Just made that trip in Sept. 191 to Monticello turn left onto 491towards Cortez.
You can use 160 to Durango or take 184 for a more scenic view. That is the way we went as we have many trip in that are and have been to Mesa Verde NP a few times, if you have not it is well worth your time. Just off of 160 E of Cortez. There is a narrow gage RR in Durango and another in Chama NM.
Enjoy your trip!
We usually pass thru that area mid April on the way back to WA, but this year we are going thru Denver.
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