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Durango to Denver Road Trip/Hiking Itineraries

11 posts
Durango to Denver Road Trip/Hiking Itineraries

I will be traveling solo to Denver from Durango by car from Thursday afternoon (5/31) to Sunday (6/3).

I'm looking to do some "light" hiking (nothing too serious as I will be traveling alone). For reference, I visited Rocky Mountain National Park a few years ago for the day to wander around the park. I'm not looking to camp, but would be open to staying overnight in a cabin/hotel near any parks.

Does anyone have any recommendations of places to hike along the route or other notable places of interest/things to see and do?

2 replies to this topic
Franklin, Indiana
Level Contributor
74 posts
45 reviews
1. Re: Durango to Denver Road Trip/Hiking Itineraries

Myself... probably hiked out by time I get to Durango... but will do a half day raft trip... something to consider ...from there may make way to Royal Gorge and Cripple Creek.... before arriving to Denver...good luck and safe travels

Destination Expert
for Colorado
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11,503 posts
178 reviews
2. Re: Durango to Denver Road Trip/Hiking Itineraries

Do you have to be in Denver at a certain time on Sunday (i.e. to catch a flight?) or do you have the full day?

Thursday: Drive to Silverton and the Million Dollar Highway to Ouray.

Walk up to the cemetery in Silverton for great views or hike from town (or any number of nice places to walk along the way between Durango and Ouray) and then to Ouray-- Cascade Falls, Box Canyon or part of the Perimeter Trail in Ouray as time allows, followed by a nice soak in the hot springs pool or a hotel hot tub. You might like to stay another night in Ouray.

Friday, hike again from Ouray or Ridgway or day trip to Telluride.

Saturday, stop at the Dennis Weaver Memorial Park just north of Ridgway and walk along the river, then on to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Natl Park. Do the south rim drive with walks/short hikes to several overlooks, and maybe the Warner Point trail. Drive down the East Portal Road, too. Next destination might be Grand Junction/Fruita for Colorado National Monument, our "other" national park. Depending on time, you can go over the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway or take Highway 50.

Sunday, have a morning hike in the Monument if you didn't have time on Saturday, then drive back to Denver, exploring along the way. A pretty stop with a nice walk is the Betty Ford Alpine Garden in Vail. http://bettyfordalpinegardens.org/

Alternatively, on Saturday drive over McClure Pass toward Redstone (Avalanche Ranch stay?) and maybe take time for a jeep tour at Marble to the Crystal Mill or drive to Aspen to explore there for the day.

Still another alternative would be to skip the extra night in Ouray and head east on Hwy 50 after the Black Canyon visit, with your destination Salida, Buena Vista, Mount Princeton Hot Springs, Cottonwood Hot Springs, Twin Lakes, Breckenridge, or Manitou Springs.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 23:45
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