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Old 05-24-2010, 03:31 PM
 
52 posts, read 151,297 times
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We are planning on traveling to durango this summer, but I do not know what there is to do there. My husband wants to travel south east for a summer drive with the kids. We live in Erie, and have been for only 3 yrs, so we are fairly new. Are there places to see along the way?

Thanks.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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Well, uh, if you mean Erie, Colorado, Durango is southWEST. Durango is one of the top tourist destinations in Colorado, for better or worse, and has tons of "attractions"--some delightful, some schlocky. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a must do (though I like the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad out of Antonito, Colorado or Chama, New Mexico even better) and Mesa Verde is also a must-see. Beyond that, the San Juan Mountains are Colorado's most beautiful mountain range. That should be enough to occupy a vacation right there. Just don't expect it to be cheap. Durango used to offer a great place to go at reasonable prices--for the most part, they aren't very reasonable any longer.

The drive to Durango is scenic from almost any direction--but it is some serious mountain driving.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:47 PM
 
Location: High Plains
79 posts, read 120,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyMama3 View Post
We are planning on traveling to durango this summer, but I do not know what there is to do there. My husband wants to travel south east for a summer drive with the kids. We live in Erie, and have been for only 3 yrs, so we are fairly new. Are there places to see along the way?

Thanks.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:01 AM
 
Location: most beautiful place ever
1,836 posts, read 3,480,736 times
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you can go hiking, rent or bring bikes, there might be a festival, or visit Mesa Verde NP.
Jazzlover, I have yet to do the train. Why do you like the other trains better?
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:42 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoymonkey View Post
you can go hiking, rent or bring bikes, there might be a festival, or visit Mesa Verde NP.
Jazzlover, I have yet to do the train. Why do you like the other trains better?
The Durango & Silverton is a nice trip--the last 25 miles through the roadless Animas Canyon, which is one of the prettiest in the state. What I do not like about it is the first 20 miles of the trip are through crap rural sprawl suburbia. Back when that was all irrigated ranch pastures, it was beautiful. Not any more. I take solace in the fact that most of that crap is built in the floodplain of the Animas River, which will flood again someday. I saw all of it underwater in September, 1970, before all the sprawl was built. People's memories are short. The other thing about the Durango & Silverton Railroad that I'm not fond of is that it sort of too popular. They tend to crowd people on the train and treat them somewhat impersonally.

The Cumbres & Toltec runs through a lot of equally pretty scenery, though different, and most of its route is through undeveloped and unspoiled territory. They tend to treat the passengers much more casually. For those reasons, I prefer it, though people really should do both. The Rio Grande Scenic is also a nice trip (from Alamosa to LaVeta) that runs through some very nice country, much of the high country area of which is not otherwise publicly accessible. I consider all three "world class" trips for understanding Colorado's early transportation history. The D&S and C&TS are all steam-locomotive operated passenger trains, the Rio Grande Scenic will run with diesel during the week and steam on weekends this season.

By the way, I have friends who work on all three railroads, so I know all three trips quite well.

Last edited by jazzlover; 05-25-2010 at 11:22 AM..
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
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The Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio is pretty nice if you like gambling. It's about 15 minutes from Durango.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,246,015 times
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Durango Mountain Resort has some summer activities both kids and adults would enjoy including an Alpine Slide.

Durango Mountain Resort - Skiing, lodging and vacation deals in the beautiful Colorado Rockies
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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The rec center in Durango has a great swimming pool with a water slide and lazy river. It also has fountains outside for the kids to run through. You could also take a raft trip down the animas.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:35 PM
 
Location: most beautiful place ever
1,836 posts, read 3,480,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
The Durango & Silverton is a nice trip--the last 25 miles through the roadless Animas Canyon, which is one of the prettiest in the state. What I do not like about it is the first 20 miles of the trip are through crap rural sprawl suburbia. Back when that was all irrigated ranch pastures, it was beautiful. Not any more. I take solace in the fact that most of that crap is built in the floodplain of the Animas River, which will flood again someday. I saw all of it underwater in September, 1970, before all the sprawl was built. People's memories are short. The other thing about the Durango & Silverton Railroad that I'm not fond of is that it sort of too popular. They tend to crowd people on the train and treat them somewhat impersonally.

The Cumbres & Toltec runs through a lot of equally pretty scenery, though different, and most of its route is through undeveloped and unspoiled territory. They tend to treat the passengers much more casually. For those reasons, I prefer it, though people really should do both. The Rio Grande Scenic is also a nice trip (from Alamosa to LaVeta) that runs through some very nice country, much of the high country area of which is not otherwise publicly accessible. I consider all three "world class" trips for understanding Colorado's early transportation history. The D&S and C&TS are all steam-locomotive operated passenger trains, the Rio Grande Scenic will run with diesel during the week and steam on weekends this season.

By the way, I have friends who work on all three railroads, so I know all three trips quite well.
gotcha. i know the rural suburbia you are referring to, i will just focus on the red cliffs! good to know about how they treat people, too. thanks
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:01 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoymonkey View Post
gotcha. i know the rural suburbia you are referring to, i will just focus on the red cliffs! good to know about how they treat people, too. thanks
I don't mean to imply that the D&S's personnel are deliberately unfriendly--they are just dealing with large number of passengers on frequently quite full trains. Tough job. I know the railroad's manager--great guy.
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