching a plane in Denver on Day 2 or just need to get there sometime that day?

Durango to Ouray is an awesome drive that provides both amazing scenery and interesting sights. (Old mines, Ironton ghost town, Silverton, the Uncompahgre Gorge, Million Dollar Highway, Molas Lake, Molas Pass, Coal Bank Pass, Red Mountain, Red Mountain Pass)

The drive via Telluride is also an awesome drive, and Telluride is a great place to explore.

Either way, you could camp in a yurt at Ridgway State Park for $70 a night. There's a KOA in Ouray with Kamper Kabins, and the Riverside Inn has little camper cabins, too. http://ourayriversideinn.com/cabins.htm

The Kamper Kabins in Montrose aren't in as scenic a location but would be about half the price. There are several local motels in Montrose that would provide basic lodging at reasonable rates.

If you stay at Montrose you'd have time to drive out to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Natl Park on the evening of Day 1. If you stay at Ouray, you could visit the Black Canyon wth a quick stop on the morning of Day 2.

On day two, you have several route options. If you stayed at Ouray, it takes about 40-45 minutes to get to Montrose. From Montrose, it takes about 5 to 6 hours (plus time for exploring, stops, meals) to Denver. If you have the full day to get there, you won't "miss out" on Day 2 at all. But if you need to get there to catch a plane, I'd say to go further on Day 1.

For Day 2, you could go to Redstone and Glenwood Springs then to Denver via I-70. You could go to Redstone, then Aspen, then Independence Pass, then Leadville to I-70. You could go 50E then either 285 to Denver or along the Collegiate Peaks Byway and part of the Top of the Rockies byway to Interstate 70 to Denver.

Birmingham, United...
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2. Re: Mancos to Denver- which way to go?

Thanks for your reply! Lots to think about!

Not a plane but have to get the hire car to Denver for 4pm ideally, but could perhaps postpone this by an hour or 2. Do you know how long it will take roughly to get from Mancos or Durango to Ouray? Google maps tells me only a couple of hours but not sure if this is taking the road into consideration (obviously we'll allow for stops too)

Birmingham, United...
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3. Re: Mancos to Denver- which way to go?

Ah, just spotted another topic that also says 2 hours

WestSlope,CO
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4. Re: Mancos to Denver- which way to go?

Yes, two, two and a half hours plus stops. You can easily make a day of it, though. But if you need to get further along so you'll be closer to Denver, you could also easily get as far as Gunnison or Buena Vista if you go that way, or Redstone/Carbondale/Glenwood Springs if you go the other.

5. Re: Mancos to Denver- which way to go?

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