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Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

Maryland
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Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

We will be in Colorado next month and I have heard that some of the roads in Mesa Verde have sharp curves and can be a little daunting. I'm fine with steep hills or sharp curves but are there also areas with large drop offs? I'd rather know what's coming so I won't be as nervous when I get on the road. We will be driving from Durango if that helps.

I mean a drop off like this one in Yosemite (I was there and those roads could be pretty scary) - …aimoo.com/ForumImages/fd4136ae-2b3b-4d4b-82…

Stillwater...
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1. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

I'd say there are a couple of places along the Wetherill Mesa Road, that will get your attention. But if you drive the posted speed, you shouldn't have any problems. Also, this road doesn't open until late May, so it may not be open when you are there.

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

Driving the road during the day shouldn't make you want to pass out. There are some drop offs, but there are railings along the road. I wouldn't suggest driving the road after dark, but you shouldn't have anything to fear driving it during the day.

Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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3. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

If you want to see what the road is like check out the YouTube video here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt0GQeQcA7c

Fruita, Colorado
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4. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

Also see www.youtube.com/watch…

I know you said that you are an experienced driver in this situation but for those who aren't, just a word or two. Take the car out of overdrive, don't use cruise control, shift to a lower gear to slow down if needed and don't overheat your brakes. Pull over if you are blocking traffic - you can get a ticket for driving too slowly in CO so don't let a long line of cars back up behind you. (That's because somebody will get irked and pull out to pass, potentially causing a head on collision.)

Do not let the road scare you - the drive is worth it. Hope you have a great trip and take home some great memories.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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5. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

Great advice above. I have driven the entrance road over 100 times and always downshift to 2nd and 1st when going downhill. Pull over to one of the many pullouts (there are many) if cars are behind you, especially if they are riding your bumper which is very nerve wracking! Also watch for wildlife early and late in the day. Relax and have a wonderful trip to my favorite place on earth!

Maryland
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6. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

Thank you all for the good advice. The videos were great to see what I will actually be driving. I'm sure I'll be fine and am really looking forward to going to Mesa Verde!

Saint Cloud...
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7. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

I wish I would have known in advance what this road is like. From a number of websites I only found descriptions stating "some switchbacks" or "steep climb and descent". As others have stated by all means follow the posted speed limits and just be aware that this is about 26 miles of constant switckbacks that will take you an hour each direction and there are some sections with no guard rails.

Baton Rouge...
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8. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

Hi! Have a great time! The first time we drove it I was nervous. In hind sight it was the unknowing that was the most stressful. It's a lovely drive; follow the speed limit and you will be fine. There are plenty of places to pull over to see the sights or to let others get ahead. We live at sea level and this terrain is foreign to me. Mesa Verde is a bit of heaven on earth IMHO. 2013will be our third time in three yrs and fourth in five yrs. ENJOY!

Note: My husband got a ticket for changing lanes w/o using the blinker. This was on the interstate..??? Seriously, we thought we were being punked. We hadn't seen another car in for miles and today till not sure where this guy came from. Go figure ?

Maryland
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9. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

Just reporting back after our trip - I had nothing to worry about, the road was fine. There were guard rails on almost every part so I felt very safe. We just drove the speed limit and used the pull offs to let people pass (and we wanted to stop at pretty much every one for the view anyway). Also, for anyone heading out to Mesa Verde, we made a stop at the "Park Point Fire Lookout" which we saw on our map on the way down just to see what it was and it was the best view of the day.

WestSlope,CO
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10. Re: Driving through Mesa Verde - any dangerous parts?

Thanks for reporting back, bFinn08. It will be encouraging to those who might find your post in a future search. I see that you haven't posted any reviews. That would be very helpful, as well, because these forum posts tend to get "lost" as time goes on, but your comments in a review will stay easily visible. If you need help in finding how to do a review, just let us know.

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