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Old 05-06-2014, 01:28 PM   #15
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We have stayed at the Riverside Resort on the North side of Durango, we very much enjoyed it. The sites are packed in pretty tight, that my only gripe, but would stay there again.

We skipped the train ride. While the train is nice and all, way way way too expensive for what you get. IF you do decide to take the train, make sure you get in the enclosed cars, if you are in the open cars you will look like you rolled in a coal pile and smell even worse.

Would highly recommend you also camp for a day or two up in Silverton. We stayed at Silverton Lakes. Great fishing around the Silverton area. The mine tour is actually pretty fun, they take you back in the mine on mining carts. The old gold processing plant is a great tour as well.

We were in Durango for 4th July, great fireworks show. Was told Silverton's was better, but who knows. The fireworks boom so loud in the valley, was real nice. We just parked in the grocery store parking lot, great view of fireworks.
Thanks for the tip about the train ride. We may just drive to Silverton in our Jeep so we can take our dog with us. We won't be there in July, but I imagine the fireworks are spectacular.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:33 PM   #16
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I have a question for any of you gasser owners. How steep are the roads around Durango and will we have any trouble climbing any grades? I just ordered the Mountain Directory West. We are mountain-driving noobs and don't want any challenges yet. We'd prefer to camp at lower elevations and take our Jeep to sight-see.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:37 PM   #17
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LOL your fine. We went over several times in our old gaser, most of the step grades are two lane.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:46 PM   #18
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Coal dust and cinders washes off. It gives you an idea what they put up with years ago, much like going to a horse barn gives you an idea what our streets smelled like 110 years ago!

The train goes where no roads go, in fact along the track you'll see many cabins that have rail speeders they use to get to town. You get views of a canyon no road goes near. The trip lasts from about 7 am to 5 pm. They now have an option to take the train to Silverton, then a tour bus back.

At Mesa Verde, you used to be able to walk down to about any ruins you wished. Now you must purchase tour tickets; get them ahead of time, the popular tours fill up early. If you go on the NPS website, you can see which you might like to sign up for. I've been a few times, before and after the change and the fire. You get a good idea of the ruins in the one or two that are still open without tours. The fire uncovered many sites up on the plateau that hadn't been discovered, many are open to wander around in.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:49 PM   #19
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Train trip to Silverton: If you want to take good pictures, the tip to be on the right side of the coach to Silverton is accurate. Second, be sure to book the *earlier* departure because in the mountains, rain showers develop after late morning making the skies much cloudier and less desirable for photos. I grew up there, seen it happen often!
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:52 PM   #20
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I have a question for any of you gasser owners. How steep are the roads around Durango and will we have any trouble climbing any grades? I just ordered the Mountain Directory West. We are mountain-driving noobs and don't want any challenges yet. We'd prefer to camp at lower elevations and take our Jeep to sight-see.
According to how you go, you might go over Wolf Creek Pass, at over 10,000 feet with 7-8% grades. I know driving it a couple of times in the past 20 years it has been improved greatly from the early days.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:03 PM   #21
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According to how you go, you might go over Wolf Creek Pass, at over 10,000 feet with 7-8% grades. I know driving it a couple of times in the past 20 years it has been improved greatly from the early days.
Bob..
We have been going to that general area for years.. We stay near Ouray (Switzerland of the Rockies) actually in Rigeway at the state park now.. That area can't be properly explored in many trips.. Durango is really nice.. Yeah, some grades actually large grades particularly north of Silverton to Ouray.. I used to come in my 76 GMC and it handles Wolf Creek and the Million Dollar highway.. Not fast mine you but who'sin a rush! You mentioned you have a Jeep.. Use it.. Absolutely stunning scenery.. There are several really good $x$ trail books that are available almost everywhere. You don't have to go extreme and there are lots of really great scenery that can be seen off road on gravel roads.. Right off of Red Mountain pass there are several that are newcomer friendly.. You will see why it is called "Red Mountain"!
Take the train.. It is marvelous.. Some of the campgrounds near it actually have doggie day cares.. Just go and enjoy.. You will be back..
We will be there in August.. 2 weeks of beauty..
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #22
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Thanks for the excellent info, Don. If you don't mind, would you have a look at this campground diagram and tell me if the sites in blue are the newer sites? https://protected.hostcentric.com/al...criptions.html
The tree covered sites are going to be in the west end of the park. The sites noted as standard 50 amp and premium are the stites in the open. The blue spaces are the premium spaces. They are all nice.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:43 PM   #23
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You also asked what to do. You ARE taking your Jeep up to Silverton for 4-wheeling, aren't you? We'll be there!
I saw your post and it inspired me to start a thread about offroading in CO. If you know of places to do so and have pictures and information for others, about offroading in beautiful CO, here is the thread

Colorado for Offroading
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:58 PM   #24
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According to how you go, you might go over Wolf Creek Pass, at over 10,000 feet with 7-8% grades. I know driving it a couple of times in the past 20 years it has been improved greatly from the early days.
We will be approaching from the south, through New Mexico. Looks like 550 from Albuquerque.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:59 PM   #25
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Train trip to Silverton: If you want to take good pictures, the tip to be on the right side of the coach to Silverton is accurate. Second, be sure to book the *earlier* departure because in the mountains, rain showers develop after late morning making the skies much cloudier and less desirable for photos. I grew up there, seen it happen often!
Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:38 PM   #26
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Thanks for the tip! We are definitely planning to ride the train, though I'm still trying to decide what we will do with our little dog while we are gone for the day.
We took the train ride a few years ago and were also concerned with leaving our dog in the RV all day. We then found out that you can ride the train up to Silverton and take a bus back which saves considerable time and cuts about 3 hours off the tour. The bus ride back was very enjoyable with a narrator giving stories and information all the way.
You can book it either way when you buy the tickets.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:03 PM   #27
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The four-wheel drive Alpine Loop out of Silverton is one thing you shouldn't miss. Alpine Loop Scenic Byway

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Old 05-06-2014, 06:37 PM   #28
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We have stayed at Lightner Creek, just a bit out of town. It has been a while, but I would have no problem staying there again:

Campground in Durango CO | Durango Camping

You will enjoy downtown. Great place to walk around. Silverton is a must. The train is a must.
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