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Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

Orlando, FL
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Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

Hi, If we staying 2 nights in Telluride, can we make a day trip to Mesa Verde? How long will it take to drive by 145? I'm not a morning person, so my concern is how early I need to be there to take a tour? A one book recomended to stay there at down. Can I drive 145 at night? Is it smooth road? Thank you!

Pagosa Springs...
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1. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

The drive from Telluride to Mesa Verde is about 2 hours. Hwy 145 is a nice road. I would recommend driving during the day at least one direction, if possible - the drive over Lizard Head Pass is gorgeous.

Guided tour tickets are purchased in person at Far View Visitor Center (@ $3 per person) - and there are also many self-guided tour options in the park too.

For all of the guided tours: nps.gov/meve/…guided_activities.htm

Self guided tours: nps.gov/meve/…self_guided_activities.htm

Colorado Springs...
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2. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

To do Mesa Verde justice, you really should give it a full day, i.e. stay overnight in Cortez or Durango. Where will you be going after Telluride? If north or east, the road Durango, Ouray is beautiful, and then from there north or east are also nice drives.

WestSlope,CO
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3. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

I was also wondering about the rest of your itinerary, and questioning why, with two nights and one day in Telluride, you would spend that day traveling to Mesa Verde. But if it makes sense to you, i.e. maybe that's your only chance to see Mesa Verde, then it is certainly doable. And, while at least a full day is recommended, you can get a pretty good sample in 4-6 hours as a day trip.

Depending on your itinerary, it would seem to make more sense, as treplow says, to stay overnight in the Park at Far View Lodge, or in Cortez, Mancos, Dolores or Durango either after Telluride or before Telluride. And then you wouldn't have to get up quite so early.

I don't know why you'd need to be there at dawn, except that it would be beautiful and peaceful and you might see more animals.

Tour tickets for those tours requiring them are now also available at the Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez up to two days in advance.

nps.gov/meve/…10_04_ticketsales_cwc.htm

Orlando, FL
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4. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

Thank you everybody!

I’m going crazy with my plans! We decided go for vacation yesterday, July8, and bought the tickets for July 14! I have 3 books from library and searching on web up to 5 am…..I like to plan all details ahead. So, for 7 days a “rough draft”:

Wed, 14th – Colorado springs – 3pm. Take a car (Question: Is economy car OK to drive to Telluride?) and go to Pagosa Springs for 1 night. Can’t decide: 1. Take 25, than 160 or 2. 115, 50, 285, 160. ?????

. Alternativa: if I can find, rent a cabin in South Fork.

Th, 15th, to see the Chimney Rock and everything on a way to Cortez.

Fr - half day for Mesa Verde.

Fr-Sun, 16-18, Telluride.

Monday,19 – Gunnison ( to check Crested Butte) or Buena Vista (to check the Twin Lakes) Q: What is better for easy exploring ?

Tu, 20, around Colorado Springs

Wed, 21 – 3pm – fly home.

Didn't make any reservations to stay.....

Was it too ambition?

WestSlope,CO
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5. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

Fun! A last minute vacation!

Looks doable to me, esp. since you're moving the Mesa Verde visit. stopping on the way to Telluride.

Yes, an economy car is fine to drive. 6 cylinders are often recommended so you'll have enough "pep" going uphill, but I know people who are perfectly happy with their smaller cars. You won't need an SUV or 4 wheel drive.

15th-Here's the information on Chimney Rock tours:

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

Then you'll have time to check out Durango a bit, maybe drive to the old mining town of Silverton, before heading to Cortez to get your Mesa Verde tour tickets at the Colorado Welcome Center. Plan to arrive there by 5. Maybe visit the Cortez Cultural Center for Indian Dances or Black Shawl play that evening.

16th-Mesa Verde, then drive to Telluride through Dolores & Rico. Maybe a brief stop at Anasazi Heritage Center. Definitely make reservations in Telluride for a weekend!

17th, 18th-Telluride (option to consider-drive to Ouray on Sunday to visit another picturesque historic mining village

19th-Stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park just east of Montrose--with about two hours you can get a good sample of canyon views with easy walks to overlooks. Then drive to Crested Butte or Buena Vista.

20th-Head to Colorado Springs

21st-home

Montrose, Colorado
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6. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

in Telluride, the Peaks is running local ads for $99/night special. If a resort hotel with indoor/outdoor pool is something you like, it's a good deal. It's in Mountain Village, which is the newer area with hotels/condos. If you want to stay in the historic town of Telluride, the Victorian is usually a good budget (but nice) choice. Mtn Village and Telluride are connected by the free gondola. Parking can be tough. Ask if parking is available/included. There is a large free lot in Mtn. Village and you won't need a car while you are there.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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7. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

You really do need at least 6+ hours at Mesa Verde to even get a basic visit in. This is a much more important place to see than Chimney Rock (which is interesting tho)

Wed, 14th – Arrive in Colo Springs, get out of town by 4pm, small airport. I would just drive south on I25 to Walsenburg, then west on US160 to Alamosa, Monte Vista or South Fork. This will be about 8pm and getting dark I would save the drive over Wolf Creek for the next day during daylight. It is not the size of the car, but the engine. I would try to get at lest a 6 cyl engine and an automatic transmission. There is a fun motel in Monte Vista right next to a drive in movie theater... you can watch the movie from your room. bestwesterncolorado.com/hotels/…

Th, 15th, Pagosa Springs and then on to Durango and to Mesa Verde for the afternoon. Stay in Cortez.

Fr - half day for Mesa Verde to see what you did not see the day before, then drive to Telluride.

Fr-Sun, 16-18, Telluride.

Monday,19 – I'd go to Gunnison and Crested Butte, stopping at Black Canyon of the Gunnison. stay in Gunnison.

Tu, 20, Drive over Monarch Pass, to Buena Vista. Stop and see St Elmo Ghost town, then over to Colo Springs, with a possible stop at Florissant Fossil Beds Nat Mon, Mueller State Park and in to Colorado Springs. See Garden of the Gods if you have time.

Wed, 21 – 3pm – fly home.

Pagosa Springs...
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8. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

It is about 4.5 hours from Colorado Springs to Pagosa Springs via I-25 and Hwy 160. This route takes you past the Great Sand Dunes.

If you are looking for cabins in South Fork - the Riverbend Resort, on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass, is where the "Kamp Komfort" scenes in the movie "Vacation" was filmed. www.riverbend-resort.com

If you decide to continue to Pagosa, you should arrive in Pagosa around dusk - so the drive over Wolf Creek pass would likely be during daylight. It is a beautiful pass, so you want to be sure to drive during the day.

If you need lodging options in Pagosa, you can find more info at visitpagosasprings.com/places-to-stay/hotels…

Orlando, FL
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9. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

OK, after 12 hours of web search and bunch of phone calls, 70% done! On that short note couldn’t find any cabin to stay: all gone or require 2 night minimum. Booked b&b in Mancos (Ruby Rose) and hotel in Ganison with Dinner Cruise (a float trip ).

Dear ShellKing! Thank you for a tip about $99 at The Peaks! From 2006, I keep a printed list with a winter special for $189 for this resort. We are the skiers (a little) and I wanted to go there…what…5 years?.... So, I owe you a drink from the savings.:)

Still trying to decide where to stay in Pagosa: The Springs for $200 or Oar Ridge for $100 + two passes (40) for pools across street…I started to worry (as CasaAzul) that we could not make our way to Pagosa. Maybe, just try to walk in as they have rooms available.

Please, tell me about road between South Fork and Pagosa – how difficult, how slow it will be at 8-9 pm. Any advice? (I want to soak my bones in a hot water so badly)

Thank you very much for help!

Pagosa Springs...
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10. Re: Visit Mesa Verde from Telluride

Sorry, but I would not recommend Oakridge. Standard motel and the reviews are typically not great. I believe the property was just sold to new owners a few weeks ago - not sure if that will help. They probably need a little longer to clean.

The room at the Springs includes unlimited soaking in their 23 hot springs pools during your stay. You can soak before you check in, if your room isn't ready yet. Basically, the Springs gives you 2 days of unlimited access to the pools, whereas the pass from Oakridge give two one-time use passes.

Also look into the Spa at Pagosa Springs. They also have hot springs pool, sauna, etc (located across the street from Springs and next to Oakridge). Recently renovated rooms, very clean.

The drive between South Fork and Pagosa Springs is fine. Most of the section of hwy is 45 miles an hour - watch your speed. Highway patrol will be!! It is a beautiful pass - wide road with plenty of shoulders. If you have time for stops, check out Big Meadows reservoir (after the tunnel from South Fork), Lobo Overlook (just past ski resort on the right from SF), Continental Divide Marker (top of pass) and the West Fork Valley Overlook (on the Pagosa side, just down from the top of the pass). Treasure Falls is nice too, but the trail is closed this summer. You can see the falls from the parking area.