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Mesa Verde to Telluride or Silverton?

San Diego
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Mesa Verde to Telluride or Silverton?

Hi -

We're going to SW Colorado mid-June and will be in Mesa Verde for one night (coming from AZ). The second day I was planning on leaving late afternoon (want to maximize time in Mesa Verde) with the goal of getting to Boulder, CO the next evening. I don't expect to go too far the first evening, and was looking at going to Silverton or Telluride. Which way is better? I was originally thinking Silverton, since the next day I would go over the million $ highway, but the drive to Telluride sounds like it's pretty scenic in its own right, and there's a couple quick things to do there in the evening and next morning before heading out (plus more places to stay?) I'll be travelling with 2 younger children. I know the drive the next day to Boulder will be super long regardless, but we're used to long drives.

WestSlope,CO
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1. Re: Mesa Verde to Telluride or Silverton?

Both drives are incredibly scenic. Gosh, it's a tough choice. If you're going to Silverton, I'd recommend going on to Ouray, especially with kids, so you could play in the hot springs pool that evening. However, the drive is not one I'd recommend when you're tired after a day at Mesa Verde. I think I'd tend to prefer Telluride, where--as you've noted--you can walk around town and ride the free gondola that evening.

In either case, the next day's drive isn't bad. Just plan on taking the whole day...there'll be lots of nice stops along the way, such as seeing the giant eagle statue at the Dennis Weaver Memorial Park just past Ridgway. You may want to take an hour to detour up to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Natl Park south rim to take in three or four overlooks before getting on the road to Denver/Boulder. If you go up to I-70, I like to stop at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens for a nice walk in Vail. If you go 285, South Park City might be a fun stop for you.

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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2. Re: Mesa Verde to Telluride or Silverton?

Make sure to do the drive well before dark in order to really appreciate the views.

San Diego
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3. Re: Mesa Verde to Telluride or Silverton?

Thanks for the tips. It is a tough choice. I'm leaning Telluride now, although I feel like I'll be missing something if I don't go the other way.

Fruita, Colorado
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4. Re: Mesa Verde to Telluride or Silverton?

You also want to go before dark to avoid the animals on the roadway once the sun starts to go down, I'd say with small kids who may want to get out of the car and stretch their legs to go to Telluride. The Million Dollar Hwy is scenic but doesn't really have places to pull over and get out of the vehicle. The kids will love the gondola in Telluride and the drive over the Dallas Divide is also very lovely. Ralph Lauren owns a huge ranch there and the views are stunning. https://www.johnfielder.com/detail.php…

San Diego
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5. Re: Mesa Verde to Telluride or Silverton?

Bummer. Looks like we're going right before the Bluegrass festival, and lodging is scarce or requiring a 3 night minimum in Telluride, so that's no longer really an option, plus Silverton is booked up as well. If I had to choose between

(1) just staying is Mesa Verde for the extra night and attempting to drive all the way to boulder through the mountains, or

(2) staying in Mesa Verde for the extra night then bypassing the mountains and going the "fast" way (160 to 285?) for an easier drive, or

(3) leaving Mesa Verde earlier to have a relaxed drive to Ridgeway for that night instead (deciding between 550 and 145 that afternoon depending on how early we leave and how we feel),

what would y'all recommend? We're planning on getting to Mesa Verde around lunchtime on 6/17 and staying at least one night already (the 18th being the night in question). We're hoping to be able to get tickets for Cliff house for that afternoon, then Long house the next morning (or reversed depending on how things work out). Could we use the entire day on the 18th and just chill and take a longer drive the next day? We need to be in Boulder on the night of the 19th whatever we decide. Thanks!

6. Re: Mesa Verde to Telluride or Silverton?

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