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Day Trips May-June

Arkansas
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Day Trips May-June

Coming to Pagosa Springs Memorial Day Weekend for a week for our first trip to this part of CO. Looking for Memorial Day weekend events. Enjoy light hiking, atv ridng, kayaking, scenic drives, and day trip within 3-4 hours that unique for the area. Planning on Durango area with a train excursion, what is best choice. Need advice on "don't miss" items for the area and nearby areas. Thanks!!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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1. Re: Day Trips May-June

Mesa Verde National Park would be a must do. Also Chimney Rock Nat Mon between Pagosa and Durango. http://www.chimneyrockco.org/ . Also you can do a day trip over Wolf Creek Pass and on to Great Sand Dunes Nat Park.

Pagosa Springs...
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for Durango, Pagosa Springs
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2. Re: Day Trips May-June

Some suggestions to get you started:

Memorial Day Events: Live music around town; info will be updated on www.visitpagosasprings.com/events. Weekend following (June 7th-9th) is annual Folk n' Bluegrass festival on Reservoir Hill

Light hiking: Riverwalk trail downtown, Piedra River Trail (fairly flat), Piedra Falls (short hike), Treasure Falls, Opal Lake, Reservoir Hill downtown, Turkey Springs (great for mtn biking), Silver Falls (off East Fork)

ATV Riding: Do you have your own ATV or will you rent? I believe a rental option will open this summer. Check with Forest Service for approved trails and licensing. East Fork Road / Elwood Pass is a great area to explore.

Kayaking: Do you have your own kayak? The downtown stretch of the San Juan River has multiple "holes" great for kayakers. However, there are no commercial operators for kayaking, but white water rafting will be an option, too. Check Pagosa Outside (www.pagosaoutside.com) for rafting and possibly inflatable kayak tours.

Scenic Drives: Piedra Road - dirt forest service road (many trail / picnic options), Wolf Creek Pass - paved, dirt side roads to explore (Lobo Overlook, Treasure Falls, Overlook, Continental Divide, Park Creek Road); Hwy 84 south to Chama (also nice day trip), side hike options, East Fork Road, much of drive in canyon along river, West Fork Rd, Jackson Mtn Road - trails off all of these drives that could be used for light hikes, as well

Day trips: Railroads - Chimney Rock National Monument (20 min. from town, newest National Monument in National Park Service); Durango - Silverton Train (Durango; 60 min) and Cumbres - Toltec Train (Chama; 45+ min); Creede - Bachelor Loop, historic town, beautiful drive, portion of new Lone Ranger filmed in the area, 60 - 75 min drive from Pagosa - continue to Lake City for another 45+ min each way; Sand Dunes National Park (20 miles east of Alamosa), 2 hours each way; Mesa Verde National Park, 2 hours each way

Don't miss in Pagosa: Hot Springs (3 downtown to choose from, over 30 pools), if you like disc golf - we have a great 18-hole course on Reservoir Hill, plus a new 18-hole course going in off Piedra Road, Breweries (if you like beer!) - Pagosa Brewery and Riff Raff Brewery are both local breweries, explore downtown - shopping, dining, Riverwalk trail, etc.

Restaurants / Bars - Backroom Wine Bar, Phoenix Room in EcoLuxe Hotel, Alley House, Kip's, Pagosa Brewery, Riff Raff Brewery, View Restaurant, (opens next month)...many, many more.

Enjoy your visit!

Arkansas
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3. Re: Day Trips May-June

Great information!! We're coming from out of state, so would need to rent bikes, atv and kayaks. We'd like to do the train adventure. What is the difference between the Durango\Silverton and Cumbres-Toltec??

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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4. Re: Day Trips May-June

Both train trips go through beautiful scenery and are quite fun. Cumbres Toltec is a bit cheaper, but you will have to drive to get to either Chama or Antonito, but they do include a lunch! Check their websites for more information about each trip. http://www.cumbrestoltec.com/ http://www.durangotrain.com/

Pagosa Springs...
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5. Re: Day Trips May-June

You can rent bikes from the Hub bike shop and Pagosa Outside. Pagosa Outside also leads mtn bike tours (all levels). Check with Pagosa Outside on rafting and / or inflatable kayak trips, too. However, they probably won't be open for another few weeks, so I'm not sure how quickly they'll respond. Jeep rentals are available through Ski & Bow Rack. ATV rentals *may* be available by Memorial Day in Pagosa; we have a vendor trying to add it to their services.

One option is to combine the Durango train with a guided ATV tour in Silverton (available starting mid-May): durangotrain.com/packages/…guided-atv-ride

Arkansas
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6. Re: Day Trips May-June

Thanks so much for all the information! As time to come is so much closer, I'm now looking for a unique dinner stop between Durango and Pagosa Springs. We fly into Durango apprx 3:30. So far, I'm planning Mesa Verde on Sunday, Great Sand Dunes and Creed on Monday, Durango train on Tuesday, then drive the loop from Durango to Ouray, Ridgeway, over to Telluride, down to Cortez and back to Pagosa Springs! Rest on Thursday around town in Pagosa Springs. Was thinking of going to Navajo State Park on Friday to cruise around on a boat rental. Any suggestions\changes to itinerary??

Pagosa Springs...
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7. Re: Day Trips May-June

First of all....a unique dinner stop. There are not many restaurant options between the Durango Airport (located east of Durango) and Pagosa Springs. I would recommend either going into Durango or in Pagosa - either sitting outside at the View Restaurant at Quality Resort and soaking in the scenery or sitting outside at Pagosa Brewery. It is about 45 minutes from the airport to the west side of Pagosa.

As far as your proposed itinerary. You have a LOT of driving in store for you. The drive to Mesa Verde is 2 hours each way, plus driving in the park. The drive to the Sand Dunes is 2 - 2.5 hours and Creede adds another 1.5 hours. In my opinion, I would skip the Sand Dunes on this trip. While I love the Sand Dunes, the drive isn't the most interesting and will add 3 hours of driving to the day. You can easily spend the day exploring Wolf Creek Pass to Creede (and continue on to Lake City if you really want to drive more!). We've had a lot of big horn sheep and moose sightings on Wolf Creek Pass recently...keep an eye out! Sheep like to hang out in the rocks around Treasure Falls (well worth a stop) and on the drive to Creede; the moose have been spotted on the east side of pass, near Big Meadow Reservoir.

The train day is great. However, the San Juan Skyway loop is at least 8-10 hours in the car, plus stops. It is a gorgeous drive, but may work better on a future trip to the area - you will have driven Pagosa to Cortez / Mesa Verde and seen Durango to Silverton via train. I think you can save the car time and explore the Pagosa area that day. Piedra Road to Williams Creek Reservoir, (Piedra River trail and Ice Caves are great, easy hikes) Fourmile Road, East Fork Road (although, probably want to rent a jeep for the day vs rental car if East Fork is planned - as of yesterday, there are 6 water crossings before you reach silver falls, more if you go to Quartz Meadow), a tour at Chimney Rock, etc. Waterfalls are flowing nicely right now - easily accessible falls with short hike include Treasure (off of Hwy 160 at the base of Wolf Creek Pass), Piedra Falls (Piedra Rd) and Silver Falls (East Fork Rd). Rafting is great right now as well. A trip down the San Juan is fairly mellow. You can easily spend two days exploring in and around Pagosa.

As far as Navajo...I have spent many days there on a boat. It is a large lake with a desert feel and lots of coves to explore. Don't expect huge mountain views, but it is peaceful and midweek in late May / early June will be pretty quiet. It will be a little early to swim, but still a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Arkansas
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8. Re: Day Trips May-June

Oh my, I must agree with you about too much driving!! I'm cutting Sand Dunes and the San Juan Skyway loop. I'll make the trip to Mesa Verde the long day in the car with breaks along the way. From what I'm reading about and seeing photos online, this area is way too beautiful to spend the majority of our visit in the car! Making the day trips to Wolf Creek Pass and onto Creed. I have a friend here whose grandfather (corsin) was active with the mining there so I told her I'd check the area out. Thank you everyone for the information! Really excited to come see this part of CO. Safe travels!!

9. Re: Day Trips May-June

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