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Breathtaking mountains

Las Vegas, Nevada
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Breathtaking mountains

After watching True Grit,I was pleased to discover that the filming for this movie was done in Ridgway,Colorado! We had considered driving this route from Durango to Canon City and now I think we definitely will.The scenery in this movie was breathtaking. I have two questions #1 Does anyone know if the True Grit Cafe is still in existence? #2 Are the mountains In Rocky Mountain National Park as magnificent as the mountains in Ridgway? I have not seen the mountains in 30 years, and I want to soak up the majesty of the mountains as much as I can. We have 6 days to spend in Colorado (one will be at Mesa Verde). We will drive the million dollar highway and possibly stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison,Royal Gorge, Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Park, Seven Falls and Pikes Peak. Should we drive on up to RMNP for a couple days? We wanted to get up a little closer to the mountains and do some hiking to see waterfalls, some lower peaks, etc. Do we need to go to RMNP to do this, or are the mountains in Ouray and Ridgway just as impressive?

Destination Expert
for Colorado
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1. Re: Breathtaking mountains

#1: Yes, the True Grit Cafe is still very much in existence, located on the west side of Town Park. Lots of True Grit and John Wayne fans around. For example, a recent article in the Montrose Daily Press features our former sheriff who decided he didn't like retirement and took a job with Ouray County and is pleased to be working again in the old courthouse where he worked security for the filming so many years ago.

Try to include a drive west of Ridgway to Dallas Divide, and possibly a trip over the Owl Creek Pass road at least to the summit (several great hikes in this area) to see more spectacular scenery. Maybe you'll want to find the old classic, How the West Was Won, with Debbie Reynolds. It was also filmed in the area. There's a meadow on the Owl Creek Pass road named "Debbie's Park" for a scene from the movie.

#2: With 6 days in Colorado, and wanting to include some up close and personal time in the mountains instead of just driving through, and your plan for a day in Mesa Verde, I would suggest you consider spending your entire 6 days in Southwest Colorado. The San Juan Mountains are as impressive as you'll find anywhere and you could spend several vacations or a lifetime soaking up their beauty. Of course I am biased ;) but read the posts of NMPhotojournalist as an example of a concurring opinion! (Be sure to include a hike or jeep trip to Yankee Boy Basin from Ouray to see the beautiful waterfalls there.)

If you really want to cover more territory but with limited time, there are many options, and certainly Rocky Mountain National Park would be a great destination. From SW Colorado it will take the better part of a day to get to RMNP, then allow two days or more in the Park to drive and do some hiking.

Unless you can add more days to your trip, IMO you wouldn't have time to go to Colorado Springs AND RMNP. Choose one or the other.

Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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2. Re: Breathtaking mountains

The San Juans are called the Little Switzerland of the USA. The whole area is so gorgeous. I think with the time you have you could easily fill it up in southwest CO and still not have done everything. I would keep CO Springs and RMNP for another trip. Here is a good link for more info - http://www.colorado.com/Southwest.aspx - it's pretty interactive so just keep clicking on things and you'll find lots of good info.

Fort Collins...
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3. Re: Breathtaking mountains

I love the mountains in RMNP and they are just as beautiful as the San Juans down south. But, since you only have 6 days, and one full day would be spent driving to RMNP, I would also suggest spending your entire time in the southern part of the state and coming back another time to see RMNP. It would be a shame to come up to the Park and only have a short amount of time to explore. You can certainly make good use of your 6 days in the area of Ridgway/Ouray and driving to the Springs.

4. Re: Breathtaking mountains

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