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Old 04-26-2013, 08:28 AM   #1
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CO. & NM area What to See?

For days I've been looking over what to do in the New Mexico and Colordo area. Now I'm asking for help from those that are more familiar with the sites to see there. I'll be leaving Arkansas around July 14th and need to wind up in Ouray, Co on Aug. 4th, I'll be meeting up with friends for a few days there then home.
I'm still new to the MH but don't fear the mountains and don't want to miss anything! Any help or suggestion will be appreciated.

Tim & Mary Discovery 40X. Chevy Tahoe. RVM32
"I've been lost now, days uncounted..."GFR"
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
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Albuquerque is lovely, the aquarium and zoo are worth the visit and a walk around old town is nice. Then Santa Fe, up to Farmington where you can spend an hour or so at the Indian ruins, and up to Durango to basecamp. Visit Mesa Verde, take the train to Silverton. If you really don't fear the mountains then you can take a very slow, steep, winding drive to Ouray over the 550. I took that route many years ago and my knuckles still hurt. Nice drive in the car.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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The route I would recommend is NM I-25 to Santa Fe, staying at Cochiti Corps of Engineers Park south of town. Nice big sites. Drive to Santa Fe and park at the public bus depot near the interstate & use the bus to tour. It's very easy. The campground can give you information.

From Santa Fe take Hwy 84 and another nice Corps campground is Abiquiqu Lake - the painter's Georgia O'Keefe beautiful country. Continuing north on Hwy 84 to Pagosa Springs, CO - wonderful hot springs right in town at the river's edge. Many little concrete pools of varying temps to soak and watch the river activity. Very immaculate. We spent two full mornings just going from pool to pool!

From Pagosa take 160 west to Durango for another stop if you want. There are then two ways to get to your destination of Ouray.

From Durango, take Hwy 550 to Silverton and to Ouray. We've done it many times with our 40' MH and it's just fine for us. However, you will hear many horror stories about it. You'll have to go by your confidence in your MH on steep grades and/or your confidence in mountain driving.

Another way to Ouray is from Durango, continue west on 160 to Cortez, CO (Mesa Verde Nat'l Park is nearby. It's wonderful.) Then pick up Hwy 145 which will take you up to Telluride to 62 to Ridgway and a short distance south on Hwy 550 to Ouray. This is very scenic also, but not quite as scenic as Hwy 550 from Durango. It, too, has a steep grade but again, not as bad as Hwy 550. Your choice. Have a great time. That's one of our favorite areas for 4-wheeling and beauty!
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:12 PM   #4
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This is great, this forum never stops surprising me. Thanks for the info, and the detail you've put into your replies. Next, out comes the map and some real planning. I'm not afraid of the mountains, but my heart might not like the white knuckle route in DP, but I will have a toad!
Tim & Mary Discovery 40X. Chevy Tahoe. RVM32
"I've been lost now, days uncounted..."GFR"
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
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What to see

Definetly go to Elephant Butte , Gila Cliff dwellings, the ruins in Aztec, Soccorro is a great little town-loved it. City of Rocks state parl, Fort Stanton, Lincoln, Ruidoso. So much to see in NM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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Petroglyph National Monument, NM
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:23 PM   #7
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One of our favorites is Acoma Pueblo about 2 hours west of Abq. It sits on top of a mesa. Very interesting history.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:45 AM   #8
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If you're going to pass through Pagosa Springs (we live here) the Hot Springs is a great spot to soak weary bodies. You'll also find the Chimney Rock National Monument just west of town about 17 miles. Lots of history of the Anasazi indians. Close to Durango is Mesa Verde - wonderful park if you've not been there. They have an RV campground - check size limits, but nicely done inside the park.

Just south of Durango about 40 miles is Aztec National Monument, an easy drive just outside the Aztec NM city limits, and home of the only fully restored Anasazi Kiva in the national park system. Beautiful place to see, level ground, easy access. Don't miss the Durango - Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad if you'd like to take a scenic trip through the mountains - return trips provided as well.

Now, about mountain roads. The "pucker factor" can be pretty high on highway 550 if you're not used to mountain roads. Going south-to-north on 550, you'll be on the inside of the road next to the mountain - the 2000 foot drop off is what you encounter on the north-to-south route.

Another alternate route, once you're in Pagosa Springs, is to take Wolf Creek Pass (highway 160 east) over the mountains, then turn north to hook up with highway CO-47/285 to highway 50 heading west toward Gunnison and Montrose, then highway 550 south to Ouray - you'll arrive in Ouray from the north. While in Ouray, take a trip up to Telluride - a beautiful, wonderful ski/mountain town. Take the free tram up to the top of Telluride city - great sites to look down on the lower city and ski slopes. Lots of shopping too, says my darling wife.

Wolf Creek Pass is a fairly steep road (CW McCall wrote a song about it), but it's 4-lane, so you can cruise up at your own pace. Going down the other side, it's not bad at all, 4-lane for awhile, then 2-lane alongside a beautiful mountain stream, but be sure to gear down and save the brakes.

Wolf Creek Pass Lyrics - C.w. Mccall

Ouray is one of our favorite spots - enjoy!

Joe and Debbie, Emma the Aussie Cattle Dog who adopted us
2012 Discovery 36J, Blue Ox and Air Force One, 2010 GMC Acadia Toad
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