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Old 08-11-2014, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,536,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
Frankly, Colorado isn't at its prettiest in mid October. Some/Many restaurants and shops in the mountain towns shut down or have limited hours during this period
Of course it depends on your perspective… Some people find it MORE beautiful once most of the tourist shops shut down and the masses are gone. But it's true that the weather is even more unpredictable in October in the high country.

@ sinatras: I wrote out for you a rough outline of an itinerary including all the places you mentioned in the time you specified. So if that's what you want to do, it should work, barring unforeseen. Just make sure to note the driving time/distance I included. Or if you're interested in a completely different itinerary, feel free to list that as well, and I will help you order it in way that will gig a good balance of 'scenery' and efficiency.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:54 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,788,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterprods View Post
Of course it depends on your perspective… Some people find it MORE beautiful once most of the tourist shops shut down and the masses are gone. But it's true that the weather is even more unpredictable in October in the high country.
Of course. I'm just saying the natural landscape isn't as pretty as at other times of the year. And I don't know what the OP is looking for/wants in terms of amenities/services during his/her trip. I lived full-time in a Colorado ski town for 6 years and while the lack of tourists was nice during the shoulder season, there was also a general feeling of being in the doldrums in October/November. After the explosion of fall colours, it's like everything is on hold until winter starts. We'd all be prepping our ski gear and looking at the sky, waiting for the big storm to dump a lot of snow. So I'm probably projecting some of that here...
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:55 PM
 
Location: SLC, UT
1,571 posts, read 2,286,169 times
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When I went on a road trip through Southern Utah and Colorado, I used this website:

https://www.myscenicdrives.com/road-trip-planner

It's free to use, has good information, and will help you create an itinerary.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,628 posts, read 3,972,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinatras View Post
Hi. I will be flying into Denver in mid October. I have never been to Colorado or Utah before. I will be in that area 10 days. I would like to see the following places:

Colo.
Rocky MNP
Aspen
Great Sands NP
Utah:
Arches NP
Canyonlands NP

I have consulted TripTik, Google maps and I can't seem to get a good loop route planned.

Can you suggest a driving itinerary that would be best?

Thank you!
A few things...
1) It can snow at any time of the year in the high country, but the average low is in the low 30s that time of year in Estes Park so snow is definitely possible. Alamosa has average lows in the mid 20s in October, but because it is high desert ~8000 feet ASL it doesn't get a lot of snow.

2) 10 days doesn't seem like enough time because that is a lot of driving. You won't have any chance to really enjoy any place you visit. It is basically drive to point A, take pictures, drive to B, take pictures, etc. Plus before you go to/through the high country you should spend at least a night in Denver to acclimate if you are coming from below 3,000 feet ASL. There will still be a significant gain, but it won't be as dramatic as from sub 3000 to about 10,000+ feet. You want to lower the chances of getting AS. You should also bring with a lot of lotion if you have dry skin and don't stop drinking water...I'd do Utah and southern CO and save RMNP for a later time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anhinga3 View Post
I have been wondering about Great Sands. Is it worth the trip? Perhaps OP should just stick to Rocky, Arches and Canyonlands.
Great Sand Dunes is the most unique place in Colorado. Mountains with alpine vegetation can be seen in multiple places in Colorado. Dunes that are hundreds of feet high cannot. I recommend skipping RMNP and spending more time in southern CO.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:04 PM
 
16,527 posts, read 20,975,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AksarbeN View Post
You might enjoy visiting the Mesa Verde Nat’l Park in the southwest part of the state where the visitors can tour Native American cliff dwellings. Mesa Verde National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

While in the southwest part of CO you can enjoy the narrow gauge train ride from Durango to Silverton. Beautiful scenery in the fall season with aspen trees changing color. The train provides a way to enjoy viewing the area without having to drive your car and watching the road. Take your camera as there are many pictures to take along the route.

Official Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train

Overnight lodging was available at the Mesa Verde Nat’l Park at a reasonable price and was very comfortable the last time we stayed there. If you book a ride on the train, be sure to book a seat inside the car; you can always leave the inside and go out to the other cars for observing special views. It’s nice to get back inside the car at times to get away from some of the smoke and soot from the engine.
Mesa Verde is an amazing place! As the OP is looking at an October trip, a couple things to keep in mind here. It CAN snow in mid October. Colorado had a nasty year for fires in 2002 and SW Colorado got pounded pretty good. The park itself was under a close threat but the San Juan National Forest and BLM firefighters brought it under control. It got close to the ruins, particularly Spruce House. But the firefighters threw everything they had at it and got it out. Don't be surprised by the amount of dead trees you see. I can't say enough good things about these dudes, I know 2 firefighters from the BLM personally.

A nice single day trip from Durango would be to take 160 west to Cortez, come back north to Dolores, and go over Lizard Head Pass (elevation 10222 ft.) Have a bite to eat in Telluride and then circle around the Dallas Divide as you come into Ridgway and enjoy the view of the San Juan mountains, one of the most photographed mountain ranges of all. Then get on 550 and take Red Mountain Pass back to Durango. It's a more difficult pass than Lizard Head is, certainly this road is not for the faint of heart. Your undivided attention is required when driving on this road.

I can't say enough good things about Mesa Verde. If you had more time I would recommend a couple other Indian Ruins about 45 minutes from Mesa Verde; Yucca House and Hovenweep National Monuments off state hwy. 491 on the road up to Dove Creek. There's not much to Dove Creek itself other than my favorite mom and pop restaurant, the Lunchbox Cafe. And also my favorite bar, the Lonesome Dove Bar!

Also in that area if you have time is the Anisazi Museum west of Dolores. Definitely worth your time!
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
30,335 posts, read 27,795,867 times
Reputation: 81258
^^^


Here’s a great picture of Mesa Verde Nat’l Park that Snikt posted in the Aug photo contest here at C-D

This is worth the click to view!
http://www.city-data.com/forum/35983306-post2.html
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,536,769 times
Reputation: 2674
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
Mesa Verde is an amazing place!
I've been to MVNP a few times and really like it a lot. It's especially good for the kids, in which case you need to be sure to sign up for the full cave tour (forgot what it's called) where you get climb through some of the ruins. ...Really unique, as NP's go...
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