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Old 11-22-2018, 08:30 AM   #1
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Santa Fe to Blanding

What’s the best route from Santa Fe NM to Blanding UT? We will be making a southwest trip next fall.
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:37 AM   #2
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I would go 285, 84, 160, spend a few days in Durango, then 160 to 491 hanging a right in Cortez, then left on 191. There are other ways, but I would not be in that area and miss Durango/Silverton area.
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Old 11-22-2018, 10:13 AM   #3
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I would go 285, 84, 160, spend a few days in Durango, then 160 to 491 hanging a right in Cortez, then left on 191. There are other ways, but I would not be in that area and miss Durango/Silverton area.


Good route. Also stay in Cortez a few days & go to Mesa Verde.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:25 AM   #4
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Good route. Also stay in Cortez a few days & go to Mesa Verde.


We’ve been in Durango and Cortez. What about going up 550, and going through Aneth. My bride student taught in Aneth 35 years ago.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:24 PM   #5
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We were on 550 from I25 to Durango then over to Cortez. No problems & generally good route.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:45 PM   #6
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We were on 550 from I25 to Durango then over to Cortez. No problems & generally good route.


What are 64/160 to 191 like?
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:10 PM   #7
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What are 64/160 to 191 like?


Like many roads in the desert, nothing really stands out. Some rough surfaces but not horrible. I would travel them again with no second thoughts.
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:59 PM   #8
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What are 64/160 to 191 like?


They are fine. Drove them many time in a 40ft Class A towing. FYI, there is a visitors center in Chama. Good place to pull into and take a lunch to other break. Also, good fuel options in Pagosa if you need them.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:36 PM   #9
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What are 64/160 to 191 like?


They are fine. Drove them many time in a 40ft Class A towing. FYI, there is a visitors center in Chama. Good place to pull into and take a lunch to other break. Also, good fuel options in Pagosa if you need them.
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Old 11-26-2018, 06:16 PM   #10
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Having taken all the routes mentioned, my personal favorite is U.S. 285/NM 502 to Los Alamos, then NM 4 to U.S. 550. That route takes you to the fascinating atomic city of Los Alamos, Bandelier National Monument, Jemez Caldera, and the Jemez Pueblo. U.S. 550 then takes you near Chaco Culture NHP, one of the do-not-miss parks of the West! But be sure to use your toad to go to Chaco as the road from 550 is pretty bad. Also on 550 is Aztec Nat. Mon. and, as mentioned, Durango and the Durango & Silverton Railroad and on 160, Mesa Verde NP.

Another scenic route is U.S. 84 from Espanola to Pagosa Springs, then 160 to Durango. That will take you to Ghost Ranch, Chama and the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, and Chimney Rock Nat. Mon. just west of Pagosa. That route also keeps you off Wolf Creek Pass! If you take this route, a great campground is Heron Lake State Park south of Chama. One of our favorite NM state parks and only $14/night including the daily park pass for a level, very private, water and electric site!

For more on routes and campgrounds along 550 and 160 in Colorado, see my blog HERE.
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