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D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 01/10/18 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't have much to say except that Page/Lake Powell while hot and in my opinion not much to do, have one feature that is monumental.

ANTELOPE CANYON.

There are tours on both side of the highway and we have done both, the one on the North side is my favorite but they are both great experiences.

I would not miss them.


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ohhell10339

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Posted: 01/10/18 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mekkerl wrote:


This is the exact re-affirmation I needed! I'll have to review the Powell vs. Vegas idea with the wife and kids. Vegas changes up the trip a little, which will be nice I'm sure.
I'm not sold on the Silverton/Durango Train, as its a long haul, and since we are strapped in the truck so much, not sure being strapped in the train all day will bode too well.
Gunnison will definitely be a quick visit as we drive by.


The train trip takes a couple of hours each way and goes through scenery that is otherwise inaccessible except on foot. You get to explore Silverton, an old mining town, before you head back. It's totally worth it, and it's an old steam locomotive and you can ride in an open car if you want. Great experience.

US 550 is a good highway--it's built to federal standards. There IS a lot of up and down and twisty, but nothing extreme at all. The views are to die for (or from, if you wish to end it all and just leap into the canyon). As far as US 50 goes, it was the primary east-west federal highway from San Francisco to (I think?) Ocean Shores, Maryland back before the interstate system was built, so it was built to handle a lot of traffic and there are maximum allowable grades.

ohhell10339

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Posted: 01/10/18 04:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4runnerguy wrote:


Take US 160 east to CO 145, north past Telluride to Placerville and right on CO 62 to Ridgway, then south on US 550 to Ouray.

Either route is beautiful. But if you do the Telluride route, please take the train to Silverton out of Durango one day or at least drive to Silverton for a day trip. US 550 is a road not to be missed.


I like this route if you've already taken the choo choo to Silverton on a previous day. Telluride is a totally cool little town with all those restored Victorian houses--and an utterly spectacular backdrop (there is a Road of Abject Terror that you can take that climbs the mountain wall east of town). Then you go over Lizard Head Pass and over to Ridgway, which takes you through some killer scenery before you go down to Ouray.

Either route is a blast. I used to live in Durango and I made the loop drive at least once a month.

* This post was edited 01/10/18 11:45pm by ohhell10339 *

agesilaus

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Posted: 01/10/18 04:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think there is a mine tour in Telluride, these mines which are now defunct stretched for miles and miles.


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Thom02099

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Posted: 01/10/18 05:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The train trip takes a couple of hours each way and goes through scenery that is otherwise inaccessible except on foot. You get to explore Silverton, an old mining town, before you head back. It's totally worth it, and it's an old steam locomotive and you can ride in an open car if you want. Great experience.


^^^ This! About 3.5 hours up and the same back. There are also options. You can take the train both ways, or you can take the train up to Silverton, and take a bus back. Did the trip again for the 3rd or 4th time this past October, and did up/back on the train. Different perspectives each way. And you're not stuck in one place. Yes, you get reservations for a specific seating in one of the cars, but there are gondola cars that are open air and anyone can go there and sit or stand anywhere. Definitely the better option for photo ops. And ~2 hours in Silverton, have a bite to eat and mosey around town exploring. Great way to spend a day, the kids will be pretty tired when it's all said and done!


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4runnerguy

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Posted: 01/10/18 06:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mekkerl wrote:

I'm not sold on the Silverton/Durango Train, as its a long haul, and since we are strapped in the truck so much, not sure being strapped in the train all day will bode too well.
As noted, you and the kids can get up and walk out to the open gondola car and watch the scenery go by. We're not big into "touristy" things, but this is one such tour that we love and have done several times. By the time you head back to Durango, you may find the kids zonked out for a few minutes. If you do the train, pick up a copy of Cinders and Smoke by Doris Osterwald. Give you real insight into what you are going by.

Check out this video to see just a bit of what the train ride is like.

Check out this video to see what Silverton is like for a family there on the train.

As far as US 550, it's not the steepness or curviness that gives many people problems (although the road has plenty of both.) It's that in many places there are no guard rails next to a cliff that drops hundreds of feet. But I've seen 45' diesel pushers on it towing a Jeep or other 4x4.

Don't know if this Google Maps link will work, but it shows a semi going one direction and an RV going the other. Spin around, look up and down, see if this is for you.


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2gypsies

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Posted: 01/10/18 10:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you do take the train be sure to bring warm clothes and a rain jacket if riding in the open car. Sometimes it snows/rains and is very cold. Many folks take the train up and return via the faster bus.


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mekkerl

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Posted: 01/11/18 06:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

US550 is definitely a road for us!
Thank you for those links Ken;

That train ride looks spectacular!
Okay, I will add the train to the list of possibilities.
If we forgo the train ride, is there other things to do in Durango to warrant a second day?
If not, we could add a full day to Ouray, or to the drive from Salida to KY.


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Busskipper

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Posted: 01/11/18 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mekkerl wrote:

US550 is definitely a road for us!
Thank you for those links Ken;

That train ride looks spectacular!
Okay, I will add the train to the list of possibilities.
If we forgo the train ride, is there other things to do in Durango to warrant a second day?
If not, we could add a full day to Ouray, or to the drive from Salida to KY.


I'm in on adding a Day or MORE to Ouray/Silverton/San Juan's.


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ppine

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Posted: 01/11/18 10:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A lot of that trip is going to be hot and crowded. I would spend less time in the desert and more time in the mountains outside of a NP.

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